Feng-huang0296

Beginner's tips for Bricklinking?

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The title kind of says it all. I'm new to Bricklink and want to know if there's anything I should know in regards to getting a good price, part quality, etc. 

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If quality is important, then buy new or ask sellers about the parts you are interested in.

For prices, research. As you are in Aus, you're are likely to pay a lot for postage unless you buy from Aussie sellers. So search for prices in Aus only to check what the premium for national purchases is.

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Usually if seller states a part is "New" it is actually new and never been used to assemble a model. If part has been a part of some creation it should be considered as "used". While there are no questions regarding new parts, but they can have some minor scratches from being stored, they main issue is with used parts. Each seller wants to sell as much as possible of them, so they can have several grades of used parts available, or consider a wider range of damages to be acceptable as "used" piece. So this varies sometimes. Yellowed and parts with bite marks are usually not being offered, unless it is rare and expensive part.

However don't be afraid to order used parts, as they are of a good quality most of the time.

My suggestion is not to judge the whole BL if you would have a bad experience with first couple of orders. Usually it is a great place to spend your money :grin:

And if you have more questions related to BL, it would be better to read dedicated topic and post your questions there.

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Where are you w.r.t. buying?  Have you made at least one purchase?

If not, the one thing you need to get accustomed to is that it's essentially a bunch of store fronts, and it's not Amazon - you generally don't buy your list of parts you want, and let Bricklink (BL hereafter) just choose for you and tell you what shipping is.  It generally (*) doesn't work that way.

Instead, you typically go to an individual store and buy from them.  Most stores do not have a "buy now" option, you have to commit to buying without even knowing what your total price will be, including shipping and handling. 

A few stores will let you do instant paypal check out (including shipping), but not all of them.

(*) Now - in the case of making a wanted list, there is an option to buy all the parts on your list, and BL will automatically select sellers for you to buy from, but you can then easily face a bunch of separate shipping charges.

The fact is that it takes some getting accustomed to, and you should definitely use the BL forums to ask questions.

They key problem with BL is shipping, and as usual, the more you buy from a single shop, the more you amortize the cost of shipping over your entire order.  In other words, a single $0.10 part might incur a $1.00 shipping, which makes it completely not worth it, but $20 parts might incur a $3 or $4 charge (depending on their size, of course), which makes it much more worth it, and 100 part order might be $5 (might be, I'm just making an example).  So the key is to have a decent "wanted" list of parts that you maybe don't need right away - cool parts, of figures you are collecting, or a part in certain colors you've been wanting... Then, when you go to a store to get what you need, you can possibly amortize the cost of shipping by adding items from your wanted list to your order.

Always look at seller feedback.  There are definitely scammers, even if not as common as on Ebay.

Some of the used parts I've gotten on BL have been terrible, but the vast majority have been quite good.

All in all, I have over 180 BL orders, and I've only ever had to deal with a problem seller once. Just be careful about who you order from, look at their feedback, and look at their responses to negative feedback.  Test out newer sellers with smaller orders.  Never order something like a retired UCS Star Wars set for 50% less than what everyone else is charging from a seller with 4 or 5 feedback - it's just common sense.

 

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