If you're a Lego fan, collector, or just dabble from time-to-time, then you've undoubtedly heard of Bricklink—the foremost database for buying or selling New or Used Lego parts, sets, Minifigures, etc. Well, in this weekly article series I'm going to break down for you how to emerge from just a simple collector or Lego fan into a successful Bricklink store that can help to fund your hobby, or at the very least, can help drive down the cost of your continuing collection.
What makes a successful Bricklink Store?
The key to success is not all that different from running any other business: offering a quality selection at low cost. Now, you may be wondering how on earth to achieve that when some Bricklink stores have been in business since the early days of the site's creation, but it's all about the Price Per Piece ratio (PPP). For those of you who have never heard this term before, it's calculated by taking the retail cost of the set and dividing it by the number of pieces included.
As an example let's take a look at the PPP ratio on the Classic set Bricks and Animals (11011) at Lego.com. The set contains 1500 pieces and retails for $59.99 in the US, which brings the PPP to about ¢4 per piece (59.99÷1500). One of the most useful tools you'll need to become accustomed with on Bricklink is the "Part Out" feature, which will automatically piece the set out and place the items in your inventory.
In order to Part Out a set you'll need to go to Bricklink and type in the set number in the search bar, then you'll find the option to Part Out.
Once you've click on the Part Out option, you'll then be taken to a form which allows you to edit the different type of settings pertaining to the mass part upload. The next stage in the upload process will ask you to decide whether you'll input your own prices, or if you'll upload based on varying times of sales averages; you'll also be able to consolidate pieces if you already have the same part in your inventory.
There are a few options specific to price settings:
Default Prices to:
I will enter my own prices
Last 6 Months Sales Average By Qty
Current Items For Sale Average
Current Items For Sale Average By Qty
My Inventory Average
My Inventory Average By Qty
Now, a brief explanation for the default pricing section is essentially that you never really want to use the enter your own prices segment, because it could take you hours to complete. Take for example if you're parting out a set like Bricks and Animals, which contains over 1500 pieces, you'll most likely want to go with defaulting pricing to the last 6 months sales average. This will automatically assign pricing based on the specific parts last 6 months sales average globally. That will make it much easier to complete an upload and will give you a better chance at selling the parts, because they've already sold at the price-point the system is assigning.
Once you've made you settings selections, it'll give you a breakdown of all the parts and will allow you to make some further edits before verifying and completing the upload.
On the verification page you will be given the option to Retain items which means they'll be moved to your stockroom after selling out; you'll also have the option for adding to your Stockroom directly, which will upload to your inventory but won't be visible for sale; and lastly, you have the option to Delete, which is self-explanatory. This page will also tell you if you already have a specific item in your inventory, and you can also tweak price, discount, bulk or you can input tier-ed pricing for sales.
Once you've completed all your last minute edits you'll hit the Verify Items button and the next page will give you a summary of the upload. Most notably, and one of the key features for this entire process, it will show you at the bottom of the verification summary the total value of all items. This helps you gauge how much profit you can make on a specific set.
As you can see from the imagery, specific to the set Armored Assault Tank (AAT) (75283), a set which retails for $39.99, you stand to profit about $60+ dollars if all components are sold at the price listed. Parts and pricing are consistently shifting based on product retail availability and also depending on Bricklink availability, and in most cases, as time goes by the value of these components will increase as supply diminishes.
Once you upload your parts you're ready to sell! This feature is great if you're planning on starting a shop, or if you're just trying to sell off parts and just collect minifigures, or vice versa.
Check back next week for the second article in the series, How to Sell on Bricklink. Also, don't forget to comment your thoughts below, ask any questions you might have, and also go to the bottom of the page and subscribe to stay in-the-know for all things LEGO!