Discussion Forum: Messages by calsbricks (5786)
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 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 16, 2019 09:51
 Subject: Re: Inventory and revenue management
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 Topic: Selling
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Selling, JLRSextra writes:
  Wow. that is an extensive database. thanks for sharing the screenshots. That
must of taken many development hours.

I use Brickstock to manage inventory and pricing. I can easily adjust pricing
in Brickstock and upload the changes to Bricklink easily.

When processing a new batch for sale, I can start a new inventory or Part
Outs sets using Brickstock. It is super easy. But it doesn't do everything,
nor does it interface with every field provided by Bricklick (like the Cost field).

I do a monthly download from Bricklink of my sales in Excel format.
https://www.bricklink.com/orderExcel.asp?orderType=received

I then put that data into an Excel spreadsheet. Through a series of data calculations,
I figure out my sales total, bricklink fees, PayPal fees and finally net profit.
It's very manual.

Sounds good - we have tried to move as far away as possible from 'manual'
and have automated as much as we can at present without getting a programmer
involved. We, like many others, had hoped by now Bricklink would have been offering
something to help the sellers, after all we are a business , just like them,
but alas that hasn't happened.

We get all our stats from our system as well as P&L statements at the end of
each period. Our cost field is a very important field and unlike both Bricklink
and Brickstock we use it heavily. We know the cost we paid for each set and can
work out individual cost prices or just look at the totals. Our inventory is
held at cost so our accountants are happy with our methodology for that. As for
the used Lego which we buy in bulk - we know the weight and how much it cost
for the lot so we can easily keep track of the 'profitability' of each
lot we buy.

It could be easier, of course but we are comfortable with it as it is.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 16, 2019 09:19
 Subject: Re: Inventory and revenue management
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 Topic: Selling
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Selling, honglonglong writes:
  In Selling, calsbricks writes:
  In Selling, honglonglong writes:
  I probably posted before but didn't get any answers. How do people manage
their inventories and track ins and outs of money etc? I find tracking money
flow helpful in terms of deciding more purchases, and deciding reasonable price
etc. I want a centralized place to track orders, stocks, purchases, and they
should be tied to lego specifics too (e.g. num of pieces, weight, etc). What
BL provides is part of what I want, not all.

I have been using a spreadsheet to track sets I bought and sold manually, but
it is fairly limited unless you spend a lot of time writing it. For example I
didn't track PayPal fees and shipping etc. And if I were to trade parts,
that would be more difficult and time consuming to track every piece using spreadsheet.

I have attached a link to 3 screenshots covering sales orders, purchases and
products within our subsystem

https://www.dropbox.com/s/sry9qj31gdeoy6k/Access_Screenshots.pdf?dl=0

Some get populated via an import of data and some do not. All bricklink activity
is maintained via this system independent of Bricklink.

This looks cool; thanks for sharing. I assume writing this system took non-trivial
time, which is more than justified if the business volume goes big. For starters
like me (my current annual orders are like 10, for contexts), do you have any
suggestions?

Gulp ! A lot can be done in Access without any programming skills (I am not a
programmer) but you do need an understanding of how relational databases work.
Other than that I suggest you join the bandwagon to get Bricklink to provide
these kinds of things in the long awaited and overdue sellers tools (Promised
in 2013 at the takeover/acquisition nothing to date other than a new promise
that it will be included with Bricklink XP, as, when and if that ever gets released,
debugged, and operational). I really would not hold my breath on that one, though
- find yourswelf an Access programmer and let him help you or write it for you.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 16, 2019 09:14
 Subject: Re: Inventory and revenue management
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 Topic: Selling
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Selling, honglonglong writes:
  In Selling, calsbricks writes:
  In Selling, honglonglong writes:
  I probably posted before but didn't get any answers. How do people manage
their inventories and track ins and outs of money etc? I find tracking money
flow helpful in terms of deciding more purchases, and deciding reasonable price
etc. I want a centralized place to track orders, stocks, purchases, and they
should be tied to lego specifics too (e.g. num of pieces, weight, etc). What
BL provides is part of what I want, not all.

I have been using a spreadsheet to track sets I bought and sold manually, but
it is fairly limited unless you spend a lot of time writing it. For example I
didn't track PayPal fees and shipping etc. And if I were to trade parts,
that would be more difficult and time consuming to track every piece using spreadsheet.

We have our own internally written system as do many others as Bricklink do not
offer any real tools do do this.

We use a combination of Brickstock and an Access application which tracks all
orders both sales and purchases as well as inventory, pricing etc. It took a
while to develop but it works fine and is very independent of what Bricklink
do/

I saw Brickstock mentioned in previous posts; will give it a try. Curious what
lacks in Brickstock that makes you use another application along?

Brickstock has its limitations and our system removes those, however Bricklink
also has its limitations and our internal system addresses those. Brickstocks
real strength is in its ability to read the catalogue and tie the info together
with the image files. We use those images in our order picking sheets and if
you download an order directly from Bricklink you do not get the image file.
You can get it if you just print the order details to a pdf file but because
you cannot really alter the printouts that you get there and they are paper consuming
we bring the orders into Brickstock and print from there (Not to paper, by the
way).

It would be a wonderful thing if Bricklink actually thought about the sellers
and tried to make the system both easier to use less cumbersome, more informative
and much more parameter driven but alas that is not to be.

Good luck with your efforts.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 16, 2019 08:33
 Subject: Re: Buyer wants to pay me offline
 Viewed: 60 times
 Topic: Help
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Help, Statentkt writes:
  Thanks in advance for your help. A buyer Is asking me for my PayPal account
because he wishes to pay me offsite. If I give it to him am I putting myself
in jeopardy?
Andrea

Over 7000 orders paid for by offsite Paypal - never a single problem. We do not
use Paypal onsite due to its address validation procedures.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 16, 2019 07:25
 Subject: Re: Inventory and revenue management
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 Topic: Selling
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Selling, honglonglong writes:
  I probably posted before but didn't get any answers. How do people manage
their inventories and track ins and outs of money etc? I find tracking money
flow helpful in terms of deciding more purchases, and deciding reasonable price
etc. I want a centralized place to track orders, stocks, purchases, and they
should be tied to lego specifics too (e.g. num of pieces, weight, etc). What
BL provides is part of what I want, not all.

I have been using a spreadsheet to track sets I bought and sold manually, but
it is fairly limited unless you spend a lot of time writing it. For example I
didn't track PayPal fees and shipping etc. And if I were to trade parts,
that would be more difficult and time consuming to track every piece using spreadsheet.

I have attached a link to 3 screenshots covering sales orders, purchases and
products within our subsystem

https://www.dropbox.com/s/sry9qj31gdeoy6k/Access_Screenshots.pdf?dl=0

Some get populated via an import of data and some do not. All bricklink activity
is maintained via this system independent of Bricklink.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 16, 2019 03:45
 Subject: Re: Inventory and revenue management
 Viewed: 47 times
 Topic: Selling
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Selling, honglonglong writes:
  I probably posted before but didn't get any answers. How do people manage
their inventories and track ins and outs of money etc? I find tracking money
flow helpful in terms of deciding more purchases, and deciding reasonable price
etc. I want a centralized place to track orders, stocks, purchases, and they
should be tied to lego specifics too (e.g. num of pieces, weight, etc). What
BL provides is part of what I want, not all.

I have been using a spreadsheet to track sets I bought and sold manually, but
it is fairly limited unless you spend a lot of time writing it. For example I
didn't track PayPal fees and shipping etc. And if I were to trade parts,
that would be more difficult and time consuming to track every piece using spreadsheet.

We have our own internally written system as do many others as Bricklink do not
offer any real tools do do this.

We use a combination of Brickstock and an Access application which tracks all
orders both sales and purchases as well as inventory, pricing etc. It took a
while to develop but it works fine and is very independent of what Bricklink
do/
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 15, 2019 11:14
 Subject: Re: market data
 Viewed: 39 times
 Topic: General
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
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Store: CalsBricks
In General, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  Is Nexon / Bricklink still up for sale?

Not according to the web, but you never know. He called off the sale cause no
one bid met his expectations. The last article we saw was in the Korean Times
and said he did not rule out selling at another time.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 15, 2019 09:16
 Subject: Re: market data
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 Topic: General
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
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Store: CalsBricks
In General, WildBricks writes:
  I think what we are seeing here is the umbrella/layering affect of modern corporations.
The admin, programers & developers are based in California. That $1.7 figure
is based on all of the holdings of the next level up of corporation that is in
New Jersey. That company obviously has several other smaller companies beneath
it that sell other things besides LEGOs. "This organization primarily operates
in the Toys and Games (Including Dolls and Models), Mail Order business / industry
within the Miscellaneous Retail sector. "

You are of course correct on all fronts. What a myriad of entanglement.
  



In General, 1974 writes:
  No Bill, what's odd is that you said you've done "exhaustive search"
and this is new to you?

I just went to my Paypal account, found BL's actual business name (that included
the phonenumber) through the fees I pay

Then hit google and viola! Several databases turned up with almost similar info

I've found very little on the IRS website, just this :

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/corporations/sohobricks-corporation

Can't really do the same with TLG (The LEGO Group) as it's a private
company and also owns a ton of other companies (most outside Denmark) and it's
a very large family to boot

But it's safe to say KIRKBI could burn down every LEGO factory, park and
the entire town of Billund (airport included), rebuild it and it would not make
_that_ great a dent in their fortune. That fond is loaded, like Mærsk kinda loaded


Cheers,

Ole


In General, calsbricks writes:

  How very odd - New Jersey? - we thought they were based on the West Coast e.g.
California. The revenue is also not in line with that data we have from their
accounts. 17 People ? Somehow I doubt that. The mystery thickens.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 15, 2019 09:14
 Subject: Re: market data
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 Topic: General
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In General, 1974 writes:
  No Bill, what's odd is that you said you've done "exhaustive search"
and this is new to you?

Our searches etc never looked at Bricklnk on its own only on the parent company
which is legally based in Belgium and their accounts can be purchased for about
£15. Our initial interest was more on the state of their affairs rather than
their location - so exhaustive research yes - to find the details we gathered.,
Complete research on Bricklink - no - so this is a new revelation to us. Their
store appears to be in California but their offices are in NJ ?? which, quite
honestly doesn't make a huge amount of sense. 17 People employed - I somehow
greatly disbelieve that and so do most others who have had to wait anxiously
and patiently for answers to bug issues, non-deliveries,etc.

  
I just went to my Paypal account, found BL's actual business name (that included
the phonenumber) through the fees I pay

Then hit google and viola! Several databases turned up with almost similar info


  
I've found very little on the IRS website, just this :

It does not appear they are required to file accounts with the IRS (Not sure
why but the audited accounts are filed in Korea - their auditors being Price
Waterhouse. NXC, the parent company appears to just be an investment vehicle
for the owners movements. Nexon also comes into this somewhere, but the accounts
are not revealing sufficient details.


As is usually the case with these investment conglomerates they do not make it
easy to get a reasonable leel of detail onther than figures.


  
https://www.irs.gov/businesses/corporations/sohobricks-corporation

Can't really do the same with TLG (The LEGO Group) as it's a private
company and also owns a ton of other companies (most outside Denmark) and it's
a very large family to boot

But it's safe to say KIRKBI could burn down every LEGO factory, park and
the entire town of Billund (airport included), rebuild it and it would not make
_that_ great a dent in their fortune. That fond is loaded, like Mærsk kinda loaded


Cheers,

Ole

Anyway well done on your efforts - we have learned something enw today.
  

In General, calsbricks writes:

  How very odd - New Jersey? - we thought they were based on the West Coast e.g.
California. The revenue is also not in line with that data we have from their
accounts. 17 People ? Somehow I doubt that. The mystery thickens.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 15, 2019 08:25
 Subject: Re: market data
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 Topic: General
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
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Store: CalsBricks
In General, mwright5 writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  In General, 1974 writes:
  This is public data, maybe you can find something in there?

http://www.buzzfile.com/business/Bricklink-949-825-6653

There's annual sales (1,7 million USD) and number of employees (17)

Cheers,

Ole

How very odd - New Jersey? - we thought they were based on the West Coast e.g.
California. The revenue is also not in line with that data we have from their
accounts. 17 People ? Somehow I doubt that. The mystery thickens.

(Plot Thickens) Well, the owner's phone number is listed on that link.
I'm sure he'd be more than happy to help with this, and would love to
hear from us.

Absolutely - Cheaper for you to call than us

How about aq conference call where we can all speak to him
  

  
  

In General, JustTheBrick writes:
  Hi,

I am trying to get some data on the market size of Bricklink, such as total annual
sales or even an annual report of the Corporation itself, but can't really
find anything relevant. I know Lego make about £1.2b profit annually, and that
there are about 1.2million members on Bricklink but struggling to find any more
relevant numbers. Can anyone help?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 15, 2019 08:13
 Subject: Re: market data
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 Topic: General
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
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Store: CalsBricks
In General, 1974 writes:
  This is public data, maybe you can find something in there?

http://www.buzzfile.com/business/Bricklink-949-825-6653

There's annual sales (1,7 million USD) and number of employees (17)

Cheers,

Ole

How very odd - New Jersey? - we thought they were based on the West Coast e.g.
California. The revenue is also not in line with that data we have from their
accounts. 17 People ? Somehow I doubt that. The mystery thickens.

  

In General, JustTheBrick writes:
  Hi,

I am trying to get some data on the market size of Bricklink, such as total annual
sales or even an annual report of the Corporation itself, but can't really
find anything relevant. I know Lego make about £1.2b profit annually, and that
there are about 1.2million members on Bricklink but struggling to find any more
relevant numbers. Can anyone help?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 15, 2019 07:29
 Subject: Re: market data
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 Topic: General
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
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Store: CalsBricks
In General, calsbricks writes:
  In General, Soviet writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  In General, JustTheBrick writes:
  Hi,

I am trying to get some data on the market size of Bricklink, such as total annual
sales or even an annual report of the Corporation itself, but can't really
find anything relevant. I know Lego make about £1.2b profit annually, and that
there are about 1.2million members on Bricklink but struggling to find any more
relevant numbers. Can anyone help?

The closest you will get to a set of accounts is here. The audited accounts of
the NXC corporation which is the umbrella for Bricklink and various other subsidiaries.
There is not a hell of a lot of detail and you will need to look deeply to find
the mentions of Bricklink.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1kto7sfi0l0sg9b/NXC_Consolidated%20Financial%20Statements_2014_Final.pdf?dl=0

We obtained these from the web after an exhaustive search. Wer cannot, at the
moment find an updated copy.

The other thing is they are in won (Korean currency).

Here's the 2015 version, still losing money but this time the sales went
down dramatically.

https://www.nxc.com/uploads/ir_file/c65640915fcbe6e1c6b0f93f96068764.pdf

Interesting - would really like to see full set of accounts for Bricklink but
this has been all we and others have been able to find.

Our reasoning is we wish to know about the organisation we are investing in (Inventory,
time etc).

On reflection it really isn't about their accounts and whether they are profitable
or not. That is for the owner/shareholders to concern themselves about. What
it is about is the thinking behind the company. where is it headed, how is it
going to make its goals, how do they 'grow' the business to where they
want it to be. Those answers cannot be found anywhere and probably only exist
in the minds of those who are in control. We have to keep telling ourselves this
is a business now not so much a community. People are here for many reasons -
hobbyists, part time and full time businesses. Those of us who are running a
business would like to know where they are taking us - how much should we be
confident of investing in everything that is needed to make it a success. Will
the launch of xp, as when and if it ever happens bring the change they are hoping
for or will it dampen the spirits even more than what we have today (some not
all).

Those, to us are the more important questions that we would like to see answers
to but alas, it is a business and those thoughts/goals and ambitions are obviously
company confidential.

There is a huge, no absolutely huge amount of data available from this site and
for those of us who want answers to questions - that data could provide it (possibly)if
we were allowed to access it.

So many simple things could be done to show intent but alas 'spaghetti code'
as they call it doesn't allow that. I would argue that spaghetti code is
easier to understand if the application itself is understood rather than moving
forward with a large number of tangents e.g. Mosaick, Studio, etc, etc, ((many
of which have been met with less than enthusiasm).

Do yourself a favour Bricklink get the members on your side - show a willingness
to compromise on development - you will find much greater rewards if you do and
if you don't - who knows?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 15, 2019 03:55
 Subject: Re: market data
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
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Store: CalsBricks
In General, Soviet writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  In General, JustTheBrick writes:
  Hi,

I am trying to get some data on the market size of Bricklink, such as total annual
sales or even an annual report of the Corporation itself, but can't really
find anything relevant. I know Lego make about £1.2b profit annually, and that
there are about 1.2million members on Bricklink but struggling to find any more
relevant numbers. Can anyone help?

The closest you will get to a set of accounts is here. The audited accounts of
the NXC corporation which is the umbrella for Bricklink and various other subsidiaries.
There is not a hell of a lot of detail and you will need to look deeply to find
the mentions of Bricklink.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1kto7sfi0l0sg9b/NXC_Consolidated%20Financial%20Statements_2014_Final.pdf?dl=0

We obtained these from the web after an exhaustive search. Wer cannot, at the
moment find an updated copy.

The other thing is they are in won (Korean currency).

Here's the 2015 version, still losing money but this time the sales went
down dramatically.

https://www.nxc.com/uploads/ir_file/c65640915fcbe6e1c6b0f93f96068764.pdf

Interesting - would really like to see full set of accounts for Bricklink but
this has been all we and others have been able to find.

Our reasoning is we wish to know about the organisation we are investing in (Inventory,
time etc).
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 15, 2019 03:16
 Subject: Re: market data
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
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Store: CalsBricks
In General, JustTheBrick writes:
  Hi,

I am trying to get some data on the market size of Bricklink, such as total annual
sales or even an annual report of the Corporation itself, but can't really
find anything relevant. I know Lego make about £1.2b profit annually, and that
there are about 1.2million members on Bricklink but struggling to find any more
relevant numbers. Can anyone help?

The closest you will get to a set of accounts is here. The audited accounts of
the NXC corporation which is the umbrella for Bricklink and various other subsidiaries.
There is not a hell of a lot of detail and you will need to look deeply to find
the mentions of Bricklink.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1kto7sfi0l0sg9b/NXC_Consolidated%20Financial%20Statements_2014_Final.pdf?dl=0

We obtained these from the web after an exhaustive search. Wer cannot, at the
moment find an updated copy.

The other thing is they are in won (Korean currency).
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 14, 2019 04:15
 Subject: Re: Thoughts mostly for my fellow sellers...
 Viewed: 35 times
 Topic: Selling
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Location:  United Kingdom, England
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In Selling, popsicle writes:
  In Selling, MidwestBrick writes:
  In Selling, popsicle writes:
  In Selling, MidwestBrick writes:
  In Selling, popsicle writes:
  In Selling, maxx3001 writes:
  In Selling, popsicle writes:
  ...but buyer input is most welcome.

A longtime reoccurring conundrum (for me) is counterbalancing the race-to-the-bottom
while effecting our store’s sell-off. Not enjoining others to drop their prices,
in other words. How to introduce sell-off pricing without ankle-biting the market
values and by extension, my fellow seller’s profit margin? Especially considering
the bulk of our inventory is vintage, older or classic SW, that should
have more stabilized values.

What I’ve been doing, is setting the prices where I thing (empirically)
the prices should be, then apply a sale. My thinking is; when prospective buyers
browse, they see our prices at the lowest end for New Classic SW minifigs, while
simultaneously being shown what prices should be. This, combined with clear wording
throughout our store that we are selling-off our store inventory, is the best
I’ve been able to come up with. It’s about expectations of market values, without
projecting a ‘false sale’

I believe the market value of any given product, including Lego, is set by both
psychological (emotional) and empirical inputs.

Your thoughts are appreciated, as I seem to be stuck in a thought-loop with this
task.

BTW, I’d gladly make all of our sale prices, base prices, and run very low item
pricing without a visible sale. I really could careless other than dragging down
market values for others.

Have a wonderful Sunday

-Cory

Sounds good to me, just run your sale, you need to get rid of your inventory
and BL sellers will survive

The lower your prices, the faster they are sold out and “normal” prices are back
at the top.

If you are low enough, other sellers might buy things to resell at a higher or
average price.

Don’t think about it to much, in the real world stores have sales all the time
and other stores still survive.

Not everyone lives close to you (shippingcost) or needs what you sell.

Thanks, Maxx

I've looked at your store and considered offering a buy-out but the prices
were too high to make any margin and risk worth it. Now, this was a while back
but just as I'm sure you know, if you really want to stop doing this, then
lowering the prices so low that no one can resist the price is what you should
aim for.

It is very hard to buy something when the profit margin is so low to the next
seller of it and on top of that, it is items that are not "in high demand" in
relation to other items that are out there.. otherwise, if it was, you wouldn't
have it in your store anymore as it would have already sold out.

All I know is that when my day comes to close up shop (hopefully not for a very
very long time) I plan on putting everything so low that no one can pass it up.
Sure I'll take a major hit on it, but I won't have to think about it
anymore and can spend my time thinking and doing something else.

Best of luck to you and I'll put your store on my "watch" list again to check
in every so often.

Thanks, you make some valid points. I really do enjoy your inputs here in the
forum. But I think you’ve missed the gist of this post. Take another read.

Not sure what “watch list” your referring to, but don’t bother. I’m not soliciting
here. It’s a given most understand, to move inventory drop prices until they
move, no insight there. I’m not interested in dumping. Like I said, take another
read.

For a couple of years now we’ve been in what I would term as 'managed sell-off'
mode, at which point we had $178,000 in stock listed on BL, today it's down
to $59,000. So it’s getting done. Add to that; the proceeds long ago were turned
over to my kids who just haven’t had need of the extra cash. It may be, that
we place it all back into storage for them to cash-in on at a later point, which
my daughter is pushing for anyway.

-Cory

You are doing it just fine,

sorry if it came off the wrong way.

Not at all. I really appreciate your direct style, I wish more were so. Like
I said, I enjoy your posts

  

I just know that when I'm done... I'll want to be done asap and not waiting and waiting

Now here, I'm with you. When I make a decision such as this, I want it implemented
and behind me ASAP. But this decision involves my son and daughter, who's
judgement is far better than mine, thank God

  
and I'll change the Lego room into a Golf simulator room.

Damn! Now you got me eyeballing our Lego room!


Having had time to reflect on this and also review the other comments it is very
obvious now that there are 2 ways of looking at this - one from the 'community'
point of view and other from a 'business' point of view. - the choice
remains yours - both sides have valid points and I am sure all sides wish you
good luck in clearing out your inventory.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 13, 2019 14:36
 Subject: Re: Thoughts mostly for my fellow sellers...
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In Selling, popsicle writes:
  ...but buyer input is most welcome.

A longtime reoccurring conundrum (for me) is counterbalancing the race-to-the-bottom
while effecting our store’s sell-off. Not enjoining others to drop their prices,
in other words. How to introduce sell-off pricing without ankle-biting the market
values and by extension, my fellow seller’s profit margin? Especially considering
the bulk of our inventory is vintage, older or classic SW, that should
have more stabilized values.

What I’ve been doing, is setting the prices where I thing (empirically)
the prices should be, then apply a sale. My thinking is; when prospective buyers
browse, they see our prices at the lowest end for New Classic SW minifigs, while
simultaneously being shown what prices should be. This, combined with clear wording
throughout our store that we are selling-off our store inventory, is the best
I’ve been able to come up with. It’s about expectations of market values, without
projecting a ‘false sale’

I believe the market value of any given product, including Lego, is set by both
psychological (emotional) and empirical inputs.

Your thoughts are appreciated, as I seem to be stuck in a thought-loop with this
task.

BTW, I’d gladly make all of our sale prices, base prices, and run very low item
pricing without a visible sale. I really could careless other than dragging down
market values for others.

Have a wonderful Sunday

-Cory

I promise I won't hijack this but it is a huge conundrum which is not easily
solved. everything that takes place on the site has a bearing on all of us whether
it is iniated by Bricklink or individuals. Long standing stores often act as
guides to newcomers so the will always be followers as well, so you have a shrodigers
cat situation Best of luck with it we don't envy you. If we ever consider
doing this I think we would go elsewhere.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 13, 2019 11:25
 Subject: Re: Old grey special plate with ramp
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 Topic: Catalog Identification
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In Catalog Identification, 1271moggy writes:
  In Catalog Identification, joxyzan writes:
  Hello friends!
I found this old yellowish grey plate a flea market. There is no identification
number and I've been googling with no luck... Someone who knows what it is?

It measures 8 x (almost) 18 and has some sort of fixed hatch in front of that
little ramp with edges.



Its Catalog: Parts: Garage: 820


Lego Garage Floor Plate 8 x 18 (Old style)

Sorry don't know how to upload the catalogue image!

Open square bracket [ then P=(Part No) in this case 820, and then close square
bracket ].
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 13, 2019 08:51
 Subject: Re: Empty lots in Stockroom
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In Problem, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  
  
  If BrickLink are not sure which direction to take, then maybe they should just
fix the many issues on this site while they twiddle their thumbs over the future.

You are absolutely correct but that is logical and somehow that ideology isn't
the norm for BL. and of course they blame the spaghetti code (the classic site
- which is difficult for them to understand and correct ??????)

My opinion 12 months down the line is that they have realised that there isn’t
the demand for the sets approach. I also feel that as there are so many incomplete
sets on offer in BL that the idea they had isn’t ss easy to create as they thought.

Most of the sets on offer tend to be older retired sets and if they are going
head to head with Amazon then they are unlikely y to be offering the same products.

Is the delay an admission that the XP programme is a dead duck?

If they are looking at the AFOL programme as a money spinner, then maybe this
is their new direction.

In the meanwhile they are likely to force more sellers and buyers to go to Brickowl.
(Particularly parts shops)

Logical - wonder how close that is?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 13, 2019 08:10
 Subject: Re: Empty lots in Stockroom
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In Problem, iprice writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, Soviet writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, Teup writes:
  These poorly understood unsolved bugs make me uncomfortable. I think it isn't
normal for a company of software package to have them, but Bricklink has them
very often. As long as we don't know what's going on, who is to say that
not the opposite also happens - retain lots getting deleted? I think the core
functionality of Bricklink should be 100% understood and reliable.


Agreed 100% but the CEO has said they are not going to touch the classic site
any more. We believe they are pinning their ambitions and goals on XP and possibly
extending the AFOL Design and build program.

I hear about this XP thing now and again but I still have no clear idea what
it is. Is it like a deep redesign of BrickLink or a selling system that will
live alongside BrickLink?

The reason you have so little information is because Bricklink have not published
anything yet - the only reference to xp was made by MP at the Brickwold convention
about a year ago. It is something that will require instant checkout, although
Admin_Russell suggested in his last response to our request for information,
there may also be a non instant option. You need not worry as you are already
using that. It appeared at MP's presentation that it was not really aimed
at parts stores but at sets as one off purchases. It's target market back
then appeared to be the soccer moms looking for a set for little Johnny for xmas.
That has also been modified somewhat by RUSSELL in his post claiming there would
be no difference for parts stores. MP'S words were pointed at a more AMAZON/EBAY
business model than the current BRICKLINK but also stated they would continue
to support the classic edition. What that means is anybody's guess as support
should mean clearing up bugs, and that isn't happening at the moment. All
in all it is still a very murky crystal ball. We are not sure even they know
what and when they will get it out.

One comment from Russell suggested they were in limbo at present as they ponder
what direction the company should take.

It is obvious if they are not sure than we cannot be sure either.


If BrickLink are not sure which direction to take, then maybe they should just
fix the many issues on this site while they twiddle their thumbs over the future.

You are absolutely correct but that is logical and somehow that ideology isn't
the norm for BL. and of course they blame the spaghetti code (the classic site
- which is difficult for them to understand and correct ??????)
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 13, 2019 08:07
 Subject: Re: Empty lots in Stockroom
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calsbricks (5786)

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In Problem, Soviet writes:
  
  
  I hear about this XP thing now and again but I still have no clear idea what
it is. Is it like a deep redesign of BrickLink or a selling system that will
live alongside BrickLink?

The reason you have so little information is because Bricklink have not published
anything yet - the only reference to xp was made by MP at the Brickwold convention
about a year ago. It is something that will require instant checkout, although
Admin_Russell suggested in his last response to our request for information,
there may also be a non instant option. You need not worry as you are already
using that. It appeared at MP's presentation that it was not really aimed
at parts stores but at sets as one off purchases. It's target market back
then appeared to be the soccer moms looking for a set for little Johnny for xmas.
That has also been modified somewhat by RUSSELL in his post claiming there would
be no difference for parts stores. MP'S words were pointed at a more AMAZON/EBAY
business model than the current BRICKLINK but also stated they would continue
to support the classic edition. What that means is anybody's guess as support
should mean clearing up bugs, and that isn't happening at the moment. All
in all it is still a very murky crystal ball. We are not sure even they know
what and when they will get it out.

One comment from Russell suggested they were in limbo at present as they ponder
what direction the company should take.

It is obvious if they are not sure than we cannot be sure either.

Interesting, thank you for your response. I sure hope the XP thing involves a
proper mobile version of the site, where at least 50% of the Internet seems to
be at the moment...

In theory that is supposed to be included but only time will tell. The crystal
ball is very murky on that. Most of the orders we receive could not really be
made using a phone. Bricklink really isn't suitable for that as it stands.
Casual buyers for one off - probably not as much as a problem for them but for
large wanted lists and multi-lot orders, I somehow have my doubts.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 13, 2019 07:40
 Subject: Re: Empty lots in Stockroom
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In Problem, Soviet writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, Teup writes:
  These poorly understood unsolved bugs make me uncomfortable. I think it isn't
normal for a company of software package to have them, but Bricklink has them
very often. As long as we don't know what's going on, who is to say that
not the opposite also happens - retain lots getting deleted? I think the core
functionality of Bricklink should be 100% understood and reliable.


Agreed 100% but the CEO has said they are not going to touch the classic site
any more. We believe they are pinning their ambitions and goals on XP and possibly
extending the AFOL Design and build program.

I hear about this XP thing now and again but I still have no clear idea what
it is. Is it like a deep redesign of BrickLink or a selling system that will
live alongside BrickLink?

The reason you have so little information is because Bricklink have not published
anything yet - the only reference to xp was made by MP at the Brickwold convention
about a year ago. It is something that will require instant checkout, although
Admin_Russell suggested in his last response to our request for information,
there may also be a non instant option. You need not worry as you are already
using that. It appeared at MP's presentation that it was not really aimed
at parts stores but at sets as one off purchases. It's target market back
then appeared to be the soccer moms looking for a set for little Johnny for xmas.
That has also been modified somewhat by RUSSELL in his post claiming there would
be no difference for parts stores. MP'S words were pointed at a more AMAZON/EBAY
business model than the current BRICKLINK but also stated they would continue
to support the classic edition. What that means is anybody's guess as support
should mean clearing up bugs, and that isn't happening at the moment. All
in all it is still a very murky crystal ball. We are not sure even they know
what and when they will get it out.

One comment from Russell suggested they were in limbo at present as they ponder
what direction the company should take.

It is obvious if they are not sure than we cannot be sure either.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 13, 2019 06:52
 Subject: Re: Empty lots in Stockroom
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In Problem, Teup writes:
  These poorly understood unsolved bugs make me uncomfortable. I think it isn't
normal for a company of software package to have them, but Bricklink has them
very often. As long as we don't know what's going on, who is to say that
not the opposite also happens - retain lots getting deleted? I think the core
functionality of Bricklink should be 100% understood and reliable.


Agreed 100% but the CEO has said they are not going to touch the classic site
any more. We believe they are pinning their ambitions and goals on XP and possibly
extending the AFOL Design and build program.


  In Problem, Pippyblocks writes:
  I've had this happen several times and it's been posted about before,
think it is something to do with instant checkout. Not sure if it is known why
though. I just check periodically now and delete and zero quantity stockroom
items I have. It doesn't seem to cause any detrimental issues.

In Problem, Soviet writes:
  I had three orders last couple of days and I noticed something slightly annoying:
twice the system changed empty lots into a Stockroom lots with 0 quantity, instead
of just removing the lot from inventory (which happened once and as a second
order of the three).

What is happening and how do I stop the lots from moving to the Stockroom?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 11, 2019 13:40
 Subject: Re: You be the judge
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In Related Software, Cob writes:
  Thanks for reminding me to make a donation to Bricksync

Everyone else should too donate if they use Bricksync.

As long as it works. I have no opinion on anything else.

valid point
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 11, 2019 13:39
 Subject: Re: You be the judge
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In Related Software, WildBricks writes:
  Is this really his entire announcement?

"BrickSync is free, open source and donation supported. Since the version 1.7.1,
the source code was made public and no registration is needed."

Because after his extended absence I kind of expected to hear more than that.

not sure we didn't see more.this may be his way of signing off

pity really you are right to expect more
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 11, 2019 11:47
 Subject: Re: You be the judge
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In Related Software, popsicle writes:
  In Related Software, calsbricks writes:
  In Related Software, yorbrick writes:
  In Related Software, popsicle writes:
  Okay. Do I have to wear one of those wigs Judges still wear over there?

 
Part No: 11255  Name: Minifigure, Hair Long with Curls (Judge's Peruke)
* 
11255 Minifigure, Hair Long with Curls (Judge's Peruke)
Parts: Minifigure, Hair

Would have offered that but we sold the last one we had a short time ago.

I apologize for sidelining your post, Bill. I seem to have that effect

It's a very interesting post, that I keep a watch for other inputs on, so
that I can learn more on that topic. I know nothing of substance, currently,
to offer. But, I am curious about it.

Those that depend on the original author may struggle for support. Those that
cannot make up their mind are now wondering where do they go. Do we get another
situation like |Brickstore/Brickstock? What about the effect of Bricklink trying
to stay away from 3rd party products? And what is going to happen if they ever
release xp? A lot of questions and not really that many positive answers.

One good thing is one of the people that is writing new tools to replace Bricksynch
and Brickstock has said he is still on target with the project and has thanked
the author of Bricksynch for the product he did to which has worked well for
him since it was launched and they signed up to Brickowl.
  
BTW, I admire the UK judicial system for maintaining tradition in dress code,
but not for much else.

-Cory

Yes they remain as pompous as ever and totally out of touch with the people (as
always).
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 11, 2019 10:39
 Subject: Re: You be the judge
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In Related Software, yorbrick writes:
  In Related Software, popsicle writes:
  Okay. Do I have to wear one of those wigs Judges still wear over there?

 
Part No: 11255  Name: Minifigure, Hair Long with Curls (Judge's Peruke)
* 
11255 Minifigure, Hair Long with Curls (Judge's Peruke)
Parts: Minifigure, Hair

Would have offered that but we sold the last one we had a short time ago.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 11, 2019 10:10
 Subject: Re: You be the judge
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In Related Software, popsicle writes:
  Okay. Do I have to wear one of those wigs Judges still wear over there?

Of course.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 11, 2019 09:51
 Subject: You be the judge
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Late last night on our forum a post was made relating to Bricksynch and its future.
The author has decided to make the software source code available as an open
source product with no registration required.

You can read the full announcement at http://www.bricksync.net/

Whether you feel this is good, bad or indifferent news is down to you as an individual

We are aware of at least two different people who are working on replacements
for both Bricksynch and Brickstock - neither of which are well supported.

The plot really does thicken.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 10:22
 Subject: Re: 49699 a Panel?!
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In Catalog, calsbricks writes:
  In Catalog, Teup writes:
  In Catalog, SylvainLS writes:
  In Catalog, firestar246 writes:
  In Catalog, Teup writes:
  
 
Part No: 49699  Name: Panel 1 x 6 x 4 1/3 with Window and 4 Pin Holes
* 
49699 Panel 1 x 6 x 4 1/3 with Window and 4 Pin Holes
Parts: Panel

I can't discover anything panel-ish about this part. I'd say it's
window, door, technic, other, vehicle, or pretty much anything except a panel...
What do you think it should be?

My first thought is technic or window frame

Well:

1. Window (or door) frame implies you could put a glass or panel (or door)
inside. That seems very unlikely with the technic holes in the way.

2. It’s been used in System (City) sets for now BUT it sure looks like a Technic
Brick, yet not really.
So Technic could do but not really “Technic Brick” and there are no similar parts
(that I know of) in the other Technic categories, that would mean it should fall
in the general “Technic” category, which is already overpopulated.

I’m not envying the catmins

Yep certainly a tough one. It's very clear what it is: A hatch. But how to
catalog it in the existing categories?
I'm voting Door Frame. Alternatively, Vehicle. It may be used in space bases,
but the whole point of hatches is that things are built up from compartments
that have been vehicles at some point.
Hmm, anyone remember the days when we had a "Space" category?

Funny this one - Lego put it into their Bricks, Special category where most of
the modified bricks go. It does look a bit technic Panel, though.

Really do wish we could edit messages. Forgot to say technic bricks are also
in the Bricks, special Lego category - so technic panel could be the right answer????
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 10:19
 Subject: Re: 49699 a Panel?!
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In Catalog, Teup writes:
  In Catalog, SylvainLS writes:
  In Catalog, firestar246 writes:
  In Catalog, Teup writes:
  
 
Part No: 49699  Name: Panel 1 x 6 x 4 1/3 with Window and 4 Pin Holes
* 
49699 Panel 1 x 6 x 4 1/3 with Window and 4 Pin Holes
Parts: Panel

I can't discover anything panel-ish about this part. I'd say it's
window, door, technic, other, vehicle, or pretty much anything except a panel...
What do you think it should be?

My first thought is technic or window frame

Well:

1. Window (or door) frame implies you could put a glass or panel (or door)
inside. That seems very unlikely with the technic holes in the way.

2. It’s been used in System (City) sets for now BUT it sure looks like a Technic
Brick, yet not really.
So Technic could do but not really “Technic Brick” and there are no similar parts
(that I know of) in the other Technic categories, that would mean it should fall
in the general “Technic” category, which is already overpopulated.

I’m not envying the catmins

Yep certainly a tough one. It's very clear what it is: A hatch. But how to
catalog it in the existing categories?
I'm voting Door Frame. Alternatively, Vehicle. It may be used in space bases,
but the whole point of hatches is that things are built up from compartments
that have been vehicles at some point.
Hmm, anyone remember the days when we had a "Space" category?

Funny this one - Lego put it into their Bricks, Special category where most of
the modified bricks go. It does look a bit technic Panel, though.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 08:00
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
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Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  Yes, it has been driving me mad all afternoon

And would you believe it, just as I just tried to reply - I got the 500 error.

Dead right Bricklink - it is you!

+1

What is really frustrating is that Admin Russell can reply to somebody on a cataloging
issue, but on something as serious ad this, total silence.

Without defending or blaming I think this is a policy issue rather than an
admin one. It is very rare for any BL member to comment on anything like this
on the forum.

I wasn't trying to criticize Russell at all - to be honest he has been most
helpful with me on a number of occasions.

It just seemed strange to be honest.

Given the number of complaints around the globe, it is clear this is either a
hardware or software issue, rather than a localised ISP issue at the users end.

Earlier in the thread, it was commented that communication was an issue. That
is definitely the case here

If there is a problem then it is far easier to admit it and say they are working
to find a solution rather than ignore it and hope it goes away. People are far
more tolerant when they know a solution is being worked on.

You are of course, correct and we agree with your logic. The problem, we believe
is management not allowing them to discuss this in the open. It has happened
before and we are sure it will happen again.

I am sure if Russell could comment he would just as he did when we got him to
comment on xp.

That, of course doesn't solve the issue and again you are correct communication
is key, but it just does not exist from them to us over matters such as this
- and yes it is a great pity - people would tolerate more if they knew things
like this were being looked into. This particular scenario Server 500 errors
has been going on now for quite some time and there still are no answers or solutions
being put forward by BL.

We, along with a few others have noticed that it occurs mostly when people are
trying to get data returned from the database e.g price guide, writing to the
inventory table etc. That is what makes us believe it is a software problem not
hardware, Hardware doesn't normally pick on individual users it just shuts
down. Software on the other hand depends on who is doing what.

Looking at the server log would help but of course no one has access to that
other than management so we are right back in the loop.- No fixes, no solutions
and no answers or comments.

Real shame.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 07:01
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  Yes, it has been driving me mad all afternoon

And would you believe it, just as I just tried to reply - I got the 500 error.

Dead right Bricklink - it is you!

+1

What is really frustrating is that Admin Russell can reply to somebody on a cataloging
issue, but on something as serious ad this, total silence.

Without defending or blaming I think this is a policy issue rather than an
admin one. It is very rare for any BL member to comment on anything like this
on the forum.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 03:16
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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calsbricks (5786)

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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, pitz8008 writes:
  In Problem, mfav writes:
  http://v4ei.com/mini-fig-ure-outer/comics/futile.php

I just think it would be nice to get an update.

I believe that is called communications and that isn't on the list of things
they do
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 03:14
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, mfav writes:
  http://v4ei.com/mini-fig-ure-outer/comics/futile.php

Morning - welcome back and if it weren't so serious this would be funny.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 03:13
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, jennnifer writes:
  Yep, 500 errors and slow downs all day today. I switched from adding stock to
just sorting it. Sigh...

So central US joins the list. Hmmm
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 03:12
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Stuart9 writes:
  Just started to use site other than reading messages and getting 500 errors just
looking at wheel assy parts.



In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  The site has had its fair share of the now infamous Server 500 errors today.
We circulated a message to our user group and found they were happening on this
side of the pond as well as the other side. There were lots of strange things
going on. We are on a network with our storage centre and they could access the
site and we couldn't - we both use different ISP's - others got it intermittently
as well.

We could only get the web server page (The banner page) the application and database
servers were not available .

No mention of it here on the forum but other stores have confirmed it happening.
It is disruptive, of course, but also damaging to the site's reputation and
bewildering to new users.

I should think it should be very high on the priority list to uncover what is
causing it to happen and attending to that. At least that is what most hosting
sites would do.

There is a very good team at Bricklink of admins and volunteers but unfortunately
they have not got the ability to fix this nor the bugs that continue to exist
(Some are over 12 months old).

I think MP needs to organise this as a very high priority so that members, who,
after all are contributing to the running costs of the site, would like to have
more reliability than what we are currently getting as well as response to these
problems whatever they are and whatever is causing them. We are all happy to
leave the technical side to the 'employed experts' , but someone, somewhere
needs to get this sorted.

There does not seem to be one single cause to this - it happens using price guide,
updating inventory, using the forum etc. etc.

Hmmm.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 03:10
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  Yes, it has been driving me mad all afternoon

And would you believe it, just as I just tried to reply - I got the 500 error.

Dead right Bricklink - it is you!

+1
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 03:10
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Hurt writes:
  Yes, today it really sucks (about to stop adding new parts for today)

In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  The site has had its fair share of the now infamous Server 500 errors today.
We circulated a message to our user group and found they were happening on this
side of the pond as well as the other side. There were lots of strange things
going on. We are on a network with our storage centre and they could access the
site and we couldn't - we both use different ISP's - others got it intermittently
as well.

We could only get the web server page (The banner page) the application and database
servers were not available .

No mention of it here on the forum but other stores have confirmed it happening.
It is disruptive, of course, but also damaging to the site's reputation and
bewildering to new users.

I should think it should be very high on the priority list to uncover what is
causing it to happen and attending to that. At least that is what most hosting
sites would do.

There is a very good team at Bricklink of admins and volunteers but unfortunately
they have not got the ability to fix this nor the bugs that continue to exist
(Some are over 12 months old).

I think MP needs to organise this as a very high priority so that members, who,
after all are contributing to the running costs of the site, would like to have
more reliability than what we are currently getting as well as response to these
problems whatever they are and whatever is causing them. We are all happy to
leave the technical side to the 'employed experts' , but someone, somewhere
needs to get this sorted.

Morning - thanks for adding your comments to the thread. I think it must be about
time for BL to resolve this.

Today we have had the US West coast, Southern US; South Africa, Netherlands,
UK, Austria all actually report the errors and we are confident there are countless
others who do not use the forum or just cannot be bothered reporting something
that never gets responded to.

Come on Bricklink - take this seriously - find out what is causing it and fix
it. It happens far too often and as the message says it is not us it is you.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 9, 2019 13:04
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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calsbricks (5786)

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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Leftoverbricks writes:
  I had multiple 500 errors today when I tried to access the price guide. So annoying!
And yet: no reaction whatsover from the people in charge of this site. 🤯

You know what the really odd thing is. We used this site for a long time before
we opened our store and none of us can remember this error presenting itself
at any time during that period. (We started using the site in 2008 - not as Calsbricks)
and used many of the stores that still exist today. The site was run by Dan and
Eric with a solid cast of superb volunteers - not nearly as many members as today
nor as many stores but still a very healthy size - yes there were problems including
the 'infamous hack' but server 500 errors did not happen - so what has
caused this problem?

I honestly believe BL doesn't know - of course if they did and hadn't
fixed it it would be not good, but we think they are unable to put their finger
on it.

And what do you do when that happens - you find someone who can identify the
problem and recommend a fix - oh sorry that would be too simple but you never
know - stranger things have happened.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 9, 2019 12:57
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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calsbricks (5786)

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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Leftoverbricks writes:
  I had multiple 500 errors today when I tried to access the price guide. So annoying!
And yet: no reaction whatsover from the people in charge of this site. 🤯

Unfortunately that appears to always have been the case. I cannot trace any meaningful
responses anywhere.

Pity really - it is called communications and it does need to be a both ways
thing, timely and meaningful.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 9, 2019 12:32
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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In Problem, bje writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, yorbrick writes:

snip

  
I should have started a proper log about this when the first one occurred but
didn't so I cannot say when they started or how much time has been lost through
them, but looking back over the numerous threads concerning it it is not insignificant.

I'm a bit slow with these things as there so much else I must change/improve
in my store and inventory management first, but I will start a log at some stage,
if only to keep BL honest.

From BL ToS:
Site Availability:
The site will be unavailable each day for 10 minutes between 00:00 and 00:10
EST for scheduled maintenance. It may also be temporarily unavailable once every
week up to 3 hours.


Of course there is no indication whether this would include 500 errors, but in
my view, a 500 error constitutes non-availability. Of course there is also nothing
said about what happens if it exceeds the 3 hours per week. If the site owners
cannot be bothered to communicate to their customers (sellers) about the site
and its availability, then I would not expect them to come apologise or even
stick to their terms. I've had days where that stupid message pops up for
more than 3 hours, normally when it is beddy bye time in the US, as if that is
the only place in the world where BL operates.

Our outages today was on forum messages, catalogue searches, inventory, orders,
my activity page and BL messaging, started about 3pm local time and ended around
5pm (it is just after 6pm now) - I know of two buyers who have struggled to place
orders the whole afternoon. Not a good day for BL.

Thanks Jean - agreed in totality.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 9, 2019 11:57
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, yorbrick writes:
  I often get quite a few, but I haven't had a single one today although I
haven't listed anything which is often when I find I get them most frequently.
I have been processing orders though, and doing some inventory cleaning up.

Yes a lot of these occur when you are loading inventory or at least attempting
to, but today Brickstock could not access the database or the application server
- it kept returning errors that access had failed.

We could only load the banner page, but our storage centre could doo anything
it wished to do. Others, around the globe reported similar problems

It is a mystery to all, including Bricklink, we believe, as to why this is happening
as frequently as it does. Forum 'experts' have commented several times
about it but nothing has ever been agreed or shared - it is just one of those
things etc. etc. and honestly that cannot be right.

No one expects this or any other site to be 100% up but most of us have some
sort of SLA with our provider which takes real situations such as this and deals
with them.

I should have started a proper log about this when the first one occurred but
didn't so I cannot say when they started or how much time has been lost through
them, but looking back over the numerous threads concerning it it is not insignificant.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 9, 2019 11:45
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Thunor writes:
  Got them here too.

Where’s the user group, and is it open to all?

Thanks

We organised it in June and expanded it from UK to worldwide a short time after
- we have 60 members and our own forum.

Just PM us and we will provide more details.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 9, 2019 10:48
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calsbricks (5786)

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The site has had its fair share of the now infamous Server 500 errors today.
We circulated a message to our user group and found they were happening on this
side of the pond as well as the other side. There were lots of strange things
going on. We are on a network with our storage centre and they could access the
site and we couldn't - we both use different ISP's - others got it intermittently
as well.

We could only get the web server page (The banner page) the application and database
servers were not available .

No mention of it here on the forum but other stores have confirmed it happening.
It is disruptive, of course, but also damaging to the site's reputation and
bewildering to new users.

I should think it should be very high on the priority list to uncover what is
causing it to happen and attending to that. At least that is what most hosting
sites would do.

There is a very good team at Bricklink of admins and volunteers but unfortunately
they have not got the ability to fix this nor the bugs that continue to exist
(Some are over 12 months old).

I think MP needs to organise this as a very high priority so that members, who,
after all are contributing to the running costs of the site, would like to have
more reliability than what we are currently getting as well as response to these
problems whatever they are and whatever is causing them. We are all happy to
leave the technical side to the 'employed experts' , but someone, somewhere
needs to get this sorted.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 4, 2019 12:26
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, TheBrokeBrick writes:
  Small and new store here, but September was my best month since April. August
was by far the worst. I'm feeling out what to buy and sell on the site.
I'm really looking to just kind of fund the hobby, which, it hasn't,
but it has reduced overall costs at times. Probably forced me to buy more Lego,
too, than I would have if I wasn't running the store.

Thanks for adding your thoughts and data to the thread.

It is difficult when you first get going - we started nearly 9 years ago meaning
to sell of our Duplo and now we are nearly 1 million pieces and still growing
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 4, 2019 10:31
 Subject: Add new dimensions
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Part No: 18729  Name: Windscreen 10 x 6 x 4 Curved
* 
18729 Windscreen 10 x 6 x 4 Curved
Parts: Windscreen

L 87.53
W 47.24
H 32.20

 
Part No: 18591  Name: Windscreen 4 x 4 x 5 Cone with Pins
* 
18591 Windscreen 4 x 4 x 5 Cone with Pins
Parts: Windscreen

L 47.42
W 30.51
H 33.12
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 4, 2019 10:05
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, relhak writes:
  In Problem, Adjour writes:

   Gaming has had an uptick in LEGO's
main demographic and the last few movies did not do well.

Unlike video games, Lego is actually a contrarian seller to the financial markets.
The minimum purchase to buy a Lego item is in the $4-20 range, and the parts
are reusable. OTOH, playing video games requires a $150-400 machine (and maybe
a spare TV), plus around $50 per game, with a game often being played out after
a month. So when the market tanked in 2008, video games tanked with it, but
Lego sales exploded. With the economy booming, the market has shifted back towards
more expensive hobbies like video games.

Honestly, it's a wonder that Lego is still managing to grow sales overall.
I wouldn't be surprised if gains in Asia were offsetting outright declines
in Europe and North America.

Stuart

Interesting - I wonder how JK feels about all this.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 09:57
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, axaday writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  aren't you guys about to drop out of the world postal thing?

It is possible, but I will be surprised if we do.

Nothing, as we very well know over here, is inevitable and Teup's quip about
my by-line - only time will tell is quite appropriate here.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 08:28
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, firestar246 writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:

  Thanks for adding your data to the thread - interesting, especially for the 'record'
on BO. What was the value proportion ?


This was also our best month on BO value-wise; by quite a bit too. Still a lot
lower than our bricklink income.

That is what we have been led to believe - different types of buyers over there
than on BL.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 08:26
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Lonely_Brick_OH writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  Here are the results for the UK stores group through Sept 2019. The downward
spiral continues - in fact Sept is the lowest month in 3 years of record keeping.
6 Stores are down overall whilst 7 show a very modest increase (But not enough
to hold up the other stores)

Something is not right.

If you look at the cold hard figures it reads like this:

Jun - Sep 2017 - 6746 orders
Jun - Sep 2018 - 6350 orders
Jun - Sep 2019 - 5654 orders

Are any other regions seeing this trend?

I am also very slow. I am going to make a general assumption on this. The increase
in shipping costs and the lack of good cheap shipping solutions have harmed some
of the buying in the USA. That lack of buying is harming the other markets as
well since they have to increase their prices if they wish to buy product. In
2014 our overseas average postal cost was around 3.00-4.00 now it is 7.00-8.00.
That is a heck of a 2-3 year increase!

I agree but we have suffered a little less on the postal cost side - but if
this Brexit thing ever does get done our rates will rise again and aren't
you guys about to drop out of the world postal thing?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 07:42
 Subject: Re: BL is not the only one with the issue
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In General, JusTiCe8 writes:
  Hi,

a few days ago, I got a rare (and so collector ? ) page from a well known auction
site. (dated back 26/09/19 at about 14h20 local time).

BL team can breath a little and say "you see, it's not only us ! Don't
be such a pain".

(This message makes me think of a Sith lord trying to deceive us, unless it was
a fallen Jedi, ok I just watched the 1st episode of SW the Freemaker adventures
season 1 :

That is a first - never seen that anywhere else but here ) )
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 07:41
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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calsbricks (5786)

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In Problem, axaday writes:
  In Problem, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  Apart from word of mouth, or by accident, how do people come to Bricklink?

Taking two other sites, eBay & Amazon, they advertise.

Now, I get the respective budgets of these two are far greater than BL, but why
not get video adverts produced for YouTube. There are loads of reselling type
videos out there, running them on this sort of video would be perfect. Why not
run them with videos which are tagged with lego etc. What about all the toy review
videos, tag to them?

This is a good point. I got a surprise order surge for a couple weeks in 2018.
I had no idea why. And then someone in the forums mentioned that someone did
an article about Bricklink on some news site or something. Probably related,
right?

Probably - Makreting does help, always, if it is done correctly,
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 07:40
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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calsbricks (5786)

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In Problem, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  Going back through this tread, one of the original requests was for BL to get
involved in the discussion.

Here we have the crux of the problem.

MARKETING!

Apart from word of mouth, or by accident, how do people come to Bricklink?

Taking two other sites, eBay & Amazon, they advertise.

Now, I get the respective budgets of these two are far greater than BL, but why
not get video adverts produced for YouTube. There are loads of reselling type
videos out there, running them on this sort of video would be perfect. Why not
run them with videos which are tagged with lego etc. What about all the toy review
videos, tag to them?

The Facebook site is not up to much either.

It is like we are selling in this great big secret bubble.

Good idea - been brought up many times but unfortunately not going to happen
unless the owner decides to reach in his pocket and up until May of 2019 he was
trying to sell the entire investment portfolio
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 07:38
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, firestar246 writes:
  In Problem, Teup writes:
  In Problem, relhak writes:
  I wonder how brickowl sales are doing? Could be that sales are moving there.

I'd also guess that with clearance sets being easier to find at 50-70% off,
people are putting more of their cash there, and using B&P to supplement the
harder to find parts. I know my August sales crashed when Walmart had a massive
nationwide clearance to make room for the new wave of sets.

Stuart

Discounts over some 25% don't exist here, and I've seen a significant
drop in domestic orders the last 2 months as well (OK, they could be shopping
at American sellers but I don't think that could have such a large sudden
effect).
But yes, very good point about BrickOwl. Right now I'm closed there because
I'm working on my own webshop, but would be great to hear from some BL+BO
sellers how it's going for them.

264 orders on BL and 112 on BO in Sept. Record amount of orders for BO in one
month.

Thanks for adding your data to the thread - interesting, especially for the 'record'
on BO. What was the value proportion ?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 04:52
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, crxefx writes:
  Your chart is not showing a downward trend though... I get sales were down last
month in the UK but at the same time you are showing that they were UP just the
same in nov. and dec. 2018 compared to 2017. People are not going to buy the
same amount of lego every month like they buy food and petrol for their car.
There are obviously going to be differences from month to month. I think your
chart looks completely normal with the exception of this current month dropping
off like its the end of the world!

Your interpretation is different than ours as we look to see why over the last
3 years sales for these last 4 months has fallen by a significant number. Yes
the Sept figure is not good compared to previous but all in all as you can see
from the figures we are down nearly 1100 orders in 4 months.

That is a lot of orders for 13 stores - but as I said we have the busiest months
of the year coming so we will watch closely.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 04:47
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, yorbrick writes:
  
  This is a part of this business that needs lots more data and thinking. I can
remember when Cloud City was worth an awful lot of money and whilst there are
a few sites out there who try and keep track on this it isn't easy.

The original Cloud City (10123) is still worth a lot of money. The only problem
is finding a buyer to part with the money for it, given that the new one is a
fraction of the asking price of the old. Someone may still be willing to part
with the asking price (two people have paid £850 average for a new one in the
past six months), but many more will purchase the new version at a retail store
instead.

Yes it is but the value has dropped, as well as the value of some of its minifgures
(Boba Fett) - and yes it still is a lot of money but trust me when I say it is
worth it. When my grandson and I were building together we wanted the Cloud City
set badly to complete our collection but it didn't happen then for a variety
of reasons but you never know, it may still happen.
  
With LEGO pumping out so many new good sets, sales of older ones will and have
stagnated. Of course, in many cases, the price differentials are far less extreme.
But I notice it a lot across a number of themes these days - why pay even just
1.2x RRP for a retired set when you can get a decent alternative at a retail
store for probably 20% off RRP.

I agree - it does tend to effect the older sets somewhat but not for genuine
collectors. We have a colleague who has every single minifgures from a variety
of themes and has had it valued at one of the famous auctioneers for insurance
purposes and it is well over 1/2 mil.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 03:33
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, leopard37 writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, Stuart9 writes:
  Stock up, visitors down and orders poor, very few and of low monetary value when
I do get one.



However I'm not going to join the race to the bottom.

  

This I think is the bigger issue. Every year I take a look at available Star
Wars sets for buying on Force Friday, most sets that were on my list of payback
from last year dropped overall payback by 20% or more. When I started almost
every Star Wars set had 2x payback. Now only 2! and multiple set that are under
1x payback. With the average of every Star Wars set on sale less than 1.5x payback.

This race was quelled shortly by making it harder to make new stores on BL, however
it's back apparently stronger than ever.

How can we stop the average price from dropping more, because some people just
aren't looking at their numbers if they continue to keep putting stuff on
sale fro 50% of 6mo average. Are they paying to run their stores?

Tyson.

Yes it is a very strange situation - Star Wars is our favourite theme as well
and we have watched the value of our set inventory decrease, like you - but what
that means to us is we will hold them longer and move their part out schedule
back. We have also seen the same with SuperHeroes

This is a part of this business that needs lots more data and thinking. I can
remember when Cloud City was worth an awful lot of money and whilst there are
a few sites out there who try and keep track on this it isn't easy.

Our set inventory is far too big at the moment but we have also decided to hold
up on some part outs whilst we re-evaluate things, so we will continue to add
from our overall backlog, we are not moving into the 'good stuff' as
we call it.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 03:27
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, Adjour writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:

  NO they do not due to very high shipping rates. It is the exception rather than
the norm. In 10 years on the site we have placed less than half a dozen orders
on the USA.


C'mon Cal, I'd expect better than you than to use a personal anecdote.



Where is my chart? Graph?


I buy next to nothing on this site as well, but I am not my customer. I can not
use my biases and personal history to guess what they will do.

While I agree with the overarching theme you are trying to get across, I imagine
the cross traffic is higher than you think .

When I have my international shipping turned off, I get bombarded with requests
to ship to xyz.


I've had many many buyers now, including repeat buyers, who don't bat
an eye at the stupid USA shipping costs. It all depends on what is being sold.

Okay - we have had 124 orders from the USA in the time we have been on Bricklink
as a store which represents just over 1% of total; whilst just under 88% are
domestic. We have also had repeat buyers from the US, but not that many. Buyers
go where the product is, mainly but shipping costs do come into it. As we tend
to specialise in 'bulk orders' we don't expect many international
orders at this moment in time.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 03:21
 Subject: Re: Brickstock exit
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In Related Software, Biscuit_head writes:
  Anyone else having issues with Brickstock randomly shutting down in the middle
of using it? This time I only lost about 10 lines or 5 minutes of work. I just
want to know if this is a new issue with the latest update or if it's isolated
to my computer. I'll definitely be saving my work periodically which I should
be doing anyway. lol

Never happened in all the years we have been using it. Might be os relat4ed but
not sure from info shown.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 03:20
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, legoman77 writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  Here are the results for the UK stores group through Sept 2019. The downward
spiral continues - in fact Sept is the lowest month in 3 years of record keeping.
6 Stores are down overall whilst 7 show a very modest increase (But not enough
to hold up the other stores)

Something is not right.

If you look at the cold hard figures it reads like this:

Jun - Sep 2017 - 6746 orders
Jun - Sep 2018 - 6350 orders
Jun - Sep 2019 - 5654 orders

Are any other regions seeing this trend?

It is easy to fix this. Turn the chart upside down.
John P

Always good for a laugh JOhn.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 03:19
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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calsbricks (5786)

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In Problem, CCBricks writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  Here are the results for the UK stores group through Sept 2019. The downward
spiral continues - in fact Sept is the lowest month in 3 years of record keeping.
6 Stores are down overall whilst 7 show a very modest increase (But not enough
to hold up the other stores)

Something is not right.

If you look at the cold hard figures it reads like this:

Jun - Sep 2017 - 6746 orders
Jun - Sep 2018 - 6350 orders
Jun - Sep 2019 - 5654 orders

Are any other regions seeing this trend?

September 2019 has been my worse month so far this year. Here's what I got:

Total number of orders: 6
Total price of orders: $144.07
Average order value: $24.01

My worst month for 2018 was June: $28.16. For 2019, I noticed this downward
spiral in August. Considering the weather, school, football and the like, I
wasn't too concerned. Now that September is gone, with only 6 orders, I'm
concerned what the rest of the year holds. I have done well year over year and
I'm up on total sales.

I'm considering lower the sale discount. I also dont want to race to the
top, but everyone might do it if they have expenses to pay. I'm keeping
my fingers crossed for an increase of sales.

Brian

Interesting and thank you for sharing your data with the rest of us. Good luck
with the rest of your year.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 03:18
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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calsbricks (5786)

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In Problem, axaday writes:
  In Problem, Teup writes:
  In Problem, axaday writes:
  In Problem, Teup writes:
  In Problem, axaday writes:
  In Problem, Teup writes:
  In Problem, axaday writes:
  Alright. I can disclose to you that my fees for the current period (I don't
know when it ends) are currently my 6th highest that I can see in the system
(since 2011). The previous period was in the top 10. I believe I know why,
but I will not be sharing that information.

Surely you must have some better administration of your turnover than the BL
fee page?

I don't make any monthly summaries. The fee page is a few clicks away, very
accessible.

If I were doing it full time, I probably would do some of that stuff because
my anxiety level would be very high.

Then how does the state know your income and how much tax you need to pay? Or
do you just do an annual check?

Annual

Aah I see. I need to do it every quarter, but still I track every month just
to have some idea of what's going on... I always considered that the professional
to do, but I agree very much about anxiety levels, so these days I'm not
too sure anymore

I work full time at a regular job. If I make a good month on Bricklink, that's
great. I try to. But if I don't it isn't a big deal. So I don't
spend time making summaries that no one but me would look at. I try to make
good decisions and fulfill my responsibilities and it all works out fine since
I'm not depending on it.

I think there may be a few others who look at the data as well
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 03:15
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, Adjour writes:
  legislative side of gaming?


I'm talking about kids playing minecraft and fortnight. Which again, has
had a massive uptick in the last year or two. Minecraft is "back in" at the moment
and having a huge resurgence in recent months.



Gaming is a huge, huge, again HUGE threat to the toy industry.

Yes legislation especially on online gaming and it is JK's most serious frustration
with Nexon. Search the web for comments on this - we found tons of info on it
when he had Nexon up for sale.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 03:11
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, randyipp writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, Teup writes:
  In Problem, relhak writes:
  I wonder how brickowl sales are doing? Could be that sales are moving there.

I'd also guess that with clearance sets being easier to find at 50-70% off,
people are putting more of their cash there, and using B&P to supplement the
harder to find parts. I know my August sales crashed when Walmart had a massive
nationwide clearance to make room for the new wave of sets.

Stuart

Discounts over some 25% don't exist here, and I've seen a significant
drop in domestic orders the last 2 months as well (OK, they could be shopping
at American sellers but I don't think that could have such a large sudden
effect).
But yes, very good point about BrickOwl. Right now I'm closed there because
I'm working on my own webshop, but would be great to hear from some BL+BO
sellers how it's going for them.

Agreed +1

Interestingly I have had 108 orders on BL in august/september and 124 on BO.

Parts sold value wise are 58% BL and 42% BO. I would have to check the data
but I think that is the closest it has ever been to 50/50 for me.

Very, very interesting - thank you for sharing that. To me, and possibly others
who have read this thread that is now a couple of 'dual site' stores
who are seeing the same thing on both sites
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 03:08
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, axaday writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  So lets get your assumptions correct. Firstly our reasoning was to learn more
about the stores in the UK - see if there were patterns, trends; how they developed
and grew (Or not as the case may be).

Okay. But how did you decide that those 13 stores were representive of the UK
market and have you had any means to verify after the fact that you chose well?

Yes we have had time to reflect and whilst no data set is perfect we are happy
with the stores we chose and believe tghey are as close as we could have gotten
3 years ago to a representative set.
  
  I don't think you could have
  any confidence that you were choosing a representative sample of the British
market and it has to be obvious that you didn't choose a representative sample
of the global market.

We never intended this to be representative of the global market - please do
not read things into this that are neither relevant or factual.

As far as I know, it is only representative of 13 stores, but you post often
about it on the forum, so from my perspective I have inferred that you thought
it to be generally relevant. You could have just emailed the 13 stores. But
now I am gathering that they probably don't even know they are being studied.

1 or 2 know they are included but the rest do not and the reasons for the monthly
posts is to share that info with the rest of the UK, and by inference, because
we use the forum, the rest of the members.
  
  Holding onto the same 8 stores for the duration ensured
  that your data wouldn't represent changes to the market such as the increase
in number
of stores mentioned in other posts.

Those facts are relevant to all not just the stores we monitor, hence our thread
which asked for input from others - which to be fair, we have had.

Well, you aren't going to give detailed information, so I don't know
what you have. I don't have any confidence that the many factors affecting
the UK market are relevant to all. I don't know how important Brexit is
or whether it is making things better or worse. People in this thread have suggested
each. For my part, I live in a huge country where most of the stores are. Except
when I am looking for something very unusual, I can find anything I want in a
domestic store. I don't know if that has ever been the case in England and
I don't know if it is more or less the case today. Whether because of Brexit
or because of things that have changed in France or Germany. German stores had
a lot of trouble this year. Did that make things better for the UK market for
a while? Or did the import labelling part of it make German stores stop buying
from overseas for a while? And do Germans buy from the UK preferentially to
the US? Probably, since our international postage is so expensive. But I don't
know how expensive mail from the UK to Germany is. Are all countries getting
a proportional growth of stores and customers? Or are the western countries
getting the majority of the new stores because of strong online infrastructure
while developing countries are getting the majority of the customers because
of emerging internet access? And do customers in emerging countries prefer American
or Chinese stores over UK? Do we have answers to these questions? To me it
is a big cloud. And I just have no idea whether someone can say that changes
to the market have affected UK more or less than general.

No one, not even Bricklink can provide you with that data and I doubt whether
anyone ever could other than possibly Lego themselves. Our info is only a pebble
on the beach in the world of Lego but it was a start to show the kind of information
that stores who are run as a business would like to see coming from Bricklink
- the marketplace provider. That side of this study has not worked as Bricklink
remain in the dark ages over sharing data.
  
  So Bricklink could be doing very well or
  just the same while your 8 stores lost market share due to changes in the market,
changes to England, changes to the individual strategies of a small sample of
stores, or failure to adapt to changes.

IN a way you have a point but the consistency of the figures over the 3 years
shows we had a good sample - which did reflect some of the changes you have spoken
about.
  
  
If that were the case there probably would have been larger swings or patterns
during the monitoring period. So we do not agree with your conclusions there.

No. If your 13 stores were failing to adapt to a changing market, we would not
see large swings. We would see the steady decline that your graphs show. While
more flexible competitors took over.

But that isn't the case
  
  We haven't extrapolated it anywhere that I can see. We simply asked the question
if others were seeing similar things and have lots of corroboration that is the
case.

Alright. I can disclose to you that my fees for the current period (I don't
know when it ends) are currently my 6th highest that I can see in the system
(since 2011). The previous period was in the top 10. I believe I know why,
but I will not be sharing that information.

Not really all that interested in fees - that information is outside the scope
of our study - but good luck to you - we have had 8 years of solid double digit
growth in our turnover/profit base and we are getting closer and closer to our
overall target so whilst the group of 13 has seen dwindling sales in these last
few months we still have the busiest time of the year in front of us - so things
could turn yet again.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 02:55
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, frosia writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, Adjour writes:
  In Problem, frosia writes:

  But I expect like myself, your customers are almost exclusively adults. Sales
to little Timmy paid for by his parents are few and far between in my store.
It is adults who purchase on BL - regardless of whether they can "afford" it
or not, so the flat reception of subsequent LEGO Movies (for kids) can't
be the only reason. Besides, you can't saturate the LEGO market - there
is always room for one more piece.


I don't know how you would quantify that.


I've gotten lots of messages of thanks from kids via the actual buyer, or
messages of "this is for my son" etc. So I think there are far more "kid" buyers
than you'd think


But again, how would you know?

You can't really - it is rare to find out - we often get messages saying
our son/grandson etc is delighted with his Lego - thank you.

Say Cal I was looking at your store. Part of (your store's) problem may
be the very low number of lots you offer relative to your inventory. You offer
less than 12,000 lots on nearly 1 million pieces of LEGO - something like a 1.2%
ratio. My store by example has a 10% lot to part ratio. You should diversify
and get your lot count up to around 97,000. Just a thought.....

HI there and thanks for taking the time to look at our store. All stores need
more variety (more lots) - we are still building and our store is not suffering
as much as others within our group, so we will stick to our original plan - but
thanks for your thoughts.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 16:20
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, Adjour writes:
  In Problem, frosia writes:

  But I expect like myself, your customers are almost exclusively adults. Sales
to little Timmy paid for by his parents are few and far between in my store.
It is adults who purchase on BL - regardless of whether they can "afford" it
or not, so the flat reception of subsequent LEGO Movies (for kids) can't
be the only reason. Besides, you can't saturate the LEGO market - there
is always room for one more piece.


I don't know how you would quantify that.


I've gotten lots of messages of thanks from kids via the actual buyer, or
messages of "this is for my son" etc. So I think there are far more "kid" buyers
than you'd think


But again, how would you know?

You can't really - it is rare to find out - we often get messages saying
our son/grandson etc is delighted with his Lego - thank you.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 16:18
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
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In Problem, frosia writes:
  In Problem, Adjour writes:
  In Problem, Teup writes:
  In Problem, Adjour writes:
  In Problem, relhak writes:
  I wonder how brickowl sales are doing? Could be that sales are moving there.

I'd also guess that with clearance sets being easier to find at 50-70% off,
people are putting more of their cash there, and using B&P to supplement the
harder to find parts. I know my August sales crashed when Walmart had a massive
nationwide clearance to make room for the new wave of sets.

Stuart

I said the same exact thing in a recent thread.

IIRC sure my idea was dismissed by the other posters.


I still believe this is true. I saw TONS of people posting online about cheap
lego hauls.

I'd 100% believe the same in your position, but I would like to add that
I also had my sales suddenly crash in August, while such sales are nonexistent
over here, and most of my customers are domestic. So it isn't the full story..
something else must be going on (too)..


Right, but couldn't you still argue that the overall market is saturated?
Don't most European buyers also buy from the USA?

I agree with you that its probably several things. I agree wholeheartedly with
Randy's post about the "craze" being over. Gaming has had an uptick in LEGO's
main demographic and the last few movies did not do well.

I was a big fan of the LEGO ninjago movie and thought the Dragon Mech (70612)
set would sell out (I still think its super super cool) and I was shocked when
it didn't. Many sellers still have theirs listed. I work retail around lots
of kids and I used to see ninjago and Unikitty shirts on them CONSTANTLY. Now
I can't remember the last time.

I was able to get some really cool LM2 sets for half off recently. Again, that's
a bit, weird...so I would say that kids are just moving on.

But I expect like myself, your customers are almost exclusively adults. Sales
to little Timmy paid for by his parents are few and far between in my store.
It is adults who purchase on BL - regardless of whether they can "afford" it
or not, so the flat reception of subsequent LEGO Movies (for kids) can't
be the only reason. Besides, you can't saturate the LEGO market - there
is always room for one more piece.

Agreed.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 16:18
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, Adjour writes:
  In Problem, Stuart9 writes:
  Stock up, visitors down and orders poor, very few and of low monetary value when
I do get one.


However I'm not going to join the race to the bottom.


Agreed.


Let the smaller shops give their stuff away until they give up. This happens
in my main job as well. Its healthy for the overall market.

The entire world lives on survival of the fittest and this site is no exception.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 16:17
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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calsbricks (5786)

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In Problem, Adjour writes:
  In Problem, Teup writes:
  In Problem, Adjour writes:
  In Problem, relhak writes:
  I wonder how brickowl sales are doing? Could be that sales are moving there.

I'd also guess that with clearance sets being easier to find at 50-70% off,
people are putting more of their cash there, and using B&P to supplement the
harder to find parts. I know my August sales crashed when Walmart had a massive
nationwide clearance to make room for the new wave of sets.

Stuart

I said the same exact thing in a recent thread.

IIRC sure my idea was dismissed by the other posters.


I still believe this is true. I saw TONS of people posting online about cheap
lego hauls.

I'd 100% believe the same in your position, but I would like to add that
I also had my sales suddenly crash in August, while such sales are nonexistent
over here, and most of my customers are domestic. So it isn't the full story..
something else must be going on (too)..


Right, but couldn't you still argue that the overall market is saturated?
Don't most European buyers also buy from the USA?

NO they do not due to very high shipping rates. It is the exception rather than
the norm. In 10 years on the site we have placed less than half a dozen orders
on the USA.
  
I agree with you that its probably several things. I agree wholeheartedly with
Randy's post about the "craze" being over. Gaming has had an uptick in LEGO's
main demographic and the last few movies did not do well.

And yet gaming, for the owner of bL is the reason why he wanted to shift 98.4%
of his ownership. He feels the legislative side of gaming is frustrating the
gaming world.
  
I was a big fan of the LEGO ninjago movie and thought the Dragon Mech (70612)
set would sell out (I still think its super super cool) and I was shocked when
it didn't. Many sellers still have theirs listed. I work retail around lots
of kids and I used to see ninjago and Unikitty shirts on them CONSTANTLY. Now
I can't remember the last time.

I was able to get some really cool LM2 sets for half off recently. Again, that's
a bit, weird...so I would say that kids are just moving on.

And yet the site is really aimed at AFOL's - or is it?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 16:13
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calsbricks (5786)

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In Problem, Stuart9 writes:
  Stock up, visitors down and orders poor, very few and of low monetary value when
I do get one.


However I'm not going to join the race to the bottom.

Thanks Stuart - neither are we.
  



In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  Here are the results for the UK stores group through Sept 2019. The downward
spiral continues - in fact Sept is the lowest month in 3 years of record keeping.
6 Stores are down overall whilst 7 show a very modest increase (But not enough
to hold up the other stores)

Something is not right.

If you look at the cold hard figures it reads like this:

Jun - Sep 2017 - 6746 orders
Jun - Sep 2018 - 6350 orders
Jun - Sep 2019 - 5654 orders

Are any other regions seeing this trend?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 16:12
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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calsbricks (5786)

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In Problem, axaday writes:
  In Problem, Teup writes:
  But isn't that exactly what we want to look at? It's not really useful
information to know how well Bricklink is doing, if it isn't possible to
do well on Bricklink.

It is a good point. But a store, maybe especially the smaller ones, can be flexible
and stay competitive. We don't know anything about these 8 UK stores. Have
they adapted? Did they get on with instant checkout? Do they make sure they
have CMF when they come out? Do they have any unique niche?

Most stores on here are flexible - certainly in the UK - Europe with some of
the very large stores as well as those in the USA may be different, but the stores
that we chose are definitely representative of UK Stores. It is not up to us
to publish all the data we collected - we share what we believe is helpful or
of interest. Nor is it up to us to reveal more information about the 13 stores
which might lead to some one working out who they may be. We know everything
we need to know that we can find out using Bricklink (No order values, and no
other vital store information is either known or shared).

In the first couple of years we published information about whether the stores
had adopted ic or not - so we aren't giving anything away with that. 8 are
non-ic and 5 use it and that has been the same since IC was launched.

As for CMF's or for what they sell individually is not part of our concern
unless they specialise in one area or another and again that is known by us buy
not shareable.

Hope that answers your points.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 16:03
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, Teup writes:
  In Problem, axaday writes:
  So Bricklink could be doing very well or
just the same while your 8 stores lost market share due to changes in the market,
changes to England, changes to the individual strategies of a small sample of
stores, or failure to adapt to changes.

But isn't that exactly what we want to look at? It's not really useful
information to know how well Bricklink is doing, if it isn't possible to
do well on Bricklink.

Anyway, apart from this, I agree - these may not be representative and significant
figures. By the way, who is to say sellers didn't go on holidays or notched
down their selling for whatever reason. The assumption is that they are investing
time and money in their business at a steady rate all throughout the months,
which might not be true.

However, the findings are still consistent with what I am experiencing. And I
am aware the number of total orders on Bricklink is steady, but it doesn't
change the fact that my income has been dropping.

Thanks Teup you are yet another who has corroborated trends which are appearing
- not just in the UK but other regions as well.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 16:02
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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calsbricks (5786)

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In Problem, axaday writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  Here are the results for the UK stores group through Sept 2019. The downward
spiral continues - in fact Sept is the lowest month in 3 years of record keeping.
6 Stores are down overall whilst 7 show a very modest increase (But not enough
to hold up the other stores)

Something is not right.

If you look at the cold hard figures it reads like this:

Jun - Sep 2017 - 6746 orders
Jun - Sep 2018 - 6350 orders
Jun - Sep 2019 - 5654 orders

Are any other regions seeing this trend?

My day job is in quality control. The absolute ceiling on the quality of my
analysis is the quality of the sample I was given.

We don't have a problem with that.
  
I don't know what your goal was when you started tracking data from 8 UK
stores 3 years ago.

So lets get your assumptions correct. Firstly our reasoning was to learn more
about the stores in the UK - see if there were patterns, trends; how they developed
and grew (Or not as the case may be).

Secondly there were 13 stores not 8 - not sure where you got the 8 from - there
are 8 who do not use IC and 5 who do - but that is not relevant to this thread.as
both payment methods IC and NON-Ic are equally down.

I am guessing that you chose the store where you could get
  data because they were friends or associates.

Not true 3 of the stores chosen are on our least favourite list

I don't think you could have
  any confidence that you were choosing a representative sample of the British
market and it has to be obvious that you didn't choose a representative sample
of the global market.

We never intended this to be representative of the global market - please do
not read things into this that are neither relevant or factual.

Holding onto the same 8 stores for the duration ensured
  that your data wouldn't represent changes to the market such as the increase
in number
of stores mentioned in other posts.

Those facts are relevant to all not just the stores we monitor, hence our thread
which asked for input from others - which to be fair, we have had.

So Bricklink could be doing very well or
  just the same while your 8 stores lost market share due to changes in the market,
changes to England, changes to the individual strategies of a small sample of
stores, or failure to adapt to changes.

If that were the case there probably would have been larger swings or patterns
during the monitoring period. So we do not agree with your conclusions there.
  
My conclusion is that your study was not designed to provide any sort of extrapolative
information.


We haven't extrapolated it anywhere that I can see. We simply asked the question
if others were seeing similar things and have lots of corroboration that is the
case.

It is only reliable as a measure of the 8 stores you selected in
  the beginning, although it is a somewhat reasonable demonstration of whether
it would be a good idea for a person to quit their day job and become dependent
on a market that is totally dependent on disposable income spent on leisure and
totally depended on a platform whose interest do not necessarily match.

Our ideas of running a business will be the same as many others, not all, but
many - Make a profit.

  It demonstrates pretty well that that wouldn't be a good idea.

We have collected much data in these past 3 years much of which we do not make
public and is for our internal use only. That was certainly one of the objectives.
This revelation of order analysis month by month over the 3 years has shown much
to us and to many others - that is why we publish it - I am sure people take
it for what it is worth and do not try and go to the ends of the planet to question
the reliability of the data - which is actually 100% accurate - it is the extrapolation
of the data that seems to be causing you some concern - we haven't done that.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 13:14
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, mfav writes:
  Have you correlated the traffic relative to the devices? Phone sales are in the
billions each year; combined desktop, laptop, and tablet are in the millions
and about 1/3 of phones.

Given that this site is phone-hostile, tablet-hostile, and to a degree hostile
to anything with less than a 20-something-plus-inch screen...is it really surprising
that sales might be dipping...simply because the content here can't be accessed
with the go-to device of choice for most people?

There are user-friendlier, no-muss, no-fuss, low-learning-curve, all-platform-inclusive
alternatives just a tap away.

I agree with your points - would never even attempt to use a phone on this site
- have enough problems with the tablet.

We have monitored the number of visitors for our site each month for the last
9 years and the figures are much, much lower at present than they were a couple
of years ago, so traffic is less. Can't tell about the other stores we monitor
so do not include those stats.

Here are our yearly figures

2014 - 12,000+
2015 - 13,900+
2016 - 13,200+
2017 - 20,100+
2018 - 13,200+
2019 - 10,650+

Those are not based on Bricklinks visitor counter - our web guy has pulled those
for us so they are much more accurate.

We average 8% plus return on visitor to order.

I really do wish Bricklink offered this kind of data - they have Google Analytics
for the site but they really aren't in to sharing.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 12:35
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, Thunor writes:
  In Problem, relhak writes:
  I wonder how brickowl sales are doing? Could be that sales are moving there.

I'd also guess that with clearance sets being easier to find at 50-70% off,
people are putting more of their cash there, and using B&P to supplement the
harder to find parts. I know my August sales crashed when Walmart had a massive
nationwide clearance to make room for the new wave of sets.

Stuart

Story is the same there for me anyway

That is a positive - if both sites are in the same situation it isn't bl
- not that I said or thought it was but ....)

So the bubble may have burst for the moment. The next 2 months are our busiest
of every year and we are hoping that remains the same but like Teup echoes time
will tell
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 12:30
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, Thunor writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  Here are the results for the UK stores group through Sept 2019. The downward
spiral continues - in fact Sept is the lowest month in 3 years of record keeping.
6 Stores are down overall whilst 7 show a very modest increase (But not enough
to hold up the other stores)

Something is not right.

If you look at the cold hard figures it reads like this:

Jun - Sep 2017 - 6746 orders
Jun - Sep 2018 - 6350 orders
Jun - Sep 2019 - 5654 orders

Are any other regions seeing this trend?

Yup.
Inventory at all time high
Prices at all time low. 2014 best year selling at 6mo +20% now 6mo -10-20%
Buy in at all time high, not many sets at 2x value parted out. Most new technic
barely 1.2x - 1.4x

Definitely concerned about the value of sets stored.

I think I’ll add another consideration. Market saturation. Nobody throws the
stuff away intentionally, unless it’s broke or by mistake. How many billion bricks
per year do LEGO produce?
There’s only so much one person can absorb.

I concur it would be nice if the two venues would share the global stats, I doubt
they will.

Very much agreed + 1+1
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 12:29
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, Teup writes:
  In Problem, relhak writes:
  I wonder how brickowl sales are doing? Could be that sales are moving there.

I'd also guess that with clearance sets being easier to find at 50-70% off,
people are putting more of their cash there, and using B&P to supplement the
harder to find parts. I know my August sales crashed when Walmart had a massive
nationwide clearance to make room for the new wave of sets.

Stuart

Discounts over some 25% don't exist here, and I've seen a significant
drop in domestic orders the last 2 months as well (OK, they could be shopping
at American sellers but I don't think that could have such a large sudden
effect).
But yes, very good point about BrickOwl. Right now I'm closed there because
I'm working on my own webshop, but would be great to hear from some BL+BO
sellers how it's going for them.

Agreed +1
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 11:57
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, frosia writes:
  In Problem, edeevo writes:
  In Problem, frosia writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, frosia writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, frosia writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  Here are the results for the UK stores group through Sept 2019. The downward
spiral continues - in fact Sept is the lowest month in 3 years of record keeping.
6 Stores are down overall whilst 7 show a very modest increase (But not enough
to hold up the other stores)

Something is not right.

If you look at the cold hard figures it reads like this:

Jun - Sep 2017 - 6746 orders
Jun - Sep 2018 - 6350 orders
Jun - Sep 2019 - 5654 orders

Are any other regions seeing this trend?

By my calculations, 52% of all sellers have joined Bricklink in the last 5 years.
This relative flood of new sellers may be the reason for individual store sales
decline across the board.
From 2000 to 2014, 26,392 new sellers registered with BL.
From 2015 to present, 29,114 new sellers registered with BL.
So in the last 5 years, sellers have increased by 110%.
During that same period however, overall membership only increase by 37.5%, from
850,076 to 1,169,525 today.
So with a much higher percentage of new sellers when compared to the overall
membership, it is not difficult to believe that same-store sales would suffer.
My only question is that BL officially recognizes only 10,661 stores. But when
I add up the new seller registration figures for the last (nearly) 20 years,
I get a seller membership of 55,506! Are not all "sellers" also "stores"?

The simple answer is no they are not - you need to register as a seller to load
your own personal inventory and lots and lots of those sellers are not really
active.

We agree store numbers, on the face of it look up but when you look at the active
stores figures from Bricklinks data analysis the growth in the last 5 years is
absolutely minimal (not the registrations).

The membership numbers are not realistic either as you have to register to buy
- but if you make 1 purchase and then disappear are you really active?

This type of data really does need Bricklink to be involved - which they should
be.

Valid points, but I am still of the opinion that buyers have many more good options
when choosing a store from which to buy, making it difficult if not impossible
for any one store to maintain it's traditional market share.

We don't disagree with your analysis but because the 3 year period is now
being looked at and the growth in that period for stores, members etc is minimal
can it really be more choice. 50-70% of buyers in our store are repeat and I
imagine most stores have similar figures. Once you find a good reliable store
(Just like plumbers, electricians and mechanics) you tend to stick with them
.

If the choice means the same number of orders are being generated via Bricklink
then you could have an even more valid point but we don't know that and the
noises that people are making at the moment are tending to refute that.

As I said come on Bricklink - it is your company but our business (Our means
BL and its stores)

I agree with your numbers regarding repeat customers as that is my experience
as well. My store is only half the size it was a year ago, so I can't blame
my slowing sales on any macro causes. I suppose the easiest way to increase
sales is to lower your prices. It means more work for less money but it could
serve to squeeze out other players and discourage new ones, while allowing you
to recapture your market share.

I'm guessing my store is one to considerably buck that trend... my prices
have never been higher, but my sales have never been higher either (in both total
and cost; I have more total sales this year through September than I have had
any other year).

Life is Good.
~Ed

Everything is better in California.

Almost
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 11:56
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In Problem, frosia writes:
  In Problem, Brickitty writes:
  In Problem, Cheshire_Bricks writes:
  I think Lego is currently being treated like bitcoin once was. The bandwagon
is real, more people are holding onto sets now rather than building them. New
stores are all parting out the same stuff that they can get anywhere in a supermarket.
The best move I ever made for my own store was to rid the new and sell used and
it seems like that for quite a few based on my own studies. For me the Lego 'peak'
has been and gone. It's not what it once was and I think for the future years
unless you have something niche to sell you'll suffer. New parts are simply
not worth the investment anymore unless you can get them at 'off the back
of a wagon prices'

That's my 2 cents anyway. Feel free to agree or disagree.

+1

Used is where it's at.

I agree! The market for used is still strong. While it may take more time to
enter into your inventory, it is generally much cheaper to acquire (price per
part) and therefore reduces your exposure significantly when compared to the
same quantity of new LEGO.

Agreed
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
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In Problem, edeevo writes:
  In Problem, frosia writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, frosia writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, frosia writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  Here are the results for the UK stores group through Sept 2019. The downward
spiral continues - in fact Sept is the lowest month in 3 years of record keeping.
6 Stores are down overall whilst 7 show a very modest increase (But not enough
to hold up the other stores)

Something is not right.

If you look at the cold hard figures it reads like this:

Jun - Sep 2017 - 6746 orders
Jun - Sep 2018 - 6350 orders
Jun - Sep 2019 - 5654 orders

Are any other regions seeing this trend?

By my calculations, 52% of all sellers have joined Bricklink in the last 5 years.
This relative flood of new sellers may be the reason for individual store sales
decline across the board.
From 2000 to 2014, 26,392 new sellers registered with BL.
From 2015 to present, 29,114 new sellers registered with BL.
So in the last 5 years, sellers have increased by 110%.
During that same period however, overall membership only increase by 37.5%, from
850,076 to 1,169,525 today.
So with a much higher percentage of new sellers when compared to the overall
membership, it is not difficult to believe that same-store sales would suffer.
My only question is that BL officially recognizes only 10,661 stores. But when
I add up the new seller registration figures for the last (nearly) 20 years,
I get a seller membership of 55,506! Are not all "sellers" also "stores"?

The simple answer is no they are not - you need to register as a seller to load
your own personal inventory and lots and lots of those sellers are not really
active.

We agree store numbers, on the face of it look up but when you look at the active
stores figures from Bricklinks data analysis the growth in the last 5 years is
absolutely minimal (not the registrations).

The membership numbers are not realistic either as you have to register to buy
- but if you make 1 purchase and then disappear are you really active?

This type of data really does need Bricklink to be involved - which they should
be.

Valid points, but I am still of the opinion that buyers have many more good options
when choosing a store from which to buy, making it difficult if not impossible
for any one store to maintain it's traditional market share.

We don't disagree with your analysis but because the 3 year period is now
being looked at and the growth in that period for stores, members etc is minimal
can it really be more choice. 50-70% of buyers in our store are repeat and I
imagine most stores have similar figures. Once you find a good reliable store
(Just like plumbers, electricians and mechanics) you tend to stick with them
.

If the choice means the same number of orders are being generated via Bricklink
then you could have an even more valid point but we don't know that and the
noises that people are making at the moment are tending to refute that.

As I said come on Bricklink - it is your company but our business (Our means
BL and its stores)

I agree with your numbers regarding repeat customers as that is my experience
as well. My store is only half the size it was a year ago, so I can't blame
my slowing sales on any macro causes. I suppose the easiest way to increase
sales is to lower your prices. It means more work for less money but it could
serve to squeeze out other players and discourage new ones, while allowing you
to recapture your market share.

I'm guessing my store is one to considerably buck that trend... my prices
have never been higher, but my sales have never been higher either (in both total
and cost; I have more total sales this year through September than I have had
any other year).

Life is Good.
~Ed.

From the response we have seen and heard you are, as always unique Ed.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 11:54
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, leopard37 writes:
  
  Used items in mint condition abound on the site with lots of excellent sellers
specialising in that. Our used is like new but we still sell 3x as much new as
used.

Are your used items different than your new? ie If I'm building a project
on my own direction, I default to new pieces unless they aren't available.
Also do you have 3x as many new pieces as used or do you have an even split?

Tyson.

This is th4e breakdown for new to use
Lots Items
New 5,660 703,469
Used 6,197 263,290
Totals 11,857 966,759

There is overlap on the lots as you would expect but our sales.shipments of new
to use3d are roughly 3 to 1 (New to used)
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 11:51
 Subject: Re: Why are Dutch sellers reluctant to leave FB?
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
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Store: CalsBricks
In Selling, Leftoverbricks writes:
  In Selling, calsbricks writes:
  In Selling, Leftoverbricks writes:
  OK dear fellow Dutch sellers...

I'm not only a seller but also a very active buyer.

With the exception of 3 or 4, all Dutch sellers seem to wait to leave feedback
until I leave feedback after I got the items and leave feedback for the seller.

As a seller I can somewhat understand that you wait a while when a buyer is from
a country far away or if it is a zero feedback buyer... but even then...

If I buy from you and pay within minutes or hours then I've done what I had
to do. Now it's your turn to leave feedback by thanking me for my purchase
and fast payment. How difficult can it be?

End of rant.

Cheers,
Martin

Hi there

We have kept very close watch on feedback over the last 2.5 years for the 13
Store Group we monitor here in the UK. Average over that entire period is over
78^ with a high of 87% and a low of 65%.

Below is the data charted to make it easier to the eye.

Is that feedback left BY sellers FOR buyers or the other way around?

No that is feedback left by buyers for those sellers. Sorry , I should have made
that clearer.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 11:44
 Subject: Re: Why are Dutch sellers reluctant to leave FB?
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Selling, Leftoverbricks writes:
  In Selling, calsbricks writes:
  In Selling, Leftoverbricks writes:
  OK dear fellow Dutch sellers...

I'm not only a seller but also a very active buyer.

With the exception of 3 or 4, all Dutch sellers seem to wait to leave feedback
until I leave feedback after I got the items and leave feedback for the seller.

As a seller I can somewhat understand that you wait a while when a buyer is from
a country far away or if it is a zero feedback buyer... but even then...

If I buy from you and pay within minutes or hours then I've done what I had
to do. Now it's your turn to leave feedback by thanking me for my purchase
and fast payment. How difficult can it be?

End of rant.

Cheers,
Martin

Hi there

We have kept very close watch on feedback over the last 2.5 years for the 13
Store Group we monitor here in the UK. Average over that entire period is over
78^ with a high of 87% and a low of 65%.

Below is the data charted to make it easier to the eye.

Is that feedback left BY sellers FOR buyers or the other way around?

No that is feedback left by buyers for those sellers. Sorry , I should have made
that clearer.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 11:19
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Brickitty writes:
  In Problem, Cheshire_Bricks writes:
  I think Lego is currently being treated like bitcoin once was. The bandwagon
is real, more people are holding onto sets now rather than building them. New
stores are all parting out the same stuff that they can get anywhere in a supermarket.
The best move I ever made for my own store was to rid the new and sell used and
it seems like that for quite a few based on my own studies. For me the Lego 'peak'
has been and gone. It's not what it once was and I think for the future years
unless you have something niche to sell you'll suffer. New parts are simply
not worth the investment anymore unless you can get them at 'off the back
of a wagon prices'

That's my 2 cents anyway. Feel free to agree or disagree.

+1

Used is where it's at.

Might be or maybe not - time will tell. New still outsells used by 3 to 1 in
our store.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 11:18
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Cheshire_Bricks writes:
  I think Lego is currently being treated like bitcoin once was. The bandwagon
is real, more people are holding onto sets now rather than building them. New
stores are all parting out the same stuff that they can get anywhere in a supermarket.
The best move I ever made for my own store was to rid the new and sell used and
it seems like that for quite a few based on my own studies. For me the Lego 'peak'
has been and gone. It's not what it once was and I think for the future years
unless you have something niche to sell you'll suffer. New parts are simply
not worth the investment anymore unless you can get them at 'off the back
of a wagon prices'

That's my 2 cents anyway. Feel free to agree or disagree.

Hi there and thank you for adding your thoughts to this thread. The figures don't
quiqte hold up to that - the largest Used store in the uk is not seeing the growth
thatthey would do if it were a swing to Used. Heavy discounting stores are also
falling off the back of the wagon - so it isn't necessarily price, it isn't
really about condition, although used more than holds its own against new. It
may truly be that the bubble has burst for now and it is going to take patience
+ a lot more to get back to where we were. Who knows Bricklink's idea of
xp might even have some merit, although no one knows enough about it to judge
that yet. That was supposed to open up a whole new market for those that adopt
it.

Used items in mint condition abound on the site with lots of excellent sellers
specialising in that. Our used is like new but we still sell 3x as much new as
used.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 10:29
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
 Viewed: 63 times
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, frosia writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, frosia writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, frosia writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  Here are the results for the UK stores group through Sept 2019. The downward
spiral continues - in fact Sept is the lowest month in 3 years of record keeping.
6 Stores are down overall whilst 7 show a very modest increase (But not enough
to hold up the other stores)

Something is not right.

If you look at the cold hard figures it reads like this:

Jun - Sep 2017 - 6746 orders
Jun - Sep 2018 - 6350 orders
Jun - Sep 2019 - 5654 orders

Are any other regions seeing this trend?

By my calculations, 52% of all sellers have joined Bricklink in the last 5 years.
This relative flood of new sellers may be the reason for individual store sales
decline across the board.
From 2000 to 2014, 26,392 new sellers registered with BL.
From 2015 to present, 29,114 new sellers registered with BL.
So in the last 5 years, sellers have increased by 110%.
During that same period however, overall membership only increase by 37.5%, from
850,076 to 1,169,525 today.
So with a much higher percentage of new sellers when compared to the overall
membership, it is not difficult to believe that same-store sales would suffer.
My only question is that BL officially recognizes only 10,661 stores. But when
I add up the new seller registration figures for the last (nearly) 20 years,
I get a seller membership of 55,506! Are not all "sellers" also "stores"?

The simple answer is no they are not - you need to register as a seller to load
your own personal inventory and lots and lots of those sellers are not really
active.

We agree store numbers, on the face of it look up but when you look at the active
stores figures from Bricklinks data analysis the growth in the last 5 years is
absolutely minimal (not the registrations).

The membership numbers are not realistic either as you have to register to buy
- but if you make 1 purchase and then disappear are you really active?

This type of data really does need Bricklink to be involved - which they should
be.

Valid points, but I am still of the opinion that buyers have many more good options
when choosing a store from which to buy, making it difficult if not impossible
for any one store to maintain it's traditional market share.

We don't disagree with your analysis but because the 3 year period is now
being looked at and the growth in that period for stores, members etc is minimal
can it really be more choice. 50-70% of buyers in our store are repeat and I
imagine most stores have similar figures. Once you find a good reliable store
(Just like plumbers, electricians and mechanics) you tend to stick with them
.

If the choice means the same number of orders are being generated via Bricklink
then you could have an even more valid point but we don't know that and the
noises that people are making at the moment are tending to refute that.

As I said come on Bricklink - it is your company but our business (Our means
BL and its stores)

I agree with your numbers regarding repeat customers as that is my experience
as well. My store is only half the size it was a year ago, so I can't blame
my slowing sales on any macro causes. I suppose the easiest way to increase
sales is to lower your prices. It means more work for less money but it could
serve to squeeze out other players and discourage new ones, while allowing you
to recapture your market share.

Ah the race to the bottom as Teup calls it - I think we will avoid that for the
time being and let others carry on. We have a goal/objective and we will get
there - it might take a little bit longer than we had originally planned but
patience and perseverance will win.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 10:26
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, randyf writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  Here are the results for the UK stores group through Sept 2019. The downward
spiral continues - in fact Sept is the lowest month in 3 years of record keeping.
6 Stores are down overall whilst 7 show a very modest increase (But not enough
to hold up the other stores)

Something is not right.

If you look at the cold hard figures it reads like this:

Jun - Sep 2017 - 6746 orders
Jun - Sep 2018 - 6350 orders
Jun - Sep 2019 - 5654 orders

Are any other regions seeing this trend?

For me, the answer is quite simple: peak LEGO mania has come and gone. A few
years back, everyone was talking about LEGO. Now, I hardly hear about it. My
guess would be that the peak was around 2016-2017 when you just so happened to
start tracking the data, and there is only one way to go from a peak.

The market is saturated, mature, and even LEGO themselves have seen a slowdown.

All of the movies have come and gone, and the latest movie sets had markdowns
almost from the beginning, a sure sign that the movie did not do as well as anticipated
or resonate with the masses like the first one did years ago.

The shelves of LEGO at stores around me are often very well stocked now at all
times compared to a few years back, a sure sign that people just aren't buying
as much LEGO.

The Fortnite global phenomenon pulled a lot of kids away from traditional toys
in the last two years and into video games round the clock. Minecraft has also
made a large comeback among the same groups of kids.

Not to mention that LEGO is flooding the market with enormous DTC sets that are
taking a huge chunk of the disposable income away from the same people who would
spend that money in the secondary markets like BrickLink.

Just my two cents...

Cheers,
Randy

Good points Randy - thanks for adding. I, however find it difficult to agree
with coincidence.

Time will tell - Our local Lego stores managers keep telling me they are doing
well (Not that I believe all that) We have certainly reduced our spending ((And
listing for that matter)). We are watching the market very closely as I am sure
are others.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 09:58
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, frosia writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, frosia writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  Here are the results for the UK stores group through Sept 2019. The downward
spiral continues - in fact Sept is the lowest month in 3 years of record keeping.
6 Stores are down overall whilst 7 show a very modest increase (But not enough
to hold up the other stores)

Something is not right.

If you look at the cold hard figures it reads like this:

Jun - Sep 2017 - 6746 orders
Jun - Sep 2018 - 6350 orders
Jun - Sep 2019 - 5654 orders

Are any other regions seeing this trend?

By my calculations, 52% of all sellers have joined Bricklink in the last 5 years.
This relative flood of new sellers may be the reason for individual store sales
decline across the board.
From 2000 to 2014, 26,392 new sellers registered with BL.
From 2015 to present, 29,114 new sellers registered with BL.
So in the last 5 years, sellers have increased by 110%.
During that same period however, overall membership only increase by 37.5%, from
850,076 to 1,169,525 today.
So with a much higher percentage of new sellers when compared to the overall
membership, it is not difficult to believe that same-store sales would suffer.
My only question is that BL officially recognizes only 10,661 stores. But when
I add up the new seller registration figures for the last (nearly) 20 years,
I get a seller membership of 55,506! Are not all "sellers" also "stores"?

The simple answer is no they are not - you need to register as a seller to load
your own personal inventory and lots and lots of those sellers are not really
active.

We agree store numbers, on the face of it look up but when you look at the active
stores figures from Bricklinks data analysis the growth in the last 5 years is
absolutely minimal (not the registrations).

The membership numbers are not realistic either as you have to register to buy
- but if you make 1 purchase and then disappear are you really active?

This type of data really does need Bricklink to be involved - which they should
be.

Valid points, but I am still of the opinion that buyers have many more good options
when choosing a store from which to buy, making it difficult if not impossible
for any one store to maintain it's traditional market share.

We don't disagree with your analysis but because the 3 year period is now
being looked at and the growth in that period for stores, members etc is minimal
can it really be more choice. 50-70% of buyers in our store are repeat and I
imagine most stores have similar figures. Once you find a good reliable store
(Just like plumbers, electricians and mechanics) you tend to stick with them
.

If the choice means the same number of orders are being generated via Bricklink
then you could have an even more valid point but we don't know that and the
noises that people are making at the moment are tending to refute that.

As I said come on Bricklink - it is your company but our business (Our means
BL and its stores)
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 09:33
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Nordbart writes:
  In Problem, yorbrick writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  Here are the results for the UK stores group through Sept 2019. The downward
spiral continues - in fact Sept is the lowest month in 3 years of record keeping.
6 Stores are down overall whilst 7 show a very modest increase (But not enough
to hold up the other stores)

Something is not right.

If you look at the cold hard figures it reads like this:

Jun - Sep 2017 - 6746 orders
Jun - Sep 2018 - 6350 orders
Jun - Sep 2019 - 5654 orders

Are any other regions seeing this trend?

I think it is a case of many more (smaller and cheaper) stores on BL, coupled
with a high volume / variety of new LEGO at retail stores, plus other online
and offline options for purchasing new and used LEGO parts.

Also there is more competition for LEGO. Not just LEPIN and other chinese ripoffs
but stuff like Cobi. Their Tanks are kinda decent. It's something LEGO doesn't
provide apart from MOCs.

nordbart

There is that as well - interesting - had some Cobi tanks a while ago - they
are decent, so we are getting lots of comments and opinions on this - what we
don't know is whether BL are seeing the same trends globally or whether the
sales that are missing here and there are replaced by others elsewhere.

Come on Bricklink - get involved, please.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 09:31
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Soviet writes:
  In Problem, leopard37 writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  Here are the results for the UK stores group through Sept 2019. The downward
spiral continues - in fact Sept is the lowest month in 3 years of record keeping.
6 Stores are down overall whilst 7 show a very modest increase (But not enough
to hold up the other stores)

Something is not right.

If you look at the cold hard figures it reads like this:

Jun - Sep 2017 - 6746 orders
Jun - Sep 2018 - 6350 orders
Jun - Sep 2019 - 5654 orders

Are any other regions seeing this trend?


Umm brexit a possibility?

Tyson.

I feel like if people were worried about Brexit, they would buy more LEGO, not
less. You know, as in "I better stock up on parts while I still can".

Interesting thought - hobby funds might be the first to go though as well.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 09:30
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, leopard37 writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  Here are the results for the UK stores group through Sept 2019. The downward
spiral continues - in fact Sept is the lowest month in 3 years of record keeping.
6 Stores are down overall whilst 7 show a very modest increase (But not enough
to hold up the other stores)

Something is not right.

If you look at the cold hard figures it reads like this:

Jun - Sep 2017 - 6746 orders
Jun - Sep 2018 - 6350 orders
Jun - Sep 2019 - 5654 orders

Are any other regions seeing this trend?


Umm brexit a possibility?

Tyson.

Certainly could be - people worried about their finances - but Brexit should
not be affecting other regions and from the info we are seeing and hearing most
regions are affected at present.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 09:28
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
 Viewed: 85 times
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, frosia writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  Here are the results for the UK stores group through Sept 2019. The downward
spiral continues - in fact Sept is the lowest month in 3 years of record keeping.
6 Stores are down overall whilst 7 show a very modest increase (But not enough
to hold up the other stores)

Something is not right.

If you look at the cold hard figures it reads like this:

Jun - Sep 2017 - 6746 orders
Jun - Sep 2018 - 6350 orders
Jun - Sep 2019 - 5654 orders

Are any other regions seeing this trend?

By my calculations, 52% of all sellers have joined Bricklink in the last 5 years.
This relative flood of new sellers may be the reason for individual store sales
decline across the board.
From 2000 to 2014, 26,392 new sellers registered with BL.
From 2015 to present, 29,114 new sellers registered with BL.
So in the last 5 years, sellers have increased by 110%.
During that same period however, overall membership only increase by 37.5%, from
850,076 to 1,169,525 today.
So with a much higher percentage of new sellers when compared to the overall
membership, it is not difficult to believe that same-store sales would suffer.
My only question is that BL officially recognizes only 10,661 stores. But when
I add up the new seller registration figures for the last (nearly) 20 years,
I get a seller membership of 55,506! Are not all "sellers" also "stores"?

The simple answer is no they are not - you need to register as a seller to load
your own personal inventory and lots and lots of those sellers are not really
active.

We agree store numbers, on the face of it look up but when you look at the active
stores figures from Bricklinks data analysis the growth in the last 5 years is
absolutely minimal (not the registrations).

The membership numbers are not realistic either as you have to register to buy
- but if you make 1 purchase and then disappear are you really active?

This type of data really does need Bricklink to be involved - which they should
be.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 09:23
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, yorbrick writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  Here are the results for the UK stores group through Sept 2019. The downward
spiral continues - in fact Sept is the lowest month in 3 years of record keeping.
6 Stores are down overall whilst 7 show a very modest increase (But not enough
to hold up the other stores)

Something is not right.

If you look at the cold hard figures it reads like this:

Jun - Sep 2017 - 6746 orders
Jun - Sep 2018 - 6350 orders
Jun - Sep 2019 - 5654 orders

Are any other regions seeing this trend?

I think it is a case of many more (smaller and cheaper) stores on BL, coupled
with a high volume / variety of new LEGO at retail stores, plus other online
and offline options for purchasing new and used LEGO parts.

Could be but would that affect all regions and we are getting feedback here ane
elsewhere that orders are not only down but they are much lower in value.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 1, 2019 03:11
 Subject: Downward Trend Continues
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 Topic: Problem
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
Here are the results for the UK stores group through Sept 2019. The downward
spiral continues - in fact Sept is the lowest month in 3 years of record keeping.
6 Stores are down overall whilst 7 show a very modest increase (But not enough
to hold up the other stores)

Something is not right.

If you look at the cold hard figures it reads like this:

Jun - Sep 2017 - 6746 orders
Jun - Sep 2018 - 6350 orders
Jun - Sep 2019 - 5654 orders

Are any other regions seeing this trend?
 
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 30, 2019 13:26
 Subject: Re: Why are Dutch sellers reluctant to leave FB?
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 Topic: Selling
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Selling, Leftoverbricks writes:
  OK dear fellow Dutch sellers...

I'm not only a seller but also a very active buyer.

With the exception of 3 or 4, all Dutch sellers seem to wait to leave feedback
until I leave feedback after I got the items and leave feedback for the seller.

As a seller I can somewhat understand that you wait a while when a buyer is from
a country far away or if it is a zero feedback buyer... but even then...

If I buy from you and pay within minutes or hours then I've done what I had
to do. Now it's your turn to leave feedback by thanking me for my purchase
and fast payment. How difficult can it be?

End of rant.

Cheers,
Martin

Hi there

We have kept very close watch on feedback over the last 2.5 years for the 13
Store Group we monitor here in the UK. Average over that entire period is over
78^ with a high of 87% and a low of 65%.

Below is the data charted to make it easier to the eye.
 
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 30, 2019 10:24
 Subject: Re: adding comment to new parts
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 Topic: Selling
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Selling, quilkin writes:
  Does anyone know if there is a way of adding a comment or remark to all of the
'new' items in my store inventory? Using Bricklink or Brickstock?
I want to try a selling experiment marking all my stock as 'used', but
may want to revert later to the original status.

This is a simple task in Brickstock. Simply download your inventory - select
all your items that you wish to have a remark as 'used' and then edit
- set remark to used. That way your new items will all have a remark of used
but an actual condition of New. To change the condition to Used - use the filter
to choose all your cond = n and then select all and cond = used.

Job Done - good luck with the experiment.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 30, 2019 03:51
 Subject: Re: BL, Brickstock and pricing
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 Topic: Related Software
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
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Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Related Software, calsbricks writes:
  In Related Software, Teup writes:
  In Related Software, calsbricks writes:
  BTW I still would be willing to debate this vat thing. different rates in different
countries the same way there are different levels of sales taxes in the US, I
honestly believe the price guide should be stripped of all taxes be they vat
or sales tax. The sellers should be responsible for that not Bricklink. Our main
company is, of course vat registered and all invoices are goods total plus vat
as a total, they are not vat inclusive. A strange article here in the UK has
said there is no legal requirement to show vat inclusive prices and they believe
like us that the VAT should just be added on to the total of goods at the end
of the bill. That is how it works in the States (or at least that is how it worked
in there when I was last there).

I don't know about the UK. But over here, and in many countries around this
one probably, VAT definitely needs to be included. Many consumers are not even
aware how much VAT is in the things that they buy, and some may not even know
that it exists at all or what it is. VAT is virtually invisible, in the sense
that it is included in everything. The concept people have of the value of any
item in their lives, is always the price including VAT.

Here is the article

https://tax.thomsonreuters.com/blog/what-is-the-difference-between-sales-tax-and-vat/

Not saying it is right or wrong only that it exists and to be fair they do say
most invoicing is done inclusive of VAT (That is not the case in the UK - invoices
to other businesses are exclusive of VAT with it being added on at the end)


  
If VAT would be stripped from the priceguide, then it also would need to be stripped
from the displayed prices of currently listed items. After all, it would not
make sense to have the priceguide show a value for "current average price" that
is not the average (ie. the product of adding up all listed prices together,
and dividing that by the number of listings).

Yes and that would have to be a big banner warning buyers that the prices are
exclusive of any VAT . And then the buyers could scream and shout here on the
forum about not knowing they would be charged VAT on top of the prices - you
just cannot win with this one.
  
So removing VAT from the priceguide will lead to either removing it from all
listed prices (which I think is actually not legal), or it would lead to a priceguide
that is showing values that are structurally lower than the price of today's
sellers, making sellers seem as if they are more expensive than average when
in fact they're not.

Yes the complexity of VAT throughout the EU is daunting and it handled differently
by different authorities.
  
Since in America, sales tax is never shown in prices, it makes sense they're
also not shown in Bricklink's prices. And, then it also makes sense that
it isn't included in the price guide. Again, so that the value that the price
guide is showing is the actual average that corresponds to adding all listed
prices together and dividing it by the number of listings.

Totally agree this isn't a perfect system. But that's because the world
isn't perfect I think the way Bricklink handles it is alright under the
circumstances, at least I can't imagine a better way of doing it.

Having diverted to a VAT discussion the main issue with the thread remains without
a USA store offering to help. Can we get back to that please.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 29, 2019 12:29
 Subject: Re: BL, Brickstock and pricing
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Related Software, Teup writes:
  In Related Software, calsbricks writes:
  BTW I still would be willing to debate this vat thing. different rates in different
countries the same way there are different levels of sales taxes in the US, I
honestly believe the price guide should be stripped of all taxes be they vat
or sales tax. The sellers should be responsible for that not Bricklink. Our main
company is, of course vat registered and all invoices are goods total plus vat
as a total, they are not vat inclusive. A strange article here in the UK has
said there is no legal requirement to show vat inclusive prices and they believe
like us that the VAT should just be added on to the total of goods at the end
of the bill. That is how it works in the States (or at least that is how it worked
in there when I was last there).

I don't know about the UK. But over here, and in many countries around this
one probably, VAT definitely needs to be included. Many consumers are not even
aware how much VAT is in the things that they buy, and some may not even know
that it exists at all or what it is. VAT is virtually invisible, in the sense
that it is included in everything. The concept people have of the value of any
item in their lives, is always the price including VAT.

Here is the article

https://tax.thomsonreuters.com/blog/what-is-the-difference-between-sales-tax-and-vat/

Not saying it is right or wrong only that it exists and to be fair they do say
most invoicing is done inclusive of VAT (That is not the case in the UK - invoices
to other businesses are exclusive of VAT with it being added on at the end)


  
If VAT would be stripped from the priceguide, then it also would need to be stripped
from the displayed prices of currently listed items. After all, it would not
make sense to have the priceguide show a value for "current average price" that
is not the average (ie. the product of adding up all listed prices together,
and dividing that by the number of listings).

Yes and that would have to be a big banner warning buyers that the prices are
exclusive of any VAT . And then the buyers could scream and shout here on the
forum about not knowing they would be charged VAT on top of the prices - you
just cannot win with this one.
  
So removing VAT from the priceguide will lead to either removing it from all
listed prices (which I think is actually not legal), or it would lead to a priceguide
that is showing values that are structurally lower than the price of today's
sellers, making sellers seem as if they are more expensive than average when
in fact they're not.

Yes the complexity of VAT throughout the EU is daunting and it handled differently
by different authorities.
  
Since in America, sales tax is never shown in prices, it makes sense they're
also not shown in Bricklink's prices. And, then it also makes sense that
it isn't included in the price guide. Again, so that the value that the price
guide is showing is the actual average that corresponds to adding all listed
prices together and dividing it by the number of listings.

Totally agree this isn't a perfect system. But that's because the world
isn't perfect I think the way Bricklink handles it is alright under the
circumstances, at least I can't imagine a better way of doing it.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 29, 2019 11:29
 Subject: Re: BL, Brickstock and pricing
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calsbricks (5786)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Related Software, Teup writes:
  In Related Software, calsbricks writes:
  In Related Software, Teup writes:
  In Related Software, calsbricks writes:
  As I am sure most people who read the forum are aware there are lots and lots
of threads/comments about this issue.

I am happy to take the time to go through it with a fine toothcomb to at least
fully understand what is going on between the products, but I need a little bit
of help.

Need a USA store to supply screen shots of price guide and Brickstock, and need
an EU seller who is registered for VAT to do the same. Picking a single common
product I will map what is going on and come back to the forum with details.

I would probably take a common brick such as
 
Part No: 3010  Name: Brick 1 x 4
* 
3010 Brick 1 x 4
Parts: Brick
as a starter but I am aware
there will be anomalies with this as some parts have appeared more in one region
than another.

Any takers?

I know how to do this without any help, as long as it is in Euro or Dollar. I
am not sure how to set it to display GBP, though.

This is at least how switch between VAT and no VAT, displayed in Dollar:

 
Part No: 16875pb01c01  Name: Dewback, Claws and Short Tail - Star Wars
* 
16875pb01c01 (Inv) Dewback, Claws and Short Tail - Star Wars
Parts: Animal, Land

With VAT: "vatInc=Y" in the URL
https://www.bricklink.com/priceGuideSummary.asp?vcID=1&vatInc=Y&a=p&colorID=155&itemID=16875pb01c01

Without VAT: "vatInc=N" in the URL
https://www.bricklink.com/priceGuideSummary.asp?vcID=1&vatInc=N&a=p&colorID=155&itemID=16875pb01c01

Changing "vcID=1" to "vcID=2" gives the same in Euro. I don't know how to
change it to GBP. Anyway, using "vatInc=N" URLs is how you can browse the full
priceguide as if you were viewing it from the US.

If you mean to map out the discrepancies across a wide range of parts, this little
trick might speed up that process quite a bit. These price guide detail pages
are available through the part entries in your inventory, or you could use
the one I provided and change "colorID=155" and "itemID=16875pb01c01" to whatever
you want to look at.

(As for Brickstock, I've tested it with two US sellers and it produced the
same prices on either end. But you could check that again to make sure.)

Hi Teup and thank you for adding your thoughts/comments to the thread. Somehow
I knew that would happen.



  
All of your points are noted. I am, however going to do this in my way so that
I can get this documented in a way which, I hope will be self-explanatory to
those who read it and more helpful to the Brickstok author and those who are
endeavouring to produce another Brickstock/Bricksynch. There are, as you may
be aware a number of Bricklink members who have special talents in this area
and we have been contacted by a couple of them on our forum and listened to their
ideas. There could be good news right around the corner on fully supported versions
of both the products.

Hopefully we will get one of the US stores to join the effort and get this little
project underway. I am actually looking forward to it.

Interesting! And it's always good to do a bit of research. I just added that
DIY research trick, in case you want a quick way to get some idea of what the
discrepancies are across a wide range of items. I've never actually done
that. I just looked up some parts and found them to be between 0% and 20% off,
most around 5%-10%, but I really haven't crunched any major numbers to be
sure.

I am reasonably sure our results will look like yours but time will tell.
  
  
As for the Brickstock author, Patrick, he has quite a dilemma in front of him.
He is still very busy with his full time job, and is very reluctant to do any
major work on the existing product until he knows better what Bricklink themselves
are doing with the existing classic site as well as their new version xp, and
honestly can you blame him?

He doesn't owe us anything, that's true. But I think that if you put
something out there that can potentially harm the market, we can blame him a
little bit for that. It's a subtle thing, but subtle things can still cause
a landslide, in this case the well known race to the bottom. We can't expect
him to fix this, but I do think the right thing to do would have been to add
a warning message after I notified him of the issue and explained why it is a
problem (something like "Price guide prices retrieved by Brickstock exclude VAT.
Therefore, these values may be lower than the values displayed by the price guide
on Bricklink for users within the EU"). That wouldn't have been much work.
But sadly my message disappeared after I sent it, not sure if it was ever read
or not. Well, never mind, I'm not here for the blame game of course, and
you can never know what's going on in someone's life. I just would be
happy if it will be either fixed or properly accompanied by a clear warning,
even when I am not personally using Brickstock.

That probably is a good suggestion but as I mentioned he isn't even looking
at Bricklink at present and like many of us wants to know which way they are
going. A subtle warning might have been an easy 'fix' but it didn't
happen.

BTW I still would be willing to debate this vat thing. different rates in different
countries the same way there are different levels of sales taxes in the US, I
honestly believe the price guide should be stripped of all taxes be they vat
or sales tax. The sellers should be responsible for that not Bricklink. Our main
company is, of course vat registered and all invoices are goods total plus vat
as a total, they are not vat inclusive. A strange article here in the UK has
said there is no legal requirement to show vat inclusive prices and they believe
like us that the VAT should just be added on to the total of goods at the end
of the bill. That is how it works in the States (or at least that is how it worked
in there when I was last there).

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