I had so many pieces in my own collection that I never was going to use so I became a seller on. I won’t go over the steps to become a seller since these are on Bricklink. Once you are approved to be a seller you will notice that you have more options available to you.
You will now see that you have a My Store tab next to the My BL tab. From here you can see the Sales column with Orders, Products column with Inventory and then the Account column that has settings. At this time I have 5 orders to ship and 34 lots to notify. Clicking on Orders will take you to this screen below. As a new seller you won’t have any orders yet. Each line has the Order ID, Buyer info which I blocked out, Shipping and Grand Total. The Order status can be manually changed but is automatically changed to Paid with Instant Checkout.
The My Inventory screen is one of the main screens you will see if you are selling. Here it lists everything that you have in your inventory but all might not be in your store. Sets, Parts, Minifigs, Instructions and Gear are the main master categories that you will use. You can see the quantity of each category and the lot count. Under Parts Animal, Air I have 16 total air animals but only 9 different ones. This includes both new and used. I did block out the values of the categories.
I became a seller many years before I actually sold anything. I was familiar with all the areas and menus before I did start to sell. The best way is to browse around on the menus and areas that are available to sellers. I kept my store closed until I had around 20,000 pieces in my inventory and then I opened it. You can open your store with 1 piece but I wanted to make sure that I hadn’t made anything mistakes adding parts to inventory. Now that you have a store and hopefully a store name it is time to fill the store with pieces.
Before opening your store you need pieces in your store. Before that you need to set your store up. There is a lot to do here. Click on the My BL tab and go to the Settings under Account.
This will take you to a new screen. On the left of the screen there is what is below. Each one of these you will need to set something up in for your store to work correctly.
Display, Management, Terms, Splash, Shipping, Payments and Message Templates. I will walkthrough the steps for each one of these headings. There will be more on the pages than I will show. There are a few things that I don’t use on the pages so I won’t cover those. All the important parts I will cover.
The first heading is Display and is defaulted to when you open up Settings. The first part is your store name. It doesn’t have to be the same as your user name. The store name that you may want might be used. Come up with something creative and not just put an ‘S’ after Recycled Brick. You can have a slogan, a logo and what colors your store will be in.
Next is the Announcements and Banner. These will appear in the store for buyers to see. I use them to tell buyers to check out the Splash Page since that is where I do all my updates about my store.
Below is the Store Landing page. This will be the first thing a buyer sees when they come to your store. This is also the reason why above I tell buyers to go to the Splash Page. This currently doesn’t work. I have Splash Page selected but it isn’t the page you see entering my store. It used to work but now it doesn’t.
You also can make Featured Groups which are items that are in your store that you want to showcase. I use this from time to time but again selected it as the first thing to see doesn’t work so I don’t use it as much. If Bricklink fixes this I will update this page.
The next heading is Management. This is where you can open and close your store. You can have your store Auto-close after so many days of you not logging in. The minimum is 3 days. Sellers have wanted minimum 1 day but Bricklink said they fixed in and it is not fixes so 3 days is the minimum. The Store Password is for when your store is closed. It allows a buyer to look in your store and to place an order when it is closed. This password is not related to the one what you use to log into Bricklink. You may not want to use an easy one. Mine isn’t “Password.”
Here you can select a minimum buy. You may only want orders place over a certain amount. I used to have a $1.00 minimum so the orders had to be over that. Before Instant Checkout where you can pay when the order is placed, I had orders under a $1 not get paid. Now not a problem. You also can select Average Lot Value. Each line item has to average that amount on the order. I will buy from a store that has a minimum but not from with the average. I have never used the average lot value. Also another password so the buyer can ask to get around the minimum and average that you set. Do check theBackup For Instant Checkout. You do want a manual invoice sent if Instant Checkout can’t be used.
Lower on this screen there are checkboxes to select. I allow buyers to ask for a quote. I can enter the shipping and send the quote to the buyer. It doesn’t make an order until it is accepted. If a buyer has a -2 feedback score, they can’t buy from my store. I don’t check the Don’t Show Weight box. You should show the weight of the shopping carts.
Most of these are up to you to use or not. You may want to try the ones that I don’t have selected. The only one that I recommend is the Enable Multiple Stockrooms. Opening a store it used to be defaulted to one stockroom. I want three. I use all of them at one time or another. I will show how I use them when we add pieces to the store.
The next one is setting up your store Terms and Conditions of your store. This is where you put all the rules. The timeframe how long a buyer has to pay for an order. What happens if they don’t. How long it takes to ship and order. What happens if you are short a piece. If you are going to have any fees. Rules for any promotions are listed here. It needs to be on this page.
I have no fees, no minimum buy and no lot limits. You may want to. I am always fine tuning my terms. There are things that you don’t think of. Until I had a buyer try to return something they didn’t want I never thought about returns. There was nothing wrong with it they just didn’t want it. That is why I have no returns. One that I did have in my terms and is in many store terms is saying that the seller isn’t responsible for USPS losing your package. PayPal says otherwise. You are responsible for the package until it says delivered. Which means you have to ship the package with a tracking number. Otherwise, you will have to refund the buyer or PayPal does. I removed it because PayPal doesn’t enforce my terms only theirs. No one has perfect terms at first. The more orders and the more problems that you encounter you will find more items to add.
The Splash page is where you can showcase your store logo. Tell about your store and any other relevant information. The rules need to be on the terms page. You can choose to have no splash page. You can customize one or use an externally hosted page. You will need a site with an SSL security certificate since it won’t work without one. It is easiest to customize your own or not to have one.
Lower on the page you can see your splash page. You can have more than one and switch them out if needed. If you click on the one that you have you can edit it.
Here you can edit the splash page. This is mine when I used the custom one. You can do a lot with it. The whole thing is just an image I made with a graphic program. I would add store updates at the top of the page when needed.
This is an important one. If you don’t have shipping and payment methods buyers won’t be able to check out of your store. The shipping is also on the more difficult side to set up. This is a list of some of my shipping methods. A lightning bolt on the right means it is an Instant Checkout method. The buyer can pay when the order is placed. Anything else is a manual invoice where the seller has to type in the shipping amount and send the invoice out.
Further down on the screen there is a map showing how many countries you ship to. I would recommend to start out with only shipping to the country that you are in. If you want to expand then choose one that is close. With the increasing USPS International rates I currently don’t ship international. You also can set up a password for buyers to get around your country restrictions.
Then there is the policy you will make for shipping. This is displayed below your terms in your store. I do have a rate chart for Instant Checkout and for manual Invoice. Here you will put your shipping days and everything else relevant for shipping. Mine says I ship Monday-Friday. I do ship Saturday morning but it is easier to not advertise that in case I have to be gone for the weekend and explain why I didn’t ship their order Saturday.
To set up a shipping method needs its own page. Go to Setting Up Your Store: Shipping Method to see how to do that.
Going back to the top of the shipping page is Shipping Methods. There is an Add Shipping Method at the bottom of the section which brings you to a new screen. Here you can give it a name, a note and choose Automated (Instant Checkout) or Manual (Invoice). Enable it so it shows up in your store as an option.
Next is domestic or international. The price chart is one that I entered the info for the current USPS First Class Commercial rates. The Courier API one don’t use. The last time I checked these were outdated and there has been no updates if this has been fixed.
After that is if you offer insurance and how much you will charge.
Plus if you offer tracking and handling fees.
And there is more. You can set up package dimensions. At the bottom you can add a weight margin. I have 10% added to weight and dimension and .5 oz added to weight. The Instant Checkout isn’t exact and you will have to play around with these to get it right. The way that you know it isn’t right is that you have to pay more for shipping than what the buyer was charged.
It is just that simple to set up a shipping method. It isn’t really but it is important to figure out since the buyer can’t check out of your without one.
You can set up payments in the next heading. Hopefully you like PayPal since that is almost the only option. I believe that this is the only option available to new sellers. On my screen it says Disconnect. If you don’t have PayPal set up then it will say Connect and have you go through the process of connecting your PayPal account to Bricklink.
The other option is payment through Stripe. You need to make an account on Stripe.com. Both these work with Instant Checkout so buyers can pay right away. The set up is similar for Stripe as PayPal. Even though a buyer can pay through PayPal without having an account, some people just don’t like PayPal.
You were able to offer alternative payments on Bricklink like money orders or personal checks. I believe new sellers don’t have this option anymore. Taking these payments are risky since money orders can be faked and checks can bounce. I don’t offer these even though I can. I occasionally have a buyer ask if they can pay this way. If they aren’t a new user and have good feedback I will allow it.
Finally is the message templates. You really don’t have to do anything to these to get your store going and just use the defaults.
If you do want to change one click Edit. Below there is Conditional Block Macro Tags and Basic Macro Tags. Open these up in another window and browse through them. You can see how they are used in the default messages. I changed the wording on some of the messages and also made them simpler, shorter and easier to understand.
With all the settings now set your store is closer to being opened. Probably should add some inventory first.