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Advice request Bricklink store

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:41 pm
by timber_wolf899
For those of you who run BL stores, I'm seeking advice.

I'd like to try my hand at a store, but am not entirely sure where to begin as i'd like to run it as a business rather than just an outlet for extra lego.

So, can this be done? If so, how does one come up with inventory? Set pricing for items and shipping? Factor in such costs as BL and Paypal fees? etc
Any advice is appreciated!

Re: Advice request Bricklink store

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:06 am
by Bluesecrets
That is a large task. I think the best way to start is to get sets on clearance and start parting them out. Inventory can be handled different ways. But of all the BL store owners I know, none of them use it as their sole business. Even the big shops don't. If you are all about turning a profit, well you have to compete with every other bl person out there and that can be difficult when some of them price parts extremely low. Research, ask around on bl. Check out their chat room. Asking for advice is good when this is concerned.

Re: Advice request Bricklink store

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:33 pm
by biglesdug
Bluesecrets is right, to do it as a sole business will be very hard! I have a very small shop were I sell parts I don't need just to help over costs of future purchases.

You would need to find set at well below retail 40% or more off and part them out, but the return is slow and your prices need to be good or they will just sit there. Uncommon pieces and high quantity and good prices is key to getting sales.

After you factor in shipping supplies, ink for labels, pull times and fees your luck to get a profit of small orders of new pieces.

Re: Advice request Bricklink store

PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:45 pm
by AK_Brickster
In my experience, the fastest way to turn a profit is to find stuff on 30-40% off on clearance and sell the whole set new MISB (mint in sealed box) at less than retail, if possible. Otherwise, you end up selling just bits and pieces of your inventory while the rest sits there, profiting you nothing.

I aim for larger sets when doing this, as your profit is more substantial that way, though it takes a larger initial investment. For example, I bought 5 copies of Helms Deep for $90 each and sold them for $100-110 pretty quickly. Total profit of somewhere around $60. At worst, you know you can sell them almost instantly for what you paid for them if you buy them for 30% off or more, so you at least wont LOSE money that way.

Be prepared to do a lot of international shipping if you go this route. Even with my limited number of sales, I've sold sets/licensed figs to Hong Kong, Austraila, Spain, Portugal, and Brazil, among other countries. Making sure you are covered for shipping costs is vital on these sales, as shipping can run you over $60 for large sets (like Helms Deep to Australia).

All that said, the most profit can be made by parting out the entire set into its individual components, but you then have to sell ALL of the parts to make that work, and that's often difficult to do, especially for a new store with limited inventory, and it takes a long time before you'll realize a profit.

Re: Advice request Bricklink store

PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:24 am
by Buurli
I also thought about running a BL store, but the prices are so cheap there, I can't really see how to make a lot of profit. I rather buy Star Wars figures there and sell them in Switzerland for more of the doulbe price :lol: This is why Darth Vader is my favourite minifigure, I can buy it for 10$ at BL and sell it for 25 $ in Switzerland :roflol:

Re: Advice request Bricklink store

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:55 pm
by timber_wolf899
Interesting stuff.
thanks for the input, guys!