New LEGO trading platform to launch soon

Posted by ,

The first of what will probably be many 'Bricklink alternatives' has just been announced, although being an auction site, it won't be competing directly with BrickLink. Here's the press release:

We are pleased to announce the re-launch of Bricktrader.net, under the new heading of “The Unofficial LEGO® Auction Site” on Saturday 1st June 2013. Bricktrader (beta) is the latest LEGO® marketplace, and is the only LEGO® specific auction site on the Internet.

Bricktrader aims to provide fans of LEGO® young and old alike, a place to trade their LEGO® without attracting extortionate fees or having to navigate their way around a clunky interface. Designed to be easy to use for anyone familiar with popular auction sites, you can list your items for sale in just a couple of minutes, and the majority of listings will only have a low 5% fee, with no listing fees for standard listings.

With our Welcome Week promotion, from 1st June until 7th June, you can start selling safe in the knowledge that if your item sells before 11pm GMT on the 7th of June, you will only pay 1p (GBP). That’s just 1 penny regardless of the final value fee (offer excludes fees for featured listings and additional photographs).

With our Brickset API integration, adding set details to your listing couldn’t be easier. Simply paste the URL for the set listing at Brickset into your item description, and you’ll have all the set details at the ready for any prospective buyer.

We have decided to launch in open beta as we want real user feedback to improve the functionality of the site. We know there are improvements to be made, and we're actively engaged with our developer to make them happen. We do however, need some real feedback from the LEGO® community so that we can make it meet their expectations.

So be sure to add www.bricktrader.net to your bookmarks, and join us on the 1st June 2013 for our Welcome Week promotion.

--

What do you think, something that's sorely needed, or not?

43 comments on this article

Gravatar
By in Germany,

I'd prefer a better bricklink navigation. But if you're used to it, it's quite good... :)
Personally, I'm not interrested in other brick marketplaces.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Huw, you said this is "the first of what will probably be many 'Bricklink alternatives'". You've already shared with us other alternatives to Bricklink here on Brickset. Sure, Bricklink is a little clunky and begs for a new interface, but it works. I'm not interested in an auction site for LEGO; that's what eBay is for. I agree with rmarkworth on his comments.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Nah.... not really liking it.

Gravatar
By in Belgium,

They say "without attracting extortionate fees ", while they are charging a 5% fee and additional costs like extra photos and such.
Bricklink asks only 3% fee and no extra costs whatsoever.
I agree an alternative for Bricklink is needed as the Bricklink admin is clearly not capable or the Jazek family not willing to upgrade their website to a 21st century model and in time an alternative WILL present it self, I'm sure, but this is definitely not it from the little info we get here.
But as they provide the one thing Bricklink is missing ...
I guess a lot will depend on how good their search engine will work ;)

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

So when was this previously online, it's says relaunch?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I refuse to even use Bricklink because of how insecure it is. As already mentioned though, that's all down to BL fixing an old framework which desperately needs an upgrade onto a newer framework.

Basically saying, it's not only the functionality of the site that the BrickTrader team need to focus on.

Gravatar
By in France,

I have been to that site before and never went back and didn't think it even existed. I wouldn't even bother with it and no I am not trying to be harsh on the person doing it. Sure they might surprise us and I will eat my words. In order for me to give something a chance the people working on it should have some sort of track record. That site has been pretty non existent. The 5% fee is a joke when you have no traffic going to the site to start with.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I am not sure that this sort of website is necessary really, but I am happy to give it a try.

What the Lego community really needs in my opinion is either a great improvement over at Bricklink or a brand new competitor for it with a set of full time staff who can put in the required time and effort. There are a couple of groups trying to get these ideas off the ground and I look forward to seeing what becomes of them.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Who cares? BL is so outdated we need something new for a while! I am liking this idea. Already bookmarked it. They never said 'the cheapest LEGO site'.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I'm a collector/builder who buys what I want on bricklink and sells what I don't want on ebay. I like to sell on ebay even though the fee is higher because I can sell exactly what I want all at once without maintaining an inventory to sort through when completing a sale. I'm used to bricklink and while it may be clunky, it is effective for me. I'll check out the new site once or twice to check if purchase prices are reasonable but I'm not switching sites to sell. I also agree with rmarkworth's comments.

Gravatar
By in Germany,

Will it be a UK only auction site or can you sell from all over the world like on bricklink?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Puzzled by those who accuse Bricklink of being 'outdated'. It has some awesome features - like the 'Price Guide' and the ability to see exactly what parts sold and for how much. As for security and sql injection attacks? Who gives a xxxx. It's not like they have my bank details. Just an email address and a randomly generated BL password. The worst they could do with that might be some lameo phishing attack. Big deal!

Yeah - one can always think of improvements: The search could be more intelligent and they could do with the ability to link to the max/min/avg selling prices from within a store - so you can see if the price of a part is reasonable or not without the need to open another windown to check the price guide - but overall I think it's excellent already. Any competitor has got an uphill struggle on their hands.

Gravatar
By in Netherlands,

@rmarkworth / @LuvLegos_Cool_J: Are you a sellers on BL? Cause they're still cleaning up from a hack that happened last june (and again in march). Some features for sellers still aren't working correctly.

I like the Bricklink community and I think the best thing is to modernize Bricklink itself (design AND technique). Many alternative marketplaces for Lego, only means a fragmented community and less buyers on each individual site.

As Bricktrader is an auction site it's not a direct competitor, really. But just an extra way to sell Lego. Didn't Bricklink use to have an auction feature as well?

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Hi, I'm the owner and operator. It will be available to use worldwide. The site was running as a news site from 1st September 2012 until March and had a modest following. I took it down to turn it into what I had originally intended, as the news was already well served here and elsewhere.

I urge people to give it a try during the Welcome Week promotion. You have nothing to lose. The site supports PayPal as the main payment gateway, so you have the added security of buyer protection should you need it.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@TyoSolo: thanks for the updated info

Gravatar
By in United States,

If, as a buyer, I can get minifigs for cheaper in an auction style format than I would at ebay or cheaper than buying at whatever price a seller is asking on bricklink, I will gladly use it. But I'm not sure about selling.

Gravatar
By in United States,

There will never be an alternative to eBay, because they already have brand awareness. Bricklink is the same way. Unless BL completely dies and disappears nothing will replace it.

And while BL can be "clunky" most of that comes from having 5000 sellers instead of 1. The search may be weird but all you have to do is find the part you need in any set you know its in and you can click on from there (and once you have the part # the search is perfect).

As others have said, 5% is higher than BL. While eBay is closer to 10-12% (depending on final value fees) the larger marketplace more than makes up for it.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

Surely we've plenty to lose, my Taj Mahal could go for 99p!

Gravatar
By in United States,

Search is clunky for BL if you do not search for the item in the catalog, which is a lot easier to find if that is used.
I agree with the many others. BL needs and updated but is the standard really.
Since this is an alternative auction site I give it about 6 months, where as most of the items listed will most likely be the guys running it.
I have seen this before, anyone that tries to compete with eBay is going to lose plain and simple, unless you start investing millions of dollars in advertising, because it is all about recognition and viewership.
Everyone complains about eBay, but the simple fact is millions of people view eBay and that means many more bids on you items. I doubt a new auction site is going to have that.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

@jockosjungle You can set a reserve price, you also have the ability to set a fixed price/best offer format with Buy Now with no additional fees.

If you wanted to, you could set your listing with a 99p Start, £250 reserve, £350 Buy Now and allow people to make you an offer - and you only pay the final value fee if it sells, no additional fees for using all available formats, and unlimited re-lists.

I suppose I should have mentioned these things in the Press Release.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I will give it a try, it's unfair to dismiss the site until you try it. Good luck Rich!

Gravatar
By in United States,

I like BrickLink, partly because of its 1990s feel. To modernize it would mean plastering ads everywhere and trying to harvest data from the users. No thanks. Leave it be!

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I will be visting this site. Will be nice to have another site to look at and more choice. Who knows it could get massive depending on the interface and ease of use.
ebay is massive but its time there was more dedicated sites for things like Lego rather than just selling everything ever manufactured in one site.
Just hope the search engine works well.

Gravatar
By in United States,

Bricklink stinks. The interface is a mess. The really big issue though is that you have no clue what the shipping will be, as nothing is standardized (not in terms of amount, but in terms of letting buyers know up front). I've spent time trying to collect various bits and pieces only to cancel a sale after seeing the shipping. I welcome any alternative.

Gravatar
By in New Zealand,

I agree with Kooz, BL is a mess and any alternative is welcomed. I'm looking forward to trying something that is actually usable and enjoyable - unlike BL...

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I'll give anything a try. But I doubt it will have much of a buyer userbase in the first week, meaning auctions are a no-go. In turn this means high start prices to ensure things don't get sold for peanuts, which in turn puts off buyers looking for real bargains, which in turn means low user numbers ....

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^ This, 5% with almost no user base or 10% over on ebay - sometimes being cheap isn't the main factor.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^^I anticipate most users will use the fixed price only formats to start with, until users begin to receive feedback (there is a user review system), and trust builds in the product and the user-base. At least that's the feedback I've been getting.

Gravatar
By in Israel,

I have nothing positive or negative to say until June 1st... afterwards lets talk!

Gravatar
By in Canada,

@kooz.. I re-read the press release, I didn't see anything about anyone knowing the costs of shipping up front.
Doesn't that depend on who you sell too, and what else you buy?

This seems like it would be more for "lots" of lego, where Bricklink caters to 'a la carte'..
One can go into a store and buy 4 brown 2x4 bricks, 3 2x6 red plates and leave, rather than "I have to bid on an auction which contains 4 brown 2x4 bricks, but 20 blue 2x4 bricks"

Bricklink should care about their issues, but.. it's hard to defend that they do when there is no communication about any plan..

Gravatar
By in United States,

BL works fine for me and can always find what I'm looking for. No way on eBay - at least not for Lego that is.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I'm looking forward to a new site for buying and selling. Of course it will take time to build on users but everything starts somewhere.

Another source to buy Lego is always a bonus.

The added bonus is it will be mainly AFOL's that use it so details on what they're selling should be spot on. I dont think I've bought a used set of ebay that was classed as 100% complete without pieces missing or perfect condition only to turn out to have pieces yellowed or chewed. Last week I bought a set that said opened but never built. I recieved it with pieces half built and stickers attached. His excuse was his grandson had told him he hadn't built it. So fingers crossed sellers should know what they are on about and have 100% honest descriptions.

Gravatar
By in United States,

I fear that the site may severely restrict their user base if all of the prices are always listed in GBP. Can users set it so that all GBP pricing is automatically converted to the currency of their choice (in my case USD)? Even if you can ship and sell worldwide, the way that prices are shown can strongly reflect a perception otherwise.

On Bricklink, I'll say this: they have very strong supporters, but it's sort of the opposite of that old political expression where support is a "mile long and an inch deep." For Bricklink, support is a mile deep and an inch long. The biggest problem in my eyes is that there are a lot of people who like it that way. From what I've seen, there's a culture of exclusivity among the people who love Bricklink the way it is, a feeling that if you don't like it then go away. But this misses the broader point: expanding the market. Even of some persevere, many things about Bricklink turn people off immediately. But because the market on Bricklink is restricted only to people willing to commit themselves to it, the prices stay lower. If my family or friends want to get me an old Lego set, they'd find the cheapest price on Bricklink but I would never in a million years send them there because it would confuse and frustrate them.

This, to me, is why we need an alternative. There's a wide swath of the Lego purchasing market that is being underserved and, because of that, we lose some engagement with the community that we would otherwise have. If this new site is the answer to that, fantastic. I can't wait to see it. If Bricklink wants to update itself by about 14-15 years in one leap, that would make me ecstatic because they have such a fantastic data set behind them. Something has just absolutely got to change.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

^I'm working on it, but unfortunately it's not THAT simple, as any conversions would be approximate, and currency fluctuates quite a lot. Ultimately, you won't know what the conversion REALLY is until the PayPal gateway. I will also look at the possibility of allowing people to list in their home currency as opposed to just in GBP. Bear with me, I am willing to listen to any and all feedback! :-D

In the interim, based on your feedback, I have added a currency converter to the auction listing, so that it can be quickly reckoned up.

Gravatar
By in United States,

@Orwellian, I am intrigued by your comment about BL being a cheaper vehicle than eBay for buying complete LEGO sets. Perhaps I am doing something improperly, but I can always find a cheaper price on eBay. Otherwise many more sets on BL would sell much more quickly. The difference is that the defined auction period on eBay limits the timeframe in most instances so items sell for whatever price when the auction ends. BL has no such limitation so sets can sit there for remarkably long periods of time while the seller awaits a foolish or impatient buyer.

Sometimes it requires a bit of patience to find the better deals on eBay, but in my opinion it is a more accurate reflection of the real market for sets. I do believe that shipping charges on BL are much more reasonable. I can also empathize with the experience of wood_stock98 on the receipt of misadvertised quality in sets on eBay, but that has not been my own experience.

Clearly BL has many advantages over eBay when it comes to buying lots of specific parts. This is almost impossible to do with any regular success on eBay.

Regarding Bricktrader, I wish them well. If they can provide a quality buying and selling experience, they will most likely succeed. Initially, I would guess they will offer an environment more favorable to the buyer due to a smaller audience. That will be good for me as a buyer, so I will frequent it. If they then can attract more buyers, they will consequently attract more sellers, but only if their platform is solid and their fees are reasonable.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I'm certainly looking forward to the site going live and already have some figures set aside to list this weekend.
I find the BL interface awful to use and it has taken me months to finally become a confident user. As a seller on eBay I resent the monopoly they have and how they exploit us with their ridiculous ending fee. I welcome any new site that gives me an option to sell LEGO to LEGO fans and not line eBay's pockets.
Also the idea of a site JUST for LEGO is exciting; no more wadding through none-LEGO crap to find what I want.

As someone pointed out previously, auction-style listings usually result in lower prices for customers, rather than the 'Buy-It-Now' prices that you see on BL.
On BL you also can't see a picture of the ACTUAL item that you are buying, only a generic photo of the item. So you're reliant on the BL condition description. That's one of the things that eBay and now Bricktrader can do better. When I'm bidding/buying something, I want to see the EXACT item I'm buying.

Good luck, TyoSolo.

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I'll certainly be glad of an alternative to eBay which I feel traps me as a seller! eBay has left me cold as a seller they take 10% fee and then again with PayPal they take a bit more! They do not allow negative feedback against buyers and always favour the buyer to the point where you almost feel obliged to give a refund as soon as a claim is opened even when you know the fault does not lie with you.

I hope this new site becomes a hub for AFOLs to buy and trade at fair prices so people pay what the items are worth with fair fee's and fair feedback!

I'm pretty new to bricklink and have no complaints but I'm always open to people trying to improve on what's already available

Good luck with the site I'll try and get some little bits up on sale this weekend!

Gravatar
By in United States,

I like it :)

Gravatar
By in United States,

I like halo better :P

Gravatar
By in United States,

I can't help that :()

Gravatar
By in United States,

I'm just who I am xD

Gravatar
By in United Kingdom,

I wish TyoSolo the very best - I know what it is like to be enthusiastic about a a new project and being eager to get it off the ground - it's this initial period that will be the hardest.

I suggest that everybody reading this at least makes the effort to check out Brickstarter if they haven't done so already - the layout is clean and fresh, and the prospect of having an auction site with a specific focus appeals to me.

Gravatar
By in Belgium,

There were 6 or 7 auctions posted when I checked it out 5 minutes ago. I registered to bid on a few of them. Now they're gone, not one auction anymore... What happened?

Commenting has ended on this article.

Related articles

Return to home page »