Discussion Forum: Messages by calsbricks (5836)
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 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 10, 2019 14:18
 Subject: Re: Future of BL with brands?
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 Topic: Help
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In Help, randyf writes:
  In Help, calsbricks writes:
  In Help, Cob writes:
  In Help, popsicle writes:
  Beyond the two brands; AFOL Designer Program and BrickArms, are there currently
any other brands under the umbrella search option All Brands?

What little I know of the timeline-of-events, was that the All Brands
listing option was put into place first, allowing BrickArms an in, onto BL’s
platform. I remember Jaclyn's announcement: https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1071320

Entirely possible I've got it all wrong, as clueless to site updates as I
feel like most of the time

Was folding BrickArms into BL the original intent for the adding of the All
Brands
listing option? Or was the option's genesis to be an umbrella
term for the planned introduction of other brands?

Are there plans or thoughts of adding more brands? Should there be? (I've
no opinion on this last question, just curious of what others think)

Maybe there’s a mission statement of sorts, that spell out these points? If so,
direction to it would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Cory

I believe "all brands" as been there from the beginning.

+1 - It has. I cannot find the message which was put out by Jaclyn after the
furore of the Brickarms saga but in it she suggested they would always consider
adding other brands but not clones, or something like that. Nothing else ever
emerged from that but who really knows what the intentions of BL management are.
With the various tangents they tend to move off onto, almost anything is possible.

A mission statement - dreamer

As far as I know, there will be no more brands added to BrickLink and the BrickArms
addition may be depricated. These were stipulations by LEGO for the ADP to happen.

Cheers,
Randy

Interesting and lets hope it materialises in that way.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 10, 2019 13:58
 Subject: Re: Future of BL with brands?
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 Topic: Help
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In Help, Cob writes:
  In Help, popsicle writes:
  Beyond the two brands; AFOL Designer Program and BrickArms, are there currently
any other brands under the umbrella search option All Brands?

What little I know of the timeline-of-events, was that the All Brands
listing option was put into place first, allowing BrickArms an in, onto BL’s
platform. I remember Jaclyn's announcement: https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1071320

Entirely possible I've got it all wrong, as clueless to site updates as I
feel like most of the time

Was folding BrickArms into BL the original intent for the adding of the All
Brands
listing option? Or was the option's genesis to be an umbrella
term for the planned introduction of other brands?

Are there plans or thoughts of adding more brands? Should there be? (I've
no opinion on this last question, just curious of what others think)

Maybe there’s a mission statement of sorts, that spell out these points? If so,
direction to it would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Cory

I believe "all brands" as been there from the beginning.

+1 - It has. I cannot find the message which was put out by Jaclyn after the
furore of the Brickarms saga but in it she suggested they would always consider
adding other brands but not clones, or something like that. Nothing else ever
emerged from that but who really knows what the intentions of BL management are.
With the various tangents they tend to move off onto, almost anything is possible.

A mission statement - dreamer
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 10, 2019 09:15
 Subject: Re: Any one use Brickstock? Need Help
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 Topic: Related Software
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In Related Software, OmnipresentECA writes:
  In Related Software, uvt203 writes:
  In Related Software, OmnipresentECA writes:
  Hello,

I have recently started using Brickstock to inventory, and sell my Legos. But
I am un-able to do "mass-Updates". It says it needs a "Bricklink-Lot ID" and
I am not seeing how to give my Brickstock inventory a Lot ID based off of my
Bricklink inventory.

If any one can explain how to do mass updates via Brickstock it would be greatly
appreciated!

Thanks again!
Ethan Arndt

You can not make updates when loading new items for sale - you need to use mass
upload. Update is for ..... updates

/Asger

Yes, lol. I understand that and I do that. I am trying to MASS-UPDATE inventory
that I already have on Brinklink. For instance I have 25 2x2 Bricks on Brinklink,
I need to UPDATE it to 32 and I need to do this for 100 different items. But
instead of doing this 1 at a time per different Item, how do I update quantities
for more than 1 Item?

What has been said is correct. You are not using either the right menu entry
or the correct mass upload box.

First things first download your inventory into Brickstock. Secondly right click
on the top line of the bricklink data and select Lot ID (it is near the bottom
and will add a column to your screen display which shows your lot id.

When you have altered the items that you wish to change quantities for - use
select all - and export mass update in xml to Bricklink. That cr4eates a file
which you8 must paste into the bottom box of the mass update screen (Not the
top). Verify that file and then update your inventory.

Hope that helps - works every time.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 10, 2019 08:40
 Subject: Re: Retain after sold out?
 Viewed: 28 times
 Topic: Selling
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In Selling, Teup writes:
  In Selling, calsbricks writes:
  In Selling, nologolego writes:
  In Selling, yorbrick writes:
  In Selling, Sadler_Bricks writes:
  Can I get the exact meaning of

Retain after sold out???

It keeps the item in your inventory but with qty 0, so you can keep details such
as pricing, when last sold, etc.

I also have been curious about this feature. I have used it for some common
parts so that I don't have to reprice when I have more to put into inventory.
But on seeing Yorbrick's mention of "last sold, etc" I am wondering if there
are other ways I could be using this feature. How else do some of you sellers
out there use the Retain After Sold feature?

HI there - I think you will find an awful lot of stores don't use it due
to its effect on new lot notifications. If you retain it as 0 quantity and then
add some stock that does not go down as a notify.

Thee entire way BL handles inventory needs a rethink - but that isn't really
going to happen - we do not use it and keep all our stats offline. That eliminates
the issues with BL attempting to do it and also allows us to replace standard
items with new quantities and get a notify out for that.

Unfortunately, stores that sell across platforms need to retain, in order to
sync their inventory. So I'm pretty much stuck with not having notifications.
Not really fair, so I'm considering deleting and reuploading my inventory
sometime, but I'm not entirely sure that lets me keep my lot IDs.

It absolutely does not. Lot id's are unique to part/colour/condition and
if that is removed and then recreated it is a new lot id. That is an absolute.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 10, 2019 08:39
 Subject: Re: Retain after sold out?
 Viewed: 25 times
 Topic: Selling
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In Selling, Huskers1236 writes:
  In Selling, calsbricks writes:
  In Selling, nologolego writes:
  In Selling, yorbrick writes:
  In Selling, Sadler_Bricks writes:
  Can I get the exact meaning of

Retain after sold out???

It keeps the item in your inventory but with qty 0, so you can keep details such
as pricing, when last sold, etc.

I also have been curious about this feature. I have used it for some common
parts so that I don't have to reprice when I have more to put into inventory.
But on seeing Yorbrick's mention of "last sold, etc" I am wondering if there
are other ways I could be using this feature. How else do some of you sellers
out there use the Retain After Sold feature?

HI there - I think you will find an awful lot of stores don't use it due
to its effect on new lot notifications. If you retain it as 0 quantity and then
add some stock that does not go down as a notify.

Thee entire way BL handles inventory needs a rethink - but that isn't really
going to happen - we do not use it and keep all our stats offline. That eliminates
the issues with BL attempting to do it and also allows us to replace standard
items with new quantities and get a notify out for that.

The loss of notification is my biggest issue with it. I use the feature on any
parts that I think are going to be a staple in my inventory. Searching through
my inventory to re-list parts is a lot quicker than going through the entire
library of parts on Bricklink.

Agreed but we rarely use Bricklink when listing - everything we do is in Brickstock
and that is much, much easier for adding/altering inventory. As we said this
part of the system is functional but needs re-thinking. I don't really know
why I keep saying that as BL are not going to make changes to the classic site
- we were advised of that at Brickwold by their head of development Marvin Park,
who also acts as the CEO.

Brickstock, also needs work but it is far eaeier to use than Bricklink for adding
inventory and making adjustments.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 10, 2019 08:34
 Subject: Re: Retain after sold out?
 Viewed: 22 times
 Topic: Selling
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In Selling, nologolego writes:
  In Selling, calsbricks writes:
  In Selling, nologolego writes:
  In Selling, yorbrick writes:
  In Selling, Sadler_Bricks writes:
  Can I get the exact meaning of

Retain after sold out???

It keeps the item in your inventory but with qty 0, so you can keep details such
as pricing, when last sold, etc.

I also have been curious about this feature. I have used it for some common
parts so that I don't have to reprice when I have more to put into inventory.
But on seeing Yorbrick's mention of "last sold, etc" I am wondering if there
are other ways I could be using this feature. How else do some of you sellers
out there use the Retain After Sold feature?

HI there - I think you will find an awful lot of stores don't use it due
to its effect on new lot notifications. If you retain it as 0 quantity and then
add some stock that does not go down as a notify.

Thee entire way BL handles inventory needs a rethink - but that isn't really
going to happen - we do not use it and keep all our stats offline. That eliminates
the issues with BL attempting to do it and also allows us to replace standard
items with new quantities and get a notify out for that.

Thanks for your reply. Your answer brings up another question I have been curious
about - the notification feature. How do other sellers use it and is it helpful?
I generally add some parts every day and I do not send out notifications until
I get a fairly large number of items built up. My thinking is that a buyer will
be more inclined to take a look if there are more items on the notification.
Also I don't want to spam my fellow Bricklinkers. Not sure if this approach
is effective or not. I would be interested to hear how other sellers use notifications
and to what effect.

We wait till we have over 100 new lots before we send out notifies. Over our
8.5 years here we have achieved about an 8% return on the notifies to visitors
to orders basis, so we feel it is worthwhile, despite the system being flawed
in how it works. But not going to go into that here.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 10, 2019 07:37
 Subject: Re: Retain after sold out?
 Viewed: 35 times
 Topic: Selling
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In Selling, nologolego writes:
  In Selling, yorbrick writes:
  In Selling, Sadler_Bricks writes:
  Can I get the exact meaning of

Retain after sold out???

It keeps the item in your inventory but with qty 0, so you can keep details such
as pricing, when last sold, etc.

I also have been curious about this feature. I have used it for some common
parts so that I don't have to reprice when I have more to put into inventory.
But on seeing Yorbrick's mention of "last sold, etc" I am wondering if there
are other ways I could be using this feature. How else do some of you sellers
out there use the Retain After Sold feature?

HI there - I think you will find an awful lot of stores don't use it due
to its effect on new lot notifications. If you retain it as 0 quantity and then
add some stock that does not go down as a notify.

Thee entire way BL handles inventory needs a rethink - but that isn't really
going to happen - we do not use it and keep all our stats offline. That eliminates
the issues with BL attempting to do it and also allows us to replace standard
items with new quantities and get a notify out for that.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 9, 2019 10:48
 Subject: Re: More stockrooms!
 Viewed: 38 times
 Topic: Suggestions
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In Suggestions, Teup writes:
  In Suggestions, calsbricks writes:
   We won't be signing up for xp either - it isn't aimed at our type of
store - its target is a large one - the 'Soccer Moms' so to speak who
want a set for little Johnny for xmas and do not need the complications of Bricklink
to hamper them.

(...)

  Apparently xp requires Instant Checkout (not a problem for some), also requires
Paypal for Marketplaces (Again not a problem for some) but little else is known
about it.

And this is where it goes totally wrong. On the one hand, they seem to aim at
the broad casual consumer market, on the other hand, they force a highly specific
online-business-insiders-only payment method. If I would go to the local supermarket
and ask random people if they have bought something online last week, lots of
them are going to say "yes". If I ask them if they used PayPal, pretty much all
of them are going to respond "what's PayPal?"
And then I haven't even touched on PayPal's plan to dramatically increase
transaction fees by next month, which ruins their competitiveness compared to
other payment methods (but they are trying to circumvent the free market principle
by forcing sellers not to disclose the fees to buyers in as many countries as
possible, and encouraging the buyers to ask for PayPal because it is "free")

If they will implement a relevant payment method, then I will participate in
XP (for the Dutch market, the 4th largest country on Bricklink, this is iDeal).
If they don't, I won't. I'm done trying to make Bricklink see reason.
iDeal is one of the main reasons that I set up my own webshop, and now that I
have it, I don't really care what Bricklink does anymore. If they are not
going to add iDeal, that's just going to be more Dutch consumers for me in
my webshop

Hi Teup

Never heard of Ideal - is that Dutch only? Irrespective of that the business
model of xp does not suit our store and we wouldn't adopt it whatever happens.
We are not into selling large one-off sets at bargain prices - ours is a part
shop from top to bottom. Our orders average several hundred items and over 50
lots - that isn't going to be bought by a google search result which is what
we believe BL are trying to bring about. Instant checkout doesn't' work
for our store either and with over 40,000 items without dimensions in the catalogue
it is fair to say, probably never will - it is not designed well around shipping
methods and was not built to be adaptable (zip code pricing in the USA - The
largest market on BL), volume and weight based in the UK and most of Europe.
We have 14 different box sizes 3 large letters, and 11 small parcels, we never
ship a medium parcel as that is too costly so we are using multiple small parcels
to deal with weights over 2Kg and yes I know this could be set up but what a
hassle a different delivery method for each box type (each box has a different
tare).

We also have no concept of Bricklink dealing with our funds by way of Marketplace.
Far too many things against it for us to even consider it,((we know they have
claimed they are not into that, but who knows what might happen if we all give
them the right to do that)). but then it might suit some - that will only be
found out as and when they launch it, as unfortunately no communications is the
norm for the site - so no one will know what it is about til they launch it and
based on previous launches it will be some time before it would be 'bug free'
so to speak.

IC, in our view, needed to be regionalised and much more flexible in its design.
It works for some and that is great, and not for others, which is a shame, but
that is how they have done it. No talking, no discussion, no customer agreement,
here it is - if you don't like it tough, - that is what you are getting.
And the funny thing is BO launched with it and it is much smoother over there
and far fewer complaints about missing bits.

I can say without reservation that we will not be adopting xp at any time.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 9, 2019 07:14
 Subject: Re: More stockrooms!
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 Topic: Suggestions
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In Suggestions, Teup writes:
  In Suggestions, nologolego writes:
  But most importantly, it is sad to think we have no pilot or crew for Bricklink.
Is it fated to crash and burn eventually? Do we need to get our parachutes
ready?

I think it will be ok I am more afraid of stupid changes than of Bricklink's
inertia. I'm not going to participate in this new Bricklink XP they're
developing, and I wish they hadn't come up with that idea. Anyway, as long
as Bricklink is just asleep it's fine by me. It's not dying, just sleeping
It generates money so if anything would happen to it, even the least interested
management would take measures keep it running.

We don't know either but think it may be okay. Many businesses fail because
they do not listen to their customers. That is a serious matter here, but they
have the market pull - thanks to Dan and all the excellent volunteers they have
had over the years. Customers
have a strange habit of going where the products are and BL is probably at the
top of the tree for that.

We won't be signing up for xp either - it isn't aimed at our type of
store - its target is a large one - the 'Soccer Moms' so to speak who
want a set for little Johnny for xmas and do not need the complications of Bricklink
to hamper them. In MP's presentation at Brickworld last year he suggested
an Amazon/Ebay model (we don't know if they have achieved that or not and
his throwaway comments about we will continue to support the classic site don't
fill many of us with enthusiasm, but those are the issues that are known at
present.
We were also informed some time ago that Phase I release was due to come out
in March ((and it didn't make it - rumour has it that Phase 2 will be out
at the end of the year)) so we still have plenty of time to contemplate this
radical change.

Storerooms - we don't use them either but we know people that do. It is,
however, unlikely that you will get any changes to the classic site as MP also
announced nothing more will be done on the classic site due to the fact they
feel xp is the future , they don't understand the 'spaghetti code',
and their
early changes were not met with enthusiasm.

Apparently xp requires Instant Checkout (not a problem for some), also requires
Paypal for Marketplaces (Again not a problem for some) but little else is known
about it. I think generally there is a lack of interest in this latest tangent.
It may appeal to some but large part stores may find it diametrically opposed
to the way they operate. There have been, since the announcement, not many threads
about it so everything may have changed or it may be exactly as they outlined,
we won't really know til it is released, it appears.

Not really convinced that is the best way to get new software accepted and 'taken
up' but it isn't our business to run it is theirs - we are only here
to pay the bills .


How about this for a throwaway line - might not be our (Community) business to
run but then again, maybe it should be
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 8, 2019 11:33
 Subject: Tiered Pricing issue
 Viewed: 85 times
 Topic: Problem
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A little while ago we mentioned the issue surrounding tiered pricing and how
it disappears after being set up when you part out a set or add additional inventory.
We believe we have found a really simple solution to it and it really doesn't
require all that much from development.

When you go into your my inventory pages and click on edit more you get a screen
which if called in the part outs or adding inventory could save the loss of tiered
pricing. So just as you can click on summary in the My Inventory page and show
the price guide below each item, you could have the edit more screen pop up when
you are reviewing your additions to your inventory before you post.

As that screen already exists and has both the remarks field and the tiered pricing
schedule you could easily either ignore or update it to fit the circumstances.

I think that makes sense. Interesting to hear from Bricklink development on this.

If this were implemented it could be ignored by those who do not use tiered pricing
and used by those that do.

See screen image below
 
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 8, 2019 03:30
 Subject: Re: Bricstock Pictures
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 Topic: Related Software
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In Related Software, crazybrickman writes:
  I just downloaded Brickstock and when I try and add parts the thumbnails/pictures
do not download. Any ideas why they would not download?

Hi there

Have you run the update database command?

Go to Extras - update database

It only takes a few seconds to run

We have no problems with the pictures loading.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 6, 2019 00:12
 Subject: Re: Is Bricklink in decline ?
 Viewed: 82 times
 Topic: Problem
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In Problem, BrickAThon writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  As most of you are aware we keep track of the number of orders that are received
by a group of 13 UK stores. We are in our third year of monitoring this and for
the quarter June to August things are not looking very positive.

Our orders are higher than normal but the overall value of those orders is less
than a third of what they are normally - so more work and less cash - that is
not a good sign.

Have a look at the chart - are you seeing a similar or different pattern.

Might be nice of the other regions e.g. USA, Netherlands and Germany chimed in
to see if this is across the board or another region is making up for the current
trend.

While I don't have specific statistics, I do have a good memory for this
type of thing. When I started selling back in 2003, it was small...it started
to ramp up, as I ramped up, around 2006. Through 2009/2010, sales were phenomenal,
and then they started to fall. Things were tight from 2011/2012-2015, and in
2016 things really started to blast off the charts. The last couple of years
were good, and then this year really started to trend downward, drastically.
It's not just me, other sellers are telling me the same thing (friends who
have been in this business just as long if not longer).

I can say that some of my positives I have related to new stock, or reopening
after moves, etc., but not everything. In the 2006-2008 era, I recall getting
over 100 positive feedback a week, and shipping out at least 150+ orders a week.
I know a lot of other sellers had the same positive outcome that we were having.
But, time moves on, more competition comes in, things get spread out thinner
and thinner - and we've seen this with us and other shops we watch.

I've found that there are always ups and downs with this business, and you
just have to buckled down and ride it out, if you can.

I'm hopeful things will start to change in a positive manner, again, as we
all need it - but, without a better looking site, easier to use options, etc.,
it won't ever get as mainstream as it should be to really bring in the bigger
traffic. As such, I'm pondering BrickOwl again...as something has to change.

Tracy

Good morning and thank you for sharing your thoughts. We certainly share them
and our trends pretty much follow those that you mentioned (for the period we
have been on the site).

We also agree wholeheartedly with your comments about the way forward. Thank
you again
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 4, 2019 06:41
 Subject: Re: Green messages all messed up.
 Viewed: 41 times
 Topic: Problem
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In Problem, firestar246 writes:
  The little messages with green background, such as "this message has been sent"
and "coupon created" are messed up with the code showing. The coupon message
was so messed up you couldn't even click on the "view or edit this coupon"
anymore.

Another one - when you do mass feedback post instead of a nice display showing
which orders are being posted it now all runs together.

Does anyone ever test these things before development puts them onto the live
site ???
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 3, 2019 13:22
 Subject: Re: Per-part profit tracking program?
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 Topic: Selling
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In Selling, Golbsco writes:
  In Selling, calsbricks writes:
  Forgive me for butting in, but that isn't really the best way to determine
your profit on your items. Firstly the cost price of your stock should be based
on the average cost price of those items. So lets say you add 100 at 10p each,
then you get a good deal and have another 100 at 8p - average cost price is now
9p, Bricklink doesn't cater at all for inventory management capabilities
like this and we have found the cost price field to be not worth the effort.
All of our costing/profit calculations are done in our offline system as there
we keep stock values by part.

Thanks for your input Calsbricks

Could i ask you some questions about your offline system? I don't want to
pry too much, but it must be the vehicle which allows you to manage almost 1
million parts without going completely mad. I've looked at your store a number
of times over the years and wondered how it's at all possible.
-Is your system scratch built and coded to tailor your specific need, or is it
an enormous advanced spreadsheet?
-Does it have virtual SKUs that stock is assigned to? (i ask because my SKUs
only exist if something is in them, leaving me now knowing how organised my draws
are)
-Does it calculate the exact profit per piece that is sold from your inventory?
-Does it generate data on trends and demand for colours, categories, themes,
etc?
-Can you directly import orders into it to save manual data input?

Answer as much or as little as you like, im not asking you to spill all the
secrets, but these are the questions im asking myself if I was to build a similar
system. Any info is greatly appreciated but I understand if you would rather
not give info to another seller in your region

Hi there and thank you for y our comments.

I will answer as much of the questions you raised as I can.

Scratch built - yes
Coded by us - yes (Not a spreadsheet although we have feeds to spreadsheets for
charting purposes
The inventory system is constructed on a partno/colour and condition basis (That
is what makes up the unique code that we post to. We started by downloading the
Bricklink catalogue, many years ago and then converted that to our product file
- so we kind of have a miniature catalogue which is fed by orders in and orders
out as well as inventory adjustments.
We believe it does calculate exact profit per piece but cannot be 100% certain
about that.
It will, if we ask it produce data for parts, categories, families, colours,
and condition either in summary or detail form. It also exports that data to
Excel for more agility and features.
The order side is a bit more complicated still, as the formats coming from Bricklink
are cumbersome, do not have images associated with them and we do, so order input
is a bit of a combination of manual and import - but it works and is not too
long winded. We manage with it but if I ever get my developers involved I will
get that sorted.

I used access as the tool and had a colleague tidy up the code where I came unstuck.

Hope that helps and answers your questions and good luck if you decide to go
that way.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 3, 2019 10:55
 Subject: Re: Per-part profit tracking program?
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 Topic: Selling
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In Selling, Teup writes:
  In Selling, Golbsco writes:
  Recently i've had this thought on my mind that i'm unable to truly calculate
exactly how much profit is made through sales without manually tracking every
part in my inventory.
So far i've been calculating profit by simply totaling sales and subtracting
expenses. This gets the job done for tax purposes but not much else.

I would like to be able to track exactly how much profit is made on each part,
for example i can easily calculate the cost per part by simply dividing the cost
of a set by part quantity then subtracting that average part cost from the price
of the part sold. While this is absolutely possible to do manually (and i think
i have a system in mind to accomplish this) it requires immense amounts of work
and is not viable for scaling up.

This then gives data on best and worst selling parts, and could hopefully expand
to generating data on demand and trends.

Preferably i would be able to import orders directly into the system too.

Short of designing a program to achieve this and perhaps getting it created -
Does something like this already exist?
What do some of the larger sellers do to solve these issues?

I apologise if i haven't described this very well but i'm not exactly
sure what it is im after, which brings me to the forums to gather some info and
feedback.

Hmm.. dividing the cost price equally over all parts.. That begs the question
if considering a minifig head the same cost price as a round brick is really
what you want.

I would much rather take the profit ratio (say, 2x) of the entire part-out, and
then divide the selling price of the item by the profit ratio. That way, all
items have a cost that is proportional to their selling price. If you bought
a set for 10, part it out for 20, a minifig head sells for 1, the cost price
of that minfig head is 0.50. For another part in that same set that sells for
0.10, the cost price was 0.05. This way it makes more sense to me, because otherwise
it will seem as if you will make loads of profit on some orders and hardly any
profit on other orders, even though they came from exactly the same part-out.

Hi Teup

Forgive me for butting in, but that isn't really the best way to determine
your profit on your items. Firstly the cost price of your stock should be based
on the average cost price of those items. So lets say you add 100 at 10p each,
then you get a good deal and have another 100 at 8p - average cost price is now
9p, Bricklink doesn't cater at all for inventory management capabilities
like this and we have found the cost price field to be not worth the effort.
All of our costing/profit calculations are done in our offline system as there
we keep stock values by part.

As both our stores add lots of items (some unique and some topping up shallow
stock) you really do have to have a measure of inventory control to get an accurate
picture.

If you part out a set which is 3 x cost price and then a little later another
of the same set which is only 2 times cost - you have to manually remember all
the items which were in the first part out and adjust those manually (Not really
possible or viable) but that is how Bricklink expects you to do that.

The costing element here is not fit for purpose, to be honest and has needed
major revamping since it was developed. But like most developments needed it
isn't going to happen.

When we started all those years ago and were adding stock, we tried to use the
cost field in a similar way to what you are describing and it simply was no where
near accurate enough and actually gave a false impression of profitability per
item.

Again, sorry to but in but costing is a really important thing to me (and our
store) We take it very seriously and have put effort into getting it as right
as possible.
Much better to have a proper inventory system and let it do the work for you.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 3, 2019 07:31
 Subject: Re: Is Bricklink in decline ?
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In Problem, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  In Problem, Heartbricker writes:
  In Problem, Brick.Door writes:
  Just looking at the number of orders processed, Bricklink is still growing.

Average # of orders per day was
3600 in 2016
4000 in 2017
4450 in 2018
4800 for the previous 12 months.

The annual rate of growth has slowed from 20-22% in 2016 to 10-12% today. This
happened abruptly in the first quarter of 2017 although I'm not sure why.

Despite the lack of improvements to the website, it seems to have the inertia
to keep going. I don't have numbers for BrickOwl, but I expect it is growing
much more rapidly as is the AFOL hobby.

And I'm sure that as long as it is growing, Bricklink management will look
at the numbers and say "Hey let's do another fun project like Mosaik and
not those boring seller tools."



  
Most useful answer so far on this thread.
Those are statistics that reflect more globally and are more reliable in answering
the OPs original question "is BL in decline?" basesd on your number the answer
is NO (thankfully) - at least not on a global scale.

BL has really stepped up in the past year/s to help bring more traffic in.
Sure, with more traffic there's more obstacles to overcome and those can
be momentarily frustrating to users but the big picture shows more traffic, more
buyers, more orders, a groundbreaking partnership with TLG thus: more opportunity.
I have to say that based on recent dealings i've had with BL admin i've
seen nothing but honest & fair and excellent service.

I found the fact that the overflow/extra part remaining from the AFOL project
was returned to LEGO rather than pad the pockets of BL by selling these parts
was a huge show of commitment, respect and loyalty to the sellers here- a truly
admirable move and for that all sellers should be grateful to work with such
team.

Any business that has been on the incline has had bugs and obstacles to deal
with weather you manage a BL shop or manage Bricklink corp.
we are all growing together and should show as much respect and patience to those
who serve us as the respect and patience we'd like to get from our customers
when we provide a less than perfect service.
Peace to all.

Morning to all

I have been following this thread with great interest.

As we have only been operating for 20 months, it is difficult to look at what
has or hasn't happened historically. We are growing month by month and we
want to continue to grow, even though we are a small store (just a small family
concern)

In my day job, I could not operate without up to date IT systems (ironically
as part if my job I purchase REAL BRICKS!)

When our old purchase & invoice system was out of date, we installed a new one,
but kept all the data and was able to access it all more efficiently.

Same goes with the SharePoint system we build, again we rebuilt it using the
existing data but made it more effective & slicker.

This is really where BL needs to go. The data held is superb and amazing, but
it's functionality is dated, slow and in reality designed to work when IT
coding was much more complicated.

I get frustrated because I cannot interrogate my selling data to see what has
sold, when, in what quantities and so forth. Some people may not want that, but
to move forward you simply need data to improve.

On a separate note to move forward BL needs to have a greater presence.

There is no advertising, no external promotion! It is like a big secret to AFOL
buyers.

Why no adverts on YouTube, no sponsored videos.

Every time you click on a Lego YouTube video BL should be there, subliminal and
real advertising.

It isn't difficult and doesn't cost a fortune.

IF the owner is serious about developing the brand then this is where some of
the AFOL programme cash should be going.

Just my thoughts
Steve

Morning and thanks for adding your thoughts to the thread.
We have been keeping stats on the site (and sales) since day 1, bearly 9 years
ago now and definitely wanted BL to provide us with data such as you mention.
We had hoped that would have been included in sales metrics within sellers tools
but, alas, that has been removed from the roadmap with no real explanation offered.

As far as this thread goes there are a couple of things that need to be understood.
62Bricks has added his thoughts and calls the quarter drop in orders not significant.
That is his opinion not ours or the stores within our group. For the last three
years orders during the Jun - Aug period have been higher and that is why we
asked the question - we didn't claim Bricklink was in decline - we simply
asked for others views.

We have them now and it appears apart from growth of the site slowing down there
is still growth.

The real factor, of course is not the number of orders you receive but the value
of those orders and whether or not you as a store are growing. We are but not
everyone in our group is.

There are lots of factors which are affecting things in the UK - perhaps differently
to other regions, but the lack of overall data to analyse is not helpful, as
you have already mentioned.

Looking at the chart in a different way - things are flat, so just maybe our
region is having more external factors contributing to this drop than others.
There are just so many factors to take into consideration eg. size of store,
variety of items, pricing, customer service etc. etc. and of course we have found
orders are up in our store but value is not anywhere near what it has been. So
at present more work for less value - not a good sign for most business.

But to be fair the UK now has its first 1M + stores and others are investing
heavily as well.

It would be very helpful if Bricklink themselves got into the numbers game with
regional stats as well as more meaningful sales data. We are sure they have other
things on their agenda like xp and whatever other tangent they can come up with,
but you know something you never, or rarely, get what you don't ask for,
except on Bricklink (and that is not demeaning the admins in any way as they
do not have the final say on what is being done.
 
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 2, 2019 12:48
 Subject: Re: Is Bricklink in decline ?
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In Problem, Heartbricker writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  As most of you are aware we keep track of the number of orders that are received
by a group of 13 UK stores. We are in our third year of monitoring this and for
the quarter June to August things are not looking very positive.

Our orders are higher than normal but the overall value of those orders is less
than a third of what they are normally - so more work and less cash - that is
not a good sign.

Have a look at the chart - are you seeing a similar or different pattern.

Might be nice of the other regions e.g. USA, Netherlands and Germany chimed in
to see if this is across the board or another region is making up for the current
trend.

Seems like there's too many variables that you're not accounting for:
-first and foremost: your numbers are regional to a cut of 13 stores in close
proximity in a region that doesn't have the highest concentration of buyers/sellers
(not the lowest either).
but to make a claim about BL in decline based on a small sliver of it's market
is sensationalizing.
-Second: are you accounting for sales vs. store size? a store that had a million
pieces last year and has 2 million this year or half a million this year should
see sales in the proportion of store size- are you factoring that in the chart?

Our sales in the past 3 months have been 30%-50% higher than last year but our
store has more items than previous years so that is expected.

We also attribute our increased success to our LACK of investment (of time) in
charts and the forum and increased attention to our OWN business rather than
Bricklink or it's users.

Don't get me wrong, the forum and the community are a fantastic feature for
sellers on BL but just as with any other social platform- if you spend too much
time on it then you may hurt your personal or professional goals.

Lastly: it would seem easy to be able to monitor global sales (by order count
not volume) simply by looking at order numbers at the begining of every month
in the last bunch of years to get rough numbers of decline/incline in BL sales.
it may not account for $ volume but it would be just as perfect as making overall
claim based on the experience of 3 handful of sellers.
Best wishes to all!

I think you may have misread our original thread. We asked the question is Bricklink
in decline - we didn't say it was or wasn't. We showed a small element
of statistical data which we gather to show that 13 of the UK's stores are
seeing a drop in order numbers - we cannot speak about values other than ours.
Yes it is a small cut of data and that is why we asked others to chip in. So
far it looks like a regional thing. BTW the UKMis the 3rd biggest market after
USA and Germany and followed by the Netherlands (as far as Bricklink goes) and
that is a fair representation, we believe.

Our time as a store is divided amongst those of us that work in it. I certainly
do not use order processing time to create charts and put threads in the forum.
That is spare time and we do like to see what others are thinking.

We haven't experienced any lack of investment in time for the other activities
outside of normal stores work. In the 8 years as a store we have maintained double
digit growth per year and hopefully that will continue this year,

As for monitoring global sales that we leave to qwertyboy - he has the means
to do that with reliable accuracy and it is not something we are looking at at
the moment. We are really interested in the UK as that is where the majority
of our business comes from. Shipping costs outside of the UK have all but killed
non-domestic sales.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 2, 2019 12:34
 Subject: Re: Is Bricklink in decline ?
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In Problem, calebfishn writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  As most of you are aware we keep track of the number of orders that are received
by a group of 13 UK stores. We are in our third year of monitoring this and for
the quarter June to August things are not looking very positive.

Our orders are higher than normal but the overall value of those orders is less
than a third of what they are normally - so more work and less cash - that is
not a good sign.

Have a look at the chart - are you seeing a similar or different pattern.

Might be nice of the other regions e.g. USA, Netherlands and Germany chimed in
to see if this is across the board or another region is making up for the current
trend.

I am not sure how a decline would be measured.

However, my own situation is that I get new (zero feedback) buyers every week.
This past August is the best I ever had, with 2019 shaping up to be my best
year yet in number of sales, and value of sales.

That is anecdotal, of course and may reflect various factors, such as I increased
my inventory significantly. Or something else.

My own view of the biggest negative impact I've experienced is from the increasing
cost of international shipping. Surely it has reduced my orders from outside
North America.

I think you would need more data from a larger sample to give you a clear package
of whether there has been a decline, and if so, what it looks like.

HI there and thank you for joining the thread. Interesting you are seeing your
best year - maybe this is a regional thing (I am pretty sure it is as the overall
number of orders is not decreasing according to the last charts from Niek.)

Okay - we had a very warm summer - we have Brexit on our hands to deal with and
I suppose there are other reasons as well - people have placed more orders in
our shop than ever before but they have been much lower in value than normal.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 1, 2019 14:10
 Subject: Re: Is Bricklink in decline ?
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In Problem, StarBrick writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  
That is a significant drop - where have all the orders gone?

Did you cross check the number of (UK) stores in 2017/18 compared to 2019?

I did.

No uk Stores

Jun 2017 - 1134
Jul 2017 - 1094
Aug 2017 - 1082

Jun 2018 - 966
Jul 2018 - 941
Aug 2018 - 956

Jun 2019 - 957
Jul 2019 - 966
Aug 2019 - 987

Those are mean figure taken from the starting day of the month through the end
of the month. So we have fewer stores and fewer orders.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 1, 2019 14:05
 Subject: Re: Is Bricklink in decline ?
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In Problem, 62Bricks writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  As most of you are aware we keep track of the number of orders that are received
by a group of 13 UK stores. We are in our third year of monitoring this and for
the quarter June to August things are not looking very positive.

Our orders are higher than normal but the overall value of those orders is less
than a third of what they are normally - so more work and less cash - that is
not a good sign.

Have a look at the chart - are you seeing a similar or different pattern.

Might be nice of the other regions e.g. USA, Netherlands and Germany chimed in
to see if this is across the board or another region is making up for the current
trend.


There are accepted methods to determine if a set of data shows a pattern that
are more reliable than throwing up charts in public forums. You can use any basic
spreadsheet program (like the one you used for the chart) to calculate a trend
line. You can also use the same program to calculate the standard deviation of
the sample and then use the commonly accepted method of looking to see if any
data points fall outside two standard deviations from the mean. That gives you
an idea of whether any one data point is within the range where you would naturally
expect it - whether it is a statistical outlier.

Plotting your data gives the chart below. The trend line is practically flat.
The data varies widely, but only one month - December 2017 - is outside the 95%
range. And it is such an anomaly that I would seriously investigate whether that
data point is accurate, or I would go looking for some external factor that caused
such a sharp drop.

So in answer to your question of whether Bricklink is in decline, your data does
not show a declining trend over the period of time you measured.

Hello there and thank you for your comments, although I must admit I am slightly
confused by its contents. We were talking about a 3 month period over a three
year period . June through August for 2019 compared to June through August in
2017 and 2018. Not sure where December 2017 comes into it.

Well aware of Excel's charting capabilities but not trying to take this too
deep. That is why we said we are not bending, just presenting. For the quarter
in question sales are down considerably from the previous two years. That is
not statistics it is simple facts. The fact that each month of that period for
this year is also well below previous years might mean it is just that time of
year or it could have various meanings.

The point of our thread was to see if anyone was experiencing a similar pattern
or the opposite.

As I also pointed out, several times in this thread, Niek (qwertyboy) keeps overall
stats for number of orders through Bricklink on a daily basis. An up to date
chart from him might just show orders are running normally through the site -
then again it might not.

As we are one of the 7 stores where order numbers are up this year (From our
group of 13 stores) compared to previous (But order value per order is only a
fraction of what it used to be, things seem to be changing.

Anyway, thank you for your thoughts - your logic is sound, as usual, but I think
we are on different hymn sheets.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 1, 2019 13:53
 Subject: Re: Is Bricklink in decline ?
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In Problem, calebfishn writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  As most of you are aware we keep track of the number of orders that are received
by a group of 13 UK stores. We are in our third year of monitoring this and for
the quarter June to August things are not looking very positive.

Our orders are higher than normal but the overall value of those orders is less
than a third of what they are normally - so more work and less cash - that is
not a good sign.

Have a look at the chart - are you seeing a similar or different pattern.

Might be nice of the other regions e.g. USA, Netherlands and Germany chimed in
to see if this is across the board or another region is making up for the current
trend.

I am not sure how a decline would be measured.

However, my own situation is that I get new (zero feedback) buyers every week.
This past August is the best I ever had, with 2019 shaping up to be my best
year yet in number of sales, and value of sales.

That is anecdotal, of course and may reflect various factors, such as I increased
my inventory significantly. Or something else.

My own view of the biggest negative impact I've experienced is from the increasing
cost of international shipping. Surely it has reduced my orders from outside
North America.

I think you would need more data from a larger sample to give you a clear package
of whether there has been a decline, and if so, what it looks like.

Agreed - but how do we get that? Bricklink remain quiet about all of this kind
of data, but there are ways they could produce regional figures without giving
away what they are making.

Line up different individuals in different regions to do something similar to
what we do - pick a group of stores and monitor them for a period ? Volunteers
for that please.

Of course stats are what they are - different peoples way of looking at the amee
data. 2018 was our record year for number of orders and value (plus value per
oder) and that was consistent with what has happened over the 8 years our store
has been open. THis year, however is different. We are looking for reasons and
ways to alter that, as everyone who has a business would.

The feelers that we are getting from all that are commenting so far is really
confirming our thoughts. Things are different by region (and probably always
will be). Shipping costs are a huge factor everywhere. Despite our being in the
EU (at the moment) with no taxes, vat etc,for European shipments they make up
only a small % of our sales. Might be different for others.

We have done about a dozen sales to the US and Canada (Shipping is really high
for that and with so many stores out there it would probably be cheaper to order
from several to get the same items you might get from 1 over here.

Interesting, anyway
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 1, 2019 13:43
 Subject: Re: Is Bricklink in decline ?
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In Problem, TheBrickGuys writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, legoman77 writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, Yogi_007 writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  As most of you are aware we keep track of the number of orders that are received
by a group of 13 UK stores. We are in our third year of monitoring this and for
the quarter June to August things are not looking very positive.


Lots of competition, lots of sets for sale on other sites and lots of Lego that
isn't needed by lots of people.

I think that you can say that the bubble has burst (or is about to).

Lego themselves found this recently based on articles about Lego as a company.

The other auction site is flooded with the same sort of sets and its a race to
the bottom.

Locally, the Aussie dollar has dropped to almost half against the US in about
6 years and about 75% to the euro making sales from those places looking less
attractive than local sellers. Couple this with huge increases in postage fees
(from US especially) to overseas destinations and you get the reduction in affordability.

My two cents (from a buyer who has long contemplated opening a store but has
never done so....hmm)

Yogi

Yes, all interesting comments. You might also want to throw in the reputation
tarnish from the AFOL program. The sets were probably very good (We didn't
investigate) but that is where the ball dropped - I think BL hasn't helped
either themselves or others. It also looked like it didn't meet its target
of more funding for development as the roadmap has virtually nothing but Xp on
it - and that has a lot of stores very concerned. Its impact is unknown as is
much about the product but it has been delayed since March for release and no
one is making any comments about it.

I wonder how Brickowl is doing ? Are they seeing the same drop (therefore meaning
it is an overall change of climate, or are they moving along ?

Lots of factors and discussion points. Shame BL don't comment and present
some data which would help to understand this.

Can anything be gleaned from the number of invoices? Does that give an indication
of anything?
John P

We do not believe so as there are plenty of stores who do not use the Bricklink
invoicing feature. I am sure Niek can show that the order numbers are in line
with where they should be. Overall store numbers are up but the change in the
order profile is very concerning to us, as well as a few others we have been
in comms with.



We believe, like others, that if BL were more communicative then things like
this would get comments and possibly even explanations, but that is asking for
a winning lottery ticket really as it isn't going to happen based on past
performance.

One thing I noticed about your store is that your prices on average are above
the 6 months sales average and in our I know in our store when we have our prices
at the 6 month sales average our sales decline dramatically and with all the
competition we now all have Most stores just can't expect increased sales
with prices at or above the 6 month sales average.

Also, one other thing I noticed about your store is that your prices on your
used verses new parts are a bit inconsistent with your used prices quite often
higher than your new prices. This inconsistency may also be hurting your sales.

Just a couple of thoughts.

Jim

Hiya and thanks for your thoughts.

We use a pretty standard method for pricing and it is not the price guide. We
have used that same method for our entire time on the site. We are getting more
orders now than ever before but and it is a big but those orders are a fraction
of the value of the 'normal order' (If there is such a thing. As for
used being more expensive than new - that happens some times, especially when
the used is slightly rarer than the new.

Our Brick sales, which are the mainstream of our shop have fallen from the 10000+
per month to the 7 to 8k per month, but our tile sales have doubled - so there
is definitely something going on out there.

We have Brexit over here to worry about - people being more cautious with their
money until this is sorted (If ever that happens).

I take it from the comments coming through on this thread that no one is seeing
the opposite of what we are seeing, hence our title in decline?

I would hope not - far too much invested in Lego for that to happen, but the
site is far from fresh - nothing is being done to alter that (That we know of).
Another tangent to the site is destined to be released (Bricklink xp), and possibly
more importantly the site continues to operate as if we the members do not exist
- with almost a total lack of communications. The three hour + outage yesterday
- seen or heard anything about it? The 500 errors came back today - any news
on either of those? The Sellers tools were wiped off the development roadmap
- heard anything about that? One could go on and on but I am sure you get the
point. Overall, I am sure Niek can substantiate this, orders must be at the same
level as they always have been but there are some very worrying things going
on and it is better to get them out in the open and talk about them than to close
our eyes and pretend they don't exist.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 1, 2019 12:21
 Subject: Re: Is Bricklink in decline ?
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In Problem, Teup writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, Leftoverbricks writes:
  
  
I wonder how Brickowl is doing ? Are they seeing the same drop (therefore meaning
it is an overall change of climate, or are they moving along ?


My orders on Brick Owl are still rising. And 22% of the last 60 orders on BO
where from buyers in the UK (as compared to 5% on Bricklink).
My guess: the number of buyers from the UK on BO is rapidly growing.

Very interesting indeed. A careful eye is needed at the moment. Lawrence has
done a good job over there and is responsive and forward thinking. He is also
not hampered by not knowing the code.

Very interesting ......

Exactly. Forgot to add: My findings of earning only half of what I used to were
based on only running a BL store at the moment. I was assuming 20% of my revenue
normally comes from BrickOwl. So last month I only made half of the 80% Bricklink
revenue. Will be interesting to open back up on BrickOwl and see if the proportions
are changing.
(I'm currently closed on BrickOwl because of working on my own Webshop, but
normally I like selling on both platforms - BrickOwl for its admin/management
and Bricklink for its community)

But 1 month is not enough to say something about trends. I think we cannot say
Bricklink is in decline or that "a bubble is burst". People will always want
Lego, and Lego always takes the investment of time and money that we sellers
are putting into it.

Competition definitely got a whole lot sharper, this is true. 10 years ago I
could get some rare parts from an obscure source and sell them for €2 or €5
a piece and sell tons of them for months or years. If you make an investment
like that right now, you'll never get rid of the parts, because such holes
in the market are filled immediately and part prices drop to like 10 cents before
you know it. Also, I need several times the inventory size in order to keep the
same level of revenue. But I am not worried we're all going to drown, it's
just survival of the fittest and the fittest will survive. A "bubble" is about
products that have no inherent value, and Lego sure has value, and the work that
we do has value. The only scenario that would get me worried about a bubble is
if Lego themselves are going to sell all parts in all colours in a user friendly
website with fast delivery, but that is not going to happen.

HI Teup

Agree with most of what you have said but we weren't talking about a bubble
- 3 months is not a bubble. As far as Lego goes we couldn't agree more and
they will never move into the parts market (They are interested mainly in sets
not parts). The parts bit for them helps to get rid of surplus - they do not
produce for the walls - the walls get what they have overproduced in a production
run.

I wish there was another explanation for the 3 month slump but currently there
isn't. Most of the stores we monitor are always adding new lines/items so
they are fresh - their prices are neither rock bottom or sky high - they are
just middle of the road stores. So if it isn't price and it isn't variety
- what are the alternatives?

It could be any one of hundreds of reasons or the combination of all or some
of them. Statistics are often said to be fragile in the sense that people bend
them to suit their needs. We aren't bending, just presenting and open to
others thoughts on what is causing the mild tremor. We like you, have invested
heavily in our inventory but are currently holding back any further listing/
parting out etc whilst we see how things are developing.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 1, 2019 10:36
 Subject: Re: Is Bricklink in decline ?
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In Problem, Leftoverbricks writes:
  
  
I wonder how Brickowl is doing ? Are they seeing the same drop (therefore meaning
it is an overall change of climate, or are they moving along ?


My orders on Brick Owl are still rising. And 22% of the last 60 orders on BO
where from buyers in the UK (as compared to 5% on Bricklink).
My guess: the number of buyers from the UK on BO is rapidly growing.

Very interesting indeed. A careful eye is needed at the moment. Lawrence has
done a good job over there and is responsive and forward thinking. He is also
not hampered by not knowing the code.

Very interesting ......
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 1, 2019 10:34
 Subject: Re: Is Bricklink in decline ?
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In Problem, legoman77 writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, Yogi_007 writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  As most of you are aware we keep track of the number of orders that are received
by a group of 13 UK stores. We are in our third year of monitoring this and for
the quarter June to August things are not looking very positive.


Lots of competition, lots of sets for sale on other sites and lots of Lego that
isn't needed by lots of people.

I think that you can say that the bubble has burst (or is about to).

Lego themselves found this recently based on articles about Lego as a company.

The other auction site is flooded with the same sort of sets and its a race to
the bottom.

Locally, the Aussie dollar has dropped to almost half against the US in about
6 years and about 75% to the euro making sales from those places looking less
attractive than local sellers. Couple this with huge increases in postage fees
(from US especially) to overseas destinations and you get the reduction in affordability.

My two cents (from a buyer who has long contemplated opening a store but has
never done so....hmm)

Yogi

Yes, all interesting comments. You might also want to throw in the reputation
tarnish from the AFOL program. The sets were probably very good (We didn't
investigate) but that is where the ball dropped - I think BL hasn't helped
either themselves or others. It also looked like it didn't meet its target
of more funding for development as the roadmap has virtually nothing but Xp on
it - and that has a lot of stores very concerned. Its impact is unknown as is
much about the product but it has been delayed since March for release and no
one is making any comments about it.

I wonder how Brickowl is doing ? Are they seeing the same drop (therefore meaning
it is an overall change of climate, or are they moving along ?

Lots of factors and discussion points. Shame BL don't comment and present
some data which would help to understand this.

Can anything be gleaned from the number of invoices? Does that give an indication
of anything?
John P

We do not believe so as there are plenty of stores who do not use the Bricklink
invoicing feature. I am sure Niek can show that the order numbers are in line
with where they should be. Overall store numbers are up but the change in the
order profile is very concerning to us, as well as a few others we have been
in comms with.



We believe, like others, that if BL were more communicative then things like
this would get comments and possibly even explanations, but that is asking for
a winning lottery ticket really as it isn't going to happen based on past
performance.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 1, 2019 10:17
 Subject: Re: Is Bricklink in decline ?
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In Problem, legoman77 writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  As most of you are aware we keep track of the number of orders that are received
by a group of 13 UK stores. We are in our third year of monitoring this and for
the quarter June to August things are not looking very positive.

Our orders are higher than normal but the overall value of those orders is less
than a third of what they are normally - so more work and less cash - that is
not a good sign.

Have a look at the chart - are you seeing a similar or different pattern.

Might be nice of the other regions e.g. USA, Netherlands and Germany chimed in
to see if this is across the board or another region is making up for the current
trend.

I do not remember the plethora of problems when Dan did this site all by himself.
I think, only an opinion, is the owners are not willing to put the money into
BL to fix problems and making sure the site works as it should. I will make
a prediction that at some time in the future buyers are going to go elsewhere
and the sellers are going to say "screw this, I am out of here." Or, the owners
will decide this is not work the hassle.
John P

Not worth a bet as the odds are too short on this.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 1, 2019 09:35
 Subject: Re: GOOD NEWS
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In Off Topic, bricks2you writes:
  The "500" error page is working.

Thanks for that - more software errors - yesterday was either hardware or network
we believe, so we are now back to normal ??
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 1, 2019 09:22
 Subject: Re: Is Bricklink in decline ?
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In Problem, Yogi_007 writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  As most of you are aware we keep track of the number of orders that are received
by a group of 13 UK stores. We are in our third year of monitoring this and for
the quarter June to August things are not looking very positive.


Lots of competition, lots of sets for sale on other sites and lots of Lego that
isn't needed by lots of people.

I think that you can say that the bubble has burst (or is about to).

Lego themselves found this recently based on articles about Lego as a company.

The other auction site is flooded with the same sort of sets and its a race to
the bottom.

Locally, the Aussie dollar has dropped to almost half against the US in about
6 years and about 75% to the euro making sales from those places looking less
attractive than local sellers. Couple this with huge increases in postage fees
(from US especially) to overseas destinations and you get the reduction in affordability.

My two cents (from a buyer who has long contemplated opening a store but has
never done so....hmm)

Yogi

Yes, all interesting comments. You might also want to throw in the reputation
tarnish from the AFOL program. The sets were probably very good (We didn't
investigate) but that is where the ball dropped - I think BL hasn't helped
either themselves or others. It also looked like it didn't meet its target
of more funding for development as the roadmap has virtually nothing but Xp on
it - and that has a lot of stores very concerned. Its impact is unknown as is
much about the product but it has been delayed since March for release and no
one is making any comments about it.

I wonder how Brickowl is doing ? Are they seeing the same drop (therefore meaning
it is an overall change of climate, or are they moving along ?

Lots of factors and discussion points. Shame BL don't comment and present
some data which would help to understand this.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 1, 2019 08:59
 Subject: Re: Is Bricklink in decline ?
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In Problem, enig writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  As most of you are aware we keep track of the number of orders that are received
by a group of 13 UK stores. We are in our third year of monitoring this and for
the quarter June to August things are not looking very positive.

Our orders are higher than normal but the overall value of those orders is less
than a third of what they are normally - so more work and less cash - that is
not a good sign.

Have a look at the chart - are you seeing a similar or different pattern.

Might be nice of the other regions e.g. USA, Netherlands and Germany chimed in
to see if this is across the board or another region is making up for the current
trend.

This year:
One less order compared to Aug 2018
Less than 20 EUR difference in cash-flow, favouring 2019

Interesting

7 of the 13 stores that we include in our stats are up on last year (Order wise)
for the quarter Jun - Aug, and 6 are down. Overall The group have produced the
following order totals over the last 3 years

2017 4775
2018 4696
2019 4346

That is a significant drop - where have all the orders gone?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 1, 2019 08:32
 Subject: Re: Is Bricklink in decline ?
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In Problem, longwallmining writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  As most of you are aware we keep track of the number of orders that are received
by a group of 13 UK stores. We are in our third year of monitoring this and for
the quarter June to August things are not looking very positive.

Our orders are higher than normal but the overall value of those orders is less
than a third of what they are normally - so more work and less cash - that is
not a good sign.

Have a look at the chart - are you seeing a similar or different pattern.

Might be nice of the other regions e.g. USA, Netherlands and Germany chimed in
to see if this is across the board or another region is making up for the current
trend.

Cost of living, Cost of the USD, Euro, Crazy prices being asked from sellers
not just this site due to the hobby going mainstream......

And we have Brexit over here which is causing uncertainty and concern.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Sep 1, 2019 07:33
 Subject: Is Bricklink in decline ?
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As most of you are aware we keep track of the number of orders that are received
by a group of 13 UK stores. We are in our third year of monitoring this and for
the quarter June to August things are not looking very positive.

Our orders are higher than normal but the overall value of those orders is less
than a third of what they are normally - so more work and less cash - that is
not a good sign.

Have a look at the chart - are you seeing a similar or different pattern.

Might be nice of the other regions e.g. USA, Netherlands and Germany chimed in
to see if this is across the board or another region is making up for the current
trend.
 
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 26, 2019 12:24
 Subject: Re: Not sure there is an answer
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In Help, Teup writes:
  In Help, calsbricks writes:
  We use tiered pricing in our store for all items that have over 2,000 items in
stock. That is fine except when we part out a new set - the consolidation items
offer keep old price and old tiered price or use new price and new tier.

With several hundred items over the threshold that we use we have to keep going
back to our inventory and choosing all items over 2000 (qty) and re-doing the
tiered pricing. It is tiresome.

Surely it would be better to have an option in inventory to set tiered pricing
automatically at whatever level (s) you want and if by chance a part out wants
to drop the tiered it should have a pop-up to warn you and allow you to override
that. That isn't a lot of code.

There really has to be a better way.

Hmmm.. but (if I understand correctly) then it would also be better if the tiered
prices were replaced by discount percentages. Because the new price combined
with the old tiered prices may cause strange situations or conflicts, with
the new price being lower than previous higher tiered prices and things like
that. If the tiers would represent discount percentages rather than fixed prices,
the tiered prices would update nicely along with the new price, keeping the same
proportions to the base price.

Hi Teup

I think that is how it works now using the my inventory tiered pricing section.
The only shortfall is you cannot seem to apply it to a specific level of items
in stock as we do say if over 2000 in stock lower price for 100 by 1p. You can
do only % there so we cant use that.

%'s off do not work as well, in our opinion as amounts but to each their
own on that one.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 26, 2019 10:49
 Subject: Re: Not sure there is an answer
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In Help, calsbricks writes:
  We use tiered pricing in our store for all items that have over 2,000 items in
stock. That is fine except when we part out a new set - the consolidation items
offer keep old price and old tiered price or use new price and new tier.

With several hundred items over the threshold that we use we have to keep going
back to our inventory and choosing all items over 2000 (qty) and re-doing the
tiered pricing. It is tiresome.

Surely it would be better to have an option in inventory to set tiered pricing
automatically at whatever level (s) you want and if by chance a part out wants
to drop the tiered it should have a pop-up to warn you and allow you to override
that. That isn't a lot of code.

There really has to be a better way.

Something like this would work. That is if you want to use it in the way that
we do. If on the other hand you just wish to use it on selected items you could
use the above individually.

This coupled with a warning when parting out that the part out wants to alter
your tiered pricing and allowing you to accept or refute it - would be the final
check.

Is it really that much code?

We appreciate all that is going on at BL new people, other ideas (XP) etc but
often simple little things like this could be done and dusted in a very short
time and it would be an improvement to the current way this works.

Whilst you are at it -please add choice of colour on the My Inventory page so
we do not have to scroll through 100's of items to look at a single colour.
Yes I know we can use the PCVC but honestly does anyone remember those?
 
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 26, 2019 10:19
 Subject: Not sure there is an answer
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We use tiered pricing in our store for all items that have over 2,000 items in
stock. That is fine except when we part out a new set - the consolidation items
offer keep old price and old tiered price or use new price and new tier.

With several hundred items over the threshold that we use we have to keep going
back to our inventory and choosing all items over 2000 (qty) and re-doing the
tiered pricing. It is tiresome.

Surely it would be better to have an option in inventory to set tiered pricing
automatically at whatever level (s) you want and if by chance a part out wants
to drop the tiered it should have a pop-up to warn you and allow you to override
that. That isn't a lot of code.

There really has to be a better way.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 23, 2019 11:30
 Subject: Re: Interesting video on the ADP sets
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In General, StarBrick writes:
  
  They will now need to get their money back for the excess - wonder how they will
do that?

Dump them here....

That's certainly one possibility
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 23, 2019 10:52
 Subject: Re: Interesting video on the ADP sets
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In General, yorbrick writes:
  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=kyKig3xzrdU

Thanks for posting that. Good Grief - why is there so much of an 'over order"?
A simple MRP system wold have told them how many of each they need to build the
sets they had orders for and if they couldn't do that Lego could - I thought
they were working together on that.

They will now need to get their money back for the excess - wonder how they will
do that?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 22, 2019 08:27
 Subject: Brickstock Database update
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This has worked today so the recent post about greyed out new sets should now
be fixed.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 22, 2019 07:35
 Subject: Re: Cardboard sleeves in inventories
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 Topic: Inventories
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In Inventories, Hygrotus writes:
  In Inventories, yorbrick writes:
  There is another one here if you need it that I happen to have on my desk.

I wasn't sure how to upload a part containing parts and how you are collating
the sets they came in.

From set 79012 contains one standard DARK RED cape

 
Part No: 522  Name: Minifigure, Cape Cloth, Standard - Traditional Starched Fabric - Height 4 cm (22231)
* 
522 Minifigure, Cape Cloth, Standard - Traditional Starched Fabric - Height 4 cm (22231)
Parts: Minifigure, Body Wear {Brown}

Added for you
 
Part No: 6002415  Name: Cardboard Sleeve 6002415 with Contents
* 
6002415 (Inv) Cardboard Sleeve 6002415 with Contents
Parts: Cardboard Sleeve

added normal way category
'Cardboard Sleeve'
you see how it should be numbered and named.

As for which set found write in the note form when uplodaing part then I'm
adding it to additional note. See when you enter the part entry.

So if I understand this correctly we should use the inventory change request
for things that come in 'cardboard sleeves' 'little white boxes'
to include the printed number?

We have always keyed that straight into Google and found what was in the box
????
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 22, 2019 07:33
 Subject: Re: Currency on Price Guide
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In Help, ChooChoo_18 writes:
  In Help, Dino1 writes:
  In Help, ChooChoo_18 writes:
  Hey guys

I often use the Price Guide Tool, and the Results were shown in my State Currency
EUR.

Until few days ago. Now the currency always is $ and i dont know how to change
that.
All the other menue Show €.
Any advice in getting € back? =)

Thanks a lot.

ehe in 'My BL' auf 'Settings'. Dann kannst du oben links die
  Währung wählen.

Thanks, but the Settings are all on EUR.
I was talking about the part out value Price guide.
But I do think, that there is no other currency than $ available.

Can anyone confirm?

We use GBP and this is what the price guide part out screen looks like

We think you may have to pursue this further. Ours reports to us in our chosen
currency. If all your price guide settings are correct then that is what you
should see as well.
 
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 22, 2019 03:28
 Subject: Re: Shipping Question
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In General, JerseyGirl689 writes:
  In General, Adjour writes:
  In General, JerseyGirl689 writes:
  This may be a stupid question, but I've never had this request, or shipped
this way before.

I have an order for 1 minifig head. They've asked if I would ship in a regular
envelope to save on shipping costs.

Honestly I don't have a problem with it, but I have no idea if the USPS will
allow it. Has anyone else ever sent parts this way? If so, did the USPS deliver
it?

Thanks
Darcy


Maybe with a thin layer of bubble wrap to smooth the size transition out?


I've seen this offered by other sellers, but my instinct is the sorting machine
would catch on it. I can't imagine how this works

I know, me either. In 15 years of buying & selling on multiple sites, I've
never shipped or received an order in a regular envelope, or had anyone request
it. Except capes slipped between 2 thin pieces of cardboard, if I remember correctly
they charged .75 for the postage.

Morning

According to the Royal Mail (UK) international guidelines for envelopes they
can be no 'thicker' than .5 cm Most heads are 10,1 mm 'thick'
so they cannot go in a letter (otherwise they will either be damaged in their
machinery or rejected).

The only elements of Lego we have ever been able to send in a letter are stickers,
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 20, 2019 13:49
 Subject: Listing policy needs re-thinking
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As a result of events today I have reviewed the listing policy and believe it
needs a re-think. It is incomplete and vague on variants for example which is
distorting the price guide even further than the taxes, vat and other current
arguments.

Example look for 30389b - you find lots of sellers in Europe listing this part
but then they claim not to differentiate between b and c. Guys this is not helpful
by a long shot. People looking for this part have to constantly ask the seller
are they b's or c's and get a reply - we don't differentiate. Well
then do not list them as b's or c'.

I realise this is a problem for the CAT admins but there should be a better way
of listing these items or stores should be made to differentiate (and I am not
suggesting that as a solution - but come on - how long does it take to check
whether it is an 'x' or a + axle hole?)


We are all supposed to be professional stores on the site. Check your variants
and get the listing correct or CAT admins give us a solution so they do not have
to be listed as a specific variant and do not effect the price guide or even
more importantly the buyer.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 20, 2019 13:37
 Subject: Re: Greyed out in BrickStock
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In Related Software, JJBrickstop writes:
  In Related Software, Rakali writes:
  I'm trying to part out set
 
Set No: 75938  Name: T. rex vs Dino-Mech Battle
* 
75938-1 (Inv) T. rex vs Dino-Mech Battle
693 Parts, 4 Minifigs, 2019
Sets: Jurassic World: Legend of Isla Nublar

The inventory went live maybe 4 or 5 days ago, and it went from being not found
in BrickStock at all to being greyed out, and the program lags and hangs when
I try to select it. Anyone familiar with what is holding it back? The database
download is of course up to date.

Cheers.

I'm having a similar problem. "Part out item" is greyed out. I even removed
Brickstock and re-installed. I'm hoping someone has info.

Unfortunately Brickstock has not updated its database since this set went 'live'
on Bricklink. Once that happens the set will be available for working with and
will no longer be greyed out.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 20, 2019 12:33
 Subject: Re: Logging in and out.
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In General, hpoort writes:
  In General, tonnic writes:
  Until a few days ago I was logged in for several days or even longer without
logging in, it just remained this status.
A few days ago it changed.
Although I use the ‘logging in until logging out’ button I need to logg in every
few hours when I do not use Bricklink.
This is annoying in my opinion, no problem in doing it once a day but not 10
times a day.
Was there a change in the system regarding this matter?

Probably a change on your side, such as cookies, browser settings or alike.
I am still logged in from who knows when, with the laptop asleep or even the
browser restarted.

Hans-Peter

We wonder if it is the actual browser itself. ON IE11 we never have to login
but on both Chrom and Android we always have to log in . It is odd.

We always choose to stay logged in on both chrome and android but it just seems
to ignore that but on ie11 it copes wioth that fine

It is odd
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 20, 2019 10:00
 Subject: Re: What a pleasant surprise
 Viewed: 52 times
 Topic: Announce
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In Announce, Hygrotus writes:
  In Announce, axaday writes:
  The tool that uploads data from Lego for building inventories starting working
today (or maybe yesterday) also.

LEGO changed links on its site
https://www.fbtb.net/lego/2019/08/16/lego-updates-lego-com/

The comments there are lethal. They do not really like what Lego have done (BTW
Neither do we). This brings to mind other things and begs the question does anyone
ever ask before they do?

We can't ru n our businesses without customer support - can anyone else?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 19, 2019 13:23
 Subject: What a pleasant surprise
 Viewed: 255 times
 Topic: Announce
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Bricklink Helpdesk ticket system is back up and running. What a bonus that should
be. We posted a helpdesk message for attention of Admin Russell a short time
ago and got a ticket and a link to the helpdesk system - clicked on it and it
worked. Login and we have seen a large number of tickets that we have submitted
over time - none answered, mind you, but there they were.


Is this finally a step in the right direction? Let us hope so.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 19, 2019 11:58
 Subject: Re: Uptick in US sales this week?
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 Topic: Selling
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In Selling, VOTB writes:
  My average for the month is right on track. However the first two weeks of the
month were much quieter than normal, and the past week was exceptionally busy.
The orders I have received seem to be all MOC part orders (multiples of the
same odd part). I am only one month into my second year so I haven't been
able to plot seasonal curves yet. But I am collecting the data in the hopes
to better understand the ups and downs.

Hi guys

Whilst each region is different and there are also differences within the regions,
these are the figures for the 13 store group we monitor in the UK. It represents
2017/18 and 19 from June and is the monthly total for all the stores.

This year (2019) has been the worst of the three years with overall orders well
down on last year. Could be Brexit or any number of other factors. Your guess
is as good as anybody's. The 13 stores we monitor are all mid-range stores
- all but a couple have been around a very long time.


Hope that gives you a bit more insight.
 
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 15, 2019 14:42
 Subject: Re: Bricklink ignoring me, what do I do?
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In General, legoman77 writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  In General, legoman77 writes:
  In General, PiouPiouPerou writes:
  In General, Zolkamaniac writes:
  Hey

I ordered the hot shot carnival from brick link and I received it damaged. The
boxes were completely crushed and creased on both lower corners. You could also
tell the box had been opened since the tape used to seal it was broken and the
inner box was in upside down.

I contacted bricklink about exchanging and Jacklyn responded that I should send
some photos and she would get the process started.

I sent those photos on June 15th and have not heard back since. I've sent
over half a dozen emails all have gone without reply.

Bricklink also changed the status of the order to "complete" when it wasn't,
and I'm pretty sure as the seller they shouldn't even have the ability
to do that.


So I started an NSS on July 19th, with the hope that it would elicit a response
however that has also been ignored.

Has anyone else had a similar issue, or been successful in exchanging anything
with BL and can give me advice on how the did it?

Thanks

Exactly the same problem here. They don't reply to many messages.


https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1151878

It is a shame that BL has lost any kind of respected customer service. That
is the real key of building a "community." That is being lost also. Bricklink
is not what it was. Successful companies usually become better as they grow
older, not hear. I am not sure that it is anyone's problem that volunteers
or works for BL. It is the lack of caring from those that pocket the profits.
I imagine everyone that actually works for BL has a job that should be handled
by 3-4 people. It is a shame that it is getting worse, not better. Obviously,
the management is more concerned about their bottom line, a good small company
gets a good bottom line by taking care of its customers. My personal opinion
is they do not care as long as they profit. The workers care, how many they
have actually that are paid I have no idea. I do imagine that volunteers do
most of the heavy lifting. They are compensated by other means, but still I
think it is a labor of love for then.
Oh well, it is what it is.
John P

hi john you are of course, correct. I think you may have missed mp's comments
at Brickworld when he discussed community v business.many people who listened
to that felt the same way we and obviously so do you business comes first.

only time will tell how that is going to work out for them and a lot of older
members may not be around to see the outcome.

it is very obvious they aren't making the money some believe and are cutting
corners wherever and whenever they can

What is so sad is that they do not care enough to make changes. How many sellers
and buyers leave disgruntled with the service? Bricklink is lucky that there
are volunteers. Without them this whole site would fall apart in a day and the
owners would be walking around in circles scratching their ass wondering what
to do?
Lack of service shows a lack of caring.
John P

to not even announce nor explain the dropping of sellers tools pretty much says
it all or perhaps 'frankly I don't give a damn' is rather appropriate
here. (knew Clark would come in handy one day)
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 15, 2019 13:55
 Subject: Re: Bricklink ignoring me, what do I do?
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In General, legoman77 writes:
  In General, PiouPiouPerou writes:
  In General, Zolkamaniac writes:
  Hey

I ordered the hot shot carnival from brick link and I received it damaged. The
boxes were completely crushed and creased on both lower corners. You could also
tell the box had been opened since the tape used to seal it was broken and the
inner box was in upside down.

I contacted bricklink about exchanging and Jacklyn responded that I should send
some photos and she would get the process started.

I sent those photos on June 15th and have not heard back since. I've sent
over half a dozen emails all have gone without reply.

Bricklink also changed the status of the order to "complete" when it wasn't,
and I'm pretty sure as the seller they shouldn't even have the ability
to do that.


So I started an NSS on July 19th, with the hope that it would elicit a response
however that has also been ignored.

Has anyone else had a similar issue, or been successful in exchanging anything
with BL and can give me advice on how the did it?

Thanks

Exactly the same problem here. They don't reply to many messages.


https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1151878

It is a shame that BL has lost any kind of respected customer service. That
is the real key of building a "community." That is being lost also. Bricklink
is not what it was. Successful companies usually become better as they grow
older, not hear. I am not sure that it is anyone's problem that volunteers
or works for BL. It is the lack of caring from those that pocket the profits.
I imagine everyone that actually works for BL has a job that should be handled
by 3-4 people. It is a shame that it is getting worse, not better. Obviously,
the management is more concerned about their bottom line, a good small company
gets a good bottom line by taking care of its customers. My personal opinion
is they do not care as long as they profit. The workers care, how many they
have actually that are paid I have no idea. I do imagine that volunteers do
most of the heavy lifting. They are compensated by other means, but still I
think it is a labor of love for then.
Oh well, it is what it is.
John P

hi john you are of course, correct. I think you may have missed mp's comments
at Brickworld when he discussed community v business.many people who listened
to that felt the same way we and obviously so do you business comes first.

only time will tell how that is going to work out for them and a lot of older
members may not be around to see the outcome.

it is very obvious they aren't making the money some believe and are cutting
corners wherever and whenever they can
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 11, 2019 07:31
 Subject: Catalogue Elements
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Following our recent thread on the 'elements' of Bricklink we have gathered
the info we wanted so we want to now step into each of those elements and solicit
feedback from other members who may have a greater knowledge of the workings
of this vital cog.

If you go here, but before you do - remember this is not a db schema; nor is
it meant to be any type of software engineering diagram - it is simply a request
for input from people who know the catalogue, and we put it into a SmartArt diagram
foe ease of use. .

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6b6d2y9pqszn6uu/Bricklink_Catalogue%20Functions.pdf?dl=0

Thanks.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 15:05
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, legoman77 writes:
  In General, pitz8008 writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  Is this diagram indicative of the core elements of Bricklink? We know there are
lots and lots of tables and elements which are attached to these components and
they all work together (supposedly) but are there any we have missed?

Looks pretty simple, we know, but it only paints a very simple side of the story.


So this diagram somehow managed to turn into an argument eh? Man am I glad I'm
social media free.

Me too. Hate social media and how it is used.

Kind of funny that an argument as opposed to a discussion happened. Not sure
how that happened other than it is fun to fight. The original post seemed to
be uncontroversial.
John P

That is how it was intended until someone wanted to turn it into what they wanted
it to be.

We hate social media as well and have no affiliations with it whatsoever and
don't want any either. We get called old fogeys for all of that but who really
cares? Have lived most of my life without it and don't see any real need
for it now. It seems instead of wanting to be private with you life everyone
wants to get it out there in the open. |HOw very bizarre
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 14:49
 Subject: Re: Why can't I enlarge pics anymore?
 Viewed: 38 times
 Topic: Catalog
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In Catalog, firestar246 writes:
  So you used to be able to click on the picture of a piece in the catalog, sort
of a quick view. You'd see the years it was made, any sets/minifigures the
piece was in, etc. You all know what I'm talking about. Well, a few days
ago I couldn't do it anymore. I've tried three different devices.

Why would they make such a horrible change for? I rely on that heavily when listing
minifigure parts to make sure I have the correct listing. This is going to make
this job twice as long now.

Tried it here on w7 ie11 - no problems whatsoever. Sounds like it could be womething
at your end. Which broiwsers have you tried?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 14:23
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, SylvainLS writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  […]
We find it odd as well - perhaps in a different life we offended him.

I don’t get how asking for clarifications is being contradictory or wanting to
create a controversy

You did not ask for clarifications you asked for what is behind the post and
tried to turn the post into something it wasn't.
  

   Ask a simple
question - most people react to it sensibly and there is always one who doesn't

Sensibly?

Seriously - the forum is not the only place where we received input. Many replies
were put on our forum and quite a few came in by pm.

  You have a couple answers about other entities you dismissed (both answers and
entities, “thank you but…”).

We didn't dismiss them we explained our response and we didn't feel those
were db elements at this high level. Read before you comment, or better yet don't
comment.
  

One answer about the tables in the database.

  More than half of the answers are about how people don’t get what you want.

Which means nearly half did understand what we wanted.
  
And the rest is about how the thread is turning.

Turning ?? What in heavens name does that refer to.
  

  as I said before good grief.

Sure, blame me for your inability to answer simple questions.

Really don't blame you for anything other than being both unprofessional
and rude and trying to turn an apple into an orange when it wasn't.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 14:16
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, SylvainLS writes:
  In General, cycbuild writes:
  […]
Gosh dang dude. You love arguing like its the air you breathe!

I only wanted some clarifications and got waffle instead.
I can’t stand waffles that aren’t edible and Belgian.

Absolute rubbish.
  

  Never fails to elicit a smile.

Happy to oblige…

   It reminds me of brake-checking queue jumpers
and tempting cops tailgating at stop signs. We all get our kicks somehow.

… but that’s not how I see things: It’s not about arguing for the sake of arguing
or being “right,” it’s about trying to understand and get answers from Calsbricks.

Absolute rubbish again.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 14:14
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, legoman77 writes:
  In General, SylvainLS writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  […]
  
  
  Is this organisational, computiational, functional, relational, entity-oriented,
…?


I think you forgot 'none of the above'

That’s what the ellipsis is for.
But verbal pirouettes don’t answer questions.

Not heard of an ellipse being used in that way - still you learn something new
almost every day.

The ellipsis mark (aka “dot dot dot”) serves to show an enumeration is not complete.
That’s a long-agreed and established typographical usage.


You forgot the 4 dot usage:


Omission of material in a quotation is indicated by three dots. When a fourth
dot appears, it indicates that the omitted material included at least one sentence.
The Chicago Manual of Style describes the use of the ellipsis at great length,
referring to the “three dot, four dot, and rigorous” methods (11.51 ff).

John P....

Thanks for the input John. It seems, like most things, that there are different
interpretations around the globe.


  
  If, as you said, what you were saying doesn’t fall under the terms I listed,
then it falls under another category, the still unnamed “none of the above”,
which the ellipsis encompasses.


  […]
  
   why is it so difficult to understand (from Bricklink's
point of view 'spaghetti code'

That is pointless without the code.

Don't agree - we have had to work with spaghetti code before and have never
walked away from it or abandoned it as seems to be the case here. Whether
that is due to lack of appropriate skills or just no appetite for it is unknown
but it is not the best way to approach a project like this, especially for new
programmers who are not used to the serious application arena - their skills
lie in gaming , and whilst they are quite probably excellent in their arena -
this was something foreign/new and more effort should have been put in up front
before they started going off in another direction.

I’m not arguing to abandon the code, I’m saying, and that was expanded in the
following paragraphs, that you can’t understand why a code is spaghetti if you
don’t have the code and don’t take its history into account.
And you can even less understand why other people can’t make head or tail of
this code because you don’t know who they are, much less how they think.

That you can devise ANOTHER system, which looks and feels and acts like the one
you’re reverse-engineering is another matter entirely.


  
  Think about it like a Lego build of a giant elephant: you have only a few pictures
of the built elephant, in some of them, the pose changes. You can build another
elephant that looks the same and can take the same poses and even other poses
(BrickOwl) but you can’t know if how you built yours is how the original was
built.

Proper and detailed systems analysis should eliminate this as an issue. Over
40 years experience running our software company has taught me that. That was
totally lacking here as is demonstrated by what has happened to date.

Another non sequitur.
Yes, a proper specification eliminate a lot of issues but that doesn’t explain
how it will help in knowing why BL is failing to understand the code.


  […]
There is little doubt that what Dan did was not well documented and is probably
quite old fashioned in todays programming world, however they had the perfect
opportunity in the beginning to get to grips with that through Eric and ignored
that. He left and posted his side of the story on Brickset. Who or what you believe
is down to the individual but common sense tells you that one of the two originators
of the site could and should have been able to help in the understanding of what
had been done.

Yes, but that still doesn’t answer how you can understand why the current team
can’t understand the code (your expressed goal) by specifying the system a posteriori.


  […]
More will appear in due course as we roll out the next phase of discussion material.

So, it’s a riddle thrown to the forum for a mysterious goal in your secret agenda….


  Anyway thank you for your comments - they are appreciated - not always agreed,
but appreciated, we can assure you.

You write that a lot.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 14:12
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, SylvainLS writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  In General, SylvainLS writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  […]
  
  
  
   why is it so difficult to understand (from Bricklink's
point of view 'spaghetti code'
[…]
The long and short of it is we are not bothered about why they think it is spaghetti
code

Both sentences are yours….

With your interpretation of their meaning.

If they mean something else, you failed to express it clearly despite my explaining
my interpretation and asking questions about it since the beginning.

In your opinion which is not shared by ourselves. Bricklink development have
indicated formally through their current CEO that they categorise the classic
Bricklink site as spaghetti code and are not prepared to do any further developments
on that - they are moving to a new model called Bricklink express which currently
is several months late from its planned release. That is all that maters about
spaghetti code. End of conversation.
  

  You need to chill out and move on

To chill out, I’d have to be upset, stressed, or excited. I’m not.

Good for you - now move on.


  I’m just trying to get answers from you but all I get is how you’ve been a professional
for umpteen years but can’t answer simple questions.

That is rude and unprofessional and I will not dignify it with a response.
  

What does that diagram of yours represent?

What it says it does in the first line after the subject. Re-read it
  Entities in an entity-relation model?
Objects in an object-oriented model?
Subsystems in a systemic model?
Participants in an organisational model?
Actors in a functional model?
None of the above in a none of the above model?

  None of the above as you are trying to make this into something it isn't for your own personal; agenda.


What is your goal?

I really do not believe that is any of your concern either - if you have input
to a missing element offer it if not - move on. It is unlikely that we would
put any weight on your input as you are relatively new to the site and have only
experience as a buyer
  

Get a specification for the system as it is now?
  As it should be?
A functional specification? A relational specification? A requirement specification?
A none of above specification?


All of the above are just silly and sillier - there is absolutely no way that
the thread has any of those motivations behind it - you are off base and trying
to impose your agenda onto a simple request for information.
  


Even if you don’t want to enter into professional jargon, you could at least
  explain what you want.

We have explained what we wanted quite clearly - end of story. Professional jargon
is left for the technicians and certainly is not necessary for this thread.
  

If you can’t, maybe it’s because you don’t know what you want.

That, dear Sylvain is also rude and unprofessional and not worthy of a dignified
response.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 12:54
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, pitz8008 writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  Is this diagram indicative of the core elements of Bricklink? We know there are
lots and lots of tables and elements which are attached to these components and
they all work together (supposedly) but are there any we have missed?

Looks pretty simple, we know, but it only paints a very simple side of the story.


So this diagram somehow managed to turn into an argument eh? Man am I glad I'm
social media free.

as are we.... Everyone wants to create a controversy - even if there isn't
one.


And some wonder why we wanted a separate forum (which we now have, of course)
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 12:45
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, cycbuild writes:
  In General, SylvainLS writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  […]
  
  
  
   why is it so difficult to understand (from Bricklink's
point of view 'spaghetti code'
[…]
The long and short of it is we are not bothered about why they think it is spaghetti
code

Both sentences are yours….

Gosh dang dude. You love arguing like its the air you breathe!

Never fails to elicit a smile. It reminds me of brake-checking queue jumpers
and tempting cops tailgating at stop signs. We all get our kicks somehow.

We find it odd as well - perhaps in a different life we offended him. Ask a simple
question - most people react to it sensibly and there is always one who doesn't
as I said before good grief.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 12:43
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, qwertyboy writes:
  In General, pitz8008 writes:
  Man am I glad I'm social media free.

Which reminds me - my wife said I had many people on Facebook congratulating
me on my birthday last week. I would like to take the opportunity to thank them
all on this forum.

Happy Friday all!

Niek.

Belated congratulations - hope it was a good one.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 12:42
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, SylvainLS writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  […]
  
  
  
   why is it so difficult to understand (from Bricklink's
point of view 'spaghetti code'
[…]
The long and short of it is we are not bothered about why they think it is spaghetti
code

Both sentences are yours….

With your interpretation of their meaning.

You need to chill out and move on
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 12:40
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, pitz8008 writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  Is this diagram indicative of the core elements of Bricklink? We know there are
lots and lots of tables and elements which are attached to these components and
they all work together (supposedly) but are there any we have missed?

Looks pretty simple, we know, but it only paints a very simple side of the story.


So this diagram somehow managed to turn into an argument eh? Man am I glad I'm
social media free.

Yes you are right in someone's rather jaundiced view. Good grief
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 11:47
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, SylvainLS writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  […]
  
  
  Is this organisational, computiational, functional, relational, entity-oriented,
…?


I think you forgot 'none of the above'

That’s what the ellipsis is for.
But verbal pirouettes don’t answer questions.

Not heard of an ellipse being used in that way - still you learn something new
almost every day.

The ellipsis mark (aka “dot dot dot”) serves to show an enumeration is not complete.
That’s a long-agreed and established typographical usage.

If, as you said, what you were saying doesn’t fall under the terms I listed,
then it falls under another category, the still unnamed “none of the above”,
which the ellipsis encompasses.


  […]
  
   why is it so difficult to understand (from Bricklink's
point of view 'spaghetti code'

That is pointless without the code.

Don't agree - we have had to work with spaghetti code before and have never
walked away from it or abandoned it as seems to be the case here. Whether
that is due to lack of appropriate skills or just no appetite for it is unknown
but it is not the best way to approach a project like this, especially for new
programmers who are not used to the serious application arena - their skills
lie in gaming , and whilst they are quite probably excellent in their arena -
this was something foreign/new and more effort should have been put in up front
before they started going off in another direction.

I’m not arguing to abandon the code, I’m saying, and that was expanded in the
following paragraphs, that you can’t understand why a code is spaghetti if you
don’t have the code and don’t take its history into account.
And you can even less understand why other people can’t make head or tail of
this code because you don’t know who they are, much less how they think.

That you can devise ANOTHER system, which looks and feels and acts like the one
you’re reverse-engineering is another matter entirely.


  
  Think about it like a Lego build of a giant elephant: you have only a few pictures
of the built elephant, in some of them, the pose changes. You can build another
elephant that looks the same and can take the same poses and even other poses
(BrickOwl) but you can’t know if how you built yours is how the original was
built.

Proper and detailed systems analysis should eliminate this as an issue. Over
40 years experience running our software company has taught me that. That was
totally lacking here as is demonstrated by what has happened to date.

Another non sequitur.

Do not agree with this - missed it in the earlier reply. Our thought process
over this and the collection of data that we are looking for will help us - it
won't do anything for the current development team, nor is it meant to. They
have declared their position at Brickworld and latest movement such as removing
the sellers tools from the roadmap reinforce that - they will maintain the classic
site but that is all - Maintaining does not explain in sufficient detail what
that means and your guess is as good as anyone's. Fixing the 500 server errors
- dealing with other bugs - who knows. Much more will be revealed as and when
and of course if, they release their next iteration Bricklink express which purports
to revolutionise Bricklink - bring it into the 21st century and mirror the Amazon/Ebay
model. That might suit you as a buyer - we don't really know, but it doesn't
appear, from what we know to date that it is going to be well received by the
majority of stores. Only time will tell on that and we are not prejudging it
yet until we know more about it.

The long and short of it is we are not bothered about why they think it is spaghetti
code - that is their expression and as we haven't actually seen the code
(and not likely to) it is of little interest to us. It is their reason for not
working on the classic site and moving in their own direction - which, you will
have to admit, reluctantly or otherwise, may have significant bearings on the
site.


  Yes, a proper specification eliminate a lot of issues but that doesn’t explain
how it will help in knowing why BL is failing to understand the code.


  […]
There is little doubt that what Dan did was not well documented and is probably
quite old fashioned in todays programming world, however they had the perfect
opportunity in the beginning to get to grips with that through Eric and ignored
that. He left and posted his side of the story on Brickset. Who or what you believe
is down to the individual but common sense tells you that one of the two originators
of the site could and should have been able to help in the understanding of what
had been done.

Yes, but that still doesn’t answer how you can understand why the current team
can’t understand the code (your expressed goal) by specifying the system a posteriori.


  […]
More will appear in due course as we roll out the next phase of discussion material.

So, it’s a riddle thrown to the forum for a mysterious goal in your secret agenda….


  Anyway thank you for your comments - they are appreciated - not always agreed,
but appreciated, we can assure you.

You write that a lot.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 11:06
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, SylvainLS writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  […]
  
  
  Is this organisational, computiational, functional, relational, entity-oriented,
…?


I think you forgot 'none of the above'

That’s what the ellipsis is for.
But verbal pirouettes don’t answer questions.

Not heard of an ellipse being used in that way - still you learn something new
almost every day.

The ellipsis mark (aka “dot dot dot”) serves to show an enumeration is not complete.
That’s a long-agreed and established typographical usage.

If, as you said, what you were saying doesn’t fall under the terms I listed,
then it falls under another category, the still unnamed “none of the above”,
which the ellipsis encompasses.

As we said - something new learned every day .
  

  […]
  
   why is it so difficult to understand (from Bricklink's
point of view 'spaghetti code'

That is pointless without the code.

Don't agree - we have had to work with spaghetti code before and have never
walked away from it or abandoned it as seems to be the case here. Whether
that is due to lack of appropriate skills or just no appetite for it is unknown
but it is not the best way to approach a project like this, especially for new
programmers who are not used to the serious application arena - their skills
lie in gaming , and whilst they are quite probably excellent in their arena -
this was something foreign/new and more effort should have been put in up front
before they started going off in another direction.

I’m not arguing to abandon the code, I’m saying, and that was expanded in the
following paragraphs, that you can’t understand why a code is spaghetti if you
don’t have the code and don’t take its history into account.

Understand your point, however spaghetti code has a long and well established
definition in computer terms - it means poorly written and or undocumented code.
We have never called Bricklinks software spaghetti code that comes from the current
in house development team - for what reason we do not know; however we believe
and so do others that is not the case. The code served the site well for the
13 years from its inception. It is only since the new team have taken it over
that it has been declared in this way. That tells us a lot.

  And you can even less understand why other people can’t make head or tail of
this code because you don’t know who they are, much less how they think.

We know a lot more about them than you think, but this is not the place to discuss
that.
  

That you can devise ANOTHER system, which looks and feels and acts like the one
  you’re reverse-engineering is another matter entirely.

Not really all that sure of your meaning there. Reverse engineering is quite
a common method for working with software both from an understanding and forward
progression point of view, and it certainly can do no haram to understand the
code.
  

  
  Think about it like a Lego build of a giant elephant: you have only a few pictures
of the built elephant, in some of them, the pose changes. You can build another
elephant that looks the same and can take the same poses and even other poses
(BrickOwl) but you can’t know if how you built yours is how the original was
built.

Proper and detailed systems analysis should eliminate this as an issue. Over
40 years experience running our software company has taught me that. That was
totally lacking here as is demonstrated by what has happened to date.

Another non sequitur.
Yes, a proper specification eliminate a lot of issues but that doesn’t explain
how it will help in knowing why BL is failing to understand the code.

We believe we already know the reason for that so it is a bit of a moot point
and not really all that important to the discussion/thread.
  

  […]
There is little doubt that what Dan did was not well documented and is probably
quite old fashioned in todays programming world, however they had the perfect
opportunity in the beginning to get to grips with that through Eric and ignored
that. He left and posted his side of the story on Brickset. Who or what you believe
is down to the individual but common sense tells you that one of the two originators
of the site could and should have been able to help in the understanding of what
had been done.

Yes, but that still doesn’t answer how you can understand why the current team
can’t understand the code (your expressed goal) by specifying the system a posteriori.


  […]
More will appear in due course as we roll out the next phase of discussion material.

So, it’s a riddle thrown to the forum for a mysterious goal in your secret agenda….

Strange view, really - not a riddle and not thrown to the forum for anything
other than hearing other people's views. We will, in the next roll out be
much more specific in our goals - maybe that will help for people to understand
what we are trying to do.
  

  Anyway thank you for your comments - they are appreciated - not always agreed,
but appreciated, we can assure you.

You write that a lot.

Yes we do but not in those words.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 09:47
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, SylvainLS writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  […]
   What are you trying to represent?

Is this organisational, computiational, functional, relational, entity-oriented,
…?


I think you forgot 'none of the above'

That’s what the ellipsis is for.
But verbal pirouettes don’t answer questions.

Not heard of an ellipse being used in that way - still you learn something new
almost every day.
  

  
  What’s the goal?

Simple - a better understanding of how the software behind the site is put together
- on what basis -

So some sort of reverse engineered software analysis.

Something like that and we have already discovered flaws in the original design
which would need to be eliminated in a new Bricklink if one materialised
  
Except you don’t (want to) use a known description symbolism (just pretty circles)
and even less a known description method.
Not the best way to start a focused discussion.

The forum is often not the best place to start or carry on a focused discussion
- we agree with you there. having said that this is as good a place to start
as anywhere.
  

   why is it so difficult to understand (from Bricklink's
point of view 'spaghetti code'

That is pointless without the code.

Don't agree - we have had to work with spaghetti code before and have never
walked away from it or abandoned it as seems to be the case here. Whether
that is due to lack of appropriate skills or just no appetite for it is unknown
but it is not the best way to approach a project like this, especially for new
programmers who are not used to the serious application arena - their skills
lie in gaming , and whilst they are quite probably excellent in their arena -
this was something foreign/new and more effort should have been put in up front
before they started going off in another direction.
  
Think about it like a Lego build of a giant elephant: you have only a few pictures
of the built elephant, in some of them, the pose changes. You can build another
elephant that looks the same and can take the same poses and even other poses
(BrickOwl) but you can’t know if how you built yours is how the original was
built.

Proper and detailed systems analysis should eliminate this as an issue. Over
40 years experience running our software company has taught me that. That was
totally lacking here as is demonstrated by what has happened to date.
  The original may use some arcane techniques, it may stress the bricks, it may
even be simpler.
There are lots of techniques to achieve the same outside looks.
And the bigger the build, the more possibilities for the inside.

And a Lego build is constrained in three physical dimensions: there’s a limited
space inside the build for the structures and mechanisms. That’s not the case
with software.

Even worse, the spaghettiness of the code often results from a lack of separation
between aspects or modules (by mixing model, control, and view, or by not distinguising
entities or modules, repeating code, copy-paste-modifying, lack of factorisation,
etc.) and a history of adding features, often the quick’n’dirty way.
If you start from a correctly made specification of the whole final system, you
won’t see nor understand why the real system has so many warts which are due
to changes of vision and feature accretions throughout 20 years of tinkering.

There is little doubt that what Dan did was not well documented and is probably
quite old fashioned in todays programming world, however they had the perfect
opportunity in the beginning to get to grips with that through Eric and ignored
that. He left and posted his side of the story on Brickset. Who or what you believe
is down to the individual but common sense tells you that one of the two originators
of the site could and should have been able to help in the understanding of what
had been done.
  

  
  


From the answers so far, it’s clear everyone isn’t talking about the same thing.
(I’m not even sure there are two people talking about one same thing.)

Ah the world of forum's
  
It’s a bit like the Jewish saying: “one rabbi, one opinion; two rabbis, three
opinions.”
Except rabbis (are supposed to) know what they are talking about.

I am sure they do

I didn’t mean people here aren’t knowledgeable in many subjects but they don’t
know which subject it is.
That’s the blind men and the elephant parable, worsened by the fact you’re trying
to understand the insides of the elephant without being able to use a knife or
an X-ray machine (remember? blind).

More will appear in due course as we roll out the next phase of discussion material.

Anyway thank you for your comments - they are appreciated - not always agreed,
but appreciated, we can assure you.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 00:41
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, legoman77 writes:
  In General, runner.caller writes:
  
  Thinking about it, a catalog would not be necessary. eBay does not have one.
The catalog is helpful, but stores could list what they have to sell and buyers
would need to search. So the catalog is not a necessity. A search function
maybe, makes looking easier.

Maybe not necessary, but imo the catalog or "parts database" is where BL derives
the majority of its value in creating a market.

It standardizes everything and the pricing history is extremely helpful to both
buyers and sellers.
Sellers looking to price competitively and buyers looking for the best deal.

Don't get me wrong. It was written in the context of what is absolutely
necessary. The catalog will be the legacy of Bricklink and when Bricklink is
but a memory, the catalog will be what is remember. The work of the catalog
admins and the members that send in, and also correct, inventories is the most
valuable asset of this cite. It is far better than anything you can get from
Lego or Samsonite. It is unique in its complexity and its transparency.
John P

100% agreement.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 00:40
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, runner.caller writes:
  In General, Teup writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  Is this diagram indicative of the core elements of Bricklink? We know there are
lots and lots of tables and elements which are attached to these components and
they all work together (supposedly) but are there any we have missed?

Looks pretty simple, we know, but it only paints a very simple side of the story.

Hey. No offense but the reason I became self employed is because I don't
want to spend my life in meetings with powerpoints with these types of diagrams


Ugh... my old job was slowly transforming into manual data entry every day...
I don't think I could go back to that.

I'm not technically self employed as I'm employed by the LLC that I formed
with 3 other business partners. It's non-lego related.

I just operate the lego shop on the side for fun so I have money to throw away
in the biggest online casino that exists... the stock market. Also, because I
love the product, but that should go without saying for members on the site

Sounds a little like us - but that is another story.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 00:38
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, popsicle writes:
  In General, SylvainLS writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  Is this diagram indicative of the core elements of Bricklink? We know there are
lots and lots of tables and elements which are attached to these components and
they all work together (supposedly) but are there any we have missed?

Looks pretty simple, we know, but it only paints a very simple side of the story.

What are you trying to represent?

Is this organisational, computiational, functional, relational, entity-oriented,
…?

What’s the goal?



From the answers so far, it’s clear everyone isn’t talking about the same thing.
(I’m not even sure there are two people talking about one same thing.)

It’s a bit like the Jewish saying: “one rabbi, one opinion; two rabbis, three
opinions.”

Except rabbis (are supposed to) know what they are talking about.

Oh light’n up!

As calsbricks may not be around to respond (being the middle of the night in
Europe) thought I'd be your huckleberry for now.

How I see it, is calsbricks likes to liven things up a little. Throw ideas and
thoughts out for others to play around with, see where it goes. You know, have
a little fun…

No need to react like someone took a crap in your cornflakes, especially to benign
posts such as this. I’d save the vitriol for when it’s called for, like responding
to inputs I typically might offer, such as this one

All response like that are taken for what they are worth. Everyone has their
own opinion and are entitled to it. We just reply, when possible , and move on
.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 00:36
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, cplonsdale writes:
  In General, SylvainLS writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  Is this diagram indicative of the core elements of Bricklink? We know there are
lots and lots of tables and elements which are attached to these components and
they all work together (supposedly) but are there any we have missed?

Looks pretty simple, we know, but it only paints a very simple side of the story.

What are you trying to represent?

Is this organisational, computiational, functional, relational, entity-oriented,
…?

What’s the goal?



From the answers so far, it’s clear everyone isn’t talking about the same thing.
(I’m not even sure there are two people talking about one same thing.)

It’s a bit like the Jewish saying: “one rabbi, one opinion; two rabbis, three
opinions.”
Except rabbis (are supposed to) know what they are talking about.

Its clear pretty graphics get people talking but +1 in its present state it means
nothing

You have to start somewhere - the followup will have a bit more 'meaning'
to it.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 00:35
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, Teup writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  Is this diagram indicative of the core elements of Bricklink? We know there are
lots and lots of tables and elements which are attached to these components and
they all work together (supposedly) but are there any we have missed?

Looks pretty simple, we know, but it only paints a very simple side of the story.

Hey. No offense but the reason I became self employed is because I don't
want to spend my life in meetings with powerpoints with these types of diagrams


HI Teup - not powerpoint I am afraid - just using Smart art from Word. I went
self employed for different reasons to you
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 00:33
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, SylvainLS writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  Is this diagram indicative of the core elements of Bricklink? We know there are
lots and lots of tables and elements which are attached to these components and
they all work together (supposedly) but are there any we have missed?

Looks pretty simple, we know, but it only paints a very simple side of the story.

What are you trying to represent?

Is this organisational, computiational, functional, relational, entity-oriented,
…?


I think you forgot 'none of the above'
  What’s the goal?

Simple - a better understanding of how the software behind the site is put together
- on what basis - why is it so difficult to understand (from Bricklink's
point of view 'spaghetti code'0
  


From the answers so far, it’s clear everyone isn’t talking about the same thing.
(I’m not even sure there are two people talking about one same thing.)

Ah the world of forum's
  
It’s a bit like the Jewish saying: “one rabbi, one opinion; two rabbis, three
opinions.”
Except rabbis (are supposed to) know what they are talking about.

I am sure they do
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 00:30
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, FreeStorm writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  Is this diagram indicative of the core elements of Bricklink? We know there are
lots and lots of tables and elements which are attached to these components and
they all work together (supposedly) but are there any we have missed?

Looks pretty simple, we know, but it only paints a very simple side of the story.

By Catalogue you mean a collection of "Items" ?

For me in 'Items' table (Actually ~127'041 items) will contain all
parts/gears/sets/minifigs/boxes/etc.. (every items type you can buy on bricklink)

'Items' need to be linked with "Colors" in a new table: "ItemsColors"

By example: 'brick 1x2 red' and 'brick 1x2 blue' make two "ItemsColors"
entries.
Sets/minifig also have "ItemsColors" entries. (Color: "Not Applicable")

The 'inventory' Table is the link between all needed "ItemsColors" parts
for a specific item + Quantity etc....

'ItemsColors' is the Catalogue which can be sold by Sellers.

-Fred

I think you also need to add condition to this as a 1 x 2 brick in whatever colour
has at least 2 conditions New or used and sets have even more choices - all of
which helps to make up the total number of 'items' being represented
here on Bricklink.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 00:28
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, JusTiCe8 writes:
  But when people are free to do whatever they want, they become lazy and create
a mess.
We, buyers, can not accept to get blue brick when we order medium blue one, or
yellow when ordering bright light orange, ... This is where a catalog is needed.

The same apply for parts mold/variant. Hollow/open studs are not the same as
closed one, like in the Eiffel tower thread a little while ago.

And obviously, with or without it, the search function is vital, unfortunately,
NO online shop have a good enough search function yet, even Amazon or Ebay, mostly
because of lazy sellers who abuse summary and put wrong words in it .

In General, legoman77 writes:

  Thinking about it, a catalog would not be necessary. eBay does not have one.
The catalog is helpful, but stores could list what they have to sell and buyers
would need to search. So the catalog is not a necessity. A search function
maybe, makes looking easier.

Sounds a bit like you have had some not such good experiences - sorry to hear
that. At our store - what you order is what you get - even if we do not have
it
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 00:26
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, popsicle writes:
  In General, legoman77 writes:
  In General, popsicle writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  In General, popsicle writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  Is this diagram indicative of the core elements of Bricklink? We know there are
lots and lots of tables and elements which are attached to these components and
they all work together (supposedly) but are there any we have missed?

Looks pretty simple, we know, but it only paints a very simple side of the story.

Very nice!

I like the presumption of the catalog at the center.

I would change the structure, though. Making 'Members' the only element
orbiting the nucleus, that is the Catalogue. I would then have the remaining
elements orbiting the Members element.

The revised structure have all elements orbiting the core still, but add a more
defined hierarchy. After all, without members there can be no stores, inventory
or orders.

This one might be a bit of chicken and egg. No catalogue - no members, stores,
inventory or orders and yes you are right no members - nothing either. Have had
a pm from Jean which says Lots should be at the centre as everything on Bricklink
is driven by lots. To me that is flawed design and in a NEW Bricklink, lots would
be important yes, however they would not play as big a role as they do now.

Very interesting comments so far. Now if we had a db schema we would be well
on our way to understanding more about the overall makeup of the site.

I think I might add all the known's to the diagram to show how really complicated
it is

Another way to put the revised structure thinking, working with the five elements
supplied in your schematic: Catalog-Membership-Stores-Inventory-Orders

'Catalog' created (& maintained) allowing 'Members' to create
(& maintain) ’Stores’ by supplying (& maintaining) ’Inventory’ which generates
‘Orders’

Each attracting and maintaining the other in a kind of ordered sequence.

You could arguably have 'Inventory' & 'Orders' orbit 'Stores'
in a third motion. But maybe it's better to keep it simply, more mimicking
a solar system.

Thinking about it, a catalog would not be necessary. eBay does not have one.
The catalog is helpful, but stores could list what they have to sell and buyers
would need to search. So the catalog is not a necessity. A search function
maybe, makes looking easier.

Good point...

Yes it is but the catalogue is what makes Bricklink what it was (and supposedly
is) - it is what differentiates it from other sites and makes it special to Lego
fans all over the world.
  
  
"Life is a hoot"

..and a toot!

Sometimes
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 9, 2019 00:24
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, legoman77 writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  In General, legoman77 writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  Is this diagram indicative of the core elements of Bricklink? We know there are
lots and lots of tables and elements which are attached to these components and
they all work together (supposedly) but are there any we have missed?

Looks pretty simple, we know, but it only paints a very simple side of the story.

You forgot the Help Desk. D'oh...never mind.

Hi john

Not even sure where that would go Is there a real one ?

It is rumored that there is one.

  John P

That is one I find difficult to believe
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 8, 2019 13:28
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, edeevo writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  Is this diagram indicative of the core elements of Bricklink? We know there are
lots and lots of tables and elements which are attached to these components and
they all work together (supposedly) but are there any we have missed?

Looks pretty simple, we know, but it only paints a very simple side of the story.



Life is Good.
~Ed.

Excellent Ed - thanks for the comment and schematic. We especially like the Fees
bit and that side beginning to weigh down the rest..... You may be right.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 8, 2019 13:23
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, legoman77 writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  Is this diagram indicative of the core elements of Bricklink? We know there are
lots and lots of tables and elements which are attached to these components and
they all work together (supposedly) but are there any we have missed?

Looks pretty simple, we know, but it only paints a very simple side of the story.

You forgot the Help Desk. D'oh...never mind.

Hi john

Not even sure where that would go Is there a real one ?
  John P
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 8, 2019 12:47
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, popsicle writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  Is this diagram indicative of the core elements of Bricklink? We know there are
lots and lots of tables and elements which are attached to these components and
they all work together (supposedly) but are there any we have missed?

Looks pretty simple, we know, but it only paints a very simple side of the story.

Very nice!

I like the presumption of the catalog at the center.

I would change the structure, though. Making 'Members' the only element
orbiting the nucleus, that is the Catalogue. I would then have the remaining
elements orbiting the Members element.

The revised structure have all elements orbiting the core still, but add a more
defined hierarchy. After all, without members there can be no stores, inventory
or orders.

This one might be a bit of chicken and egg. No catalogue - no members, stores,
inventory or orders and yes you are right no members - nothing either. Have had
a pm from Jean which says Lots should be at the centre as everything on Bricklink
is driven by lots. To me that is flawed design and in a NEW Bricklink, lots would
be important yes, however they would not play as big a role as they do now.

Very interesting comments so far. Now if we had a db schema we would be well
on our way to understanding more about the overall makeup of the site.

I think I might add all the known's to the diagram to show how really complicated
it is
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 8, 2019 11:56
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, axaday writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  Is this diagram indicative of the core elements of Bricklink? We know there are
lots and lots of tables and elements which are attached to these components and
they all work together (supposedly) but are there any we have missed?

Looks pretty simple, we know, but it only paints a very simple side of the story.

Those are very good circles. Circles are hard to draw.

Not when you use 'SmartArt' in word.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 8, 2019 11:55
 Subject: Re: The Core of Bricklink
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In General, WoutR writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  Is this diagram indicative of the core elements of Bricklink? We know there are
lots and lots of tables and elements which are attached to these components and
they all work together (supposedly) but are there any we have missed?

Looks pretty simple, we know, but it only paints a very simple side of the story

Possibly the Wanted List.

We think that is covered in the members side (and of course associated with the
catalogue, stores, and orders)
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 8, 2019 11:22
 Subject: The Core of Bricklink
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Is this diagram indicative of the core elements of Bricklink? We know there are
lots and lots of tables and elements which are attached to these components and
they all work together (supposedly) but are there any we have missed?

Looks pretty simple, we know, but it only paints a very simple side of the story.
 
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 8, 2019 10:51
 Subject: Re: Setting up a paypal link on invoice
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In Help, razorflan writes:
  I have a buyer can't pay manualy, I need to send a paypal link also set up
a link on invoices. Thanks in advance for any help

Or you could follow the link on this thread

https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1141038
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 7, 2019 12:35
 Subject: Re: AFOL disaster service
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 Topic: General
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In General, jennnifer writes:
  In General, PiouPiouPerou writes:
  That was 11 of July and now no news and not answering messages. At least answer
your customer when they ask info.I don't think my boss would tolerate that
I do that to customers.I would loose my job really fast.

Where are my boxes?


I think they are really struggling right now. I know they meant well with this
project, but selling and shipping are difficult especially when you first get
started. I imagine that the customer responses have slowed down as their complaints
have piled up. I hope they catch up soon for everyone's sake!

Jen

They say a picture is worth 1000 words. This one says everything. The AFOL project
may have been a success in many ways but the aftermath doesn't look quite
so good, Highlighted by the well known lack of communication which really says
everything about the site.
 
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 6, 2019 06:48
 Subject: Re: Massive PayPal fee increase 21 october
 Viewed: 138 times
 Topic: Selling
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In Selling, yorbrick writes:
  
  Bricklink is just an object. Like an old car. It doesn't change or grow into
a Ferrari. You pay the fuel and it runs the way it always did.

To continue the analogy, it also breaks down more as it gets older. And all the
old mechanics that knew how to fix the old beast have long gone.

One of the worlds most prestigious brands of Cars - Aston Martin - has gone
through bust to boom several times to get to being profitable, including being
owned by Ford, a Canadian consortium and its current owners. Change is a very
complex word with different meanings to different people.

Now it is one of the most beautiful cars on the planet but with Ian McCallum
gone to Jaguar who knows what may happen - again change good for one and not
so good for another.

Enough of that gibberish ..... need to pack some orders.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 6, 2019 03:51
 Subject: Re: 21318 Treehouse Instruction BOOK
 Viewed: 37 times
 Topic: New Sets
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In New Sets, SRC writes:
  The instruction book for the 21318 treehouse set is just that - a book.
It's huge! A significant portion of the almost 4Kg weight of the set.

SRC

Some time ago now, Microsoft, arguably the worlds largest computer firm (Don't
argue about Apple), stopped all types of media and went digital. Software is
downloadable and so are manuals so why produce them. Their idea is to cut waste
and replace the use of paper etc with digital versions - It would not surprise
us if Lego moved in the same direction - just about everyone has access to some
form of digital communications, so why print reams of paper at a huge cost to
both the environment and your pocketbook, when you do not have to
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 6, 2019 03:10
 Subject: Re: Silly question deserves silly answer ????
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 Topic: Problem
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In Problem, yorbrick writes:
  I don't think the question is silly at all.

Expecting an answer though ...!

It really wasn't meant to be but knowing the forum, we thought .... hmmm.

There will never be an answer from Bricklink or at least not a public one. It
takes us back to Brickworld in Chicago last year, when MP put up a slide which
had one headline topic called Community v Business. I didn't listen to his
comments when he covered it but the headline itself said it all.

Lets see. From its inception until Dan's very untimely passing the site was
run by 2 people and a large number of very serious, very dedicated volunteers.
It was by no means perfect and needed serious updating when the new owner took
over in 2013. Since then we have a lot more than 2 people involved from the company's
point of view and fewer serious volunteers (although the ones we do have are
serious and dedicated). The community spirit is missing, communications is almost
totally absent and we have Bricklink itself competing with the existing stores.
There is also movement to change the style of Bricklink to a more Amazon/Ebay
model, so we cannot say there hasn't been change - whether those changes
are for better or worse is not for us to publicly comment on.

All part of the evolution of the site ?????

After all the new owner is a multi-billionaire - he knows what he is doing .......
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 6, 2019 01:41
 Subject: Re: Silly question deserves silly answer ????
 Viewed: 41 times
 Topic: Problem
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In Problem, Adjour writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:

  Just a silly question - but very interested in any comments that come from Bricklink
(Not the forum trolls - although I am sure we will hear from them

e.g. it is none of our business what the company wishes to do with their site
- it is their site etc. etc, blah, blah blah ....

Have heard all that before so no need to bring it up again - lets see if Bricklink
are prepared to communicate on this - there are a very large number of us who
are interested in hearing their side of the story.


Ha ha ha. Ha.


Oh and I agree with John.

Peace.

Yes we thought you might.

Ironic laughter ?????
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 6, 2019 01:39
 Subject: Re: Silly question deserves silly answer ????
 Viewed: 39 times
 Topic: Problem
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In Problem, legoman77 writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, legoman77 writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  A short time ago in the forum one of the stores noticed that the sellers tools
development had been removed from the roadmap, and there was neither an announcement
or explanation offered by Bricklink, which some of us find not helpful.

Could the admins or someone offer an explanation for this change to a feature
that had been on the agenda since the new owner took over the site.

Was it

1. Lack of development resources (Funds/people)?
2. A total change of direction for Bricklink as they get closer to their long
overdue Bricklink express?
3. Another specific reason
4. Or a combination of these + other reasons which are private to the company
and will not be disclosed to the stores/members?

Just a silly question - but very interested in any comments that come from Bricklink
(Not the forum trolls - although I am sure we will hear from them

e.g. it is none of our business what the company wishes to do with their site
- it is their site etc. etc, blah, blah blah ....

Have heard all that before so no need to bring it up again - lets see if Bricklink
are prepared to communicate on this - there are a very large number of us who
are interested in hearing their side of the story.

You might get more answers if you do not tell potential respondents what not
to say and also who you do not want to hear from. Kind of bossy

John P

I have to say that is a very strange comment. we wanted Bricklink's response
as only they can answer the points raised. if you think it is being bossy that
is your opinion not our intention

So you mean from an Admin. I guess I do not understand "wanted Bricklink's
response". Is that from members or Admins? I almost hate to ask, did you use
the help desk? If not, I understand. I was suggesting that if you ask a question
on the forum, do not say you do not want forum responses. The reasons you said
you do not want might be the real reasons for the answer to the question asked.
John P

It looks like you are somewhat confused . Bricklink is the owner of this site.
We are Bricklink's members not Bricklink. Our request was for Bricklink to
comment.

As for the helpdesk, please don't make us laugh this early in the morning.

We even stressed the communication should come from them.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 5, 2019 13:53
 Subject: Re: Silly question deserves silly answer ????
 Viewed: 55 times
 Topic: Problem
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In Problem, popsicle writes:
  In Problem, legoman77 writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  A short time ago in the forum one of the stores noticed that the sellers tools
development had been removed from the roadmap, and there was neither an announcement
or explanation offered by Bricklink, which some of us find not helpful.

Could the admins or someone offer an explanation for this change to a feature
that had been on the agenda since the new owner took over the site.

Was it

1. Lack of development resources (Funds/people)?
2. A total change of direction for Bricklink as they get closer to their long
overdue Bricklink express?
3. Another specific reason
4. Or a combination of these + other reasons which are private to the company
and will not be disclosed to the stores/members?

Just a silly question - but very interested in any comments that come from Bricklink
(Not the forum trolls - although I am sure we will hear from them

e.g. it is none of our business what the company wishes to do with their site
- it is their site etc. etc, blah, blah blah ....

Have heard all that before so no need to bring it up again - lets see if Bricklink
are prepared to communicate on this - there are a very large number of us who
are interested in hearing their side of the story.

You might get more answers if you do not tell potential respondents what not
to say and also who you do not want to hear from. Kind of bossy

Could've been conveyed better? Maybe. Nonetheless, the intent in the question's
framework is obvious: He's not looking for a forum fight, just some clarification.

correct but not everyone , obviously, reads it the same way.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 5, 2019 13:50
 Subject: Re: Silly question deserves silly answer ????
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In Problem, legoman77 writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  A short time ago in the forum one of the stores noticed that the sellers tools
development had been removed from the roadmap, and there was neither an announcement
or explanation offered by Bricklink, which some of us find not helpful.

Could the admins or someone offer an explanation for this change to a feature
that had been on the agenda since the new owner took over the site.

Was it

1. Lack of development resources (Funds/people)?
2. A total change of direction for Bricklink as they get closer to their long
overdue Bricklink express?
3. Another specific reason
4. Or a combination of these + other reasons which are private to the company
and will not be disclosed to the stores/members?

Just a silly question - but very interested in any comments that come from Bricklink
(Not the forum trolls - although I am sure we will hear from them

e.g. it is none of our business what the company wishes to do with their site
- it is their site etc. etc, blah, blah blah ....

Have heard all that before so no need to bring it up again - lets see if Bricklink
are prepared to communicate on this - there are a very large number of us who
are interested in hearing their side of the story.

You might get more answers if you do not tell potential respondents what not
to say and also who you do not want to hear from. Kind of bossy

John P

I have to say that is a very strange comment. we wanted Bricklink's response
as only they can answer the points raised. if you think it is being bossy that
is your opinion not our intention
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 5, 2019 11:33
 Subject: Silly question deserves silly answer ????
 Viewed: 272 times
 Topic: Problem
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A short time ago in the forum one of the stores noticed that the sellers tools
development had been removed from the roadmap, and there was neither an announcement
or explanation offered by Bricklink, which some of us find not helpful.

Could the admins or someone offer an explanation for this change to a feature
that had been on the agenda since the new owner took over the site.

Was it

1. Lack of development resources (Funds/people)?
2. A total change of direction for Bricklink as they get closer to their long
overdue Bricklink express?
3. Another specific reason
4. Or a combination of these + other reasons which are private to the company
and will not be disclosed to the stores/members?

Just a silly question - but very interested in any comments that come from Bricklink
(Not the forum trolls - although I am sure we will hear from them

e.g. it is none of our business what the company wishes to do with their site
- it is their site etc. etc, blah, blah blah ....

Have heard all that before so no need to bring it up again - lets see if Bricklink
are prepared to communicate on this - there are a very large number of us who
are interested in hearing their side of the story.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Aug 3, 2019 14:36
 Subject: Re: Caption for this Photo
 Viewed: 33 times
 Topic: Off Topic
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In Off Topic, 1271moggy writes:
  Calling all - Please could you put your thinking caps on.

My 8yo son wants to enter the photo below in the local village show - only problem
is he and I cannot think of a caption to go with it. The best we can come up
with is 'Anyone for half a game!'

Can anyone do better.

Thanking you all.

Tic - Tac - ?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Jul 25, 2019 10:54
 Subject: Re: Pickup in store?
 Viewed: 32 times
 Topic: Shipping
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In Shipping, guvrik writes:
  Hello,

I recently opened a Bricklink shop to sell minifigs and some parts. I am considering
to add the ability to pickup orders in my 'store' (ie. at my house).
I am not sure how to go about it though. And on a related note; is this a recommended
practice?

Would this be how to do it?:
- Add cash payment option
- Add shipping option with manual configuration (and if so, how?)

Thanks!

HI there - we have about a dozen customers who regularly collect their orders
from our offices. They pay by credit card, cash or paypal - they always let
us know when they will be there to collect and they all like to have a look around
and chat as well. Never any problems whatsoever
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Jul 25, 2019 07:10
 Subject: Re: Seller Tools Discontinued?
 Viewed: 52 times
 Topic: General
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In General, Brick.Door writes:
  In General, gogogovro writes:
  Just checked the roadmap page to see if there are any updates. I don't know
when this happened, but "Seller Tools" has been removed. The only new features
being worked on are "Bricklink XP (Mobile)". So are the seller tools discontinued
or are they being wrapped up into Bricklink XP? Maybe I'm misremembering,
but I'm pretty sure "seller tools" was under the "new features" category
a few months ago.

It was a choice between seller tools and custom virtual decals for minifigure
torsos in stud.io. You can't have everything.

Obviously they made the right decision.

Obviously
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Jul 25, 2019 07:00
 Subject: Re: Seller Tools Discontinued?
 Viewed: 37 times
 Topic: General
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In General, Stuart9 writes:
  Hope not, I'm sitting in front of one right now.

Outs are on as well - but the main office is air conditioned. I can't wait
to see the months electric bill
  




In General, calsbricks writes:
  In General, SylvainLS writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  […]
Put it all together and see what you come up with. You are a very intelligent
guy. The funny thing is no one really knows where this leaves the existing stores.

There’s an expression about a wisely named creek and the absence of a paddle

- Have heard of that one. There is also one something to do with a fan
  that comes to mind….
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Jul 25, 2019 06:55
 Subject: Re: Seller Tools Discontinued?
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In General, SylvainLS writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  […]
Put it all together and see what you come up with. You are a very intelligent
guy. The funny thing is no one really knows where this leaves the existing stores.

There’s an expression about a wisely named creek and the absence of a paddle

- Have heard of that one. There is also one something to do with a fan
  that comes to mind….
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Jul 25, 2019 06:24
 Subject: Re: Seller Tools Discontinued?
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In General, Teup writes:
  In General, gogogovro writes:
  Just checked the roadmap page to see if there are any updates. I don't know
when this happened, but "Seller Tools" has been removed. The only new features
being worked on are "Bricklink XP (Mobile)". So are the seller tools discontinued
or are they being wrapped up into Bricklink XP? Maybe I'm misremembering,
but I'm pretty sure "seller tools" was under the "new features" category
a few months ago.

I think it's been discontinued due to money problems. It seems to me that
the owner is pulling relatively much of money out of Bricklink (we can calculate
the revenue from the amount of orders and it's not bad) without putting much
back into it. It's leaving Bricklink and the few employees that it has without
a lot of juice to make anything special happen around here. Bricklink seems basically
frozen in place and I think it's best to assume it will remain that way.
It's good news and bad news I guess: No new features but no decisions that
ruin things either

Hate to disagree with you Teup, but the owner, who is a multi billionaire. is
unlikely to be taking funds out at present. His goal early this year was to sell
the parent company and in order to do that he will have tried to get as much
cash into each of them as he could - hardly a recipe for taking funds out. His
purchase of Bricklink would have been capitalised as either a directors loan
or converted to share capital, depending on circumstances. Share capital would
have been his best route as the purchase cost would have made the liabilities
to strong on the balance sheet.

They are not generating enough revenues to forge forward and whether that is
because they are overpaying for what they have got or their resources are too
expensive for what they are bringing in is something only they can answer in
reality, Developers are not cheap in most areas of the world (not all) but the
USA is not far from the top of the list for costs.

If you re-read Admin_Russelles statement about the AFOL program creating a revenue
stream that suggests it wasn't being done as a one off - they want an additional
revenue stream and felt that program might do that. It is obvious it didn't
although it may have created additional revenue. That looks like it is short
term unless when they launch the long overdue xp they choose to continue to run
their store, competing with the ordinary stores and selling exclusives. Only
time will tell with that.

What may have happened with sellers tools is they recognised what was wanted/needed
and said that was not in their minds and would involve far too much development,
including working on the classic site - which they simply do not wish to do.

They have also posted in this forum that we were to be wary of investing in 3rd
party tools such as Brickstock Pro as they may wish to stop support for that
relationship at sometime in the future.

Put it all together and see what you come up with. You are a very intelligent
guy. The funny thing is no one really knows where this leaves the existing stores.
  
In General,Admin_Russell writes:
  In General, Teup writes:
  I'm curious to see what those seller tools are going
to look like. Would be nice to finally see some investment in BL itself.

  And how is that investment supposed to happen without finances? This is why ADP
is so critical. For years BrickLink has tried to develop a revenue stream capable
of funding proper maintenance and development of the site. Now we have a chance
at something that could work. IMO this is the ticket to get the rest accomplished.

https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1129048

So sounds like they're waiting for a ticket (ie. money) to be able to do
stuff.

I guess Bricklink is what it is, and it's down to our creativity and problem
solving skills to make it work for us
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Jul 24, 2019 12:37
 Subject: Re: Seller Tools Discontinued?
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In General, gogogovro writes:
  Just checked the roadmap page to see if there are any updates. I don't know
when this happened, but "Seller Tools" has been removed. The only new features
being worked on are "Bricklink XP (Mobile)". So are the seller tools discontinued
or are they being wrapped up into Bricklink XP? Maybe I'm misremembering,
but I'm pretty sure "seller tools" was under the "new features" category
a few months ago.

NO it isn't there - you are correct and despite Admin_Russells comments a
while ago about the launch of XP (Phase 1 in March 2019) with Sellers tools coming
after that, it is now apparent they have abandoned all work on the classic site,
perhaps in the hopes that XP will convert everyone. I think, to be honest, there
is more chance of H... freezing over.

It is a real shame when people don't listen to their customers or communicate
what is happening (whichever way you want to look at it)

And now watch the trolls come along.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Jul 22, 2019 11:59
 Subject: Re: Bricklink Customer Support
 Viewed: 89 times
 Topic: Help
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In Help, ybu96_zac7 writes:
  Can anyone tell me how long it takes Bricklink Customer Support to reply to a
query please? I wrote to them on the 17th MAY and I am still waiting for a reply.
Do they usually take a very long time to reply or do they not bother at all?

I didn't expect an instant reply, but over two months and still waiting!!!

Any ideas anyone for Bricklink's tardiness?

Depending on the urgency of your query you may have some time to wait. They are
short staffed at present due to personnel changes - that coupled with trying
to get the afol set made up and shipped as well as deal with new seller verification
has meant the helpdesk (customer support) has fallen behind in responding to
queries. Patience, unfortunately is the only thing that works.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Jul 22, 2019 08:07
 Subject: Re: Give us an app!!
 Viewed: 78 times
 Topic: Feedback
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In Feedback, Teup writes:
  In Feedback, Stevoland writes:
  Sick of dealing with online format!! It’s fine when on desk but a phone app would
be perfect!!
Get with the program!!

Lots of love though
Steve

There's supposed to be one coming, but it's being delayed. Still, it
will be a limited version of the real deal, not a phone friendly version of this
website, unfortunately.. so I'm sticking with desktop Bricklink

Apparently the mobile version is associat4d with the new feature set called Bricklink
eXpress and that is currently being tested internally before release. Not a lot
is known about it - just a few odd bits were mentioned at the announcement in
Sept/Oct of last year at Brickworld in Chicago. It will require Instant checkout
- it is more of an amazon/ebay Bricklink and you will also have to sign up to
Paypal for Marketplaces. Lots of people believe it is aimed at the one off shoppers
who buy sets on amazon or ebay. It certainly does not appear to be aimed at parts
stores.

Since the initial announcement it has all gone very quiet.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Jul 22, 2019 07:43
 Subject: Re: Brickstock - Pulling up a SET
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In General, uticabrix writes:
  Does anyone know how to pull up pieces from one set?
Thanks so much!

Quite simple really. Just go to the file command import set inventory. It will
ask you which set - put in the set number and bingo there is your set inventory.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Jul 19, 2019 13:12
 Subject: Re: Print Packing Slip?
 Viewed: 37 times
 Topic: Selling
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In Selling, RebelKeithy writes:
  How do you guys print packing slips? I haven't found any easy way that didn't
involve tons of paper. On my most recent order I just resorted to taking a screenshot
of BrickStock, cropping out the order window, and pasting into a word document.

HI there

As you use Brickstock we have a special template for printing a packing slip.
If you pm us we will send it on with instructions . It saves paper and time and
includes Order number, name, address etc.

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