TheBrickStop: a website to trade LEGO bricks & instructions on KickStarter

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A week or so ago a project was launched on KickStarter which aims to create a new LEGO parts trading website.

It could be argued that there is a perfectly good platform already for buying and selling LEGO but, it has to be said, it is a little dated, and unfortunately has suffered from a lack of investment and development recently.

I would also argue that to the new or casual LEGO buyer, working out how to actually use the existing site is very daunting. It's OK for you and I who have been using it for 10+ years but imagine if you stumbled across it for the first time today, what would your opinion of it be?

It's also incredibly difficult to perform certain tasks on the site, like take a list of parts you want, perhaps to make a model that someone else has designed or to reconstruct an old official set, and then work out the most efficient and cheapest way to buy them. Or find out what the cheapest minifig available is. Or know, before you place your binding order, how much the seller is going to charge for postage and other fees. Sure, they can be done, but it's hard work. The site is extremely functional for sellers, but not so much for buyers and, surely, that's the wrong way round.

TheBrickStop aims to address these, and other issues. You can read the proposal, and watch a video about it, on its KickStarter page.

One of the features they are proposing is to have zero selling fees. That sounds great, doesn't it, particularly if you're a seller, but it does of course mean they'll need to raise revenues in other ways, mainly by selling advertising it seems, which for everyone else could soon get annoying (that's why you all love Brickset, right, because it has very little advertising!). It also means that the site itself won't be able to operate an affiliate scheme and thus probably won't get marketing assistance from established sites, like Brickset, which could result in a very slow takeup of buyers and sellers.

Needless to say, there is some concerned discussion going on at the other site about having a competitor, but from what I can gather they (at least, those that are vocal in the community there) are largely dismissive and are planning on resting on their laurels, safe in the knowledge that they have a huge user base, a mass of data, and a well established website, all of which will take some beating. That sounds a bit dangerous to me...

Competition in any marketplace is a good thing, so although I have a few reservations about the proposals, I welcome this initiative and I encourage you to read the proposal and pledge your support if you do too.

I'd be very interested to hear what you think about it in the comments.

128 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

I would only echo your concerns Huw, it sounds like a great idea as 'the other site' is in dire need of an update and can be very tricky to use at times I have found. However a lot of the proposals sound rather too good to be true, zero seller fees for instance, I do not see how that can be kept up for very long without filling the site with gaudy advertisements.

Somebody needs to tell the administrators etc. over at 'the other site' to clear things up, as right now the site is a mess and arriving at it for the first time, I am quite certain I would be put off by this instantly.

Nevertheless, I am sure that the target will be met with this article on Brickset pointing out that the project is there, when my blog was plugged here a couple of weeks ago the viewing figures jumped up by almost 10,000 in two days!

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By in United States,

I have a few IT coder friends that have offered their services to the dated site more than once, only to be shut out with a general consensus that status quo is good enough. A competitor with a smoother interface, more accessiblity, and even free seller fees on initiation is a contentious draw...

If you dont think so, Look at Myspace. Facebook was a cleaner interface, more accessible for people to meet, and where is Myspace?

This day and age...KFOLS and TFOLS will grow up into AFOLS. The question is...will the status quo be ok? Competition is good. I would like to see laurels unrested.

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By in United States,

Some of the forum users at bricklink gave this a real kicking. Hardly surprising. If you suggest anything about BL could be improved and you have feedback of less than 100, you normally get told you know nothing, have not been there long enough and should shut up since it all works perfectly (if you know how it works). And it is your fault if you do not know how it works.

I admire them for wanting to try for a change. Many of their ideas are great, and could work if implemented in BL, if only it was run in a professional way. The idea of being able to sell or give away instructions for MOC is also good, especially if it can be integrated into the bricksales side so you could also buy the parts you need. One downside is the funding for the site. If they are using targeted adverts, then these could well drive users / buyers away from sellers on their site. The other downside is the (lack of) user base. Many sites have tried to improve on ebay. How are they doing ... ?

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By in United Kingdom,

If this gives Bricklink, a site I've used many times (and screamed at a few times too...), a good kick up the pants to clean up its act, then can only be a good thing.

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By in United States,

I 100% agree that the other site is in desperate need of a face lift. And it's a pity, because a face lift is the easy part to fix. The hard part of any site is 1) the backed, the technical challenges of getting and maintaining the integrity of the data. This is where you better have a majority of your focus. And 2) getting and maintaining users.

I wish them luck; there is a need, and hole to be filled. However, I am doubtful of the business model. I don't see that working for many reasons.

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By in United States,

It seems something more neutral than a model assault rifle would have been a better pledge reward.

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By in United States,

^ That reveals a lot about the business experience in that group.

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By in United States,

I bought my first Lego set a little over a year ago, so I'm quite new to this. The first time I went to Bricklink I was a little shocked. It looked like it was a website that I'd find in an antique shop. The biggest frustration for me was that I simply couldn't figure out what the shipping and handling would be for something until I had gone through the purchase process. I just want to find a set and then sort it by price (including shipping). Then I can pick the cheapest one that's in an acceptible condition for what I'm looking for. A new site that's easier to maneuver would be a great change. I know that there won't be as many sets and bricks for sale, but I'll take it! I've only bought one thing off of Bricklink and that was a pleasant transaction with fair shipping costs, but I've used e-Bay for the rest of my purchases because it's so much easier to use.

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By in United Kingdom,

I admire their effort and as a customer but not a seller I welcome competition, especially if it really is a better/ easier interface to use and the competition and lack of fees means better prices.

One small concern for me is advertising as a funding source - it has slowed down one of my favourite Lego sites (MOCpages) to an almost unusable level with large video adverts all over the place. I know the bills have to be paid but it makes me turn off and go to Flickr where it is less invasive so I hope this would not suffer the same way.

And if i'm brutally honest, BL has never asked me for money and i worked out how to use it easy enough, outdated and unwieldy or not, and i'm not so desperate to reserve my username or have a founder badge that I think i'd pledge any cash.

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By in United States,

I have to echo what blars82 said. I can't figure out how to use Bricklink either. As a matter of fact I have wanted to post here asking for a tutorial but it was kind of embarrassing. So I just gave up. Keep up with the times or you won't exist anymore...

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By in United States,

I've spent the better part of the last few years re-building a collection after my Dark Ages, and I have to say, I find the other site, incredibly frustrating at times. I love being able to get exactly what I want (inventory permitting), especially being in one the bigger cities in the US without an official store. But the fact that the best way I've found to try to get the best prices from one store that sells two or three different parts is to first make a wishlist, and then manually go through all of the 'view by store' options, adding and estimating shipping as I go, is more then a little frustrating. Between that and the front page looking like it was ready to swindle me out of my hard earned 1998 dollars, mean I'd be all game for a challenger, even if only for the sake of forcing innovation.

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By in United Kingdom,

I've backed them on Kickstarter as I agree with what others have said, BrickLink is pretty unwieldy and a simpler, better designed alternative would be welcome competition. The idea of being able to buy all the bricks you need for a particular set of instructions in one simple step is a great one too.

The concerns about the viability and annoyingness of the advertising funding model are completely valid though. But if the site is successful, we could perhaps persuade them to offer 'premium' seller accounts, or to accept donations, or sell merchandise, or some other such type of revenue source to avoid intrusive adverts.

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By in United States,

I'm a little skeptical of the potential longevity of the site without a monetary driver-- responding to user requests where their money is involved requires a demanding amount of effort from administration, and monetary dependency can greatly drive priority for administrative action. Relying on the hobbyists' enthusiasm alone often leads to dead projects!

That said, however, I welcome any attempt at a revitalization of online LEGO commerce. I think the community as a whole has learned a lot since the early days of set and part databases, as well as knowledge of how people want to buy and sell. I don't know the people involved, but they certainly sound sufficiently competent, and I wish them the best of luck!

DaveE

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By in United States,

Sounds a little like rebrickable:

•Upload your current parts collection
•Check which models you could build or how close to completing models you might be

I don't quite understand the trading aspect though. It will be interesting to see how it pans out. Although 47,000 more pounds in 17 more days seems like a long shot. I do hope they make it thought. I do agree about the 'other site'. It looks 10 years old and is in need of a serious face lift.

I also didn't like the idea of a weapon for a reward, even if it is made out of LEGO. This goes against what LEGO was founded on, (Star Wars :)).

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By in France,

Did not like the idea of offering weapons as a reward for investing, Like may have said before, the other site needs more investment and to be made more user friendly..... Time will tell i wonder if they will start without funding or perhaps a visit to dragons den.

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By in United States,

It would be nice to have another place to buy old sets and parts and I like this bit of info from their faq:

We have several great features that set our site apart from any competitors out there, the first is that we will offer a one click buying option where users will be able to in one click buy all the parts they need from a part list they have uploaded (or selected from one of the custom models on site) This feature (if selected) will add all the items to your basket in the cheapest possible combination from a range of sellers and take into account postage and packaging fees. No other site offers this service and it will cut the time buying bulk orders significantly.

I'm ok with some ads, if and if their ads end up being horribly obnoxious its easy to run an ad-blocking extension.

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By in United States,

Indeed Littlebricks.

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By in France,

Nothing about this site is free. They are asking for 50,000 GBP, that is a lot of money to build something that we don't even know what it is. I find it very sketchy and will never support something like this. Who knows what these guys do. They post a video that anyone can make. For all we know, they can make something that is 10x worse than Bricklink and take the money and that's it. I am a little surprised that Huw would even advertise this. Let them build it, prove themselves.

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By in United Kingdom,

I have only been on Bricklink for about a year, and have only started using it regularly within the past 6 months. The interface is very dated and it took me a while to find my way around the site. I still find it a chore to source parts for discontinued sets, especially when purchasing from multiple buyers, and I too would much rather know the postage costs before I commit to buy items. This also makes it difficult to compare prices from seller to seller on BL. Like some of the other people on here, I have often resorted to using Ebay, just because it is easier. If the Brickstop proposal comes to fruition hopefully the BL people will then improve their site, or they may just find they start losing customers to the competition. Businesses have to be prepared to move with the times, and respond to their customers needs or their customers will vote with their feet and go elsewhere. That said, it would be nice to have a choice of two sites to source parts from - I do not want to see Bricklink go to the wall, but I also question whether there would be enough custom for both sites to flourish.

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By in United Kingdom,

In principle I like the idea, a place to trade lego is always good and welcome. The competitor that keeps being mentioned, yeah, I'm not fond of their website.

This idea has potential...but the emphasise on weapons and guns makes me uncomfortable supporting them.

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By in United States,

^ That is an ambitious goal. I hope they can pull it off. I agree that is is way too complicated on the other site. I also know it is a complicated problem to solve in general. Can you image ordering the pieces for 10197 with a single click?

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By in United States,

I joined Bricklink a few months ago and, as one of the new users Huw refers to, found it extremely difficult to navigate. In addition to the things people have already pointed out (uncertainty about shipping costs, difficulty in comparing prices, difficulty procuring a large number of parts) I also found their search engine to be sub-par and fiddly. I figured it out, and ended up buying several sets and pieces, but it was annoying enough that if I don't REALLY want a set I won't visit there, and I will always check Ebay first.

If it's true that they're resistant to updating and improving the site, then Bricklink is a business that will not prosper in the long run. I am a business owner myself, and know that you must always balance the desires and needs of existing customers with efforts to draw in new customers by continuing to make your products attractive and accessible. If BL is unwilling to do this, then it is inevitable that some other site will arise to fill the need.

As far as the Brickstop proposal ... what bothers me about this specific proposal is the fact that the rewards for £11 and £20 are essentially the same. If I had to guess, I'd say the £11 reward was an early idea that they forgot to edit out. You have to be detail-oriented to make something like this work, and flubbing a detail like that is, perhaps, telling. I think competition is a good thing, and if this proposal doesn't fly perhaps it will spur someone else to pull something together that will. I like their overall ideas, and I love the one-stop sourcing idea. The gun doesn't bother me ... I am actually curious about how they constructed it. :)

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By in United Kingdom,

Hi Guys,

I have had permission from Huw to jump it and answer some questions so please fire them over, it's really great to have lots of encouragement and positive comments.

I have seen a few people mention not being comfortable about us promoting guns (and I completely understand, I love Jacks models for the huge amount of skill that goes into them, and the amazing instructions that he make for people to be able to build them), I have said in a few places (so you may have already seen) but that is part of my heritage in LEGO, it is when working with him that I finally had the last straw and started brainstorming how I could go about creating a new site for people to trade LEGO, and for people to not only share designs but hopefully be able to sell instructions to make custom models as well. I felt it offered us a great way to show to the LEGO community that we haven't just come out of nowhere but we have actually been involved in LEGO projects and commercial successful ones too.

I have also seen a couple of comments about how do you know we will make the site etc.. This in essence is a little bit of what kickstarters about, by pledging you help people with ideas and small businesses make their dreams and ideas come true. It also means you get a chance to ride the wave of how the project works and flows (and in ours have a say about how it develops) We do have an obligation to fulfill our promise of making the site and giving away the pledge rewards, and Kickstarter will chase us down if we don't (but don't worry we will!)

With regards to our history, we have worked on several huge brands like Assassin's Creed (all of them!) and Far Cry 2 and 3 and a whole load more. One of our favorite projects was Unlock the Animus for Assassin's Creed give it a quick look on Youtube to see for yourselves.

We still need a lot of support but I'm confident with your help we will make it! If you are remotely interested in the project please do share it on your LEGO communities and please do pledge as even a £5 will help us get on our way, and make sure you get a say in how the site should work and run.

Thank you for being so welcoming and reading! Please shoot over any questions you have!

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By in United Kingdom,

@Girlwonder. The £11 reward is an early adopter reward, to encouage people to pledge early, it is limited to only a few.

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By in United States,

Does bricklink have a resource for actual trading? I've only ever come across buying and selling, but would love tone able to trade bicks, without mony involved.

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By in United States,

I think we can all basically agree, that there is a market for improvement in the existing model. Otherwise, even the idea of this wouldnt get any traction.

Case in point....ANY competiion, is good competition.

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By in Canada,

BrickLink does need a major face lift and they are apparently working on it, but I am sure it is years away from fruition. There is definitely room for a developer to swoop in and replace BrickLink if done correctly. However, BrickLink does have a stranglehold on this market. Anyone who does try to replace BrickLink underestimates the power of their community. The community builds and maintains the catalog and that is the core of the site that is its most valuable asset. To recreate BrickLink's catalog and image database of sets and parts is an unimaginable task. I can't see this new venture being able to compete, the core BrickLink community is pretty tight knit.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Gladeye sorry there maybe a little confusion, we will not let people swop bricks currently (however although its something we haven't considered if it's something that we feel could be implemented later and if its an idea that has support there is no reason why we can't look into it)

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By in United Kingdom,

@Jason LEGO - we agree and this is actually part of the reason for going with Kickstarter to help us get an initial dedicated user base who all have a vested interested in our success. We already have parts list but there will no doubt be help needed to test and improve on it (which will be part of our testing phase) and amend it into the future. Please see our FAQ section for more details.

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ yes... when I say 'trading' I use it to mean buying and selling as opposed to swapping. A 'market trader' doesn't generally swap things, does he...

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By in United States,

I love Bricklink, but would I be loyal to the site? No. At one point my entire store was deleted from the site because I missed the email about accepting new policy changes. Not to mention, they have no concern for fixing errors on the site in a timely manner, which, have at times cost me thousands of dollars.... The site is old and hard to navigate as Huw has pointed out, and again, it certainly is not welcoming to new users.

That all being said, with no fees and a chance for better service, I'll definitely sell on there.

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By in United Kingdom,

@thebrickstop - If this project were to become a reality (which I would welcome as a frequent buyer on Bricklink) can I suggest that perhaps it would be better if the community had more of a say in how things progress rather than it being closed off to just a few people who make the decisions. Here at Brickset the annual user survey allows this to happen and I think something similar at other sites would be great.

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By in United Kingdom,

@CapnRex101 spot on, that is exactly what we want to do, and we aim to start to show that by letting people have an actual say in how the site develops.

@minifiguresplus.com I am sorry to hear that please do pledge to help us make the site. We have some great store pledge packages that maybe of interest.

We want it to be a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and much more user-friendly that we really feel has the potential to blow wide open the number of people trading and selling on competitor sites currently. Which is better for buys and sellers alike!

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By in United States,

@thebrickshop I would be interested in supporting, but it very well depends on when the site will launch and I may not be able to do so for another couple months. I realize this is generally a fairly long process. Do you have any ideas about when it will be ready?

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By in United States,

I'll try it. But one thing I do like about bricklink is the upfront shipping estimates. Most sellers have adopted a no wishy-washy shipping price policy. That is what really drives me to buy from certain sellers. Be up front about the shipping costs and be reasonable. I'd be willing to try the brickstop if the shipping costs and additional fees set by the sellers are transparent

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By in United Kingdom,

@minifiguresplus.com that is quite a tricky question to answer, we are aiming to within one month of the end of the project (assuming we meet the goal amount) to start sharing initial designs mock up and site maps for people to discuss and start the feedback process. 2 months after that we hope to have a working beta version of the site up and running for people to test and help bug fix and then finally after around 4 months go live.

We have a little risks section on our page, that basically states in any project of this scale (this project is massive) there are risks that things will slip or move slightly but we are used to working on huge projects for major brands that cannot slip due to massive marketing campaigns etc.. so we are confident it will not happen.

The site will then continue to get support and be upgrade for ever onwards, in order to always stay one step ahead of the competition.

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By in United Kingdom,

@multiplex this is something that I also agree on, with our one click order option buyers will be able to take into account the postage and packaging fees of their order before they place it.

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By in United Kingdom,

@thebrickstop without going into massive details how do you plan to make any money from the site if you won't charge selling fees and if you are using adverts what will you do to make sure the thing doesn't become to frustrating or slow to load?

What payment system will you use to facilitate payment if your using your own is it going to be secure? How will you deal with sales disputes?

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By in United Kingdom,

@Redbullgivesyouwind - yes we promise to not have any spammy, laggy, noisey ads that scare people off, and slow down peoples pcs. We will follow a strict CAP code similar to sites like Amazon. The ads will also aimed to be targeted and relevant not random "secret miracle skin cream" ads.

We are aiming to start with Paypal, as although we know some people do not like it, it offers we think a very competitive and secure system (for buyers and sellers) that has a wide range of users. We will in time also increase the options available to buyers.

edit - sorry missed your last question. We will act as an independent body where users can file complaints etc..(if there are any issues) We also have a feedback system so users can tell who the most reliable traders are.

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By in United Kingdom,

I find it strange that in the whole pitch there doesn't seem to be a single mock-up of the site or demonstration of how it will work. One of the reasons Chris Roberts got so much money was because he offered an amazing pitch, and he was Chris Roberts. Would it be too ask for you to show men how it would work out how to get all the parts for a set from different stores? After all you say you've worked on this for six months. I’d be happy to see a demo with ten stores and it works out how to buy five parts between them. I mean you want £50,000, I’d like to see more than promise and we’ve worked on x, y and z without saying what you did on those websites.

Also I doubt this site will solve the one complaint that keeps coming up about t'other place namely that you don't know what the postage will be. I can't think of a way this can be solved without individual sellers own policies, or just asking them. To have a system that if you want to order something from Australia or Austria and you live in the Falklands can calculate it just as well as from France to Germany with huge number of variables in size and weights seems next to impossible to me.

I wish you good luck however but without a lot more evidence I’m not going to be donating.

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By in United States,

^ In addition to a demo, you need to do a better job explaining what the £50K is for, that is a lot of money. You mention a server, but you can rent a decent dedicated server for less than £100 a month.

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By in France,

Lets actually see something that you have. Lets see a few screenshots of what has been done. You say you have been working on it for 6 months, lets actually see how real it is or will it really just start once you collect everyone's money so we can pay your salaries. Huw never asked for money and look what he has created. I think you should build the site, then let people make a judgement as to what they are investing the money in, even if it is only a few pounds. How do we know that with all the profile jobs you mention, that you won't be pulled off into those that should be your first priority and we don't see anything for 2 years. Overall I think this is just bad, most people just like the novelty of wanting to see what it is. Then you will need to probably go through months of beta testing, fixing the bugs, everyone yelling about what it can and can't do. In the end, we will all pay for it over and over. This is rubbish and I would never give 1 pence until I actually see something that is tangible and of value. Right now, this whole concept of kickstarter seems like a ploy to take peoples money. Who knows who you guys are.

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By in Australia,

I thought I was delivering some of this with my site Rebrickable. Freely available instructions and simplifying purchasing of parts as much as possible with those stores that integrate with me, while leaving them free to create their own stores on BL or custom sites. I built mine for a lot less than 50,000 though... but then again I still have a day job :)

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By in United Kingdom,

@Cardinal Brick - thanks for the questions, there is a solution we have to the problem of postage but it is something that we are not ready to share yet (As we feel it is a unique and very clever solution to the problem). With regards to what is the money being spent on. The project is huge and will take 4 people over 4 months of full time work to complete, the site will also need constant support after launch, we also want to ensure it is not just left but has constant improvements, and until it becomes self sufficient we will need to ensure there is enough capital to do this. We also need to ensure all physical pledges are paid for and sent out, you also have to factor in the 10% fees for Kickstarter and tax. £50k sounds like an awful lot of money but it really isn't once you take out all of the above.

With regards to showing scamps etc of how the site will look, we have a very clear idea of the look and feel, but really want the community to feedback on them, and we feel that by showing then straight away it will could potentially undervalue what we are trying to do.

With regard to previous projects we have worked on, I have mentioned it before but my personal favorite was Unlocktheanimus for Ubisofts Assassin's Creed Revelations that was designed to be a set of very complex and clever puzzles that held many hidden meanings and secrets. The site was taken down but served several hundreds of thousands of people and if you look at Youtube can see one of the cool off springs which was people creating videos to show others how to do the puzzles. Last year the team also designed and built the site for Hacked History which was a smaller scale but was still for one of the largest game bands in the world. (As well as alot of other projects for huge game brands)

Thank you for the good luck, please do consider pledging :)

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By in United Kingdom,

@Lego_Hulk I'm sorry you feel this way, Kickstarter is a well know and great resource for people to run ideas past communities and hopefully crowd source and idea and dream. Last year they helped raise over $350m for projects. It is not a scam and I'm sorry you feel that way. If we do not meet our target goal we do not get a penny.

Even the process of setting up and PRing a kickstarter campaign is quite a big task believe it or not, and putting yourself out there for others to comment on and react to positively and negatively is not easy, but its all part of the fun and if we don't make our goal it's a great learning experience and great to have been able to interact with various communities on a personal and friendly 1 to 1 manor.

Pledging in kickstarter is also about being part of something, and a journey and being able to feedback and follow on what happens with the project.

You do not have to pledge, I would encourage you to check out some of the other high profile kickstarter campaigns though as you may find something of interest.

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By in France,

@nthom. Good for you, stick up for your site. Its guys like this that take all the hard work that others have done, want to kill their business whether big or small. This guy here is just a sales guy asking for money. nthom did not ask anyone for money, but look at the gem he created.

These guys want the community to do all the work. Give us all your ideas. We are so good that we can't even get a job but want your money so we can be employed for 4-6 months. £50k sounds like a lot, but its not. That is rubbish.

You sound like the peddlers from 100+ years ago. "Buy my elixir, it will let you live for an eternity" Sounds like you have answers to everything.

What if you run out of money before the site launches, then have no ads? Are you going to ask for more money? I don't think Google Ads will cut it.

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By in Australia,

This sounds fantastic. I discovered 'the other site' years ago, and I've still not figured out how it works.

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By in United States,

BrickLink is not intuitive, but just about anything you want to do on there can be done. Ask a few questions, play around on it, read a few help pages, and you'll be a stalwart defender. The interface is outdated, sure, but the database is enormous. The Catalog is a testament to a devoted, educated, and enthusiastic fan base. If you have a question, ask it in the forum: the same questions recur with a stunning regularity but they are always answered quickly and concisely.

There are just as many buyers committed to BrickLink as there are sellers, both of whom have learned to use the site to their advantage. The most common grievance is "I can't find everything I need from one seller." It depends on what you what, but no, normally it requires a few sellers; however don't even the Big Box retailers have their limitations? It's not perfect (especially since The Hack), but I simply do not have the immense difficulties alluded to by others. I wish the Brick Shop well but my hopes (and inventory) lie with an improved BrickLink. I'll eat my words if I'm an avid BrickShopper in 2015.

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By in United States,

I have to admit, I guess I don't really understand the point of £50K, assuming that you're not going to charge anything once it's up and running? It sounds like you're probably budgeting that as a contract fee for building the site. But... doesn't that imply that future development would need to be similarly funded? I guess I don't understand the need for one-time development?

"We will act as an independent body where users can file complaints etc..(if there are any issues) We also have a feedback system so users can tell who the most reliable traders are."

My understanding from BrickLink is that there is a LOT of admin activity regarding arbitrating disputes (including blocking/banning irresponsible members), data management, and intercommunication with other admins and users. How are you planning on handling the maintenance effort?

Also, just for curiosity, do you have any explicit plans for things like data model?

DaveE

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By in United States,

Maybe I am a bit odd. I'd rather they charged a small percentage and made the site professional and reactive to users wants, rather than free and supported by ads. Although both those are better than charging and never updating.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Lego_hulk we do not in any way destroy peoples business's however we do think that competition is a very important thing, and we feel that even for competitive sites it is a good thing. We also feel that we have a lot to offer that other sites do not.

@Brickarmor I think for users who have alot of time or are slightly more technically minded BL probably seems easy to use, but really we don't think it is, even a simple task of trying to find the cheapest minifig on site of all the minifigs is not that simple. You cant assume people will ask on the forums etc.. (especially if they are not easy to use and follow) But we do agree that what BL has which is great is the huge community who help run the site and make it what it is, and hopefully this is something we can achieve over time too. We also think that by making the site a lot more open and welcoming in terms of design we can really encourage a whole wealth of new users.

@Davee123 have a quick look up the thread one of our answers explained in a little depth about the £50k and a short break down. With regards to management, your right there is huge amount of work that is needed to manage a community and sales site, it is something that we have factored in with our initial goal, and something that will have to be built up over time depending on that demand.

With regards to your question on data models that is something that is out of my knowledge area but I will ask one of our programmers to give me an answer for you tomorrow if that ok.

I am signing off now all as its quite late in the UK but please leave any questions you have and I will answer them first thing. It's been really great to get a conversation going and thank you for those of you who pledged so far. Night all!
Mark

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By in United States,

@Brickarmor - My thoughts exactly. This attempt is a perfect example of the "now, now, now" age. Everyone wants everything RIGHT NOW.

Show US something, thebrickstop.com. You want our money, but remain shrouded in secrecy. Good luck.

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By in United States,

@lego_hulk

£50k isn't much at all for 4 designers at that long of time. I would have asked for more if it were my project. It surprises me that anyone would complain about that.

(@thebrickshop)

Unfortunately I am not really interested in many of the offers, however. Obviously advertising would be most appealing to me, but that is the money maker after it is finished. Still, if there were some way to promote the site longer, or for a more reasonable pledge than £500 for one month, I may be interested. I feel that there must be some creative ideas for more attractive large pledges. Still, the small pledges are very reasonable requests.

@thebrickshop I have a great deal of confidence in the project. Right now I am not willing to give up much money for these pledges, but let me know if you add different pledges to the page.

P.S. I didn't hear anything about the part-set option. Will we be seeing this? I must admit it seems to be one of the more essential resources for sellers so far.

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm so glad the veteran bricksetters and AFOL said this because, as a newbie to trading, that 'first/ original site drives, me, nuts. In fact I would use it as an example of what can be frustrating on the www in general. I want to use it and start buying and selling but every page throws up yet more options that do not work or I simply can not comprehend. I can not even make it list the things I want to see in a logical way so I waste time and have to come back later to try again. Visually it is just daunting beyond belief.

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By in United States,

"@Davee123 have a quick look up the thread one of our answers explained in a little depth about the £50k and a short break down."

I don't really mean how the money's used-- I mean that it's even being asked for at all. The amount is fine-- actually, I think it's kinda low. I would've thought closer to £100k, maybe even more. But that aside, these websites usually get built either "for the love of the brick", or "for money". If you guys are content to work on the site long-term without financial compensation (ads won't cut it), then aren't you saying that you're doing it for fun and not for money? And, if so, why should you charge anything at all up front? I guess it's simply because you're planning to *temporarily* quit your day jobs (so-to-speak, or literally), and want to speed up the process (rather than work on it slowly over a year or two)?

Anyway, my concern there is mostly that if it takes money to motivate you to get the show on the road, I'm worried that once it's gone (IE, no real plan for income beyond strict operating costs), that the motivation for maintenance also goes away. Basically, I've seen a lot of these projects die when people do them for fun, and the boring day-to-day maintenance bogs them into submission. If you're hoping to have the site provide your income (and given BrickLink's income levels, it might be possible), then that helps to solve the problem.

But with that said (apologies for being negative), I think it's a great idea, and has a lot of potential. As a web developer myself, I'd love to see more details of what you're planning and what the capabilities are of the underlying structure.

DaveE

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By in Canada,

Personally I had hoped some popular website we all use would come up with something like this, especially now the site has detailed set inventories and excellent images of all parts. :) I'd also be more willing to support a "known quantity" in the community who's demonstrated their commitment, rather than 4 people we've never heard of who have never done such a site before and seem to be in it for the money.

The proposal includes some nice features (such as automatically sourcing the cheapest parts - I still haven't got around to writing my Windows/Android app to do so for bl). Would be interesting to know where they're sourcing their minifig images from, but I guess if they have $$$$ they can afford to licence them from DK authors etc.

For those wondering how they'll support themselves - buyer's fees. Note the proposal says several times "no selling fees" - not "no fees", implying there'll be a % "admin fee" on each transaction (or similar).

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By in United Kingdom,

^ What site would that be then, Rik? ;-)

I have no intention of making Brickset into a trading platform but I hope that, in future, it will become a hub for all those that undoubtably will appear in the next few years as a result of the existing site's recent stagnation, that I know is being addressed, but arguably too late to stop newcomers in their tracks.

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By in Australia,

@davee123 "But that aside, these websites usually get built either "for the love of the brick", or "for money". If you guys are content to work on the site long-term without financial compensation (ads won't cut it), then aren't you saying that you're doing it for fun and not for money? And, if so, why should you charge anything at all up front? I guess it's simply because you're planning to *temporarily* quit your day jobs (so-to-speak, or literally), and want to speed up the process (rather than work on it slowly over a year or two)?"

I think this is what gets to a lot of people - expecting others to fund their idea to build something without taking on any of the risk themselves (which I guess is a fundamental part of kickstarter ive never liked). If they expect to make much money out of this, I can tell them right now that they won't. Rebrickable gets quite a bit of traffic now, more than I'd ever hoped for, and it will never be very profitable for me which is fine. I spend 20+ hrs a week on it (on top of my day job) for the fun of it, not to make money. So when someone comes along and wants to be paid to do the initial work and there's little hope of ongoing financial reward, I know they're not in it for the long haul.

Sorry for the rant, I normally try not to get negative but I'm having a bad day :)

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By in United Kingdom,

I sort of agree with the posters above, I spend a lot of time building sites for passions of mine (I actually built a MVP of a similar idea to what your doing with a friend of mine a few months ago, then saw rebrickable and stopped).

If you've been working on this for 6 months then I'd at least expect you to have UI mockups and a basic user journey done, I've backed a LOT on kickstarter (almost 20 projects) but it looks to me like you've got an idea, a landing page and a nice kickstarter video.

Huw and the other Lego sites built the site on evenings and weekends as a hobby and then turned it into a full time job once they built up an audience, reputation and relationships, without trying to sound harsh, it feels like your trying to skip the hard work and get Lego fans to pay for you and your mates to build a website,

Finally... Free? I'm sure if that's the only way you could get the project on kickstarter (as they usually don't like funding ongoing web businesses) but it seems a strange business model and immediately sends a red flag with regards to viability, advertising is basically the only option and there are tasteful ways of doing it but straight away there's a package for a 'homepage takeover' in my mind that's one of those things which you see on gaming blogs which take the background image and the adslots and distract from the actual website.. not exactly what I'd want in a useful service..

I don't want to be too negative as I think the concept is sound (as mentioned we came up with a similar idea a while ago) but I think you should have got a basic alpha version up and running in your spare time and taken learnings from that to improve rather than starting straight away with a £50k request.

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By in United States,

I don't get it...

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By in United States,

Frustrated with the Millions of outdated clunky Lego sites..? Millions..? Really..?

C'mon man...

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By in United States,

I've been using Bricklink for a few years now, and I have to admit figuring out how to use it at first was rather daunting. However, ever since I figured it out, it has been one of the most useful and reliable Lego sites I use. It's true that there could be some improvements made, so hopefully this threat of competition will be the the catalyst that will bring change. However, I don't expect this new site to suddenly topple to old one, as Bricklink seems pretty firmly entrenched.

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By in United States,

Chase Horman is also going to be launching MOCplans.com soon, which is entirely a fan based website that allows users to upload and sell their own instructions, so that is gong to also clash with at least one of the ideas of this Brickstop proposal...

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By in Australia,

While I love bricklink and find it easy enough to use, it does have a very sharp learning curve, and I have had many new customers find it a very daunting experience. It is definitely low tech and is crying out for an overhaul, but as has been said it has thousands of users and daily transactions and most people just overcome the obstacles and persist.

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By in United States,

"that's why you all love Brickset, right, because it has very little advertising!"

You guys have advertising here?

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By in United States,

To the casual observer, bricklink hasn't been updated since N'sync was popular. Either the site needs a total overhaul, or it needs a competitor. If I wasn't flat broke, I'd donate money in a heartbeat.

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By in United States,

^^Yeah, in the sidebar on the home page. I guess the links to amazon offers and other promotions (that we can turn off if we want. I only have the US Amazon site offers shown on my homepage) be considered ads, but the lack of ads on Brickset is a big part of why I enjoy this site.

I don't have Amazon bookmarked, but I get to it through the tiny sidebar ad on Bricklink to do my share. :D

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By in United States,

What I find exremely interesting is all the complaining about Bricklink, but no one sems to have given a minute's thought as to what an interface would look like that contains all the power of Bricklink. And Huw as this site's admin I would think you would know better.

It would look like the Bricklink Advanced Search page. You guys do use that, right?

I've been reading the discussions here and at AFOL 16+ on Flickr, and there is a shocking lack of respect for the pure technical brilliance that is Bricklink. You guys don't seem to appreciate how solid, reliable, and accurate that database is, given its size.

I also would like a cleaner interface, but not if it means giving up an ounce of searchability. But that's just front end stuff. In order to work, Brickstop will have to have something that has the same kind of interface options as Bricklink. There's just no other way to do it. You realy think you can get the speed and power of the Bricklink search with a bunch of ads or fancy graphics? Brickset itself is slow as molasses compared to Bricklink.

And why is nobody hitting hard about this one click interface? Do I have to upload a coma delimited file? Am I supposed to wade through pages of pictures of bricks to build up my brick list? Can I just upload a picture of the bricks I want sitting on a table? Can I stick in a link to a webpage with the info on it? What naming convention is being used for the bricks? LEGO's clunky and insane system or the simple and descriptive system used by LDraw? What about color names? What about when what I want is inevitably spread across ten different stores? What if I want to check prices over the last few months to track prices on certain parts or sets to see if there's an up trend or down, to either wait to purchase or jump on a good thing now?

Anyone who has used LEGO's new LUGBulk interface should appreciate the magnitude of the challenge. It would seem to me that what is needed is a bit of respect and humility for what a monumental piece of engineering Bricklink is, rather than crass bravado and stone throwing at what appears to be an old site stuck in its ways.

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By in United States,

I suppose that I am one of the few people that finds bricklink amazingly easy to use... Sure some upgrades would be nice, but honestly I could care less...

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By in United States,

@peterlmorris You make me weep with joy. Excellent comment.

The consensus is torn:

BL is hard: abandon all hope.

Vs.

BL is hard: learn it, love it, nothing easy is worth doing. Do you want the Taj Majal or a postcard of the Taj Majal?

I really do not think the Brick Stop knows what they are getting into. How will you source 50+ years of bricks, plates, modified plates, tiles, printed tiles, stickered tiles, torsos, legs, torso assemblies, headgear, headgear accessories, utensils, wheels, tires, get the drift? And four to five hundred new sets come out every year, replete with new parts, minifigs, minifig parts...

I also think it's unfair to say that the BL cabal are "resting on their laurels." I think rather it is a matter of one change conflicting with or necessitating countless others. BrickLink's data at this point I imagine is like the unmapped physiology of a giant: pull this and that (and that and that and...) moves too. We say "it needs changes" so glibly without knowing precisely what that entails.

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By in United States,

I guess I have a hard time coming down solidly on either side of this one.

I like BrickLink because of its comprehensiveness. I've used it plenty of times and have had nothing but good experiences.

On the other hand, I don't like BrickLink's interface at all. Once the inventory system was available on Brickset, I moved away from using BrickLink for that feature because of the better look and feel and (to an extent that surprised even me) because I love the search suggestions that come up before I even hit "Enter."

I would support a competitor, but I would do it with one eye constantly on BrickLink hoping for it to get better. It's fast and has some fine-grain controls, but let me put it this way - there's a reason that you have a hard time finding a radio that has knobs to dial in a station. It allowed for greater control of the signal, but I sure hope that you're okay with just one station once you get it where you want it.

Show me where BrickLink wants to start fundraising to do an overhaul and I'll throw in $10 in a heartbeat. I have great respect for what they've done with their community, but people there need to recognize that there's more than one way to do something and that convenience itself has a value to it.

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By in United Kingdom,

Just wanted to ad my two penith!
I'm no fan of BL and have only used it about 4 times in 5 years, I aim in the future to start an online store and would love to see more options available to me.
having launched my own business 4 years ago I could not have got it off the ground without a mock up for people to see, and despite being basic the mock up prompted suggestions and investments which I implemented before "going live" so I really do feel this has to be the best way to both promote and gain investment for the site.
If you want to make it a free service then perhaps an annual membership of say £5 would give you a constant income, an initial investment and an income that can only grow- the 3 essentials for any business! A membership fee of such a reasonable amount would encourage repeat use and let's be honest would cover the usual selling fees of other sites within a couple of sales.
finally get some proper financial advice, taxes are important but there are breaks for new businesses in the uk and most are based on the first years income.
In summary go for it but be a bit more realistic, nobody wants a business that doesn't make them money!

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By in United Kingdom,

An interesting discsussion, thanks everyone. I didn't actually name the other site, so I'm slighly surprised that you all drew the same conclusion as to which one I as referring.

However, concerning BrickLink, I totally agree that, once you get to grips with it, BrickLink is an awesome site that is very rich in functionality and data. On the surface it is a 'monumental piece of engineering' and it is a testament to its creator that so much functionality has been built into it, consistently and without making it unwieldy. But, it has its flaws, as has been discovered recently, and for new users it's daunting.

TheBrickStop proposal has its flaws as well, to my mind it's just not sustainable on 0% selling fees, and even it it was, I'm not convinced that it would be a good thing for the community as a whole. If it did become hugely successful, to rival eBay and Amazon marketplaces, sites that rely on their affiliate marketing schemes for funding could suffer.

There is room for a BrickLink competitor, indeed several, and as others have said, competition would actually be good thing for BrickLink users, too, and could be the catalyst needed to roll out improvements and cap selling fees.

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By in Hong Kong,

I agree is too good to be true, I really hope If I enter the part list for 10179, the system can tell me the cheapest way to buy including shipping, but what if someone order before me to order from the last seller? What if some of the seller mistaken the parts/ quantity they have or picked the wrong brick, too complicated to be done be a system, unless the system can help to put all order all at once, but still have the list the wrong part issue. So I think BL is good enough although not perfect.

I would rather they develop a sourcing tool based on BL. rather than making their own platform.

I do suggest BL do provide comparable price information when I point to a part I want, so I don't need to get out to main manual to find out the information.

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By in Australia,

After reading the proposal I'm a little dissappointed that their major selling tool for backers is heavily based around that rifle. It would have had more sense to source support from other established LEGO designers and builders to offer a better choice of "money can't buy" exclusives for being a backer.

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By in United Kingdom,

Brick- link works and whilst the front end may be a bit retro looking who cares, I get great service from people who care about Lego and are passionate about what they do. If you get the "Shopping list” idea going then that will only serve to benefit the much larger stockists… so much for the small trader who uses those sales to fund his ever increasing costly hobby. Once you have mastered the quirky interface a whole new world opens up and it’s like searching through an old bookstore , with content from all over the world … awesome… but yes it needs to shine a bit more, if only for eye candy benefits. Ad sponsored site, well if you like pop ups and such like then have fun… it sounds like Ebay Redux .Me , I’m comfortable with the personnel community that exists on brick- link and that’s what it’s all about … isn’t it? And a message to Brick-link... Smarten up or you will get over taken, I know the founder is no longer with us, but there is a danger of complacency. Right where’s that parts list I need … ah some in Slovakia :))

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By in United States,

@ninjavader999 I don't have Amazon bookmarked, but I get to it through the tiny sidebar ad on Bricklink to do my share. :D

I hope you mean brickset, not bricklink :-)

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By in United Kingdom,

I think rather than creating an entirely new website with a similar purpose to BrickLink, perhaps it would be better to simply tell the staff over there that they need to at least give the site an overhaul when it comes to aesthetics, I am sure if enough people suggested it they will listen. This sort of thing would really need to be a community effort though as the Bricklink staff seem to totally dismiss suggestions and comments from single people, which in my opinion is just plain wrong. Has anybody tried petitioning them?

However, despite my reservations, I wish TheBrickStop luck with this project, I would love to see some competition for Bricklink which perhaps would kick-start changes over there as well as at least offering a choice to buyers and sellers. Maybe I would be more inclined to go along with the whole idea if this was a project started up by a group known and respected on established Lego sites, rather than four people who may well have the interests of the Lego community as a whole at heart, but who knows?

So overall:

@BrickLink - I respect and use everything on the site, and after some experience buying there, I have a good idea of how things work and could probably perform most of the functions. Nevertheless, a change is required, at the very least from the perspective of the user interface and the appearance of the site as right now I think many new customers would be put off in an instant (as has been stated above already).

@TheBrickStop - It is a great idea to start up a new site which could overtake Bricklink in time unless they change their site to keep up with and surpass the competition. However I think perhaps you are underestimating the task ahead of you, creating a database of the required size would be a huge challenge and there will be initial problems as people are reluctant to move from the tried and tested BrickLink to a brand new competitor.

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By in United States,

@ pooohbear If you get the "Shopping list” idea going then that will only serve to benefit the much larger stockists

No, it won't. Not if you read what they have said.

BL actually favours the larger seller through want lists - they have tools to see who has most parts on a BL want list, but not what the minimum cost is. What brickstop are offering is the cheapest combination of parts, including shipping, not most parts from one seller. Thus if you are a small seller, and you have more competitive prices than the big boys, then the cheapest shopping list ideas will work for you.

Whether it can be implemented is another matter.

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By in United States,

@ CapnRex - I don't think they do listen. They have suggestions in the forum, but if you suggest anything, you will be told you are wrong by established users and that admins have enough problems to deal with after the hack. There is an attitude of everything is ok, it is the best site, no changes necessary. If you want to do something there are (sometimes complicated) ways around it, but it can be done. Of course, what they don't realise is the number of people that are turned off by the site as soon as they find it or try to use it. Think of the number of prospective buyers they lose before they even make a purchase.

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By in United Kingdom,

@CCC - In that case somebody should submit a petition to them, then perhaps they will listen once the numbers of people unsatisfied with the service becomes clear.

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By in United Kingdom,

I understand that work is underway to create a BrickLink v2 with a modern UI and using modern web technologies. Becuase it's a complete rewrite of the site rather than incremental improvements, it will be some time before anything is visible.

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By in United States,

^^ The problem is judging how many people are not satisfied with a service they don't use.

If I don't like something and decide not to use it, I tend not to go back to see if it has changed. For everyone person like that it is a user lost, probably forever.

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By in United Kingdom,

Ok I better just go and learn Bricklink. I'll try to purchase that old Dacta Space set, part, by part, by part....

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By in Hungary,

This project in my eyes is a bit suspect. I simply can't see it working without fees. It will also have a very hard time establishing a good enough catalogue at the start without a devoted community to do the work for them.

Also initially thebrickstop was called thebricklink.com on the kickstarter page of the project at least once. I can't get my head around that mistake. How was that possible? And btw one of the guys behind this project joined the discussion about it on Bricklink. I know it's just a nuisance but it influenced my attitude towards this project for the worse that he didn't leave a single feedback on the transactions he did on BL.

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By in United States,

@peterlmorris: "I've been reading the discussions here and at AFOL 16+ on Flickr, and there is a shocking lack of respect for the pure technical brilliance that is Bricklink. You guys don't seem to appreciate how solid, reliable, and accurate that database is, given its size."

As a web developer, I have to say that technically, there's nothing really all that special about BrickLink. It was a reasonably innovative idea back in 2000 when they started, and the other innovation that they brought to the table was nested inventories. But otherwise, BrickLink really isn't anything close to technical brilliance. They really don't make appropriate use of existing metadata for searches, and they haven't looked to improve their data model since its inception. They even a nightly downtime at midnight!

Basically, it's more-or-less a pretty complete thinking-inside-the-box approach to development from the 90's and early 00's. And, for the record, the LEGO database for Bricklink is REALLY small (technically speaking). It's about 75,000 records all told, which is peanuts. They've got about 6 million listings, and maybe around 2 million transactions (over 13 years), which is decent size, but not unwieldy.

"Anyone who has used LEGO's new LUGBulk interface should appreciate the magnitude of the challenge."

I'm not sure quite what you're implying here-- are you saying that the new LUGBULK interface was good or bad?

For the record, I wrote my own LUGBULK interface for our club that's a lot more robust than LEGO's new one. I wrote it in my spare time in a few weeks. If I had been dedicated to it full time, it could've been really slick. And if I had a team of *4* developers (rather than just me), working full time for a few months, I'm sure we could write something that would rival BrickLink (functionality-wise). It really is pretty feasible-- although I would probably extend the timeline for the sake of developers stepping on each others' toes, and to react to user feedback.

"It would seem to me that what is needed is a bit of respect and humility for what a monumental piece of engineering Bricklink is"

I think the thing to respect is how COMPLETE BrickLink is. And I don't mean data. Over the years, BrickLink has introduced new features that have come from user requests. And right there is something to respect-- because when you sit down at a round table and talk about all the cool things you could do, it's very easy to miss the HORDES of things that people want. They want currency conversions, and coupons for their stores. They want to undo changes they made and have e-mail alerts based on bizarre criteria. Some people want the cheapest order possible, sure, but others want a balance between cheap and "easy" (IE involving a plethora of sellers). That completeness comes about through years of working with users and reacting to their desires. And that's definitely something to be respected.

Not to belittle the LEGO data itself, either-- the wealth of element and set data is invaluable. BrickLink is the best source for obscure LEGO data like posters, sticker sheets, unreleased parts, and other oddball LEGO items. They've built up a database of LEGO data that takes a LONG time to replicate. And if you're planning on being a competitor, BrickLink won't just hand over one of its most valuable assets (we're talking probable lawsuits for sourcing their data for a competing venture). So, again, BrickLink is owed a debt of respect for collecting and maintaining the data it has.

DaveE

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By in United Kingdom,

Hi Guys.
Jumping back in, I think we should state that BL is a fantastic resource as is EBay, Amazon etc.. we feel they all have their own dedicated members and hence communities that thrive and support them in the LEGO world (Davee is right they are due a huge amount of respect, without them where would we be). However we want to offer another option and solution to people as we feel that they don't quite accomplish what we want to and our aim of the new site. EBay offers the easiest method for sellers to sell job lot pieces but does not offer a very good platform for buyers to buy individual pieces and search very effectively for them. Likewise Amazon is fantastic for buying whole kits but again I don't feel it offers what I want with regards to buying custom kits and searching for individual pieces. The BL offers a fantastic resources of pieces and clearly even from this post you can see has a very vocal and dedicated community, but I feel that it does not make it very simple for people to get at those pieces, it does also not offer what we think will make a difference to non traditional Lego fans (fans outside the community currently but who love playing with LEGO) the opportunity to find and sell pieces or find cool custom models they can make. Anyone can currently go to one of the many sites online or eBay and buy a custom and awesome LEGO model with almost no technical knowledge and with very little effort but buying the pieces for it I feel is a whole different story...currently.

You can argue that nothing in life is worth doing unless you put a little effort in. But I for one would rather be building then spending hours trying to get the parts I need making crazy spreadsheets etc...

A website where people have to ask for help to use it, I really feel is failing its users

TBS may not be for everyone (especially if you are fine with how things currently work) but it will be an open and free market place welcome to everyone to try and hopefully offer some competition to others out there. It should also encourage a whole wealth of new members into the hobby. It can only be a good thing.

With regards to ads on site and the questions and points raised, ad revenue cannot be estimated off traffic alone, its something the team has a huge amount of experience in and are very much involved in currently. What alot of people don't realise is what makes Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, Youtube, all highly successful is not only the huge amount of traffic they get and the random ads they have but that they are selling an audience. They know a lot more about you then you might expect, they haven't hacked or stolen that data or got it by any evil means, you have given it to them freely (in your status updates, and what you have viewed, whats in your pms etc...) This sounds very big brother and quite scary but really is actually something that helps make sure these great services stay free, but also when showing you ads helps to make sure that you see ads that are targeted to you. Your personal data or information is not given away and no third party can see it but what's important to a 3rd party is they know that 100 people like Dyson Hoovers and so may well be interested in hearing about the new Dyson Hoover. Obviously these are huge examples and something that one can only dream of (but it is now a very common practice) we believe that in time we can work towards a similar goal obviously on a much smaller scale but that will enable us to keep the site running and keep a dedicated team on the project full time. Sure it's a big ambition to have but you have to start somewhere and we feel were the right team to do it. We haven't ruled out the idea of a subscription system as a lot of people bring it up.

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By in United Kingdom,

Asking for money by Kickstarter is another point people raise a lot and that they feel it is not right etc.. Kickstarter has been made specifically for projects like ours, we could finish the design and pitch our business plan and forecasts to investment angels and banks but then we would miss out on what we feel is really important by getting a community to help us on this journey by pledging a small amount of money individually and have a say in how things work. Getting feedback on what people see as issues and working on ways to fix them etc..

Hopefully that helps shed a little more light on us and that were not bashing any websites or trying to shut them down but simply that were frustrated about how things currently are and would like the opportunely to change that for other like minded people - of which there is currently 70.

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By in United States,

@thebrickstop You know how amazon.com works when buying from individual sellers? Well that's how I would want The Brick Stop to work. On "the other site", having to buy from multiple sellers & having completely separate orders for each seller to get the best price is just too complicated. Also if you would use the same names/identification numbers as Lego does, that would be great!

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By in United States,

I decided to make my first BL purchase yesterday. I was looking for a simple minifigure. What a nightmare! Took me about 20 minutes of confusion and head scratching but I finally got it done. Had trouble putting item in cart, there wasn't any link to click, but then I ended up with 2 full collections of minifigures in my cart, then had trouble logging in, then once logged in I could no longer even find the item, thought I was limiting search to US only but it kept showing every country, realized I had to click 2 things to get it to limit that search, and on and on and on... BUt finally got it done. PHEW... And you wonder why people give up and go to Ebay. It's easier to pay twice the money and just get it done in about a minute.

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By in United States,

@wolfgang514 - I think there are a few issues with that model (not that it's a bad idea, just considerations)-- First off, some sellers probably would probably object, since currently it means certain sellers with larger inventories are preferable for buyers since it simplifies the ordering process. Hence, "big shop" sellers would likely see a reduction in sales for the sake of convenience of buyers. Effectively, you'd see much fiercer competition in element prices, which could drive large sellers away.

Also, that means using a service as an intermediary for money. IE, the user pays money to TheBrickShop, and then TheBrickShop pays money to the sellers. That added transaction incurs more fees, meaning that sellers are making less, meaning that it likely drives UP the cost for buyers. Additionally, some sellers accept different forms of payment (they may not take PayPal), which may mean that there's a lot of extra effort necessary for TBS-- possibly something that's not easily automated.

Anyway, that model might be attractive and feasible for some sellers, and might drive away others. So if the site succeeds, I would expect that you might create a divide in terms of the types of sellers that would stay with BrickLink, and ones that would move to TBS.

DaveE

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By in United States,

@davee123 I agree with you. What my point really is is the simplicity of Amazon.com compared to Ebay.com.

I think it would be good if we had both sites. Like how we have amazon.com & Ebay.com

IE Amazon.com = TheBrickStop.com & Ebay.com = Bricklink.com

Just one site/system is never going to make everyone happy. That is why having more than just one option is good. It also provides some healthy competition.

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By in United States,

LEGO weapons? That actually shoot bricks? No matter how 'cool' that sounds, that is a terrible idea to be promoting up front. Self-advertising your books and kickstarting a project for a website are two different things, also.

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By in United Kingdom,

As others here say, including a gun made of Lego as part of your promotion is not clever, especially with a toy that is traditionally pacifist (though less so nowadays).

I think this is not going to work. Yes Bricklink needs competition, or at least the spectre of it; to give them a kick up the proverbial to modernise their site and make it easy for new users, etc. However, this proposed alternative seems very amateurish and lacking in detailed scope, vision and understanding.

They don't seem to be quite in touch with what the AFoLs want; an indicative point of this is that despite being a UK based project they don't seem to be members of, nor have promoted themselves directly to the Brickish Association - the principal UK AFoL collective, which has nearly 300 members. Which one would kind of consider as the core audience for this project . . .

Since it's halfway through it's Kickstarter time and it's only raised 5% of the amount they wanted, I think the AFoL community has spoken; and said no.

Just my opinion.

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By in United States,

I just don't see how they are going to solve the problem of having to buy what you want from different sellers. Nobody carries a sizable inventory of EVERY part that Lego made and thus, it is necessary to buy from multiple sellers.

Shipping costs are very easy to figure out on BL. You can see an estimate of what your order will weigh and then add 1-2 oz. for packaging. Then you can use USPS.com to figure out the rates. OR you can just ask the seller. I can't imagine a way to have the shipping costs any more transparent other than forcing sellers into a fixed shipping cost program or something like that.

I would just rather see BL improved rather than replaced.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Chocolate - We have contacted Brickish, and the community there and Julie the Vice Chair informed us that members had been informed. Is that not the case?

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By in United States,

I have to chime in here. I am one of the older and larger Bricklink sellers and I have to disagree with what a lot of people have to say. First off no one BUYS anything from Bricklink, you buy from one of the 3000 plus store fronts hosted by Bricklink. You want competition? Well when I have 3000 competitors that is a lot of competition. Bricklink is one of the most pure forms of supply and demand anywhere, it sets the price for everything on Bricklink. Yes prices vary from store to store but each sets the price that works for them and if you do not want it then go to another store.

I was trying to find the developer who does not seem impressed with BL data base, I have over 500,000 parts inventoried and can find them in many different ways and we are just one store others have part counts in the millions and they are all accurate. There are thousands of sets inventoried. How is a start up going to handle all of the seller tools? Where are they going to find all of the set inventories? The catalog is amazing and if you use it for your searches you can find most anything in the data base very easily. As a seller I always find help from the admin when I need it or from other members. I have made many suggestions and many have been accepted. To try and put a cold hearted face on Bricklink and its members is unrealistic. To respond to people who said they were treated rudely by established members is incredibly rude of you. I have seen where people have gotten hacked off, but usually it is a new person who is coming in and trying to tell us how BL should work instead of asking how to do something. Remember, BL has been built and is dependent on its members to keep the catalog accurate.

Does BL need a new look? I don't care it works and that is more important to me. I get so sick and tired of websites always updating, I just get something working the way I like and then they up and change it all around. Just this morning Yahoo changed. It seems every time I go to iTunes there is update 10.5.2.09.88 to do. Sometimes can we just leave things alone until there is a real need to update it? Not everyone has a brand new computer to be able to use all of the new whizzbangs and it slows them down. BL is working on a new site, it is coming but it is a huge job. Not just the BL side of the house, but in keeping all of the stores inventories accurate through a move, but keeping wanted lists and the price guides accurate.

This new feature that will sort and list your wanted list on this proposed site, sounds very hard to make it work. How many different sellers would you have to buy from, how do you define the "cheapest price" how can they tell you the accurate shipping charges? I can give a very close estimate with a quick e-mail. I would never trust a 3rd party to tell my customers what shipping will cost.

I am far from sold on this new site. It has a lot of great ideas and maybe they can pull it off, but without a dedicated community to keep the site accurate and up to date with new sets it is going to take a long time to get established. Bricklnk may not be the best, but it works and if you want to invest a little time to get over the learning curve then it is all down hill form there.

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By in United States,

An interesting and promising idea for sure, but the fact that the models you highlight and offer as enticements to donate are guns makes it a very firm no go. Making weapons out of Lego is probably the only cretive form that I absolutely do not support and makes a huge statement. And for me that means no doantion.

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By in Hungary,

How will TheBrickStop's much advertised feature of being able to order at once from different sellers will ever work? It seems extremely hard (impossible?) to build a system that can take into account all the variables. Just take a look at the current selling practices:

- Some stores have minimum buys, others have handling fees (often variable based on order value), yet others have both
- Some stores provide discounts for some payment types and/or charge extra for other payment types
- Some stores even have lot limits or lot surcharges
- And there's the whole VAT issue, which can't simply be solved by looking up country of buyer (as some EU residents can purchase at net prices)
- And most importantly there are the sometimes extremely complicated price structures of national postal services and other carriers. Not to mention that usually on a given order the buyer could choose from several shipping options (unregistered, registered, insured, parcel or mail, fast or slow services, etc.) You'll have to account for that for every single country that has a seller or force them into some fixed price shipping system.

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By in United Kingdom,

@thebrickstop, it has been discussed in the Brickish forum, but it hasn't garnered much interest.

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By in United Kingdom,

Hi, I've used BL a fair amount and whilst comprehensive in terms of data, it is far from comprehensive in terms of user (at least buyer) experience, as demonstrated by the vast majority of comments here. For example, the search engine (which is most people's first contact of using BL) is awful by modern standards. Type in "3001", it brings up all the 2x4 bricks for sale. Fine. But there's hundreds of results, and I just want red bricks. So I type "red" into the "search within results" box. "No items found". Hmmm. Type "3001 red" in main search box. "No items found". Type "red 3001" in main search box. Ah, there they are. Totally non-intuitive. Given a couple of the responses above, I fully expect to be told I'm just not giving enough respect to BL rather than any acknowledgement that there is room for improvement. It is a powerful resource though, no question, and credit to all those who have got it to where it is.

As alluded to by some posters above the "one-click" ordering from different sellers for purchases of multiple bricks is a challenging problem, but not intractable. I work in high-performance computing, and the algorithmic approach I would take would get something like the optimal answer, but (currently) would not be guaranteed within a time-scale acceptable to the average shopper. But then again I haven't gone into the details (and therein lies the devil) to investigate this properly .... hey, maybe I should set up a Kickstarter project ....

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By in Germany,

Well I was ready to pledge, and even registered with Kickstarter just for the occasion, but in step two it turns out I am plain not allowed to do jack because I don't have a credit card. (And neither does anyone I know, or anyone they know. I can name half a dozen AFOL friends off the top of my head, but not a single person with a credit card.) Feels like I'm back in 1997 again. No Paypal, no bank transfer, no nothing.

We can grumble about BL all we want — and Heavens know I have —, but at least it will actually take my money whenever I please.

So, um, yeah. Bummer. Good luck, guys.

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By in United States,

I recently bought a bunch of stuff from BL trying to put together a set of minifigs for a game party and I ended up like most folks having to order from 5 different sellers and buy extra bricks to meet each of their minimums. So between the minimums and separate shipping it can add up fast.

But @thebrickstop I can't see how they can resolve that issue and make it easier. Now if what they were pitching was something like thebrickwarehouse where essentially it's a central consignment location for bricks then we could truly have what we want - order just what you need have it shipped from one location. Sellers could have as large an inventory as they like without filling up their homes, buyers would have one place to order and get shipped from.

but that's also a massive logistics issue and would need legal setup or a lot of trust on the part of the sellers to the company to keep track of inventory and pay outs.

Of course you would need to charge fees - no way internet ads are paying for a warehouse :)

That's my brick dream!

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By in United Kingdom,

Thanks for the update Huw.

@schwallex - I know that is a bit of a pain. Just your support and a share will be fantastic!

@sputnix unfortunately something we can't make easier is needing to use multiple sellers for some parts lists. We will make the whole process before and after easier and quicker but we can't change what sellers have in stock sadly. We did consider way back when we started brainstorming running like swopit or CEx in the uk where users could send in their pieces and get a credit note etc but the infrastructure to do this would have to be huge and something that we couldn't manage and don't have any expertise in sadly. But who knows maybe in the future :)

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By in United States,

@thebrickstop "unfortunately something we can't make easier is needing to use multiple sellers for some parts lists."

Well, could you, if you offered sufficient options for sellers? IE, if you (as a seller) are willing to accept automated shipping calculations, and a small overhead fee, couldn't TBS accept a Paypal payment from the user, and distribute the payment accordingly to multiple sellers, who could then ship their orders independently? Clearly, it's not an option that all sellers would want (and they might want to offer restrictions or caveats), but it could provide a useful service for users.

DaveE

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm late to this, but just wanted to say I have come close to buying on BrickLink at least four times in the last couple of years but never pushed the button. Mostly because pushing the button has never been straight-forward, having got to grips with the powerful but unwieldy interface I was then greeted by the nightmare that is shipping and sellers terms. I appreciate that shipping costs are different around the world, but some sellers make it too difficult or complex to buy from them with outlandish minimum orders, levies and in some cases bewildering terms.

On the other hand I have spent a fortune on eBay through mine and my wife's accounts in some cases paying more than BL for parts and sets just because I don't want to spend 30 minutes working out if the seller will even take my order or waiting 24 hours to get a shipping quote.

I'm sure some people love BL but it is intimidating to first time users and even those who love the scope and breadth of product sometimes find it just too much like hard work. First rule of selling stuff: make it EASY to buy from you! BL doesn't and many of the BL sellers compound the issue.

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm pretty new to Lego after a long time away. Once you start joining forums and so on, 'Bricklink' is something you hear a lot about, so I went and had a look.

Quite frankly, life's too short to try and figure out how that mess of a site works, and that's from someone who's worked in IT for 25 years.

If someone can come up with a better solution, then more power to their elbow. And if it means BL make major improvements to their useability, then that can only be a good thing.

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By in United States,

Wow, really? I find the other site simple enough to use. Why complicate things? Oh, I get it, someone wants a mobile app for that. It doesn't take a genius to price shop between vendors, read their terms and then make a decision. If you don't like the terms, choose another vendor. That's capitalism baby. My personal assessment is that someone is just kicking themselves because they didn't think up BL first or didn't get a piece of the pearl gold brick when they had the chance. Not only that, the site's creator is dead! How much of a time investment in it can he make?

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By in United States,

Like I said before, Bricklink to me is very easy to use. In fact, my wife is not very computer savvy and she set up her whole entire bricklink store by herself... Of course she didn't know what parts were what, and that was the key to adapting to it... I didn't help her at all other than giving her some rare parts to start out with to help get things going...

For me the key to learning how to use Bricklink was first knowing what the parts were, be it a plate, modified plate, Tile, modified tile etc... No one is going to start using bricklink and have it mastered overnight, just like anything else... The easiest way to find what you are looking for it to select "Catalog Item" and then punch in the set number and then select the set's inventory... I honestly don't know how anyone can develop a website that makes it easier than that...

Anyone can sell on Ebay, but that doesn't mean that they know what they are doing, and more than likely not doing it with the best end result...

It comes down to getting better as you go... I give tips to people all the time about selling things on Ebay , and even sellers that have had 1,000's of transactions still can learn things to get more for their money...

The only thing that I can say bad about bricklink is that there are just too many options which I could see becoming confusing for a new member... For instance when you click on "My Bricklink" there are only about 10 main links there that I ever have had the need to use..

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By in Spain,

There are actually a couple reasons why I don't like the idea of competition in this Lego world.

As a seller, the existence of competition will only drive away a good chunk of customers from my store. You wont be able to have the same store in the two sites at the same time. You'll have to choose one, and loose the customers on the other site.

As a buyer, many sites with the same functionality will only help to spread everything all over the place. I strongly prefer to have everything in the same place.

BL wasn't that hard to learn. As a buyer it was a powerful tool, and as a seller is really flexible. But I really think it needs a change. Or at least a dedicated team behind it... not just a person with a daytime job.

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By in United Kingdom,

"You wont be able to have the same store in the two sites at the same time. You'll have to choose one, and loose the customers on the other site."

Why, exactly ?! That's like saying that Toys R Us can only have a bricks and mortar store or an online store but not both, or that people who sell through Amazon Marketplace can't sell anywhere else as well. It's nonsense....

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By in Spain,

^

Ha! Try to manage two same 50.000 pieces inventory, let alone bigger parts stores on BL, on the both sites, sir! :)

What if a buyer on BL and a buyer on BrickStop buys the same pieces around the same time? Do you get what i mean?

A seller can have an Amazon storefront and an ebay shop at the same time when they sell sets, they just have multiples, and sell one at a time. It's not that pretty when it comes to parts...

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By in United States,

^^ Who wants to update their inventory on one site whenever something gets sold on another site? For sets it would be fine. But imagine if you were selling pieces and got several orders a day and you had to adjust your quantities for each site when you got an order on the other site. That takes up a lot of time.
Mentioning Toys R Us, a big corporation, with thousands of employees is not the same thing as bricklink sellers. I am not sure why you can't see that.
Think I'm crazy? Ask any big bricklink seller if he wants to manage his piece inventory between two sites and see what they say.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ and ^^ I don't disagree that your inventory would require additional management - this makes perfect sense. What I'm challenging is the comment that it wouldn't be possible to sell on both sites simultaneously should you wish.

I have to confess to some surprise at the negativity directed by some sellers towards a new platform which aims to broaden the market beyond the current 'hardcore'. Surely it's an opportunity for you guys ?

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By in Spain,

I guess I have been talking as a parts seller/buyer.

As a parts seller, not that it requires additional management, it's nearly impossible to sell on both sites at the same time. And the existence of a new site will only drive customers away from the site you sell on.

As a parts buyer, this will only spread the sellers around. Let's be honest, even if this goes up, not in next year, nor in the following one or the five following ones will even one fourth of the BL sellers move there, so then you will have to be going back and forth between both sides, managing two wanted lists, etc.

The only good thing to me that could come up from this, is to give a buzz to BL and make them be more cautious. And to work on their design and their flaws (which arent many).

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By in United States,

@DrDaveWatford: "Why, exactly ?"

Because BrickLink's TOS explicitly forbids it.

You can't provide the same items on BrickLink for sale on a different venue other than BrickLink, and you also aren't allowed to link to other sale venues. I believe the same is true for eBay-- they basically don't want you to circumvent their service, because that's how they get money.

But, realistically, as a seller, it cuts your market by some percentage. A lot of buyers won't want to deal with the hassle of doing their searches on both sites (or will be unaware of the other site), so they'll probably stick with one site or the other. Some buyers will search both, but it's not clear what percentage of the market that would be.

My guess, however, is that that wouldn't be the reality. Or, not for more than a few years. In one scenario, TBS would be worlds better (functionality-wise) than BrickLink, and users would start flocking to it as it took off. Once the data gaps were filled to the point where most modern data was in the database, usage on BrickLink would begin to fade away, eventually disappearing, or having a very small contingent of stubborn users.

The other scenario is that TBS can't deliver. Perhaps the functionality just isn't there, or the set/part database never gets fleshed out, or the admin support isn't there. And so TBS never gets many sellers, because it's just not as good as the existing system.

I really don't see the likelihood of both sites having a healthy supply of sellers long-term, unless the sites are very comparable quality-wise, but have different service models which are appealing to different groups of sellers. As presented, TBS is advertising itself as "Everything BrickLink does, and MORE!"-- not really presenting a different business model for sellers.

DaveE

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By in United Kingdom,

I stand corrected regarding Bricklink, davee123 - thanks for the info.

Is this really true regarding eBay as well, however ? Given the number of eBay "outlets" selling the same items as their 'regular' stores (e.g. Argos, a UK retailer) you do have to wonder how eBay (or indeed any marketplace) would actually know whether or not their TOS in this regard were actually being broken, and hence how they'd enforce this. There are similarly numerous eBay auctions where the seller states that they reserve the right to pull the auction at any time as the item is listed elsewhere; surely eBay would pull these auctions if this is indeed in contravention of the TOS ?

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By in United States,

Bricklink probably more or less uses that rule as a way to discourage members from selling on multiple sites to avoid running into problems with their inventory, like selling 50 parts each at the same time on 2 different sites when they actually only have 50 to begin with...

There is no way that Bricklink could catch anyone doing this unless the seller on ebay uses the same Bricklink name, or they were set up by someone at Bricklink XD... I'll bet that it has happened 100's if not 1000's of times where people sold things on Ebay and forgot to delete them from their Bricklink accounts, thus leading to buyers getting angry... Or making the buyers wait for weeks while they replenish their supplies(I have had this happen to me a few years ago on Bricklink)

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By in United States,

Basically, you've got 2 problems. As Paul points out, it has the potential for clashes-- if you sell the same set on eBay and BrickLink, and two people independently buy the same item at the same time, then both BrickLink and eBay will demand a fee, and both buyers will demand their product. But you, as the seller, only have one item, so someone's going to get shafted. And neither venue wants its buyers to have bad experiences where they buy an item only to find out that "oops!" they didn't actually get to buy it after all.

The second problem is more of a problem for BrickLink than eBay (although it's still a problem for both). Essentially, you can circumvent BrickLink/eBay fees if you use another venue. If (let's say) you were selling an item on BrickLink for $1000, and you were contacted by a buyer who was willing to pay you $1000. As a seller, you would owe BrickLink 3% of the selling price ($30). So you stand to make $970, not $1000. Hence, you could offer the buyer a deal-- if they buy it from you SECRETLY, without telling BrickLink, you'll split the difference with them-- they save $15, and you make an extra $15. Works out great for everyone except BrickLink, who gets shafted.

There's virtually no way to detect those types of deals-- they can happen totally behind the scenes. But eBay has at least SOME bit of a buffer because they charge a listing fee, where BrickLink doesn't. Hence, even if you try to cheat eBay, you still have to pay the listing fee. (They may also charge you a fee if you remove your items-- maybe too frequently or at all-- I dunno)

Anyway, yes, it's difficult track down, so it's very hard to enforce. But luckily for BrickLink and eBay, I don't think it's terribly common.

DaveE

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By in United States,

The only real winner in this is Paypal.. Unless you can convince the buyer to send you the money as a gift.... :p

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By in Spain,

Well, actually you would only owe BL 25$. I mean, it's not that big of a charge and I'm glad that almost no sellers want to cheat the BL fees. They are just a small fee for the service provided. I actually loved it!

I remember that I once thought about selling on eBay. I guess that I was spoiled by the 3-2% BL selling fee, when I got there and they tried to slap on my face 10% fees, plus many ungrateful customers, plus holding your money for some time, plus...

I just love BL's low fees, simplicity and flexiblity, but also how personal it is. I frecuently, luckily, get to now my buye, what they are working on, and many other things.

If ever TBS was created, I hope that it was more like BL than like eBay in the aspects I have said. But as I also have said, my apologies to the project owner, but I wouldn't want it to come through. I don't really think that it would be any good for the buyers or sellers in the near 5 years at least.

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By in United Kingdom,

"As Paul points out, it has the potential for clashes"

Yep - makes sense, although this is already an issue at times on Bricklink (parts not available despite being listed as available when I order), presumably because some sellers process orders in batches rather than one at a time, and if two of those orders happen to involve some of the same parts then someone has to miss out.

"Essentially, you can circumvent BrickLink/eBay fees if you use another venue"

Any online marketplace would have to accept that this would happen to some extent; I don't see how selling simultaneously in more than one venue would make this phenomenon more prevalent, though.

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By in United Kingdom,

Seeing as this debate still rages on, I thought I would repost Eric Smith's (the admin at Bricklink) response, which he recently posted on Bricklink.

%SNIP
- I am fully aware of the kickstarter project that started a few weeks ago, and
I've been well aware of the need to redesign the site, and have been since I
took over as Admin in 2010.

- For the new site, however, we will be involving users of all types (small buyers,
big buyers, small sellers, big sellers, regional groups covering EU, EMEA, Asia,
US) to make sure that the feature set covers the evolved marketplace that Bricklink
serves. I may also be making appearances at AFOL events to get feedback in person,
since e-mail does not lend itself to conversations and demonstrations.

- We will also be focused on making the site more accessible for casual users.
This site is intimidating and confusing for someone who just wants to buy something.
Sellers will need to be more patient than they are now, but the net result will
be more sales for everyone.

- Once the important bugs on the current site are resolved, no more changes will
be made to the current site. The focus will be on the new site. At that point,
I will be expanding the development team to accelerate the development process.
I have access to plenty of developers who are using the new technologies we will
be developing with, but finding ASP developers at this point, more than 10 years
after ASP was replaced, is quite difficult.

Eric Smith
Bricklink Administrator

%SNIP

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By in Germany,

I did not read everything, but if it is true what davee123 says then it is a matter of competition law. I think a marketplace with such a market-leader position is not allowed to forbid its members to trade on other marketplaces (their competitors) as well. This is at least German law and I think European law as well. I would be surprised if the USA as the nation of the free market as such had different rules for inhibiting monopolists.

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By in United States,

@PsyKater: BrickLink doesn't forbid you from selling on other venues at all, they forbid you from selling the same item elsewhere. So if you have one copy of Cafe Corner for sale, and you list it on BrickLink, you aren't allowed to sell it on another venue. But if you have TWO copies of Green Grocer for sale, you can list one copy on BrickLink, and one copy on eBay.

DaveE

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By in United States,

@theBrickStop

Good for you guys. I'm a UI Developer for 17+ years, now, so maybe I've got a different take on the KickStarter idea, but I'm glad to see another Lego marketplace pop up, with some (hopefully) modern ideas. There are clearly some strong opponents here, so maybe a healthy rivalry will emerge and keep you both on your toes.

Any plans on setting up a (better) forum for sharing LXF files, too?

Good luck to you.

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By in Australia,

Their logo reminds me of a PSB album.

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