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 Author: Admin_Russell View Messages Posted By Admin_Russell
 Posted: May 22, 2020 15:21
 Subject: Site Performance Issues - Update (May 22)
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 Topic: Administrative
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Admin_Russell

Location:  USA, California
Member Since Contact Type Status
May 9, 2017 Contact Member Admin
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
BrickLink Administrator
This is the next installment in a series of posts about site performance. You
may read the previous posts here:

https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1182638

https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1185207

In the first post, we mentioned our plan to rewrite three of the most problematic
pages. In the second post, we said that the first of these pages had been moved
to another server to improve performance.

Today we are letting you know that this first page (Store Inventory Detail) has
now been completely rewritten and tested, and we have deployed it to our preview
site so you can see how it works in a sandbox environment:

https://preview.bricklink.com/inventory.asp

If you wish to compare the new and old pages side-by-side, use two different
browsers - preview on one, live site on the other. Please be careful to not get
them confused.

**********************

Regarding the performance issues of the last couple days, we are still investigating
why this has happened. A temporary fix has been applied to rectify the problem
in the short term, but we are working on a long-term solution as well. We apologize
for any inconvenience.
 Author: Admin_Russell View Messages Posted By Admin_Russell
 Posted: May 21, 2020 04:27
 Subject: Changes to Order Status (Revised May 20)
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 Topic: Administrative
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Admin_Russell

Location:  USA, California
Member Since Contact Type Status
May 9, 2017 Contact Member Admin
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
BrickLink Administrator
Dear BrickLink members,

As a follow-up to these two recent posts:

https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1193667

https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1197156

…we have extensively revised the XP implementation as it relates to order status
issues. Many of our users have asked why it was necessary in the first place
to make adjustments to the order status options.

The answer is that XP is focused on the buyer experience, and currently on BrickLink
it is a very “non-standard” experience which varies from store to store. Most
new buyers are rather oblivious to order status changes on BrickLink Classic,
but the idea was to provide a new standard that engaged buyers to a greater degree
and provided a user experience flow similar to what people have come to expect
in today’s ecommerce environment.

However, the XP “experience” is not completely dependent on order status settings,
so we have been able to roll back / revise some of the changes which have caused
problems for our sellers.

Below is a revision of the info I shared with you on April 29. I have written
some notes below each paragraph that I trust you will find helpful:


1. Order Status changes are now subject to more restrictions. Whenever
possible, though, sellers are given the freedom to change order status as best
suits their workflow.

We have since relaxed many of these restrictions, especially for orders using
an offsite payment method.



2. Order completion

a. When a seller sets an order as completed, it becomes "Awaiting completion"
status and it won't be finalized until it gets purged or confirmed by the
buyer on XP. It shows as Completed on BrickLink Classic.

b. When a buyer sets an order as Completed, it becomes "Finalizing completion"
status and it will be finalized after 1 week of setting the status. The seller
no longer has the option of changing the status once the buyer has marked an
order as Completed.

Sellers are still no longer able to change the Order Status once the buyer
has set it to Completed, but we are only allowing buyers to change to Received
/ Completed after the order has been marked Shipped by the seller.

This is a slight disadvantage to buyers, because they are dependent on the seller
marking as Shipped (which not all sellers do) to complete the order. But the
problem of buyers inadvertently setting to Completed at an early stage of the
order proved to be a far greater nuisance to both buyers and sellers.

By the way, there was a bug where the system would automatically set an order
to Completed when payment was confirmed by the buyer. This has now been fixed,
but for a while it clouded this issue with unintended behavior.



3. NPB

a. The NPB fileable date is now 5 days after the most recent invoice date, not
counting reminder invoices. A “reminder invoice” according to the system is one
where the order total matches that of the previous invoice.

Previously, the NPB fileable date clock started on the order date. This was
open to abuse by sellers who issued, for example, an invoice on the sixth day
and then filed an NPB on the following day.

Additionally, we have for years had complaints from sellers about how long the
NPB process takes. Part of the reason this was never reduced was because of the
necessary time for Admin to review every alert case.

However, in this situation we have considered that on average the Admin oversight
time will remain the same, given that many invoices are sent after 2 or 3 days.
And for sellers who invoice immediately / same day, they will in effect have
to wait 2 days less to complete the NPB and get their inventory relisted.


b. An NPB is only fileable in Pending, Processing, Updated, Ready, Packed (and
not paid) status.

This prevents sellers from filing an NBP as the result of a chargeback.


4. NSS

a. The NSS fileable date is now based on either the most recent order date, the
most recent payment date, or the most recent invoice date.

The NSS fileable date used to be based on the order date alone, but the clock
really shouldn’t start until payment is made. However, in cases where the invoice
or payment is handled offsite, the order date will still be used.


b. An NSS is fileable in Pending, Processing, Updated, Ready, Paid, Packed (and
paid), Shipped, Received, Awaiting completion, Finalizing completion status.

We had originally restricted NSS filings when the order status was “Paid+”
(meaning Paid plus all stages after Paid). However, to prevent abuse from sellers
we have reverted back to allowing an NSS regardless of Order Status, with the
exception of Completed/Finalized by the buyer.



5. OCR and Order Cancellation

a. If an OCR is filed in “received with issue” status, the order can be canceled
after the buyer accepts the OCR.

This change didn't seem to ruffle any feathers.

b. When seller finds missing items in an order,

i. Before payment: File OIRR.

We realize that not every seller uses OIRR to handle missing items, but it
is still the officially recommended way to handle these problems.


ii. After payment: Handle independently with buyer.

We have completely changed our stance on this issue since the original release,
and in the near future we will add a “refund note” feature for sellers to keep
track of refunds.


c. When a seller needs to cancel an entire order after payment, do a full refund,
change the Order Status to Packed, and then proceed to complete an OCR.

Not much has changed about this process, but it will come under the scope
of the “refund feature” mentioned above.



6. Removing OCR/NSS/NRS/NPB

a. Removing OCR/NSS/NRS now sets the Order Status back to the previous Order
Status.

Previously, such orders were reset to Pending. We felt this was an improvement
since the previous order status would be more meaningful. However, when Admin
cancels one of the above alerts, it will still be set back to Pending.


b. Removing NPB/NPX now sets the Order Status back to Ready.

This is to prepare the order to enter Paid status. Again, when Admin cancels
an alert, it will still be set back to Pending. This prevents the alert from
sticking on the user’s account if the order is later canceled.



7. Invoices

a. Sending an invoice will produce a checkmark icon.

This has been reverted to the way it was originally.

b. Sellers can send an invoice independent of order status

This has also been reverted to the way it was originally. And sending an invoice
will not automatically change the Order Status.


c. When an order is marked paid, further changes to the order prices are blocked.

We had requests to revert this behavior as well, but we feel allowing such
changes is going to cause internal bookkeeping problems for us in the future.
We’d like to assist our users in overcoming any issues this change has caused.



8. Problem Order Item

a. A pending OIRR now expires after 7 days of filing.

It doesn’t make sense to keep these requests floating around in the system
any longer than a week. They can always be refiled if necessary.



Key:

NPB = Non-Paying Buyer Alert
NPX = Non-Paying Buyer Accepted Penalty
NSS = Non-Shipping Seller Alert
NRS = Non-Responding Seller Alert
OCR = Order Cancellation Request
OIRR = Order Item Removal Request
 Author: Admin_Russell View Messages Posted By Admin_Russell
 Posted: May 13, 2020 18:47
 Subject: Update on Order Status settings issue
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 Topic: Administrative
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Admin_Russell

Location:  USA, California
Member Since Contact Type Status
May 9, 2017 Contact Member Admin
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
BrickLink Administrator
Hello everyone,

Regarding the order status settings issue:

https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1193667

Based on feedback we received from you, we have decided to make a number of adjustments
to the original XP implementation. To make sure we were accurately meeting the
needs and wishes of our users, we held video sessions with several sellers who
had already given us detailed feedback in this thread and elsewhere. We have
also been closely monitoring all Forum posts and Help Desk tickets for related
issues.

The changes are almost finished and will be undergoing QA for the rest of the
week. We plan to release the changes to the live site at the beginning of next
week, probably Tuesday. At that time, I will post a detailed report of everything
that was changed / reverted / tweaked and also some notes as to why certain decisions
were made.

For now, here are some of the more impactful changes:

1) Invoices can be generated / sent regardless of the order status.
2) Sending an invoice will not automatically change the order status.
3) There will be less restrictions overall when it comes to changing order status.
4) For missing items, we will not expect full cancelation of the payment.
5) Waiting time to file an NPB is reduced from 7 to 5 days.
6) Buyer cannot set status to completed before order is shipped.

We appreciate your patience as we get some of these issues ironed out. We apologize
for any workflow disruption you may have experienced recently.
 Author: Admin_Russell View Messages Posted By Admin_Russell
 Posted: May 9, 2020 12:11
 Subject: The Community Expert Program
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 Topic: Administrative
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Admin_Russell

Location:  USA, California
Member Since Contact Type Status
May 9, 2017 Contact Member Admin
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
BrickLink Administrator
To BrickLink users everywhere:

Today we would like to announce a new BrickLink program called the Community
Expert Program. This replaces the volunteer admin program which was in effect
up until the acquisition of the site in December.

Over the past several months, we have onboarded 18 members from the original
program into the new program. Each of them had to sign legal documents and accept
a new reward system which was significantly different than the one before. However,
the positions remain essentially the same in terms of duties and privileges.

And the onboarding process was just the first step. We have plans over the coming
months to develop the Community Expert Program and further tailor it to the needs
of the site. In addition to replenishing a few vacancies, we will also consider
adding new positions and tweaking some of the existing ones.

For a list of who is currently in the program, please see the admin page:

https://www.bricklink.com/memberAdmins.asp

We also have a recently updated Help Page which might answer some further questions:

https://www.bricklink.com/help.asp?helpID=974

We would also like to take this opportunity to give a sincere word of thanks
to all those who have retired from the volunteer program over the years, especially
those who were still active at the time of the acquisition. There is an extension
link at the foot of the admin page for the Hall of Fame, where retired admins
are listed along with their dates of service.

Employees of the site have for a long time been listed together with volunteers
on the admin page, but with the new program we wanted to make a clear separation
between their roles, so a new location is being planned at the moment for public-facing
BrickLink staff members.
 Author: Admin_Russell View Messages Posted By Admin_Russell
 Posted: Apr 29, 2020 18:25
 Subject: Changes to Order Status (XP Beta Launch)
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 Topic: Administrative
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Admin_Russell

Location:  USA, California
Member Since Contact Type Status
May 9, 2017 Contact Member Admin
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
BrickLink Administrator
As a part of the XP Beta release, the following changes to the order status
feature have now been applied. Help Pages will be updated in the coming days.



1. Order status change is now subject to more restrictions (e.g. sellers
are no longer able to update order status when order is in completed status).

2. Order completion:

— When seller sets order as completed, it becomes "Awaiting completion" status
and it won't be finalized until it gets purged or confirmed by the buyer
on XP. It shows as completed on BrickLink Classic

— When buyer sets order as completed, it becomes "Finalizing completion" status
and it will be finalized after 1 week of setting the status.

3. NPB

— NPB fileable date is now based on the last invoice date (previously order
date).

— NPB is only fileable in Pending, Processing, Updated, Ready, Packed (and not
paid) status.

4. NSS

— NSS fileable date is now based on either the last payment date or last invoice
date (previously order date).

— NSS is only fileable in Paid, Packed (and paid), Shipped, Received, Awaiting
completion, Finalizing completion status.

5. OCR and Order Cancellation

— If OCR is filed in received with issue status, the order can be canceled after
the buyer accepts the OCR.

— When seller finds missing items from order, a) before payment: file OIRR,
b) after payment: do a full refund and change the status to Packed and then file
OIRR.

— When seller wants to cancel the order after payment, do a full refund and
change the status to Packed and cancel the order. This must be communicated to
the buyer beforehand.

6. Removing OCR/NSS/NRS/NPB

— Removing OCR/NSS/NRS now set order status back to previous order status (previously
it was reset to Pending).

— Removing NPB/NPX now set order status back to Ready status.

7. Invoice

— Sending invoice automatically changes order status to Ready

— Sellers can send invoice only for orders in Pending, Processing, Updated status.

— Invoice button in order received column is only displayed when order is in
Pending, Processing, Updated status.

8. Problem Order Item

— Pending OIRR now expires after 7 days of filing


Key:

NPB = Non-Paying Buyer Alert

NPX = Non-Paying Buyer Accepted Penalty

NSS = Non-Shipping Seller Alert

NRS = Non-Responding Seller Alert

OCR = Order Cancellation Request

OIRR = Order Item Removal Request
 Author: Admin_Russell View Messages Posted By Admin_Russell
 Posted: Mar 25, 2020 21:40
 Subject: COVID-19 Update
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 Topic: Administrative
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Admin_Russell

Location:  USA, California
Member Since Contact Type Status
May 9, 2017 Contact Member Admin
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
BrickLink Administrator
Dear BrickLink community,

We’re all affected to one degree or another by COVID-19, so we’d like to
share how we are facing the challenges of this pandemic and how we think this
may affect your BrickLink activity.

First, we want to reassure you of our commitment to you as a community. Even
though we are dealing with the challenges of working remotely and the delays
that inevitably arise from the safety measures that have been put in place, we
are striving to stay on target with our goals for this year.

One of our goals is to improve site performance so that you can depend on BrickLink
to be up and running smoothly when you need it the most. During this time of
many uncertainties, we want you to be able to count on BrickLink being stable
and have a frustration-free experience. Please check the Forum for progress updates.

Second, we’d like to report that sales are stable during this period, and we
have no reason to believe they won’t continue to be. The number of stores that
have closed is, apparently, being balanced out by those who are looking for a
few more LEGO® bricks to help spice up their extended stays at home.

As much as we want our marketplace to succeed, we would ask that if you are required
by local laws to stop working, please do so. This is not only the responsible
thing to do, but obeying local laws is an obligation according to our Terms of
Service.

Finally, as a community-driven site, we are concerned about the health and well-being
of all our members. To this end, we have the following recommendations for this
time of crisis:

- Whenever you receive an order from a BrickLink seller, leave it in the package
several days before opening it. This should completely nullify the chances of
you getting sick from a BrickLink order.

- Exhibit a greater degree of patience with other BrickLink members, whether
they be buyers, sellers, community admins, or folks you interact with in the
Forum.

- Take time to build something. The joy of building is what started this whole
community known as BrickLink, and it can perhaps provide a little distraction
from the news stories and empty streets.


Thank you,


The BrickLink Team
 Author: Admin_Russell View Messages Posted By Admin_Russell
 Posted: Mar 12, 2020 18:23
 Subject: Site Performance Issues - Update (Mar 12)
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 Topic: Administrative
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Admin_Russell

Location:  USA, California
Member Since Contact Type Status
May 9, 2017 Contact Member Admin
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
BrickLink Administrator
In light of this message and its positive reception:

https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1182638

we would like to keep you informed about our progress with the site’s performance
issues. Recently we moved one of the slowest pages to a special server. The purpose
of this was to isolate problems so they could be studied and managed more easily.
This server is also faster, though we don’t know how much of a noticeable difference
that will make.

The page we have moved is the Store Inventory Detail page:

https://www.bricklink.com/inventory_detail.asp

If you notice any strange behavior on this page, please report it to us. We plan
to take the same action with other pages if this is successful.
 Author: Admin_Russell View Messages Posted By Admin_Russell
 Posted: Feb 25, 2020 16:44
 Subject: Site Performance Issues
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 Topic: Administrative
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Admin_Russell

Location:  USA, California
Member Since Contact Type Status
May 9, 2017 Contact Member Admin
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
BrickLink Administrator
In response to your feedback from the recent AMA session, we decided to do a
special study of the site’s performance and begin a formal project with the goal
of making a noticeable and quantifiable improvement. Performance issues are always
a top priority in our day-to-day maintenance of the site, but this project intends
to go beyond the daily fixes and tuning and deal with the problem at a root level.

This project has already been underway for a couple of weeks, and during that
time, we have outlined a multi-faceted approach that we will implement piece
by piece over the following months. We have set up monitoring systems and determined
that the first big step will be to rewrite three “ASP” pages which are currently
causing the most issues.

For those unfamiliar with the lingo, “ASP” is the original code language that
Dan Jezek used to write BrickLink. It is sometimes referred to pejoratively in
the BrickLink Forum as “spaghetti code.” But whatever you may call it, there
are major portions of the site that still use ASP pages, and this is a big part
of the performance problem.

The three ASP pages that will be rewritten are:

1. The Store inventory Detail page:

https://www.bricklink.com/inventory_detail.asp

2. The Set Partout Verify page:

https://www.bricklink.com/invSetVerify.asp

3. The Catalog List page, in its many forms:

https://www.bricklink.com/catalogList.asp

We want to be clear that rewriting these three pages is not going to solve all
of the performance issues. Much of the problem lies with the ASP pages taken
together as whole. This can produce a situation where part of the site is down
or slow, and other newer parts of the site are up and running. Hence the large
number of cases where some users can’t get anything done at all while others
barely notice any slowness.

Another factor that has affected performance is that the site is being used by
more people than ever before. Since the news of the acquisition, activity levels
on the site have spiked, and sales figures are at record highs. This is a good
problem to have, but it’s still a problem. To solve this, we have recently doubled
what we spend on servers and are planning to invest even more in the near future.

As we move along, we will announce progress and other steps we are taking in
regards to this project.

Thank you, Donna, for providing a very level-headed and accurate assessment of
the problem yesterday. It’s refreshing to hear something this positive and
encouraging from the community:

https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1182483

And thanks to user todd3ponds for his earlier posts. They read like a transcript
of the initial project session where our technical director outlined the nature
of the problem and our planned course of action:

https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1181145

https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1181229
 Author: Admin_Russell View Messages Posted By Admin_Russell
 Posted: Dec 23, 2019 12:32
 Subject: The Acquisition - even more FAQs
 Viewed: 1443 times
 Topic: Administrative
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Admin_Russell

Location:  USA, California
Member Since Contact Type Status
May 9, 2017 Contact Member Admin
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
BrickLink Administrator
Dear BrickLink members,

We've just added a few more FAQs to the list based on questions raised since
the release of the new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy:

https://www.bricklink.com/r3/announcement/lego_bl_faq.page

These newest FAQs are also copied below:

****************************************************

8. We can no longer click into Buyer names. Is this permanent, due to privacy
issues?


We made this change to protect the privacy of BrickLink users. However, we plan
to add some information for both buyers and sellers such as the last login and
a summary of recent address changes.

9. What will happen with our current volunteer admins?

Our volunteer admins will continue to be crucial to the BrickLink community and
to the catalog. We are currently working to move them over to the new ‘Community
Experts Program’.

10. How can I completely delete my profile?

Send a ticket to the Help Desk asking to delete your BrickLink account and all
your personal data. We will work with you to complete this process. If you simply
wish to unregister your account, click here: https://www.bricklink.com/help.asp?helpID=129&q=unregister

11. How will you be using my data?

Your data will be used only in accordance with the Privacy Policy and your personal
settings. It will not be shared with any other entities, including the LEGO Group,
without express consent.

12. Is BrickLink a subsidiary of the LEGO Group, or actually folded into it?

BrickLink is a wholly owned subsidiary of the LEGO Group and will be managed
as a stand-alone team. It will continued to be based in Irvine CA.

13. Why are modified parts no longer allowed?

Modified parts may consist of material that may not meet LEGO quality and product
safety standards. In addition, printed designs may also have some legal implications
related to intellectual property rights or display content incompatible with
the LEGO brand.

14. Will the LEGO Group start directly providing set inventories so they no
longer have to be created manually by volunteers?


Moving forward the LEGO Group will supply data to help the catalog admin team
update the catalog faster and more accurately. However, we will continue to need
the community to help build and maintain the catalog.
 Author: Admin_Russell View Messages Posted By Admin_Russell
 Posted: Dec 7, 2019 15:59
 Subject: Terminated members and the Forum
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 Topic: Administrative
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Admin_Russell

Location:  USA, California
Member Since Contact Type Status
May 9, 2017 Contact Member Admin
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
BrickLink Administrator
This is just a bit of information for the Forum regulars, especially those who
have switched their Forum settings to not hide canceled posts.

As online privacy concerns continue to be taken more seriously, we are starting
to develop policies and procedures for handling private information in a responsible
and transparent manner. This has nothing to do with the sale of the site, as
these policies have been under development (slowly) since the early part of 2019.

When a Forum user has their account terminated, now as a rule any thread or part
of a thread that they initiated will be canceled. Exceptions may be made for
information that is part of a critical forum discussion, or for catalog / inventory
data that may need to be preserved. Also, the username on the terminated account
may be replaced.

We have had some questions come in regarding the canceling of otherwise harmless
posts, so this is the explanation for that. If one of your posts gets canceled
as a result of this policy, it doesn't mean you have engendered the wrath
of the site.

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