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Anyone else been having multiple glitches with their BrickLink store (inventory)?

wunztwicewunztwice Oregon, USAMember Posts: 25
In the last year I have noticed a considerable uptick in glitches related to my inventory in my BrickLink store.  I barely get one resolved when another crops up, whether it be having sold more parts than I had in inventory all the way to simply trying to part out sets.  I don't want to go into details necessarily, but I have to wonder if I am the only one.  

This is certainly not meant to be a complaining ramble thread, but I am very curious if others have had similar issues?

Comments

  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 972
    edited February 14

    The issue with phantom inventory has come up on the BrickLink forum many times through the years. When tracked down, they all ended up being the result of human error.

    The most common way phantom inventory can appear in your store is by parting out sets without actually verifying that the inventory is correct. This is particularly true for new sets that have been uploaded by someone, but the correctness of the inventory hasn't been verified yet by others. It can also happen that your particular set is missing some parts, so when you part it out and upload it without verification, there will be missing parts. And LEGO also sometimes makes slight design changes to a set, which can result in a different inventory (the Modular Pet Shop, WALL-E, and some Super Heroes sets are some recent examples).

    Sellers should always verify what they actually have in hand, rather than just relying on the automatic part-out process. If a seller parts out many of the same sets at the same time, and they don't want to verify by hand, they could reduce the quantity of each item by a few to compensate for possible errors. This is not as good as actually counting the pieces, but might reduce errors.

    Another issue that can happen when you rely on the automatic part-out feature, is that a part later proves to be a different variant than originally uploaded. So for example someone uploads the inventory with one variation of a part, but other sellers dispute this and point out that it is in fact another variation. The inventory gets corrected and changed, however sellers who used the original inventory will still have those parts that were never actually in the set. And as mentioned above, LEGO can also replace parts in a set from one variation to another. Again, the Pet Shop is an excellent example as it is a set that was in production for years, and some elements were changed from an older variant to a newer one.

    Experienced sellers close their store once or twice a year to manually verify inventory. This is a good habit to have. If you run the store by yourself, have a counting party with friends. Many people find it peaceful and relaxing to count parts and are happy to help for a couple of hours for some free pizza and good company. Or you can also verify in a continuous basis; each weekend spend 30 minutes and verify one category of parts. It will give you peace of mind, happy buyers, and an excuse to fondle some LEGO. Hope this helps some. :)

    asrfarinhakbenjesKingAlanImadforLEGO
  • wunztwicewunztwice Oregon, USAMember Posts: 25
    Thanks for your reply, & the tips.

    I do re-count inventory before upload and check my numbers from time to time.  However, my most recent encounters with 'phantom inventory' has been with collectable figures as full, sealed, sets.  In parting out a set yesterday I also had repeated "my wight not a numerical value" error over more than half the parts from the set.  No reply as of yet.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 972
    wunztwice said:
    Thanks for your reply, & the tips.

    I do re-count inventory before upload and check my numbers from time to time.  However, my most recent encounters with 'phantom inventory' has been with collectable figures as full, sealed, sets.  In parting out a set yesterday I also had repeated "my wight not a numerical value" error over more than half the parts from the set.  No reply as of yet.

    You might want to ask this on the BrickLink Forum. The BrickLink staff can take a long time to respond, but other members should be able to help you out. It could be something you select incorrectly when uploading your inventory, or it could indeed be some technical issue. I sell collectible minifigs as well and I didn't run into any problems so far.  I'm not sure what that error message could mean. I have never seen it. Again, I encourage you to ask the question on the BrickLink Forum. Long-time members there are very knowledgeable about how BL works, often even more so than the staff. :D
  • wunztwicewunztwice Oregon, USAMember Posts: 25
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,493
    BL inventories and TLG's packaging are nearly always accurate in my experience so I go ahead and rely on them. I don't want to always underestimate inventory or have my store out of commission because of rare problems. For the occasional missing piece, most buyers are OK with a proportional refund. Once someone insisted on that part and I got a good deal on another copy of a set containing it.
    Taking awhile to sort part bags after listing sets is another problem. Sometimes you can lose pieces or put them in the wrong place. I do spot checks, often as I'm working with a particular kind of piece anyway. I recently discovered a variant part issue that way and sometimes adjust quantity at that point.
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