Discussion Forum: Thread 258429

 Author: corbindallas View Messages Posted By corbindallas
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 16:48
 Subject: Setting A Lot Fee...
 Viewed: 223 times
 Topic: Selling
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corbindallas (176)

Location:  USA, Texas
Member Since Contact Type Status
Nov 20, 2014 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: Preserved in Plastic
I hate this topic. As a buyer I hate a seller that uses lot fee's
Especially that infamous seller that charges $1.00 per lot.
I have always considered lot fee's to be too much.
That being said...

I recently had a customer purchase 292 items across 103 lots for $16.00
I am seriously impressed that I had enough inventory to offer this..

I am super happy for my customer who managed to find so much of what he needed
from my store. However, picking through 103 lots is not easy or quick. This process
took me about 2 hours. At best my profit on this order was $7.00. This does not
even come close to justifying the time spent picking the order.

I have my inventory sorted well and have spend several years learning how to
organize and store my inventory. At this point I don't believe it could be
done much better. I certainly don't see anywhere that I could save 2 hours.

I am thinking about a $0.10 lot fee for each unique lot.
In the end it would have generated another $10.30 for handling. (Still not enough
for my time)

My customer probably couldn't find what he got for any less anywhere else,
but I hate the idea of taxing him for this.

I don't want to use a average lot value limit because this is also a turn
off.

If anyone has any feedback or solutions for this problem please let me know.
Looking at this pile of lego's I am about to ship, it is hard to justify
all the work I have done for $7.00 profit..

I don't know what to do, and I want to be able to continue supplying bricks
to people for their custom creations.

P.S. Order now because things are about to change one way or another.
 Author: Admin_Russell View Messages Posted By Admin_Russell
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 16:51
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
 Viewed: 88 times
 Topic: Selling
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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 Selling, corbindallas writes:
  I hate this topic. As a buyer I hate a seller that uses lot fee's
Especially that infamous seller that charges $1.00 per lot.

Who is the seller that charges $1.00 per lot?

  I have always considered lot fee's to be too much.
That being said...

I recently had a customer purchase 292 items across 103 lots for $16.00
I am seriously impressed that I had enough inventory to offer this..

I am super happy for my customer who managed to find so much of what he needed
from my store. However, picking through 103 lots is not easy or quick. This process
took me about 2 hours. At best my profit on this order was $7.00. This does not
even come close to justifying the time spent picking the order.

I have my inventory sorted well and have spend several years learning how to
organize and store my inventory. At this point I don't believe it could be
done much better. I certainly don't see anywhere that I could save 2 hours.

I am thinking about a $0.10 lot fee for each unique lot.
In the end it would have generated another $10.30 for handling. (Still not enough
for my time)

My customer probably couldn't find what he got for any less anywhere else,
but I hate the idea of taxing him for this.

I don't want to use a average lot value limit because this is also a turn
off.

If anyone has any feedback or solutions for this problem please let me know.
Looking at this pile of lego's I am about to ship, it is hard to justify
all the work I have done for $7.00 profit..

I don't know what to do, and I want to be able to continue supplying bricks
to people for their custom creations.

P.S. Order now because things are about to change one way or another.

I would discourage you from using a lot fee. Instead use the lot limit feature.
 Author: corbindallas View Messages Posted By corbindallas
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 17:02
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
 Viewed: 79 times
 Topic: Selling
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corbindallas (176)

Location:  USA, Texas
Member Since Contact Type Status
Nov 20, 2014 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: Preserved in Plastic
Russell,
I have decided against that as it does not seem like it would be helpful to me
or my customer.
Please tell me how this would be a benefit to satisfying my customers and getting
new customers ?

Thanks






In Selling, Admin_Russell writes:
  In Selling, corbindallas writes:
  I hate this topic. As a buyer I hate a seller that uses lot fee's
Especially that infamous seller that charges $1.00 per lot.

Who is the seller that charges $1.00 per lot?

  I have always considered lot fee's to be too much.
That being said...

I recently had a customer purchase 292 items across 103 lots for $16.00
I am seriously impressed that I had enough inventory to offer this..

I am super happy for my customer who managed to find so much of what he needed
from my store. However, picking through 103 lots is not easy or quick. This process
took me about 2 hours. At best my profit on this order was $7.00. This does not
even come close to justifying the time spent picking the order.

I have my inventory sorted well and have spend several years learning how to
organize and store my inventory. At this point I don't believe it could be
done much better. I certainly don't see anywhere that I could save 2 hours.

I am thinking about a $0.10 lot fee for each unique lot.
In the end it would have generated another $10.30 for handling. (Still not enough
for my time)

My customer probably couldn't find what he got for any less anywhere else,
but I hate the idea of taxing him for this.

I don't want to use a average lot value limit because this is also a turn
off.

If anyone has any feedback or solutions for this problem please let me know.
Looking at this pile of lego's I am about to ship, it is hard to justify
all the work I have done for $7.00 profit..

I don't know what to do, and I want to be able to continue supplying bricks
to people for their custom creations.

P.S. Order now because things are about to change one way or another.

I would discourage you from using a lot fee. Instead use the lot limit feature.
 Author: Teup View Messages Posted By Teup
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 17:10
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
 Viewed: 65 times
 Topic: Selling
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Teup (4149)

Location:  Netherlands, Utrecht
Member Since Contact Type Status
May 6, 2004 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: The T-workshop
Minimum lot averages are definitely not a very nice thing, but lot fees are way,
way worse. I would suggest you reconsider whether you have to do something at
all. I've also had mixed feelings about some aspects of selling but taking
a step back, laying it to rest for a couple of days, and seeing the big picture,
I never felt like I needed to really change anything for the worse. You don't
really need to profit on every hour you spent on your shop. Sometimes it sucks,
sometimes it's such easy money you can hardly believe it

In Selling, corbindallas writes:
  Russell,
I have decided against that as it does not seem like it would be helpful to me
or my customer.
Please tell me how this would be a benefit to satisfying my customers and getting
new customers ?

Thanks






In Selling, Admin_Russell writes:
  In Selling, corbindallas writes:
  I hate this topic. As a buyer I hate a seller that uses lot fee's
Especially that infamous seller that charges $1.00 per lot.

Who is the seller that charges $1.00 per lot?

  I have always considered lot fee's to be too much.
That being said...

I recently had a customer purchase 292 items across 103 lots for $16.00
I am seriously impressed that I had enough inventory to offer this..

I am super happy for my customer who managed to find so much of what he needed
from my store. However, picking through 103 lots is not easy or quick. This process
took me about 2 hours. At best my profit on this order was $7.00. This does not
even come close to justifying the time spent picking the order.

I have my inventory sorted well and have spend several years learning how to
organize and store my inventory. At this point I don't believe it could be
done much better. I certainly don't see anywhere that I could save 2 hours.

I am thinking about a $0.10 lot fee for each unique lot.
In the end it would have generated another $10.30 for handling. (Still not enough
for my time)

My customer probably couldn't find what he got for any less anywhere else,
but I hate the idea of taxing him for this.

I don't want to use a average lot value limit because this is also a turn
off.

If anyone has any feedback or solutions for this problem please let me know.
Looking at this pile of lego's I am about to ship, it is hard to justify
all the work I have done for $7.00 profit..

I don't know what to do, and I want to be able to continue supplying bricks
to people for their custom creations.

P.S. Order now because things are about to change one way or another.

I would discourage you from using a lot fee. Instead use the lot limit feature.
 Author: corbindallas View Messages Posted By corbindallas
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 17:17
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
 Viewed: 53 times
 Topic: Selling
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corbindallas (176)

Location:  USA, Texas
Member Since Contact Type Status
Nov 20, 2014 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: Preserved in Plastic
I have not experience easy money....
Can that really happen ?
I am only trying to make selling worth my effort.
Remember pulling the lots is just the last part.
I have already spent HOURS sorting the sets too.

I want to offer good prices (qty 6 mo sales average)
But I want to be able to grow my store too. which means I am not making enough
money when someone buys 300 parts across 100 lots at 6 mo qty avg price.
 Author: Teup View Messages Posted By Teup
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 18:12
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
 Viewed: 44 times
 Topic: Selling
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Teup (4149)

Location:  Netherlands, Utrecht
Member Since Contact Type Status
May 6, 2004 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: The T-workshop
In Selling, corbindallas writes:
  I have not experience easy money....
Can that really happen ?
I am only trying to make selling worth my effort.
Remember pulling the lots is just the last part.
I have already spent HOURS sorting the sets too.

I want to offer good prices (qty 6 mo sales average)
But I want to be able to grow my store too. which means I am not making enough
money when someone buys 300 parts across 100 lots at 6 mo qty avg price.

Some orders take a lot of time, some orders hardly take any time. The idea is,
in a normal situation, that the average amount of time spent is in line with
the average profit you make. Sometimes it's higher, sometimes it's lower.
But if you experience that pay per hour is always lower than you like,
then you just need to increase your prices.

And if that then means you're not getting orders.. well.. selling Lego is
tough. It's definitely not easy or very lucrative anymore, so it might also
be about tuning down your expectations a bit. I've got 1 million parts and
I also struggle to get enough business.
 Author: Adjour View Messages Posted By Adjour
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 18:49
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
 Viewed: 45 times
 Topic: Selling
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Adjour (481)

Location:  USA, California
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 1, 2016 Contact Member Seller
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Store: The Chili is a Bit Spicy
In Selling, corbindallas writes:

  I am only trying to make selling worth my effort.


Raise your prices.



Buyers hate fees.


.02
 Author: mmookk61 View Messages Posted By mmookk61
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 18:58
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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mmookk61 (182)

Location:  USA, Indiana
Member Since Contact Type Status
Apr 17, 2012 Contact Member Seller
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Store: Paul's Bricks
In Selling, corbindallas writes:
  I have not experience easy money....
Can that really happen ?
I am only trying to make selling worth my effort.
Remember pulling the lots is just the last part.
I have already spent HOURS sorting the sets too.

I want to offer good prices (qty 6 mo sales average)
But I want to be able to grow my store too. which means I am not making enough
money when someone buys 300 parts across 100 lots at 6 mo qty avg price.

Just curious. Do you have your order sheet sorted where the parts sold are in
store location order via the remarks box? Sequential storage spots can save
a ton of time.
 Author: Teup View Messages Posted By Teup
 Posted: Oct 11, 2019 05:02
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
 Viewed: 34 times
 Topic: Selling
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Teup (4149)

Location:  Netherlands, Utrecht
Member Since Contact Type Status
May 6, 2004 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: The T-workshop
In Selling, mmookk61 writes:
  In Selling, corbindallas writes:
  I have not experience easy money....
Can that really happen ?
I am only trying to make selling worth my effort.
Remember pulling the lots is just the last part.
I have already spent HOURS sorting the sets too.

I want to offer good prices (qty 6 mo sales average)
But I want to be able to grow my store too. which means I am not making enough
money when someone buys 300 parts across 100 lots at 6 mo qty avg price.

Just curious. Do you have your order sheet sorted where the parts sold are in
store location order via the remarks box? Sequential storage spots can save
a ton of time.

Or just sorted alphabetically and stored alphabetically, without using any remarks.
That's how my store works and the added benefit is that similar items are
adjacent. Orders with a lot of lots typically have the same part in several different
colours. For me that is just as easy to pick as if it was one lot, because the
other colours are in the same bag.
 Author: Admin_Russell View Messages Posted By Admin_Russell
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 17:23
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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Admin_Russell

Location:  USA, California
Member Since Contact Type Status
May 9, 2017 Contact Member Admin
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BrickLink Administrator
In Selling, corbindallas writes:
  Russell,
I have decided against that as it does not seem like it would be helpful to me
or my customer.
Please tell me how this would be a benefit to satisfying my customers and getting
new customers ?

Thanks

Just to be clear, I'm talking about the lot limit setting, not the average
lot value setting. If you don't set boundaries for yourself, you may get
discouraged as a seller. Take care of your own needs first and you'll still
be around to watch your store grow.
 
 Author: corbindallas View Messages Posted By corbindallas
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 17:30
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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corbindallas (176)

Location:  USA, Texas
Member Since Contact Type Status
Nov 20, 2014 Contact Member Seller
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Store: Preserved in Plastic
I gotcha Russell,

I just figure that is discouraging the customer from ordering multiple lots.
why would I want to make a customer go to other stores because I am cutting him
off at X# of lots..
And couldn't they just make multiple orders to work around that limit ?
I want to welcome customers who want to purchase 100 lots.

In Selling, Admin_Russell writes:
  In Selling, corbindallas writes:
  Russell,
I have decided against that as it does not seem like it would be helpful to me
or my customer.
Please tell me how this would be a benefit to satisfying my customers and getting
new customers ?

Thanks

Just to be clear, I'm talking about the lot limit setting, not the average
lot value setting. If you don't set boundaries for yourself, you may get
discouraged as a seller. Take care of your own needs first and you'll still
be around to watch your store grow.
 Author: tEoS View Messages Posted By tEoS
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 17:38
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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tEoS (4966)

Location:  USA, Michigan
Member Since Contact Type Status
Dec 24, 2002 Contact Member Seller
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Store Closed Store: The Elements Of Surprise
There are stores that charge close to this amount when an order exceeds a certain
dollar-to-lot ratio.

A recent forum post indicated (allegedly) that a buyer was charged a total of
450 euro on a 150 euro order. Apparently, due to extra "fees" on top of shipping.

https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1158709

.75 euro fee = $0.82 (usd), so not quite $1.00 per extra lot.

I hope that BL will eventually step-in and create some type of restrictions on
fees in order to level the playing field between stores. Or at least those fees
that are not represented in the grand total at checkout (instant).

  Who is the seller that charges $1.00 per lot?
 Author: Hypertrophy View Messages Posted By Hypertrophy
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 17:07
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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Hypertrophy (5430)

Location:  USA, Georgia
Member Since Contact Type Status
Sep 23, 2012 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: Robb the Builder
I use an average lot value of $.50 per. I have 9000+ lots for sale and I can't
work for $2-3 an hour pulling orders so this is an absolute must.

So, don't charge a lot fee but set an average lot value. If someone is a
bit short, they always have the option of adding a minifigure to bring up the
value.
 Author: corbindallas View Messages Posted By corbindallas
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 17:10
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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corbindallas (176)

Location:  USA, Texas
Member Since Contact Type Status
Nov 20, 2014 Contact Member Seller
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Store: Preserved in Plastic
Is this transparent for the customer ?
Will this decrease my sales ?
I cant really afford to sit on my inventory until the perfect customer shows
up..
 Author: Hypertrophy View Messages Posted By Hypertrophy
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 17:22
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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Hypertrophy (5430)

Location:  USA, Georgia
Member Since Contact Type Status
Sep 23, 2012 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: Robb the Builder
In Selling, corbindallas writes:
  Is this transparent for the customer ?
Will this decrease my sales ?
I cant really afford to sit on my inventory until the perfect customer shows
up..

Yes, it's displayed near the top right of your store (along with the Minimum
Buy). It could decrease your sales, or it could increase your sales because people
add a few more things to hit the minimum. I don't think a small lot average
is going to discourage too many people. It might not be $.50 cents for you but
maybe $.25. Figure out that point at which you're not going to be grumbling
while packing
 Author: eileenkeeney View Messages Posted By eileenkeeney
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 17:50
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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eileenkeeney (1423)

Location:  USA, Oregon
Member Since Contact Type Status
Oct 4, 2010 Contact Member Buyer
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In Selling, corbindallas writes:
  Is this transparent for the customer ?
Will this decrease my sales ?
I cant really afford to sit on my inventory until the perfect customer shows
up..

I have never decided to not buy from a store due to an average lot value requirement,
except where available lots (for all of the parts I wanted) were just too small
to hit the average.
So really it depends on what type of selection the store has.
If the store doesn't have many basic pieces (bricks and plates) with decent
amounts per lot, then lot limits may cause me to go elsewhere.

Some stores require one to purchase a certain qty within each lot. This makes
more sense to me than lot limits.
It seems to me, that even if my lot average is X, If a specific lot is only
worth Y, it still took the same effort to pick the lot that is worth Y as if
I had ordered only Y.
So an order minimum makes more sense to me than a lot average.
 Author: alexwilcox View Messages Posted By alexwilcox
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 17:18
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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alexwilcox (1169)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Mar 21, 2003 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: Bracknell Bricks
Take the rough with the smooth??

Yes that order sucks - but what about the $100 order that takes 5 minutes?!

That's the way I see it anyway, I hate the work of pulling 30 lots for an
order that is less then $5. But then you get the really good orders worth $30+
(maybe 1 or 2 lots or a decent sized set) that literally take you 5 minutes.
 Author: Bricks_NW_UK View Messages Posted By Bricks_NW_UK
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 17:28
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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Bricks_NW_UK (272)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
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Sep 28, 2016 Contact Member Seller
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Store: Bricks NW UK
In Selling, alexwilcox writes:
  Take the rough with the smooth??

Yes that order sucks - but what about the $100 order that takes 5 minutes?!

That's the way I see it anyway, I hate the work of pulling 30 lots for an
order that is less then $5. But then you get the really good orders worth $30+
(maybe 1 or 2 lots or a decent sized set) that literally take you 5 minutes.


I totally agree - take the rough with the smooth.

Recently I got a 350 brick x 135 Lot order from a new bricklink member.

It was worth about £32.

It took about 2 hours to sort.

However, I would hope that customer would be really satisfied with their order
and maybe come back for more.
 Author: corbindallas View Messages Posted By corbindallas
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 17:34
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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corbindallas (176)

Location:  USA, Texas
Member Since Contact Type Status
Nov 20, 2014 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: Preserved in Plastic
Maybe I could set a .50 lot average limit.
Then offer the bypass password to customer willing to pay .10 cent per lot instead
of meeting the average lot limit..

This way the customers who want 100 lots that are below the average limit will
KNOW what they are getting into. This will give them the option to add higher
value items or pay for my the work..

Think this would have an adverse effect ?
 Author: alexwilcox View Messages Posted By alexwilcox
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 17:55
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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alexwilcox (1169)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Mar 21, 2003 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: Bracknell Bricks
In Selling, corbindallas writes:
  Maybe I could set a .50 lot average limit.
Then offer the bypass password to customer willing to pay .10 cent per lot instead
of meeting the average lot limit..

This way the customers who want 100 lots that are below the average limit will
KNOW what they are getting into. This will give them the option to add higher
value items or pay for my the work..

Think this would have an adverse effect ?

Yep.

Obviously its your choice. But personally I don't buy from any stores that
have lot limits/lot fees or charge paypal/bricklink fees.

Whatever I'm buying - i'll keep working down the list of stores until
I find one that doesn't charge loads of extra fees/impose lot limits.
 Author: chetzler View Messages Posted By chetzler
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 17:43
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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chetzler (1331)

Location:  USA, Minnesota
Member Since Contact Type Status
Feb 12, 2005 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store Closed Store: Lost Boys' Brick Shop
In Selling, corbindallas writes:
  I hate this topic. As a buyer I hate a seller that uses lot fee's
Especially that infamous seller that charges $1.00 per lot.
I have always considered lot fee's to be too much.
That being said...

I recently had a customer purchase 292 items across 103 lots for $16.00
I am seriously impressed that I had enough inventory to offer this..

I am super happy for my customer who managed to find so much of what he needed
from my store. However, picking through 103 lots is not easy or quick. This process
took me about 2 hours. At best my profit on this order was $7.00. This does not
even come close to justifying the time spent picking the order.

I have my inventory sorted well and have spend several years learning how to
organize and store my inventory. At this point I don't believe it could be
done much better. I certainly don't see anywhere that I could save 2 hours.

I am thinking about a $0.10 lot fee for each unique lot.
In the end it would have generated another $10.30 for handling. (Still not enough
for my time)

My customer probably couldn't find what he got for any less anywhere else,
but I hate the idea of taxing him for this.

I don't want to use a average lot value limit because this is also a turn
off.

If anyone has any feedback or solutions for this problem please let me know.
Looking at this pile of lego's I am about to ship, it is hard to justify
all the work I have done for $7.00 profit..

I don't know what to do, and I want to be able to continue supplying bricks
to people for their custom creations.

P.S. Order now because things are about to change one way or another.

I had an order like this the other day; they're just part of running a store
and will continue to be for me since I have no interest in adding any restrictions
to potential buyers (other than a minimum order). It did get me thinking about
the issue from a different perspective though:

What if we had an option for some sort of reverse lot fee? For example: if a
buyer keeps his lots under 10, he automatically gets a 10% discount, under 20
lots, 5% discount (seller can set any values he wants). More than 20 lots, no
discount, but nothing that feels like a hidden fee either. The parts still cost
what they cost, but instead of penalizing a buyer for making more work for us,
we reward him for making it easier for us. Classic carrot vs stick.

Seems like such a system would remove a lot of negativity for both buyers and
sellers.
 Author: SylvainLS View Messages Posted By SylvainLS
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 18:06
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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SylvainLS (32)

Location:  France, Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Member Since Contact Type Status
Apr 25, 2014 Contact Member Buyer
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In Selling, chetzler writes:
  […]
What if we had an option for some sort of reverse lot fee? For example: if a
buyer keeps his lots under 10, he automatically gets a 10% discount, under 20
lots, 5% discount (seller can set any values he wants). More than 20 lots, no
discount, but nothing that feels like a hidden fee either. The parts still cost
what they cost, but instead of penalizing a buyer for making more work for us,
we reward him for making it easier for us. Classic carrot vs stick.

Are you in cahoots with the postal services?

As a buyer, I always try to optimize shipping: buying more lots to fill the package.
A seller should be wary not to prevent me to do that, or I would find another
seller.

But I guess it’s like other tools: find the right balance.


  Seems like such a system would remove a lot of negativity for both buyers and
sellers.

What about bulk lots? I find they entice to buy bigger lots. That doesn’t reduce
the number of lots but that increase the grand total (ask my wallet).
 Author: Teup View Messages Posted By Teup
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 18:21
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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Teup (4149)

Location:  Netherlands, Utrecht
Member Since Contact Type Status
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Store: The T-workshop
In Selling, SylvainLS writes:
  In Selling, chetzler writes:
  […]
What if we had an option for some sort of reverse lot fee? For example: if a
buyer keeps his lots under 10, he automatically gets a 10% discount, under 20
lots, 5% discount (seller can set any values he wants). More than 20 lots, no
discount, but nothing that feels like a hidden fee either. The parts still cost
what they cost, but instead of penalizing a buyer for making more work for us,
we reward him for making it easier for us. Classic carrot vs stick.

Are you in cahoots with the postal services?

As a buyer, I always try to optimize shipping: buying more lots to fill the package.
A seller should be wary not to prevent me to do that, or I would find another
seller.

But I guess it’s like other tools: find the right balance.


  Seems like such a system would remove a lot of negativity for both buyers and
sellers.

What about bulk lots? I find they entice to buy bigger lots. That doesn’t reduce
the number of lots but that increase the grand total (ask my wallet).

And there's tiered pricing, that also works roughly in the same direction.

(Though I wish the tiered pricing parameters were discount percentages
rather than absolute prices, so that I'd be able to update prices and have
the tiers dynamically moving along with the updated price without messing things
up. That way I might actually want to use that feature.)
 Author: eileenkeeney View Messages Posted By eileenkeeney
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 18:35
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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eileenkeeney (1423)

Location:  USA, Oregon
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In Selling, chetzler writes:

  What if we had an option for some sort of reverse lot fee? For example: if a
buyer keeps his lots under 10, he automatically gets a 10% discount, under 20
lots, 5% discount (seller can set any values he wants). More than 20 lots, no
discount, but nothing that feels like a hidden fee either. The parts still cost
what they cost, but instead of penalizing a buyer for making more work for us,
we reward him for making it easier for us. Classic carrot vs stick.

Seems like such a system would remove a lot of negativity for both buyers and
sellers.

Rewards (that are mathematically the equivalent of an opposite punishment) do
tend to make the impacted folks feel better.
While a paypal fee might turn away a buyer, an equivalent discount for using
another payment method likely would not turn away the same buyer.

Fees that are correlated with a direct cost to the seller, where there is another
option (for the buyer) that does not cause the same cost to the seller, make
sense to me.


However, due to the way many buyers (including myself) shop, starting by doing
a search sorted by lowest price, your lots may all be at a disadvantage.
Some sellers do give themselves an initial advantage by having low prices but
then counteract with fees. Upon noticing the fees I often go back and find another
seller.

I still think it makes the most sense to just require a user to buy some minimum
qty within the lot, that makes it worth the sellers effort to pick the lot.
 Author: SylvainLS View Messages Posted By SylvainLS
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 18:55
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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SylvainLS (32)

Location:  France, Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Member Since Contact Type Status
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In Selling, eileenkeeney writes:
  In Selling, chetzler writes:
[…]
Rewards (that are mathematically the equivalent of an opposite punishment) do
tend to make the impacted folks feel better.
While a paypal fee might turn away a buyer, an equivalent discount for using
another payment method likely would not turn away the same buyer.

Better: in France, the former (fee on payment method) is illegal, not the latter
(discount), so your remark is officialy sanctionned by society


  Fees that are correlated with a direct cost to the seller, where there is another
option (for the buyer) that does not cause the same cost to the seller, make
sense to me.


However, due to the way many buyers (including myself) shop, starting by doing
a search sorted by lowest price, your lots may all be at a disadvantage.
Some sellers do give themselves an initial advantage by having low prices but
then counteract with fees. Upon noticing the fees I often go back and find another
seller.

I still think it makes the most sense to just require a user to buy some minimum
qty within the lot, that makes it worth the sellers effort to pick the lot.

It’s all about balance and how the fees are presented.
 Author: 62Bricks View Messages Posted By 62Bricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 23:24
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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62Bricks (775)

Location:  USA, Missouri
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Store: 62 Bricks
In Selling, eileenkeeney writes:
...

  
I still think it makes the most sense to just require a user to buy some minimum
qty within the lot, that makes it worth the sellers effort to pick the lot.

There you go.

I am always amazed when sellers who list 100 lots of five-cent parts are upset
when someone comes along and buys 100 lots of five-cent parts.

You have control of your store, what and how you sell items. If you don't
want to pick out a bunch of small lots with low-price parts, don't list low-price
parts in small lots. Put 20 five-cent parts in a bag as you're sorting and
counting them and sell them for $1.

If you want to grow your business, you need to think like a businessperson. Look
at your orders as a whole - are you making up for the occasional high-lot/low-value
order with other orders that take less time to pick and pack? Or are you just
getting bored in the middle of a picking 100-lot order and thinking your side
gig isn't fun any more?

In my opinion the way to avoid it is not to make it more complicated for your
buyers. Instead, make it simpler both for them and for yourself and sell your
goods in quantities that make it worthwhile.
 Author: husker92 View Messages Posted By husker92
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 17:57
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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husker92 (2566)

Location:  USA, Missouri
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Store: In-2-Bricks
I was in the exact same place you are in once. Average lot limit is the way
to go. $.50 for me.

I keep hearing people reply with "take the good with the bad". Why? Put on
an average lot limit and just take the good and get rid of the bad.

Will you lose a couple orders? Probably, but those would have been the ones
you didn't want anyway. No one asks about the average lot limit unless they
hit it and if they hit it, you didn't want that order anyway. If they are
really in a bind, they will ask for an override and you can decide if you have
the time for it or not.

Just my $.02.
 Author: EnchantedBricks View Messages Posted By EnchantedBricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 19:27
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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EnchantedBricks (19)

Location:  USA, Pennsylvania
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In Selling, corbindallas writes:
  I hate this topic. As a buyer I hate a seller that uses lot fee's
Especially that infamous seller that charges $1.00 per lot.
I have always considered lot fee's to be too much.
That being said...

I recently had a customer purchase 292 items across 103 lots for $16.00
I am seriously impressed that I had enough inventory to offer this..

I am super happy for my customer who managed to find so much of what he needed
from my store. However, picking through 103 lots is not easy or quick. This process
took me about 2 hours. At best my profit on this order was $7.00. This does not
even come close to justifying the time spent picking the order.

I have my inventory sorted well and have spend several years learning how to
organize and store my inventory. At this point I don't believe it could be
done much better. I certainly don't see anywhere that I could save 2 hours.

I am thinking about a $0.10 lot fee for each unique lot.
In the end it would have generated another $10.30 for handling. (Still not enough
for my time)

My customer probably couldn't find what he got for any less anywhere else,
but I hate the idea of taxing him for this.

I don't want to use a average lot value limit because this is also a turn
off.

If anyone has any feedback or solutions for this problem please let me know.
Looking at this pile of lego's I am about to ship, it is hard to justify
all the work I have done for $7.00 profit..

I don't know what to do, and I want to be able to continue supplying bricks
to people for their custom creations.

P.S. Order now because things are about to change one way or another.


This is just my .02343 cents, but I look at it a bit different due to the fact
that I have been in traditional retail going on 20 Years, but you are always
going to have those customers that just come in for the nickle and dime products
that don't make you a ton of money, but they are a customer non the less
and I appreciate them because they may come back and drop $100 next time. I can
tell you tons of stories about working with a customer for 6-8 hours only to
have them change their mind and go for something cheaper or to totally back out
of the deal (Commission Sales are Awesome)... That's Sarcasm.... But then
you have the customers that you work with for 5 minutes and you make $$$. Take
the good with the bad. Sorry this is s rather long winded way to say I personally
detest extra fees, and don't shop at stores that charge em, but at the end
of the day You gotta do you, just be upfront with your customers !!

Always Let Your Imagination Run Wild !!
Charlie
Enchanted Bricks
 Author: bagelboybugle View Messages Posted By bagelboybugle
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 20:25
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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bagelboybugle (3391)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
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In Selling, corbindallas writes:

  I am super happy for my customer who managed to find so much of what he needed
from my store. However, picking through 103 lots is not easy or quick. This process
took me about 2 hours. At best my profit on this order was $7.00. This does not
even come close to justifying the time spent picking the order.

So net $3.50 per hour on that order. How many times have you had an order where
the picking time has worked out 10 times that in net value? Swings and roundabouts.
To run a business you have to accept that sometimes you have to put a bit of
work in for less reward than you might consider ideal.

  I have my inventory sorted well and have spend several years learning how to
organize and store my inventory. At this point I don't believe it could be
done much better. I certainly don't see anywhere that I could save 2 hours.

I disagree, if it took that long, there is clearly room for improvement. I spent
5 years running my store professionally, peaking at a similar size to your store,
based on the spread of item categories in your store I would suggest I would
have picked a similarly complex order in 30-60 minutes depending on how the range
of items in the order matched up with my storage system.

  I am thinking about a $0.10 lot fee for each unique lot.
In the end it would have generated another $10.30 for handling. (Still not enough
for my time)

My customer probably couldn't find what he got for any less anywhere else,
but I hate the idea of taxing him for this.

If you'd charged a $0.10 per lot fee he almost certainly could, plus, common
mistake, it isnt always about price.

  If anyone has any feedback or solutions for this problem please let me know.
Looking at this pile of lego's I am about to ship, it is hard to justify
all the work I have done for $7.00 profit..

Welcome to the real world of running a business, be grateful for that $7, there
are many many business owners across the world regularly working a full day for
a net loss. If you want a quick easy buck invest in a coffee franchise in a busy
mall, if you want to earn money in the toys business you have to work hard for
it.
 Author: bje View Messages Posted By bje
 Posted: Oct 11, 2019 00:48
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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bje (1246)

Location:  South Africa, Western Cape
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As a seller I love those orders. They always somehow manage to move all of the
stuff nobody else wants, so it saves me looking at my inventory and wondering
why it is not moving. Had a great number of them already and will always hope
to have more.

I'm always also happy when a buyer finds my store amongst the 10000 screaming
for attention and then decide to fill a cart and go through the order process.
Doesn't matter if it is just one part, I've had buyers tell me they are
so grateful that they could get just that one part they needed to complete a
set from their childhood long past. Does not matter if it is 1 part per lot and
200 lots - maybe the buyer is building a sample case, it is not for me to say.
It is just for me to be happy and grateful for an order that moves inventory
and puts money in the bank.

There were discussions last month about how bad sales are, and yet some sellers
still advocate selling less or doing less for more. Part of the pain of being
your own boss is you take all of the risk and all of the reward, including the
risk of having to work harder. I heard somewhere that unemployment queues are
quite easy to join. Unless you have a LEGO fetish, I would suggest rather that
inventory is something that must be sold and if other sellers don't want
the business, my doors are always open.

Put on some music, pack away and send that off with a happy heart - it is after
all money you did not have 2 hours ago (Just don't play the new British national
anthem you might never get finished ). It is always interesting to see to how
values differ. Here the minimum wage is R3500 per month (about $230 or EUR210)
so your $7 profit is the equivalent of about 5 hours work, often in circumstances
that would make your hair stand up. For me $7 can buy 3 days' food, even
5 days if I really push myself, so any order is worth my while and my gratitude.
No minimum buy, no lot limit, no lot fees, no minimum lot average, no pre-counted
minimum lot baggies.

As a large lot buyer myself (and I do tend to to clean out lots when I buy like
that), I will also tell you that it does not take 2 minutes to fill that cart
either, it takes a monumental effort to balance such an order against shipping
costs and total weight. Most buyers who shop like this will also understand that
it takes extra to pack an order like this, so just contact the buyer and ship
a bit later to allow you some free time in between working so hard.
 Author: popsicle View Messages Posted By popsicle
 Posted: Oct 11, 2019 01:36
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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popsicle (5706)

Location:  USA, Washington
Member Since Contact Type Status
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In Selling, bje writes:
  As a seller I love those orders. They always somehow manage to move all of the
stuff nobody else wants, so it saves me looking at my inventory and wondering
why it is not moving. Had a great number of them already and will always hope
to have more.

I'm always also happy when a buyer finds my store amongst the 10000 screaming
for attention and then decide to fill a cart and go through the order process.
Doesn't matter if it is just one part, I've had buyers tell me they are
so grateful that they could get just that one part they needed to complete a
set from their childhood long past. Does not matter if it is 1 part per lot and
200 lots - maybe the buyer is building a sample case, it is not for me to say.
It is just for me to be happy and grateful for an order that moves inventory
and puts money in the bank.

There were discussions last month about how bad sales are, and yet some sellers
still advocate selling less or doing less for more. Part of the pain of being
your own boss is you take all of the risk and all of the reward, including the
risk of having to work harder. I heard somewhere that unemployment queues are
quite easy to join. Unless you have a LEGO fetish, I would suggest rather that
inventory is something that must be sold and if other sellers don't want
the business, my doors are always open.

Put on some music, pack away and send that off with a happy heart - it is after
all money you did not have 2 hours ago (Just don't play the new British national
anthem you might never get finished ). It is always interesting to see to how
values differ. Here the minimum wage is R3500 per month (about $230 or EUR210)
so your $7 profit is the equivalent of about 5 hours work, often in circumstances
that would make your hair stand up. For me $7 can buy 3 days' food, even
5 days if I really push myself, so any order is worth my while and my gratitude.
No minimum buy, no lot limit, no lot fees, no minimum lot average, no pre-counted
minimum lot baggies.

As a large lot buyer myself (and I do tend to to clean out lots when I buy like
that), I will also tell you that it does not take 2 minutes to fill that cart
either, it takes a monumental effort to balance such an order against shipping
costs and total weight. Most buyers who shop like this will also understand that
it takes extra to pack an order like this, so just contact the buyer and ship
a bit later to allow you some free time in between working so hard.

A very nice read.

Although as a seller I’m not in complete agreement with your entire post, it
does express a wonderfully positive attitude, even inspiring. Sometimes, to be
inspired is all we’re looking for, or need, when we come to the forum with concerns.

-Cory
 Author: Leftoverbricks View Messages Posted By Leftoverbricks
 Posted: Oct 11, 2019 02:56
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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Leftoverbricks (1397)

Location:  Netherlands, Overijssel
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Very well said, bje! Heart warming.
 Author: stacey_love View Messages Posted By stacey_love
 Posted: Oct 11, 2019 04:59
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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stacey_love (6551)

Location:  France, Occitanie
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go for a lot limit, or fee per lot.
Customers have trends, customers that place large value small lot orders, are
not normally those that place high lot, low value orders.
If you value your time, let the people who dont have lot limits have the large
lot small value orders, they can build a loyal customer base that way.
I have picked too many 300 or 400 + lot orders in the past.

Lot limit is one of the options, others as mentioned average lot value, or just
seting min quantities per lot. Charging for excessive lots gives the customer
the choice to fill there basket at your shop or move on.

my 2p
 Author: yorbrick View Messages Posted By yorbrick
 Posted: Oct 11, 2019 05:43
 Subject: Re: Setting A Lot Fee...
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yorbrick (691)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
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There are two things you can do:

1) allow orders that take a long time to pick for little money or
2) set up your store to stop those orders.

Neither one is right. But if you feel that (1) gets out of hand, then you have
to start to implement (2).

I use average lot prices. It stops buyers buying loads of small value parts and
nothing else. However, other buyers can buy those small value items, so long
as they pair them with more expensive items.

There are other ways as already noted by others, some good, some bad.
"Per lot fees" - I don't like as a buyer, I least favourite any store doing
that as it really skews prices.
"Maximum number of lots" - again, I'm not keen. If you fix the number of
lots to 10 (or anything), then chances are I will not place an order as I cannot
take advantage of maximising the order to minimise shipping per part in the order.
"Min qty" - if you have penny parts, then sell them in 10s or 50s.
"Exclusivity" - don't sell the cheap items here, bag them up and sell job
lots on ebay instead.