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Bricklink/BrickOwl - Discussion, questions, & answers


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One would think they would at least INVOICE you fairly quickly. That would appear to be the easiest of all steps involved.

 

For sellers who pull and weigh the orders before invoicing, it's actually the most time-consuming post-sale process. For sellers who guestimate the weight, you're right, it's simple and then they have the real work after the buyer pays, but you may end up paying too much in shipping if they don't have a policy of refunding the overage on their guesses.

 

Unfortunately, there are a fair few sellers on Bricklink who just don't take basic customer service seriously. Even if I were doing it as a hobby, I'd want to do it well, but others don't feel that way (and yes, when I buy there they drive me bonkers, too. ;) )

 

We pull, weigh, and invoice within 1 business day of the order; we ship within 1 business day of payment. This includes the order we received last month for $430 (3487 pieces, 356 lots) - and we advertise this speed on our store terms page. If speed is important to you, look for sellers who tell you up front that the're committed to it - there are definitely some of us out there.

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We pull, weigh, and invoice within 1 business day of the order; we ship within 1 business day of payment. This includes the order we received last month for $430 (3487 pieces, 356 lots) - and we advertise this speed on our store terms page. If speed is important to you, look for sellers who tell you up front that they're committed to it - there are definitely some of us out there.

It's comforting to hear that some sellers actual care about the customer. I have had some sellers who took forever to ship my order from Bricklink. On the other hand, I have had sellers ship thing right away after I paid. I can understand some sellers are doing this as a hobby, but some basic customer service would be good.

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I like running into bricklink stores that say no fees but their starting shipping prices are $3.50.  I am pretty sure it doesn't cost $3.50 to ship 3oz of parts.

 

First, so you know where I'm coming from as a seller: I charge exact postage at my discounted Stamps.com rate, period, end of charges. So, 3 ounces from me costs my domestic buyer $1.93 plus whatever the parts cost.

 

However, there's a difference between "postage" and "shipping" - postage is postage, what it costs either online or across the counter. Shipping is a lot of other expenses that a seller might or might not decide to charge out to the buyer separately from the cost of the parts. It includes postage, packaging materials, packaging time, fuel expenses, etc.

 

It's why it's important to read each seller's terms and simply not buy from those whose terms you don't agree with, or whose terms are vague on how much you'll be paying.

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First, so you know where I'm coming from as a seller: I charge exact postage at my discounted Stamps.com rate, period, end of charges. So, 3 ounces from me costs my domestic buyer $1.93 plus whatever the parts cost.

 

However, there's a difference between "postage" and "shipping" - postage is postage, what it costs either online or across the counter. Shipping is a lot of other expenses that a seller might or might not decide to charge out to the buyer separately from the cost of the parts. It includes postage, packaging materials, packaging time, fuel expenses, etc.

 

It's why it's important to read each seller's terms and simply not buy from those whose terms you don't agree with, or whose terms are vague on how much you'll be paying.

That is why it is such a pain to shop on bricklink.  I have to read through every sellers terms and every store has different ones.  It would be easier if the "extra" shipping fees were included in the price of the parts to begin with.  I was just on bricklink looking to place an order.  One store in particular said they do not charge any extra fees.  No fees for material, handling, or anything.  The next line of their store terms said "we charge $1 for materials, lol. 

 

I hope bricklink 2.0 will allow buyers to just pick their parts and see how much with shipping your total will be.  

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That is why it is such a pain to shop on bricklink.  I have to read through every sellers terms and every store has different ones.  It would be easier if the "extra" shipping fees were included in the price of the parts to begin with.  I was just on bricklink looking to place an order.  One store in particular said they do not charge any extra fees.  No fees for material, handling, or anything.  The next line of their store terms said "we charge $1 for materials, lol. 

 

I hope bricklink 2.0 will allow buyers to just pick their parts and see how much with shipping your total will be.  

The choice on BrickLink is to have fees that are added onto the cost of the parts or to have a minimum order amount.  If you have neither you can get an order for $.15 worth of parts and lose $.20 for your trouble.  Some of us choose fees and some choose minimums.

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The choice on BrickLink is to have fees that are added onto the cost of the parts or to have a minimum order amount.  If you have neither you can get an order for $.15 worth of parts and lose $.20 for your trouble.  Some of us choose fees and some choose minimums.

 

And some of us choose neither. :) Me, for example, but I'm not alone - one of the largest sellers on BL has terms even more favorable than mine, which is hard to do -- he offers free shipping on orders over $30. When I get a little bigger, I hope to do the same).

 

It's extremely rare to get orders so small that I'm losing money - for the most part, buyers are not interested in buying a .15 cent part and paying $1.93 to have it shipped. And for those very rare times a buyer does choose this, I lose a little money on that particular sale that is easily absorbed by the many buyers I don't drive away from my store by charging fees and minimums and by the possibility (often realized) that that .15 cent part buyer will come back to me when he needs a more sizable order.

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That is why it is such a pain to shop on bricklink.  I have to read through every sellers terms and every store has different ones.  It would be easier if the "extra" shipping fees were included in the price of the parts to begin with.  I was just on bricklink looking to place an order.  One store in particular said they do not charge any extra fees.  No fees for material, handling, or anything.  The next line of their store terms said "we charge $1 for materials, lol. 

 

I hope bricklink 2.0 will allow buyers to just pick their parts and see how much with shipping your total will be.  

 

It is a pain. As a seller, I do enjoy setting my own terms (it's like back when eBay was fun!) but since my terms are overwhelmingly buyer-friendly, if BL does set up some "norms" I'm perfectly fine with meeting them.

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I just tack some extra pricing to my shipping cost. I sell mostly minifgures on bl so I know domestically I spend about $2 shipping. I may add $.50 to $2 in shipping to accomodate my costs. Very rarely do I add $2 but depending on my costs and margins I will. I am a top rated seller on eBay and have carried the expectations to bl even it congress to processing and shipping in a timely manner.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was wondering who sells on bricklink and how do they like it? I sell primarily on eBay but am tired of the 10% fees plus paypal fees of 3%. That's 13% and amazon is not any better as they charge 15% for all toys including legos, not to mention additional fees from them. Bricklink has the cheapest fees and was wondering how much success you guys actually have selling on there. And if I was to open a account on bricklink how skeptical would buyers be seeing that I don't have feedback, is there a way to show my eBay rating so they feel more comfortable purchasing from me?

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I was wondering who sells on bricklink and how do they like it? I sell primarily on eBay but am tired of the 10% fees plus paypal fees of 3%. That's 13% and amazon is not any better as they charge 15% for all toys including legos, not to mention additional fees from them. Bricklink has the cheapest fees and was wondering how much success you guys actually have selling on there. And if I was to open a account on bricklink how skeptical would buyers be seeing that I don't have feedback, is there a way to show my eBay rating so they feel more comfortable purchasing from me?

 

Welcome to the site, I merged your thread with the Bricklink Open Discussion thread.  We have some savvy Bricklink sellers on here, so hopefully they can answer any questions you may have.

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I was wondering who sells on bricklink and how do they like it? I sell primarily on eBay but am tired of the 10% fees plus paypal fees of 3%. That's 13% and amazon is not any better as they charge 15% for all toys including legos, not to mention additional fees from them. Bricklink has the cheapest fees and was wondering how much success you guys actually have selling on there. And if I was to open a account on bricklink how skeptical would buyers be seeing that I don't have feedback, is there a way to show my eBay rating so they feel more comfortable purchasing from me?

Try the following experiment - take three exactly same items in exactly same condition. Find the lowest price on Amazon and subtract 10 cents. List those items for exact same price(accounting for shipping variations of course) on all 3 venues. Guess where will you have first sale? It is certainly oversimplification, but the usual situation is that on Amazon you can sell something (certainly depends a lot on what that something is) for higher price than on ebay, and on ebay you usually can sell for higher price than on bricklink, in average, basically accounting for fee difference. Depending on what you sell on ebay and how you list, you might get lucky enough to show up in searches for folks who don't sort by price, but depends on the item.

 

now if you time horizon for selling is infinite, sure, list on bricklink, eventually, appreciation will catch up. 

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I was wondering who sells on bricklink and how do they like it? I sell primarily on eBay but am tired of the 10% fees plus paypal fees of 3%. That's 13% and amazon is not any better as they charge 15% for all toys including legos, not to mention additional fees from them. Bricklink has the cheapest fees and was wondering how much success you guys actually have selling on there. And if I was to open a account on bricklink how skeptical would buyers be seeing that I don't have feedback, is there a way to show my eBay rating so they feel more comfortable purchasing from me?

BrickLink is a different experience than eBay.  Yes, the fees are lower, but so is the traffic.  I have had moderate success selling sets, but I am satisfied with the results when I factor in all the benefits of the site.  You have to be patient, but the buyers are generally more experienced than the hordes on eBay and there seems to be a lot lower chance of being scammed as a seller on BrickLink right now.

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I used to pull and pack parts orders prior to shipment but I got burned by a couple of NPB's in close succession and changed my policy - it is a real pain putting 100 pieces back into the correct spot in physical inventory after you've pulled and packed them. I prefer to take a chance on losing money on shipping, but at this point I'm pretty accurate with my estimates and rarely have to eat money or refund.

 

I do charge a handling fee to cover the PayPal minimum charge. I have no minimum order and regularly get orders for small piece counts - recently I had an order for an overseas buyer that was less than $1 worth of parts. It happens. My handling fee is somewhat based on the number of lots so it does reflect my actual material costs (baggies, etc.) as well as the time it takes.

 

I will say it is totally worth it (once you figure it out) to open your store to international orders. Just make sure you do your homework on shipping rates, and it's pretty much a necessity to have a Stamps.Com account as you can't purchase First Class International postage directly from USPS.com or PayPal and most overseas buyers don't want to pay for Priority Mail International.

 

I have a couple of minions (child slave labor!) who love pulling pieces which helps reduce my turnaround time. All in all I enjoy working in the BrickLink world - definitely a stronger sense of community and much less pressure (lower expectations) than eBay and Amazon. On the rare occasions when I get several large orders simultaneously, I consider throwing in the towel but after I get some sleep I'm back to loving it. 

 

I'm thinking about providing incentives for customers to use Amazon WebPay and Dwolla as they have much lower fees than PayPal. I've never gotten anyone to use Dwolla, but a couple of times I've been paid through Amazon WebPay and it's pretty smooth. Only advantage with PayPal is most of the time it's a one-stop shop for shipping as well. 

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I was wondering who sells on bricklink and how do they like it? I sell primarily on eBay but am tired of the 10% fees plus paypal fees of 3%. That's 13% and amazon is not any better as they charge 15% for all toys including legos, not to mention additional fees from them. Bricklink has the cheapest fees and was wondering how much success you guys actually have selling on there. And if I was to open a account on bricklink how skeptical would buyers be seeing that I don't have feedback, is there a way to show my eBay rating so they feel more comfortable purchasing from me?

 

As others have already noted, the reason Amazon and eBay can and do charge higher fees is they have higher traffic. You can sell sets on BL, just be prepared to hold and wait awhile. You also may have to list them cheaper than on eBay and Amazon, thereby reducing some or all of the savings you get in fees.

 

A parts store is a different animal entirely, there's no comparison between running a BL parts store and sellling complete sets (regardless of venue).

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BrickLink is really a different market. Most BL users are pretty Lego-savvy and you generally won't sell complete sets on BL if they are available anywhere else - no opportunities for flipping.

 

Even for minifigures, BL users will not pay as much as grandma will on Amazon to get little Timmy his Captain Rex minifigure he's always wanted. Actually there probably aren't many grandmas shopping for anyone on BrickLink. It is AFOL's looking for parts for MOCs or to complete sets they already own. 

 

Most of the sets I have sold on BrickLink are duplicates from my collection growing up, or sets I put together from bulk lots bought on eBay. I will probably list a few sets on BrickLink down the road once my investment portfolio grows, but in the meantime parting out generates a pretty steady cash flow and is (mostly) fun for me and the slave labor children (they do get paid in Lego so it's not exactly slave labor - definitely a win-win situation).

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 and it's pretty much a necessity to have a Stamps.Com account
stamps.com might be nice and all, but one word of caution for ones like me: If you create an account there you actually sign up for a monthly plan, of at least $9.99 (and $16.99 as default). There is no option of "just buying a single stamp". However, they don't tell you this when you sign up. You give your credit card information assuming that is only for the actual shipping cost. You can painlessly get out of it (by phone only), but you have to notice first. I luckily did before I actually had to pay anything.
 
And in addition: this is MS Windows and (some) Mac software only. They do have a web interface, but they block "unsupported browsers" on purpose. This lack of Linux and proper web support, and the missing warning of the monthly fee make me stay far away.
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Alright folks, I'm looking to start a Bricklink store, for sets only.  I'm not going down the parting out path.  I'm trying to add sets but the "upload" option is just bringing in an external list from another website.  I don't have tons of sets to put up, so doing it manually wouldn't be th worst thing in the world, but I can't for the life of me figure it out.  I hate feeling like a noob, but I know there is a wealth of knowledge on this topic in here.  Also, showing a guy like me how to do html would be a huge help as well.  Thanks.

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Just curious..

 

If I place an order without insurance and tracking number and the item get lost, will I be able to make a claim using Paypal even if the seller states "not responsible for item lost"??

 

Many thanks 

 

Yes, PayPal will back you on it. However, be aware that the seller can and probably will leave you neutral or negative feedback if you go this route, and that a significant portion of the BL community consider this bad form when you were offered insurance and tracking as extra charges and chose not to purchase them - you may find yourself on some seller stop lists if the seller outs you in the forums.

 

(For our store, we find it simplest just to use tracking on everything, self-insure up to a certain amount, and use Stamps.com insurance for anything that is beyond our comfort level.)

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