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BrickLink advice

RevBluesRevBlues Member Posts: 117
edited January 2017 in Buying & Selling Topics
I recently ordered eight bricks from a seller on BL, but only received six.  I politely messaged the seller, who insisted that they counted eight into the bag.  But then they immediately offered a refund to the value of the missing pieces, which is strange - if you are certain you fulfilled an order in full, you must think you're being scammed by the buyer.  So why offer to pay up, no questions asked?  (They report no matching bricks left in their inventory.)

My question is this: what feedback should I post?  Do I select "praise" and say a refund was given for the missing pieces (though the seller doesn't acknowledge any were missing...), or is this one for the "neutral" option?  Or "negative"?  What is considered appropriate by the BL community?  Want to do the right thing.  But a bit worried that if I don't pick "praise" they might post something negative about me.

I haven't responded to the seller yet on their offer of a refund.  Thinking of responding not to worry about it - it's only to the value of £1.20 and I've already ordered the missing items from another seller.


  • jpczjpcz Member Posts: 94
    I love sellers like that (no sarcasm).  They feel that they didnt mess up, yet put the customer first and immediately offer to refund the pieces the buyer said weren't in the order.  I'd have nothing but praise for them doing everything they can to rectify the situation.  Short of sending you the pieces, which they said they dont have, they did the next best thing in refunding your purchase price on those pieces. 

    You give them praise, or at worst no feedback.  IMO, your description does not warrant a negative and i would argue doesnt warrant a neutral.

  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,783
    I would leave neutral. The order was incorrect, really it should be negative but maybe a bit of leeway as it's a small business. If it was a high street business you would complain.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,685
    They ought to refund at least part of the postage too, if you have had to purchase the missing parts from another seller and pay postage again. Was this the whole order or was it part of a bigger order?
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 2,979
    I'd leave positive feedback. Mistakes happen, nobody's perfect, but they sorted the problem as best they could quickly and with no real fuss.

    Honestly, there's some sellers out there who would make a real fuss, and if you ever encounter them (I hope you don't), you'll be glad you gave this one good feedback! :)
  • RevBluesRevBlues Member Posts: 117
    Thanks.  I think I'll tell them not to worry about the refund, mark the transaction as completed, and file without leaving any feedback. Put it down to experience.
  • RevBluesRevBlues Member Posts: 117 I have a more important BL problem: a seller who took payment seven days ago, still hasn't posted the order, and hasn't answered a very polite email I sent yesterday asking if they have an estimated date of shipment.  
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,783
    In general the overall standard and professionalism of sellers on bricklink just doesn't seem very good in my experience. Not to eBay business seller standards. I suspect this is because it's a load of hobby sellers with other jobs on the whole. You are lucky to get a response from any seller inside 48 hrs. The whole thing just feels so amateur, which is a shame. 
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 2,979
    I privately mark all sellers I buy from (I keep a spreadsheet). Using this, I have an idea how quickly a seller will ship, or how expensive their postage will be - obviously only if I've used them before.

    From this spreadsheet, I can see I've done over 200 orders in just under 4 years, and of those 200, only 4 have been given black marks - two because they never shipped (one refunded, one paypal claim), one because the parts were used instead of new, and the other for various reasons (I forget exactly).

    The point is that 4 bad out of 200+ orders isn't a bad percentage at all. It's probably comparable to ebay.

    Get the right seller, and Bricklink is a joy to use. Get the wrong one, and well, just don't use them again :)
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,685
    Yeah, I but mainly from UK sellers, then the odd bulk order from Germany and only once had a problem (used parts being badly damaged). Otherwise, great.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 2,979
    RevBlues said: I have a more important BL problem: a seller who took payment seven days ago, still hasn't posted the order, and hasn't answered a very polite email I sent yesterday asking if they have an estimated date of shipment.  
    As for this one, firstly check his terms to see how often he ships - not all sellers ship every day. Also check he's not gone on holiday - most sellers will put a banner at the top of their shop to say if they're going away.

    If neither, email again tomorrow asking whether he got your first email, and asking again when he'll be posting them, as you need the parts quite urgently.

    If no response within a few days, raise a 'non-delivery' problem (I forget the exact term) on Bricklink for it. If you still don't get any contact within a few days after that, then claim back through paypal, leave negative feedback, and never buy from them again. It'll have been about two weeks since they took payment by that point, and you'll have given them plenty of opportunities and time to contact you/post it.
  • KingDaveKingDave UKMember Posts: 947
    The seller should have at least admitted that they 'could' have made a mistake and sent the wrong amount. It would be a bit of a weak bit of fraud for you to try and scam them out of 2 Lego bricks! If it was some expensive part the buyer was claiming was missing than maybe worth questioning the buyer, but assuming we are just talking about some standard parts of a few pence than the seller should just admit fault.

    Not sure it is worth giving bad feedback on mind you. The only negative review I have ever given on BL was when the seller took over a month to post and it was missing parts when it did turn up. They even had the cheek to ask me to remove the bad feedback after I had given it (without even saying please)!
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,331
    Bricklink is great but there's such a wide variety of sellers from one time selling off their old lego, hobby sellers to full time pros, but it can be hard to know what you'll get. There are plenty of sellers who are better than any retail store you'll come across, orders packed and dispatched same day, great communication and fantastic customer service. But there are plenty that plod along and have no idea you're in a hurry to build something. In fairness they aren't doing anything wrong, just different levels of expectation. 
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,630
    Seems to have been handled properly.
    It does seem odd to mess up a low volume low quantity order, though.
    If I was the seller, I'd lean towards believing the buyer. If not still in my storage, maybe I made some other mistake. BL inventories and TLG's packaging are usually accurate, but rarely that might be the problem.
    I do make refund offers that includes a proportion of S&H (X% of order value - that much of S&H)
    I aim to be one of the professional sellers. A part time job is my other main activity, so if I'm busy, it's probably with other BrickLink work.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,618
    I had this situation happen to me with a BL order a month ago. I contacted the seller and s/he said they had sent the parts but offered me a refund on the parts they didn't have and sent me the missing parts of the ones they did. I left positive feedback because s/he fixed the situation and did it quickly. If they fix it quickly I don't think you can complain too much. I even mentioned that in my feedback. 
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,000
    In 2013, I placed three separate orders with San Antonio Plastic Bricks. All of them came with errors and so I left neutral feedback with the following comment - "3 inaccurate orders in a row but quickly rectified mistakes." In retaliation, they left me neutral feedback with the comment "Good Customer" and banned me from the store. Last year, they placed an order at my store, which I honored but did point out that I was banned from their store and would he re-consider. Still banned. 

    So the moral to the story is that you can leave polite and justified less-then-excellent feedback but you might get punished for it.  

  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 585
    As others have mentioned above, the type and quality of BL sellers run the gamut from same-day service to "I'll get around to it".  If you're concerned about how quickly/slowly/whatever the service will be, take a look at the sellers' Splash and Terms pages to get an idea of how quickly they respond to orders; sellers will usually say something like "I only go to the post office twice a week to make deliveries" or something similar if they are not a professional business.  Also, check out their feedback; any abnormal service usually has a mention or two from previous buyers.

    I've learned over the years to ask lots of questions if the item descriptions or the way the seller presents their store online don't feel right to me.  My biggest problem is people claiming that sets are complete when they are missing several pieces and stickers, etc.  As most professional sellers rarely sell complete sets on BL anymore, it's the people selling their private collections that offer these most often, and I approach their descriptions with a healthy amount of skepticism these days.  That said, more often than not if I do my due diligence up front, I'm usually very satisfied with my purchases on BL.  Just remember:  if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is...
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,408
    One thing I feel I should mention.

    If you're in a hurry to get the parts, tell the seller. I can't stress that enough. Most people don't care if they get the parts/set tomorrow or next week. But sellers will step up their speed if the buyer needs it in a hurry.

    Also, those complaining about seller speed, ask yourself this: how quickly did you pay for the order? Did you take your time, and then expect the seller to ship immediately?
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 987

    Besides what others have mentioned, I would add that BrickLink has a really handy feature that allows you to leave notes to yourself on other members.

    Whenever I place an order, once the transaction is finished, I will leave notes to myself on the experience. I may say things like: "seller shipped the same day as payment received", "good seller but handling fee was very high", "nice parts but didn't ship until three days later", "used parts are very used - only buy new from this seller, "took 2 days to send invoice, but nice parts", etc.

    After several years of shopping on BrickLink, I have notes on pretty much every major seller, and many of the small shops as well. So when I look at placing a new order, and see who has most of the items I need, I will compare their selection against my wanted list, their feedback, and my notes. It only takes a couple of minutes, but it greatly eliminate surprises. And of course really bad stores I will put on my least favorite list and won't shop from them, but that rarely happens because I always check the feedback of the seller before ordering. 

  • MaffyDMaffyD West YorkshireMember Posts: 2,060
    Aren't there notes you can leave within Bricklink itself regarding the sellers you've used? I seem to recall that being possible the last time I used it. Saves keeping track of two recording systems...
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 1,912
    I let one neutral feedback. the seller took a long time to ship (like a month I think), the set had visible trace of use and some missing pieces as well as a missing minifig (despite the description saying it was complete) though I had the good idea to ask about minifigs because the price was low, so I knew before buying.

    later I made another order from this seller, and proposed that he sent the missing pieces with it. it was still slow, but complete this time and bricks were in better shape, except for a minifig which was supposed to be new and had the worst scratches I had ever seen (sent him a pic) and that he was unable to replace (basic ultron fig, his store stated he had a few...)

    of course he let me neutral feedback too...

  • Sethro3Sethro3 United StatesMember Posts: 819
    Clearly that is battle damaged Ultron...

    I favorite the ones I like and leave little notes also. That way I can remember. Sometimes I favorite someone who has pieces I may want, but I don't/can't order right away. By the time I check back, my notes are invalid because they have sold the good deals. So lesson learned, order as quickly as you can!
  • RevBluesRevBlues Member Posts: 117
    Lots to ponder on, but I've gone with my original plan, told him not to worry about a refund, and marked it completed with no feedback posted.

    Interestingly, ever since I messaged him about the missing pieces his store has been "closed for inventory".
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,630
    BL seems to automatically remove negative feedback left in response. Or, staff removes it before I notice. Not sure how that works with neutral. Either way, I'd suggest contacting the site.

    I ship ASAP after payment. If a buyer takes some time to pay, I don't delay processing the order. I leave positive feedback for all paid orders, with a note about how long they took. A slight delay is understandable if we aren't at our computers at the same time, they need to get money together/transfer it to the right account, etc. For longer delays, sometiems honest buyers mind-blank, have technical difficulties, etc.

    When I have multiple orders to fill, various factors go into which one I focus on, including a buyer note to be quick or to take my time.
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,159
    RevBlues said:
    Lots to ponder on, but I've gone with my original plan, told him not to worry about a refund, and marked it completed with no feedback posted.

    Interestingly, ever since I messaged him about the missing pieces his store has been "closed for inventory".
    Let's hope the owners are sweeping through their inventory looking for problematic parts.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 2,979
    One thing I would strongly advise is to check previous feedback for mentions of stuff like smoke smell.

    I received an order today which stinks of smoke smell - despite the parts being 'new'. I've contacted the seller about it, but looking at his feedback, it seems others have had the same problem.

    Hopefully a good soaking will get rid of the smell. Otherwise I'll have to order the parts again. From a different seller.
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