Discussion Forum: Messages by calsbricks (5772)
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 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 16, 2019 09:51
 Subject: Re: Inventory and revenue management
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 Topic: Selling
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Selling, JLRSextra writes:
  Wow. that is an extensive database. thanks for sharing the screenshots. That
must of taken many development hours.

I use Brickstock to manage inventory and pricing. I can easily adjust pricing
in Brickstock and upload the changes to Bricklink easily.

When processing a new batch for sale, I can start a new inventory or Part
Outs sets using Brickstock. It is super easy. But it doesn't do everything,
nor does it interface with every field provided by Bricklick (like the Cost field).

I do a monthly download from Bricklink of my sales in Excel format.
https://www.bricklink.com/orderExcel.asp?orderType=received

I then put that data into an Excel spreadsheet. Through a series of data calculations,
I figure out my sales total, bricklink fees, PayPal fees and finally net profit.
It's very manual.

Sounds good - we have tried to move as far away as possible from 'manual'
and have automated as much as we can at present without getting a programmer
involved. We, like many others, had hoped by now Bricklink would have been offering
something to help the sellers, after all we are a business , just like them,
but alas that hasn't happened.

We get all our stats from our system as well as P&L statements at the end of
each period. Our cost field is a very important field and unlike both Bricklink
and Brickstock we use it heavily. We know the cost we paid for each set and can
work out individual cost prices or just look at the totals. Our inventory is
held at cost so our accountants are happy with our methodology for that. As for
the used Lego which we buy in bulk - we know the weight and how much it cost
for the lot so we can easily keep track of the 'profitability' of each
lot we buy.

It could be easier, of course but we are comfortable with it as it is.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 16, 2019 09:19
 Subject: Re: Inventory and revenue management
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 Topic: Selling
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Selling, honglonglong writes:
  In Selling, calsbricks writes:
  In Selling, honglonglong writes:
  I probably posted before but didn't get any answers. How do people manage
their inventories and track ins and outs of money etc? I find tracking money
flow helpful in terms of deciding more purchases, and deciding reasonable price
etc. I want a centralized place to track orders, stocks, purchases, and they
should be tied to lego specifics too (e.g. num of pieces, weight, etc). What
BL provides is part of what I want, not all.

I have been using a spreadsheet to track sets I bought and sold manually, but
it is fairly limited unless you spend a lot of time writing it. For example I
didn't track PayPal fees and shipping etc. And if I were to trade parts,
that would be more difficult and time consuming to track every piece using spreadsheet.

I have attached a link to 3 screenshots covering sales orders, purchases and
products within our subsystem

https://www.dropbox.com/s/sry9qj31gdeoy6k/Access_Screenshots.pdf?dl=0

Some get populated via an import of data and some do not. All bricklink activity
is maintained via this system independent of Bricklink.

This looks cool; thanks for sharing. I assume writing this system took non-trivial
time, which is more than justified if the business volume goes big. For starters
like me (my current annual orders are like 10, for contexts), do you have any
suggestions?

Gulp ! A lot can be done in Access without any programming skills (I am not a
programmer) but you do need an understanding of how relational databases work.
Other than that I suggest you join the bandwagon to get Bricklink to provide
these kinds of things in the long awaited and overdue sellers tools (Promised
in 2013 at the takeover/acquisition nothing to date other than a new promise
that it will be included with Bricklink XP, as, when and if that ever gets released,
debugged, and operational). I really would not hold my breath on that one, though
- find yourswelf an Access programmer and let him help you or write it for you.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 16, 2019 09:14
 Subject: Re: Inventory and revenue management
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 Topic: Selling
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Selling, honglonglong writes:
  In Selling, calsbricks writes:
  In Selling, honglonglong writes:
  I probably posted before but didn't get any answers. How do people manage
their inventories and track ins and outs of money etc? I find tracking money
flow helpful in terms of deciding more purchases, and deciding reasonable price
etc. I want a centralized place to track orders, stocks, purchases, and they
should be tied to lego specifics too (e.g. num of pieces, weight, etc). What
BL provides is part of what I want, not all.

I have been using a spreadsheet to track sets I bought and sold manually, but
it is fairly limited unless you spend a lot of time writing it. For example I
didn't track PayPal fees and shipping etc. And if I were to trade parts,
that would be more difficult and time consuming to track every piece using spreadsheet.

We have our own internally written system as do many others as Bricklink do not
offer any real tools do do this.

We use a combination of Brickstock and an Access application which tracks all
orders both sales and purchases as well as inventory, pricing etc. It took a
while to develop but it works fine and is very independent of what Bricklink
do/

I saw Brickstock mentioned in previous posts; will give it a try. Curious what
lacks in Brickstock that makes you use another application along?

Brickstock has its limitations and our system removes those, however Bricklink
also has its limitations and our internal system addresses those. Brickstocks
real strength is in its ability to read the catalogue and tie the info together
with the image files. We use those images in our order picking sheets and if
you download an order directly from Bricklink you do not get the image file.
You can get it if you just print the order details to a pdf file but because
you cannot really alter the printouts that you get there and they are paper consuming
we bring the orders into Brickstock and print from there (Not to paper, by the
way).

It would be a wonderful thing if Bricklink actually thought about the sellers
and tried to make the system both easier to use less cumbersome, more informative
and much more parameter driven but alas that is not to be.

Good luck with your efforts.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 16, 2019 08:33
 Subject: Re: Buyer wants to pay me offline
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 Topic: Help
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Help, Statentkt writes:
  Thanks in advance for your help. A buyer Is asking me for my PayPal account
because he wishes to pay me offsite. If I give it to him am I putting myself
in jeopardy?
Andrea

Over 7000 orders paid for by offsite Paypal - never a single problem. We do not
use Paypal onsite due to its address validation procedures.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 16, 2019 07:25
 Subject: Re: Inventory and revenue management
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 Topic: Selling
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Selling, honglonglong writes:
  I probably posted before but didn't get any answers. How do people manage
their inventories and track ins and outs of money etc? I find tracking money
flow helpful in terms of deciding more purchases, and deciding reasonable price
etc. I want a centralized place to track orders, stocks, purchases, and they
should be tied to lego specifics too (e.g. num of pieces, weight, etc). What
BL provides is part of what I want, not all.

I have been using a spreadsheet to track sets I bought and sold manually, but
it is fairly limited unless you spend a lot of time writing it. For example I
didn't track PayPal fees and shipping etc. And if I were to trade parts,
that would be more difficult and time consuming to track every piece using spreadsheet.

I have attached a link to 3 screenshots covering sales orders, purchases and
products within our subsystem

https://www.dropbox.com/s/sry9qj31gdeoy6k/Access_Screenshots.pdf?dl=0

Some get populated via an import of data and some do not. All bricklink activity
is maintained via this system independent of Bricklink.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 16, 2019 03:45
 Subject: Re: Inventory and revenue management
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 Topic: Selling
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Selling, honglonglong writes:
  I probably posted before but didn't get any answers. How do people manage
their inventories and track ins and outs of money etc? I find tracking money
flow helpful in terms of deciding more purchases, and deciding reasonable price
etc. I want a centralized place to track orders, stocks, purchases, and they
should be tied to lego specifics too (e.g. num of pieces, weight, etc). What
BL provides is part of what I want, not all.

I have been using a spreadsheet to track sets I bought and sold manually, but
it is fairly limited unless you spend a lot of time writing it. For example I
didn't track PayPal fees and shipping etc. And if I were to trade parts,
that would be more difficult and time consuming to track every piece using spreadsheet.

We have our own internally written system as do many others as Bricklink do not
offer any real tools do do this.

We use a combination of Brickstock and an Access application which tracks all
orders both sales and purchases as well as inventory, pricing etc. It took a
while to develop but it works fine and is very independent of what Bricklink
do/
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 15, 2019 11:14
 Subject: Re: market data
 Viewed: 39 times
 Topic: General
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
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Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In General, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  Is Nexon / Bricklink still up for sale?

Not according to the web, but you never know. He called off the sale cause no
one bid met his expectations. The last article we saw was in the Korean Times
and said he did not rule out selling at another time.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 15, 2019 09:16
 Subject: Re: market data
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 Topic: General
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
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Store: CalsBricks
In General, WildBricks writes:
  I think what we are seeing here is the umbrella/layering affect of modern corporations.
The admin, programers & developers are based in California. That $1.7 figure
is based on all of the holdings of the next level up of corporation that is in
New Jersey. That company obviously has several other smaller companies beneath
it that sell other things besides LEGOs. "This organization primarily operates
in the Toys and Games (Including Dolls and Models), Mail Order business / industry
within the Miscellaneous Retail sector. "

You are of course correct on all fronts. What a myriad of entanglement.
  



In General, 1974 writes:
  No Bill, what's odd is that you said you've done "exhaustive search"
and this is new to you?

I just went to my Paypal account, found BL's actual business name (that included
the phonenumber) through the fees I pay

Then hit google and viola! Several databases turned up with almost similar info

I've found very little on the IRS website, just this :

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/corporations/sohobricks-corporation

Can't really do the same with TLG (The LEGO Group) as it's a private
company and also owns a ton of other companies (most outside Denmark) and it's
a very large family to boot

But it's safe to say KIRKBI could burn down every LEGO factory, park and
the entire town of Billund (airport included), rebuild it and it would not make
_that_ great a dent in their fortune. That fond is loaded, like Mærsk kinda loaded


Cheers,

Ole


In General, calsbricks writes:

  How very odd - New Jersey? - we thought they were based on the West Coast e.g.
California. The revenue is also not in line with that data we have from their
accounts. 17 People ? Somehow I doubt that. The mystery thickens.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 15, 2019 09:14
 Subject: Re: market data
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 Topic: General
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In General, 1974 writes:
  No Bill, what's odd is that you said you've done "exhaustive search"
and this is new to you?

Our searches etc never looked at Bricklnk on its own only on the parent company
which is legally based in Belgium and their accounts can be purchased for about
£15. Our initial interest was more on the state of their affairs rather than
their location - so exhaustive research yes - to find the details we gathered.,
Complete research on Bricklink - no - so this is a new revelation to us. Their
store appears to be in California but their offices are in NJ ?? which, quite
honestly doesn't make a huge amount of sense. 17 People employed - I somehow
greatly disbelieve that and so do most others who have had to wait anxiously
and patiently for answers to bug issues, non-deliveries,etc.

  
I just went to my Paypal account, found BL's actual business name (that included
the phonenumber) through the fees I pay

Then hit google and viola! Several databases turned up with almost similar info


  
I've found very little on the IRS website, just this :

It does not appear they are required to file accounts with the IRS (Not sure
why but the audited accounts are filed in Korea - their auditors being Price
Waterhouse. NXC, the parent company appears to just be an investment vehicle
for the owners movements. Nexon also comes into this somewhere, but the accounts
are not revealing sufficient details.


As is usually the case with these investment conglomerates they do not make it
easy to get a reasonable leel of detail onther than figures.


  
https://www.irs.gov/businesses/corporations/sohobricks-corporation

Can't really do the same with TLG (The LEGO Group) as it's a private
company and also owns a ton of other companies (most outside Denmark) and it's
a very large family to boot

But it's safe to say KIRKBI could burn down every LEGO factory, park and
the entire town of Billund (airport included), rebuild it and it would not make
_that_ great a dent in their fortune. That fond is loaded, like Mærsk kinda loaded


Cheers,

Ole

Anyway well done on your efforts - we have learned something enw today.
  

In General, calsbricks writes:

  How very odd - New Jersey? - we thought they were based on the West Coast e.g.
California. The revenue is also not in line with that data we have from their
accounts. 17 People ? Somehow I doubt that. The mystery thickens.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 15, 2019 08:25
 Subject: Re: market data
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 Topic: General
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
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Store: CalsBricks
In General, mwright5 writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  In General, 1974 writes:
  This is public data, maybe you can find something in there?

http://www.buzzfile.com/business/Bricklink-949-825-6653

There's annual sales (1,7 million USD) and number of employees (17)

Cheers,

Ole

How very odd - New Jersey? - we thought they were based on the West Coast e.g.
California. The revenue is also not in line with that data we have from their
accounts. 17 People ? Somehow I doubt that. The mystery thickens.

(Plot Thickens) Well, the owner's phone number is listed on that link.
I'm sure he'd be more than happy to help with this, and would love to
hear from us.

Absolutely - Cheaper for you to call than us

How about aq conference call where we can all speak to him
  

  
  

In General, JustTheBrick writes:
  Hi,

I am trying to get some data on the market size of Bricklink, such as total annual
sales or even an annual report of the Corporation itself, but can't really
find anything relevant. I know Lego make about £1.2b profit annually, and that
there are about 1.2million members on Bricklink but struggling to find any more
relevant numbers. Can anyone help?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 15, 2019 08:13
 Subject: Re: market data
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 Topic: General
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
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Store: CalsBricks
In General, 1974 writes:
  This is public data, maybe you can find something in there?

http://www.buzzfile.com/business/Bricklink-949-825-6653

There's annual sales (1,7 million USD) and number of employees (17)

Cheers,

Ole

How very odd - New Jersey? - we thought they were based on the West Coast e.g.
California. The revenue is also not in line with that data we have from their
accounts. 17 People ? Somehow I doubt that. The mystery thickens.

  

In General, JustTheBrick writes:
  Hi,

I am trying to get some data on the market size of Bricklink, such as total annual
sales or even an annual report of the Corporation itself, but can't really
find anything relevant. I know Lego make about £1.2b profit annually, and that
there are about 1.2million members on Bricklink but struggling to find any more
relevant numbers. Can anyone help?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 15, 2019 07:29
 Subject: Re: market data
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 Topic: General
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
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Store: CalsBricks
In General, calsbricks writes:
  In General, Soviet writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  In General, JustTheBrick writes:
  Hi,

I am trying to get some data on the market size of Bricklink, such as total annual
sales or even an annual report of the Corporation itself, but can't really
find anything relevant. I know Lego make about £1.2b profit annually, and that
there are about 1.2million members on Bricklink but struggling to find any more
relevant numbers. Can anyone help?

The closest you will get to a set of accounts is here. The audited accounts of
the NXC corporation which is the umbrella for Bricklink and various other subsidiaries.
There is not a hell of a lot of detail and you will need to look deeply to find
the mentions of Bricklink.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1kto7sfi0l0sg9b/NXC_Consolidated%20Financial%20Statements_2014_Final.pdf?dl=0

We obtained these from the web after an exhaustive search. Wer cannot, at the
moment find an updated copy.

The other thing is they are in won (Korean currency).

Here's the 2015 version, still losing money but this time the sales went
down dramatically.

https://www.nxc.com/uploads/ir_file/c65640915fcbe6e1c6b0f93f96068764.pdf

Interesting - would really like to see full set of accounts for Bricklink but
this has been all we and others have been able to find.

Our reasoning is we wish to know about the organisation we are investing in (Inventory,
time etc).

On reflection it really isn't about their accounts and whether they are profitable
or not. That is for the owner/shareholders to concern themselves about. What
it is about is the thinking behind the company. where is it headed, how is it
going to make its goals, how do they 'grow' the business to where they
want it to be. Those answers cannot be found anywhere and probably only exist
in the minds of those who are in control. We have to keep telling ourselves this
is a business now not so much a community. People are here for many reasons -
hobbyists, part time and full time businesses. Those of us who are running a
business would like to know where they are taking us - how much should we be
confident of investing in everything that is needed to make it a success. Will
the launch of xp, as when and if it ever happens bring the change they are hoping
for or will it dampen the spirits even more than what we have today (some not
all).

Those, to us are the more important questions that we would like to see answers
to but alas, it is a business and those thoughts/goals and ambitions are obviously
company confidential.

There is a huge, no absolutely huge amount of data available from this site and
for those of us who want answers to questions - that data could provide it (possibly)if
we were allowed to access it.

So many simple things could be done to show intent but alas 'spaghetti code'
as they call it doesn't allow that. I would argue that spaghetti code is
easier to understand if the application itself is understood rather than moving
forward with a large number of tangents e.g. Mosaick, Studio, etc, etc, ((many
of which have been met with less than enthusiasm).

Do yourself a favour Bricklink get the members on your side - show a willingness
to compromise on development - you will find much greater rewards if you do and
if you don't - who knows?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 15, 2019 03:55
 Subject: Re: market data
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
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Store: CalsBricks
In General, Soviet writes:
  In General, calsbricks writes:
  In General, JustTheBrick writes:
  Hi,

I am trying to get some data on the market size of Bricklink, such as total annual
sales or even an annual report of the Corporation itself, but can't really
find anything relevant. I know Lego make about £1.2b profit annually, and that
there are about 1.2million members on Bricklink but struggling to find any more
relevant numbers. Can anyone help?

The closest you will get to a set of accounts is here. The audited accounts of
the NXC corporation which is the umbrella for Bricklink and various other subsidiaries.
There is not a hell of a lot of detail and you will need to look deeply to find
the mentions of Bricklink.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1kto7sfi0l0sg9b/NXC_Consolidated%20Financial%20Statements_2014_Final.pdf?dl=0

We obtained these from the web after an exhaustive search. Wer cannot, at the
moment find an updated copy.

The other thing is they are in won (Korean currency).

Here's the 2015 version, still losing money but this time the sales went
down dramatically.

https://www.nxc.com/uploads/ir_file/c65640915fcbe6e1c6b0f93f96068764.pdf

Interesting - would really like to see full set of accounts for Bricklink but
this has been all we and others have been able to find.

Our reasoning is we wish to know about the organisation we are investing in (Inventory,
time etc).
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 15, 2019 03:16
 Subject: Re: market data
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
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Store: CalsBricks
In General, JustTheBrick writes:
  Hi,

I am trying to get some data on the market size of Bricklink, such as total annual
sales or even an annual report of the Corporation itself, but can't really
find anything relevant. I know Lego make about £1.2b profit annually, and that
there are about 1.2million members on Bricklink but struggling to find any more
relevant numbers. Can anyone help?

The closest you will get to a set of accounts is here. The audited accounts of
the NXC corporation which is the umbrella for Bricklink and various other subsidiaries.
There is not a hell of a lot of detail and you will need to look deeply to find
the mentions of Bricklink.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1kto7sfi0l0sg9b/NXC_Consolidated%20Financial%20Statements_2014_Final.pdf?dl=0

We obtained these from the web after an exhaustive search. Wer cannot, at the
moment find an updated copy.

The other thing is they are in won (Korean currency).
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 14, 2019 04:15
 Subject: Re: Thoughts mostly for my fellow sellers...
 Viewed: 35 times
 Topic: Selling
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Location:  United Kingdom, England
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In Selling, popsicle writes:
  In Selling, MidwestBrick writes:
  In Selling, popsicle writes:
  In Selling, MidwestBrick writes:
  In Selling, popsicle writes:
  In Selling, maxx3001 writes:
  In Selling, popsicle writes:
  ...but buyer input is most welcome.

A longtime reoccurring conundrum (for me) is counterbalancing the race-to-the-bottom
while effecting our store’s sell-off. Not enjoining others to drop their prices,
in other words. How to introduce sell-off pricing without ankle-biting the market
values and by extension, my fellow seller’s profit margin? Especially considering
the bulk of our inventory is vintage, older or classic SW, that should
have more stabilized values.

What I’ve been doing, is setting the prices where I thing (empirically)
the prices should be, then apply a sale. My thinking is; when prospective buyers
browse, they see our prices at the lowest end for New Classic SW minifigs, while
simultaneously being shown what prices should be. This, combined with clear wording
throughout our store that we are selling-off our store inventory, is the best
I’ve been able to come up with. It’s about expectations of market values, without
projecting a ‘false sale’

I believe the market value of any given product, including Lego, is set by both
psychological (emotional) and empirical inputs.

Your thoughts are appreciated, as I seem to be stuck in a thought-loop with this
task.

BTW, I’d gladly make all of our sale prices, base prices, and run very low item
pricing without a visible sale. I really could careless other than dragging down
market values for others.

Have a wonderful Sunday

-Cory

Sounds good to me, just run your sale, you need to get rid of your inventory
and BL sellers will survive

The lower your prices, the faster they are sold out and “normal” prices are back
at the top.

If you are low enough, other sellers might buy things to resell at a higher or
average price.

Don’t think about it to much, in the real world stores have sales all the time
and other stores still survive.

Not everyone lives close to you (shippingcost) or needs what you sell.

Thanks, Maxx

I've looked at your store and considered offering a buy-out but the prices
were too high to make any margin and risk worth it. Now, this was a while back
but just as I'm sure you know, if you really want to stop doing this, then
lowering the prices so low that no one can resist the price is what you should
aim for.

It is very hard to buy something when the profit margin is so low to the next
seller of it and on top of that, it is items that are not "in high demand" in
relation to other items that are out there.. otherwise, if it was, you wouldn't
have it in your store anymore as it would have already sold out.

All I know is that when my day comes to close up shop (hopefully not for a very
very long time) I plan on putting everything so low that no one can pass it up.
Sure I'll take a major hit on it, but I won't have to think about it
anymore and can spend my time thinking and doing something else.

Best of luck to you and I'll put your store on my "watch" list again to check
in every so often.

Thanks, you make some valid points. I really do enjoy your inputs here in the
forum. But I think you’ve missed the gist of this post. Take another read.

Not sure what “watch list” your referring to, but don’t bother. I’m not soliciting
here. It’s a given most understand, to move inventory drop prices until they
move, no insight there. I’m not interested in dumping. Like I said, take another
read.

For a couple of years now we’ve been in what I would term as 'managed sell-off'
mode, at which point we had $178,000 in stock listed on BL, today it's down
to $59,000. So it’s getting done. Add to that; the proceeds long ago were turned
over to my kids who just haven’t had need of the extra cash. It may be, that
we place it all back into storage for them to cash-in on at a later point, which
my daughter is pushing for anyway.

-Cory

You are doing it just fine,

sorry if it came off the wrong way.

Not at all. I really appreciate your direct style, I wish more were so. Like
I said, I enjoy your posts

  

I just know that when I'm done... I'll want to be done asap and not waiting and waiting

Now here, I'm with you. When I make a decision such as this, I want it implemented
and behind me ASAP. But this decision involves my son and daughter, who's
judgement is far better than mine, thank God

  
and I'll change the Lego room into a Golf simulator room.

Damn! Now you got me eyeballing our Lego room!


Having had time to reflect on this and also review the other comments it is very
obvious now that there are 2 ways of looking at this - one from the 'community'
point of view and other from a 'business' point of view. - the choice
remains yours - both sides have valid points and I am sure all sides wish you
good luck in clearing out your inventory.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 13, 2019 14:36
 Subject: Re: Thoughts mostly for my fellow sellers...
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In Selling, popsicle writes:
  ...but buyer input is most welcome.

A longtime reoccurring conundrum (for me) is counterbalancing the race-to-the-bottom
while effecting our store’s sell-off. Not enjoining others to drop their prices,
in other words. How to introduce sell-off pricing without ankle-biting the market
values and by extension, my fellow seller’s profit margin? Especially considering
the bulk of our inventory is vintage, older or classic SW, that should
have more stabilized values.

What I’ve been doing, is setting the prices where I thing (empirically)
the prices should be, then apply a sale. My thinking is; when prospective buyers
browse, they see our prices at the lowest end for New Classic SW minifigs, while
simultaneously being shown what prices should be. This, combined with clear wording
throughout our store that we are selling-off our store inventory, is the best
I’ve been able to come up with. It’s about expectations of market values, without
projecting a ‘false sale’

I believe the market value of any given product, including Lego, is set by both
psychological (emotional) and empirical inputs.

Your thoughts are appreciated, as I seem to be stuck in a thought-loop with this
task.

BTW, I’d gladly make all of our sale prices, base prices, and run very low item
pricing without a visible sale. I really could careless other than dragging down
market values for others.

Have a wonderful Sunday

-Cory

I promise I won't hijack this but it is a huge conundrum which is not easily
solved. everything that takes place on the site has a bearing on all of us whether
it is iniated by Bricklink or individuals. Long standing stores often act as
guides to newcomers so the will always be followers as well, so you have a shrodigers
cat situation Best of luck with it we don't envy you. If we ever consider
doing this I think we would go elsewhere.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 13, 2019 11:25
 Subject: Re: Old grey special plate with ramp
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 Topic: Catalog Identification
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In Catalog Identification, 1271moggy writes:
  In Catalog Identification, joxyzan writes:
  Hello friends!
I found this old yellowish grey plate a flea market. There is no identification
number and I've been googling with no luck... Someone who knows what it is?

It measures 8 x (almost) 18 and has some sort of fixed hatch in front of that
little ramp with edges.



Its Catalog: Parts: Garage: 820


Lego Garage Floor Plate 8 x 18 (Old style)

Sorry don't know how to upload the catalogue image!

Open square bracket [ then P=(Part No) in this case 820, and then close square
bracket ].
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 13, 2019 08:51
 Subject: Re: Empty lots in Stockroom
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In Problem, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  
  
  If BrickLink are not sure which direction to take, then maybe they should just
fix the many issues on this site while they twiddle their thumbs over the future.

You are absolutely correct but that is logical and somehow that ideology isn't
the norm for BL. and of course they blame the spaghetti code (the classic site
- which is difficult for them to understand and correct ??????)

My opinion 12 months down the line is that they have realised that there isn’t
the demand for the sets approach. I also feel that as there are so many incomplete
sets on offer in BL that the idea they had isn’t ss easy to create as they thought.

Most of the sets on offer tend to be older retired sets and if they are going
head to head with Amazon then they are unlikely y to be offering the same products.

Is the delay an admission that the XP programme is a dead duck?

If they are looking at the AFOL programme as a money spinner, then maybe this
is their new direction.

In the meanwhile they are likely to force more sellers and buyers to go to Brickowl.
(Particularly parts shops)

Logical - wonder how close that is?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 13, 2019 08:10
 Subject: Re: Empty lots in Stockroom
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In Problem, iprice writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, Soviet writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, Teup writes:
  These poorly understood unsolved bugs make me uncomfortable. I think it isn't
normal for a company of software package to have them, but Bricklink has them
very often. As long as we don't know what's going on, who is to say that
not the opposite also happens - retain lots getting deleted? I think the core
functionality of Bricklink should be 100% understood and reliable.


Agreed 100% but the CEO has said they are not going to touch the classic site
any more. We believe they are pinning their ambitions and goals on XP and possibly
extending the AFOL Design and build program.

I hear about this XP thing now and again but I still have no clear idea what
it is. Is it like a deep redesign of BrickLink or a selling system that will
live alongside BrickLink?

The reason you have so little information is because Bricklink have not published
anything yet - the only reference to xp was made by MP at the Brickwold convention
about a year ago. It is something that will require instant checkout, although
Admin_Russell suggested in his last response to our request for information,
there may also be a non instant option. You need not worry as you are already
using that. It appeared at MP's presentation that it was not really aimed
at parts stores but at sets as one off purchases. It's target market back
then appeared to be the soccer moms looking for a set for little Johnny for xmas.
That has also been modified somewhat by RUSSELL in his post claiming there would
be no difference for parts stores. MP'S words were pointed at a more AMAZON/EBAY
business model than the current BRICKLINK but also stated they would continue
to support the classic edition. What that means is anybody's guess as support
should mean clearing up bugs, and that isn't happening at the moment. All
in all it is still a very murky crystal ball. We are not sure even they know
what and when they will get it out.

One comment from Russell suggested they were in limbo at present as they ponder
what direction the company should take.

It is obvious if they are not sure than we cannot be sure either.


If BrickLink are not sure which direction to take, then maybe they should just
fix the many issues on this site while they twiddle their thumbs over the future.

You are absolutely correct but that is logical and somehow that ideology isn't
the norm for BL. and of course they blame the spaghetti code (the classic site
- which is difficult for them to understand and correct ??????)
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 13, 2019 08:07
 Subject: Re: Empty lots in Stockroom
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calsbricks (5772)

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In Problem, Soviet writes:
  
  
  I hear about this XP thing now and again but I still have no clear idea what
it is. Is it like a deep redesign of BrickLink or a selling system that will
live alongside BrickLink?

The reason you have so little information is because Bricklink have not published
anything yet - the only reference to xp was made by MP at the Brickwold convention
about a year ago. It is something that will require instant checkout, although
Admin_Russell suggested in his last response to our request for information,
there may also be a non instant option. You need not worry as you are already
using that. It appeared at MP's presentation that it was not really aimed
at parts stores but at sets as one off purchases. It's target market back
then appeared to be the soccer moms looking for a set for little Johnny for xmas.
That has also been modified somewhat by RUSSELL in his post claiming there would
be no difference for parts stores. MP'S words were pointed at a more AMAZON/EBAY
business model than the current BRICKLINK but also stated they would continue
to support the classic edition. What that means is anybody's guess as support
should mean clearing up bugs, and that isn't happening at the moment. All
in all it is still a very murky crystal ball. We are not sure even they know
what and when they will get it out.

One comment from Russell suggested they were in limbo at present as they ponder
what direction the company should take.

It is obvious if they are not sure than we cannot be sure either.

Interesting, thank you for your response. I sure hope the XP thing involves a
proper mobile version of the site, where at least 50% of the Internet seems to
be at the moment...

In theory that is supposed to be included but only time will tell. The crystal
ball is very murky on that. Most of the orders we receive could not really be
made using a phone. Bricklink really isn't suitable for that as it stands.
Casual buyers for one off - probably not as much as a problem for them but for
large wanted lists and multi-lot orders, I somehow have my doubts.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 13, 2019 07:40
 Subject: Re: Empty lots in Stockroom
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In Problem, Soviet writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, Teup writes:
  These poorly understood unsolved bugs make me uncomfortable. I think it isn't
normal for a company of software package to have them, but Bricklink has them
very often. As long as we don't know what's going on, who is to say that
not the opposite also happens - retain lots getting deleted? I think the core
functionality of Bricklink should be 100% understood and reliable.


Agreed 100% but the CEO has said they are not going to touch the classic site
any more. We believe they are pinning their ambitions and goals on XP and possibly
extending the AFOL Design and build program.

I hear about this XP thing now and again but I still have no clear idea what
it is. Is it like a deep redesign of BrickLink or a selling system that will
live alongside BrickLink?

The reason you have so little information is because Bricklink have not published
anything yet - the only reference to xp was made by MP at the Brickwold convention
about a year ago. It is something that will require instant checkout, although
Admin_Russell suggested in his last response to our request for information,
there may also be a non instant option. You need not worry as you are already
using that. It appeared at MP's presentation that it was not really aimed
at parts stores but at sets as one off purchases. It's target market back
then appeared to be the soccer moms looking for a set for little Johnny for xmas.
That has also been modified somewhat by RUSSELL in his post claiming there would
be no difference for parts stores. MP'S words were pointed at a more AMAZON/EBAY
business model than the current BRICKLINK but also stated they would continue
to support the classic edition. What that means is anybody's guess as support
should mean clearing up bugs, and that isn't happening at the moment. All
in all it is still a very murky crystal ball. We are not sure even they know
what and when they will get it out.

One comment from Russell suggested they were in limbo at present as they ponder
what direction the company should take.

It is obvious if they are not sure than we cannot be sure either.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 13, 2019 06:52
 Subject: Re: Empty lots in Stockroom
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In Problem, Teup writes:
  These poorly understood unsolved bugs make me uncomfortable. I think it isn't
normal for a company of software package to have them, but Bricklink has them
very often. As long as we don't know what's going on, who is to say that
not the opposite also happens - retain lots getting deleted? I think the core
functionality of Bricklink should be 100% understood and reliable.


Agreed 100% but the CEO has said they are not going to touch the classic site
any more. We believe they are pinning their ambitions and goals on XP and possibly
extending the AFOL Design and build program.


  In Problem, Pippyblocks writes:
  I've had this happen several times and it's been posted about before,
think it is something to do with instant checkout. Not sure if it is known why
though. I just check periodically now and delete and zero quantity stockroom
items I have. It doesn't seem to cause any detrimental issues.

In Problem, Soviet writes:
  I had three orders last couple of days and I noticed something slightly annoying:
twice the system changed empty lots into a Stockroom lots with 0 quantity, instead
of just removing the lot from inventory (which happened once and as a second
order of the three).

What is happening and how do I stop the lots from moving to the Stockroom?
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 11, 2019 13:40
 Subject: Re: You be the judge
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In Related Software, Cob writes:
  Thanks for reminding me to make a donation to Bricksync

Everyone else should too donate if they use Bricksync.

As long as it works. I have no opinion on anything else.

valid point
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 11, 2019 13:39
 Subject: Re: You be the judge
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In Related Software, WildBricks writes:
  Is this really his entire announcement?

"BrickSync is free, open source and donation supported. Since the version 1.7.1,
the source code was made public and no registration is needed."

Because after his extended absence I kind of expected to hear more than that.

not sure we didn't see more.this may be his way of signing off

pity really you are right to expect more
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 11, 2019 11:47
 Subject: Re: You be the judge
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In Related Software, popsicle writes:
  In Related Software, calsbricks writes:
  In Related Software, yorbrick writes:
  In Related Software, popsicle writes:
  Okay. Do I have to wear one of those wigs Judges still wear over there?

 
Part No: 11255  Name: Minifigure, Hair Long with Curls (Judge's Peruke)
* 
11255 Minifigure, Hair Long with Curls (Judge's Peruke)
Parts: Minifigure, Hair

Would have offered that but we sold the last one we had a short time ago.

I apologize for sidelining your post, Bill. I seem to have that effect

It's a very interesting post, that I keep a watch for other inputs on, so
that I can learn more on that topic. I know nothing of substance, currently,
to offer. But, I am curious about it.

Those that depend on the original author may struggle for support. Those that
cannot make up their mind are now wondering where do they go. Do we get another
situation like |Brickstore/Brickstock? What about the effect of Bricklink trying
to stay away from 3rd party products? And what is going to happen if they ever
release xp? A lot of questions and not really that many positive answers.

One good thing is one of the people that is writing new tools to replace Bricksynch
and Brickstock has said he is still on target with the project and has thanked
the author of Bricksynch for the product he did to which has worked well for
him since it was launched and they signed up to Brickowl.
  
BTW, I admire the UK judicial system for maintaining tradition in dress code,
but not for much else.

-Cory

Yes they remain as pompous as ever and totally out of touch with the people (as
always).
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 11, 2019 10:39
 Subject: Re: You be the judge
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In Related Software, yorbrick writes:
  In Related Software, popsicle writes:
  Okay. Do I have to wear one of those wigs Judges still wear over there?

 
Part No: 11255  Name: Minifigure, Hair Long with Curls (Judge's Peruke)
* 
11255 Minifigure, Hair Long with Curls (Judge's Peruke)
Parts: Minifigure, Hair

Would have offered that but we sold the last one we had a short time ago.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 11, 2019 10:10
 Subject: Re: You be the judge
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In Related Software, popsicle writes:
  Okay. Do I have to wear one of those wigs Judges still wear over there?

Of course.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 11, 2019 09:51
 Subject: You be the judge
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Late last night on our forum a post was made relating to Bricksynch and its future.
The author has decided to make the software source code available as an open
source product with no registration required.

You can read the full announcement at http://www.bricksync.net/

Whether you feel this is good, bad or indifferent news is down to you as an individual

We are aware of at least two different people who are working on replacements
for both Bricksynch and Brickstock - neither of which are well supported.

The plot really does thicken.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 10:22
 Subject: Re: 49699 a Panel?!
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In Catalog, calsbricks writes:
  In Catalog, Teup writes:
  In Catalog, SylvainLS writes:
  In Catalog, firestar246 writes:
  In Catalog, Teup writes:
  
 
Part No: 49699  Name: Panel 1 x 6 x 4 1/3 with Window and 4 Pin Holes
* 
49699 Panel 1 x 6 x 4 1/3 with Window and 4 Pin Holes
Parts: Panel

I can't discover anything panel-ish about this part. I'd say it's
window, door, technic, other, vehicle, or pretty much anything except a panel...
What do you think it should be?

My first thought is technic or window frame

Well:

1. Window (or door) frame implies you could put a glass or panel (or door)
inside. That seems very unlikely with the technic holes in the way.

2. It’s been used in System (City) sets for now BUT it sure looks like a Technic
Brick, yet not really.
So Technic could do but not really “Technic Brick” and there are no similar parts
(that I know of) in the other Technic categories, that would mean it should fall
in the general “Technic” category, which is already overpopulated.

I’m not envying the catmins

Yep certainly a tough one. It's very clear what it is: A hatch. But how to
catalog it in the existing categories?
I'm voting Door Frame. Alternatively, Vehicle. It may be used in space bases,
but the whole point of hatches is that things are built up from compartments
that have been vehicles at some point.
Hmm, anyone remember the days when we had a "Space" category?

Funny this one - Lego put it into their Bricks, Special category where most of
the modified bricks go. It does look a bit technic Panel, though.

Really do wish we could edit messages. Forgot to say technic bricks are also
in the Bricks, special Lego category - so technic panel could be the right answer????
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 10:19
 Subject: Re: 49699 a Panel?!
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In Catalog, Teup writes:
  In Catalog, SylvainLS writes:
  In Catalog, firestar246 writes:
  In Catalog, Teup writes:
  
 
Part No: 49699  Name: Panel 1 x 6 x 4 1/3 with Window and 4 Pin Holes
* 
49699 Panel 1 x 6 x 4 1/3 with Window and 4 Pin Holes
Parts: Panel

I can't discover anything panel-ish about this part. I'd say it's
window, door, technic, other, vehicle, or pretty much anything except a panel...
What do you think it should be?

My first thought is technic or window frame

Well:

1. Window (or door) frame implies you could put a glass or panel (or door)
inside. That seems very unlikely with the technic holes in the way.

2. It’s been used in System (City) sets for now BUT it sure looks like a Technic
Brick, yet not really.
So Technic could do but not really “Technic Brick” and there are no similar parts
(that I know of) in the other Technic categories, that would mean it should fall
in the general “Technic” category, which is already overpopulated.

I’m not envying the catmins

Yep certainly a tough one. It's very clear what it is: A hatch. But how to
catalog it in the existing categories?
I'm voting Door Frame. Alternatively, Vehicle. It may be used in space bases,
but the whole point of hatches is that things are built up from compartments
that have been vehicles at some point.
Hmm, anyone remember the days when we had a "Space" category?

Funny this one - Lego put it into their Bricks, Special category where most of
the modified bricks go. It does look a bit technic Panel, though.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 08:00
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
Member Since Contact Type Status
Aug 12, 2008 Contact Member Seller
Buying Privileges - OKSelling Privileges - OK
Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  Yes, it has been driving me mad all afternoon

And would you believe it, just as I just tried to reply - I got the 500 error.

Dead right Bricklink - it is you!

+1

What is really frustrating is that Admin Russell can reply to somebody on a cataloging
issue, but on something as serious ad this, total silence.

Without defending or blaming I think this is a policy issue rather than an
admin one. It is very rare for any BL member to comment on anything like this
on the forum.

I wasn't trying to criticize Russell at all - to be honest he has been most
helpful with me on a number of occasions.

It just seemed strange to be honest.

Given the number of complaints around the globe, it is clear this is either a
hardware or software issue, rather than a localised ISP issue at the users end.

Earlier in the thread, it was commented that communication was an issue. That
is definitely the case here

If there is a problem then it is far easier to admit it and say they are working
to find a solution rather than ignore it and hope it goes away. People are far
more tolerant when they know a solution is being worked on.

You are of course, correct and we agree with your logic. The problem, we believe
is management not allowing them to discuss this in the open. It has happened
before and we are sure it will happen again.

I am sure if Russell could comment he would just as he did when we got him to
comment on xp.

That, of course doesn't solve the issue and again you are correct communication
is key, but it just does not exist from them to us over matters such as this
- and yes it is a great pity - people would tolerate more if they knew things
like this were being looked into. This particular scenario Server 500 errors
has been going on now for quite some time and there still are no answers or solutions
being put forward by BL.

We, along with a few others have noticed that it occurs mostly when people are
trying to get data returned from the database e.g price guide, writing to the
inventory table etc. That is what makes us believe it is a software problem not
hardware, Hardware doesn't normally pick on individual users it just shuts
down. Software on the other hand depends on who is doing what.

Looking at the server log would help but of course no one has access to that
other than management so we are right back in the loop.- No fixes, no solutions
and no answers or comments.

Real shame.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 07:01
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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Location:  United Kingdom, England
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  Yes, it has been driving me mad all afternoon

And would you believe it, just as I just tried to reply - I got the 500 error.

Dead right Bricklink - it is you!

+1

What is really frustrating is that Admin Russell can reply to somebody on a cataloging
issue, but on something as serious ad this, total silence.

Without defending or blaming I think this is a policy issue rather than an
admin one. It is very rare for any BL member to comment on anything like this
on the forum.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 03:16
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, pitz8008 writes:
  In Problem, mfav writes:
  http://v4ei.com/mini-fig-ure-outer/comics/futile.php

I just think it would be nice to get an update.

I believe that is called communications and that isn't on the list of things
they do
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 03:14
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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Location:  United Kingdom, England
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, mfav writes:
  http://v4ei.com/mini-fig-ure-outer/comics/futile.php

Morning - welcome back and if it weren't so serious this would be funny.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 03:13
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, jennnifer writes:
  Yep, 500 errors and slow downs all day today. I switched from adding stock to
just sorting it. Sigh...

So central US joins the list. Hmmm
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 03:12
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Stuart9 writes:
  Just started to use site other than reading messages and getting 500 errors just
looking at wheel assy parts.



In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  The site has had its fair share of the now infamous Server 500 errors today.
We circulated a message to our user group and found they were happening on this
side of the pond as well as the other side. There were lots of strange things
going on. We are on a network with our storage centre and they could access the
site and we couldn't - we both use different ISP's - others got it intermittently
as well.

We could only get the web server page (The banner page) the application and database
servers were not available .

No mention of it here on the forum but other stores have confirmed it happening.
It is disruptive, of course, but also damaging to the site's reputation and
bewildering to new users.

I should think it should be very high on the priority list to uncover what is
causing it to happen and attending to that. At least that is what most hosting
sites would do.

There is a very good team at Bricklink of admins and volunteers but unfortunately
they have not got the ability to fix this nor the bugs that continue to exist
(Some are over 12 months old).

I think MP needs to organise this as a very high priority so that members, who,
after all are contributing to the running costs of the site, would like to have
more reliability than what we are currently getting as well as response to these
problems whatever they are and whatever is causing them. We are all happy to
leave the technical side to the 'employed experts' , but someone, somewhere
needs to get this sorted.

There does not seem to be one single cause to this - it happens using price guide,
updating inventory, using the forum etc. etc.

Hmmm.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 03:10
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Bricks_NW_UK writes:
  Yes, it has been driving me mad all afternoon

And would you believe it, just as I just tried to reply - I got the 500 error.

Dead right Bricklink - it is you!

+1
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 10, 2019 03:10
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Location:  United Kingdom, England
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Hurt writes:
  Yes, today it really sucks (about to stop adding new parts for today)

In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  The site has had its fair share of the now infamous Server 500 errors today.
We circulated a message to our user group and found they were happening on this
side of the pond as well as the other side. There were lots of strange things
going on. We are on a network with our storage centre and they could access the
site and we couldn't - we both use different ISP's - others got it intermittently
as well.

We could only get the web server page (The banner page) the application and database
servers were not available .

No mention of it here on the forum but other stores have confirmed it happening.
It is disruptive, of course, but also damaging to the site's reputation and
bewildering to new users.

I should think it should be very high on the priority list to uncover what is
causing it to happen and attending to that. At least that is what most hosting
sites would do.

There is a very good team at Bricklink of admins and volunteers but unfortunately
they have not got the ability to fix this nor the bugs that continue to exist
(Some are over 12 months old).

I think MP needs to organise this as a very high priority so that members, who,
after all are contributing to the running costs of the site, would like to have
more reliability than what we are currently getting as well as response to these
problems whatever they are and whatever is causing them. We are all happy to
leave the technical side to the 'employed experts' , but someone, somewhere
needs to get this sorted.

Morning - thanks for adding your comments to the thread. I think it must be about
time for BL to resolve this.

Today we have had the US West coast, Southern US; South Africa, Netherlands,
UK, Austria all actually report the errors and we are confident there are countless
others who do not use the forum or just cannot be bothered reporting something
that never gets responded to.

Come on Bricklink - take this seriously - find out what is causing it and fix
it. It happens far too often and as the message says it is not us it is you.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 9, 2019 13:04
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Leftoverbricks writes:
  I had multiple 500 errors today when I tried to access the price guide. So annoying!
And yet: no reaction whatsover from the people in charge of this site. 🤯

You know what the really odd thing is. We used this site for a long time before
we opened our store and none of us can remember this error presenting itself
at any time during that period. (We started using the site in 2008 - not as Calsbricks)
and used many of the stores that still exist today. The site was run by Dan and
Eric with a solid cast of superb volunteers - not nearly as many members as today
nor as many stores but still a very healthy size - yes there were problems including
the 'infamous hack' but server 500 errors did not happen - so what has
caused this problem?

I honestly believe BL doesn't know - of course if they did and hadn't
fixed it it would be not good, but we think they are unable to put their finger
on it.

And what do you do when that happens - you find someone who can identify the
problem and recommend a fix - oh sorry that would be too simple but you never
know - stranger things have happened.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 9, 2019 12:57
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Leftoverbricks writes:
  I had multiple 500 errors today when I tried to access the price guide. So annoying!
And yet: no reaction whatsover from the people in charge of this site. 🤯

Unfortunately that appears to always have been the case. I cannot trace any meaningful
responses anywhere.

Pity really - it is called communications and it does need to be a both ways
thing, timely and meaningful.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 9, 2019 12:32
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, bje writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  In Problem, yorbrick writes:

snip

  
I should have started a proper log about this when the first one occurred but
didn't so I cannot say when they started or how much time has been lost through
them, but looking back over the numerous threads concerning it it is not insignificant.

I'm a bit slow with these things as there so much else I must change/improve
in my store and inventory management first, but I will start a log at some stage,
if only to keep BL honest.

From BL ToS:
Site Availability:
The site will be unavailable each day for 10 minutes between 00:00 and 00:10
EST for scheduled maintenance. It may also be temporarily unavailable once every
week up to 3 hours.


Of course there is no indication whether this would include 500 errors, but in
my view, a 500 error constitutes non-availability. Of course there is also nothing
said about what happens if it exceeds the 3 hours per week. If the site owners
cannot be bothered to communicate to their customers (sellers) about the site
and its availability, then I would not expect them to come apologise or even
stick to their terms. I've had days where that stupid message pops up for
more than 3 hours, normally when it is beddy bye time in the US, as if that is
the only place in the world where BL operates.

Our outages today was on forum messages, catalogue searches, inventory, orders,
my activity page and BL messaging, started about 3pm local time and ended around
5pm (it is just after 6pm now) - I know of two buyers who have struggled to place
orders the whole afternoon. Not a good day for BL.

Thanks Jean - agreed in totality.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 9, 2019 11:57
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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Location:  United Kingdom, England
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, yorbrick writes:
  I often get quite a few, but I haven't had a single one today although I
haven't listed anything which is often when I find I get them most frequently.
I have been processing orders though, and doing some inventory cleaning up.

Yes a lot of these occur when you are loading inventory or at least attempting
to, but today Brickstock could not access the database or the application server
- it kept returning errors that access had failed.

We could only load the banner page, but our storage centre could doo anything
it wished to do. Others, around the globe reported similar problems

It is a mystery to all, including Bricklink, we believe, as to why this is happening
as frequently as it does. Forum 'experts' have commented several times
about it but nothing has ever been agreed or shared - it is just one of those
things etc. etc. and honestly that cannot be right.

No one expects this or any other site to be 100% up but most of us have some
sort of SLA with our provider which takes real situations such as this and deals
with them.

I should have started a proper log about this when the first one occurred but
didn't so I cannot say when they started or how much time has been lost through
them, but looking back over the numerous threads concerning it it is not insignificant.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 9, 2019 11:45
 Subject: Re: More 500 errors today
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Location:  United Kingdom, England
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Thunor writes:
  Got them here too.

Where’s the user group, and is it open to all?

Thanks

We organised it in June and expanded it from UK to worldwide a short time after
- we have 60 members and our own forum.

Just PM us and we will provide more details.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 9, 2019 10:48
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calsbricks (5772)

Location:  United Kingdom, England
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Store: CalsBricks
The site has had its fair share of the now infamous Server 500 errors today.
We circulated a message to our user group and found they were happening on this
side of the pond as well as the other side. There were lots of strange things
going on. We are on a network with our storage centre and they could access the
site and we couldn't - we both use different ISP's - others got it intermittently
as well.

We could only get the web server page (The banner page) the application and database
servers were not available .

No mention of it here on the forum but other stores have confirmed it happening.
It is disruptive, of course, but also damaging to the site's reputation and
bewildering to new users.

I should think it should be very high on the priority list to uncover what is
causing it to happen and attending to that. At least that is what most hosting
sites would do.

There is a very good team at Bricklink of admins and volunteers but unfortunately
they have not got the ability to fix this nor the bugs that continue to exist
(Some are over 12 months old).

I think MP needs to organise this as a very high priority so that members, who,
after all are contributing to the running costs of the site, would like to have
more reliability than what we are currently getting as well as response to these
problems whatever they are and whatever is causing them. We are all happy to
leave the technical side to the 'employed experts' , but someone, somewhere
needs to get this sorted.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 4, 2019 12:26
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, TheBrokeBrick writes:
  Small and new store here, but September was my best month since April. August
was by far the worst. I'm feeling out what to buy and sell on the site.
I'm really looking to just kind of fund the hobby, which, it hasn't,
but it has reduced overall costs at times. Probably forced me to buy more Lego,
too, than I would have if I wasn't running the store.

Thanks for adding your thoughts and data to the thread.

It is difficult when you first get going - we started nearly 9 years ago meaning
to sell of our Duplo and now we are nearly 1 million pieces and still growing
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 4, 2019 10:31
 Subject: Add new dimensions
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Store: CalsBricks
 
Part No: 18729  Name: Windscreen 10 x 6 x 4 Curved
* 
18729 Windscreen 10 x 6 x 4 Curved
Parts: Windscreen

L 87.53
W 47.24
H 32.20

 
Part No: 18591  Name: Windscreen 4 x 4 x 5 Cone with Pins
* 
18591 Windscreen 4 x 4 x 5 Cone with Pins
Parts: Windscreen

L 47.42
W 30.51
H 33.12
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 4, 2019 10:05
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, relhak writes:
  In Problem, Adjour writes:

   Gaming has had an uptick in LEGO's
main demographic and the last few movies did not do well.

Unlike video games, Lego is actually a contrarian seller to the financial markets.
The minimum purchase to buy a Lego item is in the $4-20 range, and the parts
are reusable. OTOH, playing video games requires a $150-400 machine (and maybe
a spare TV), plus around $50 per game, with a game often being played out after
a month. So when the market tanked in 2008, video games tanked with it, but
Lego sales exploded. With the economy booming, the market has shifted back towards
more expensive hobbies like video games.

Honestly, it's a wonder that Lego is still managing to grow sales overall.
I wouldn't be surprised if gains in Asia were offsetting outright declines
in Europe and North America.

Stuart

Interesting - I wonder how JK feels about all this.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 09:57
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, axaday writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  aren't you guys about to drop out of the world postal thing?

It is possible, but I will be surprised if we do.

Nothing, as we very well know over here, is inevitable and Teup's quip about
my by-line - only time will tell is quite appropriate here.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 08:28
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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In Problem, firestar246 writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:

  Thanks for adding your data to the thread - interesting, especially for the 'record'
on BO. What was the value proportion ?


This was also our best month on BO value-wise; by quite a bit too. Still a lot
lower than our bricklink income.

That is what we have been led to believe - different types of buyers over there
than on BL.
 Author: calsbricks View Messages Posted By calsbricks
 Posted: Oct 2, 2019 08:26
 Subject: Re: Downward Trend Continues
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Store: CalsBricks
In Problem, Lonely_Brick_OH writes:
  In Problem, calsbricks writes:
  Here are the results for the UK stores group through Sept 2019. The downward
spiral continues - in fact Sept is the lowest month in 3 years of record keeping.
6 Stores are down overall whilst 7 show a very modest increase (But not enough
to hold up the other stores)

Something is not right.

If you look at the cold hard figures it reads like this:

Jun - Sep 2017 - 6746 orders
Jun - Sep 2018 - 6350 orders
Jun - Sep 2019 - 5654 orders

Are any other regions seeing this trend?

I am also very slow. I am going to make a general assumption on this. The increase
in shipping costs and the lack of good cheap shipping solutions have harmed some
of the buying in the USA. That lack of buying is harming the other markets as
well since they have to increase their prices if they wish to buy product. In
2014 our overseas average postal cost was around 3.00-4.00 now it is 7.00-8.00.
That is a heck of a 2-3 year increase!

I agree but we have suffered a little less on the postal cost side - but if
this Brexit thing ever does get done our rates will rise again and aren't
you guys about to drop out of the world postal thing?

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