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Thebrickstop.com

Postby RichardAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:55 pm

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I've never "pledged" anything on Kickstarter thus far because it's not a business model i'm not sure I agree with, but regardless, Brickset today wrote and posted about what could potentially be a Bricklink rival, TheBrickStop.com.

Kickstarter is a website where developers and entrepreneurs pitch an idea or project for funding and ask fans/followers/fellow types for their financial help. Aiming to create a new marketplace for builders, sellers and creators where users can share and trade both elements and instructions, the pitch sounds both ambitious and appealing, especially when added-incentives include a cleaner userface and zero selling fees. I'm not sure if this will be fully delivered, but I do like the idea behind it all. For better or worse, Bricklink do basically have the whole market so a little competition might be nice. I'm a non-seller this doesnt affect me at all really, but as a consumer and buyer of Lego more choice is always a great thing.

I won't be pledging any money because i'm not a fan of the kickstarter-model but some people may be, hence the post. Eitherway, discussion could be nice too! Is anyone else interested/worried in the possibilities or excited in the idea? Or have any concerns or comments?
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Re: Thebrickstop.com

Postby RichardAM » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:02 pm

What I should probably mention too is that i'm a little weary of some of the pledge rewards, particularly the "pledge £X and receive LEGO Gun Instructions!". I'm not a fan of mixing GunsNLego or guns/combat for the most part so I think they may be sending out a bad/incorrect message with that pitch and their association with guns. I don't know if that besmirches TLG's brand identity and they could close them down or not, but eitherway it might alienate some potential funders.
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Re: Thebrickstop.com

Postby JCool » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:10 pm

I saw this as well and took a look through the Kickstarter page. Admittedly it looks a bit amateurish. While a "rival" site isn't necessarily a bad thing I don't think the fan community is big enough to warrant a 2nd site for buying/selling of sets/individual parts the way BrickLink does. There's already competition due to the variety of stores, BrickLink has no real benefits to the raising or lowering of certain prices.

The details for this Kickstarter seem a bit vague as well and I'm not entirely sure what the goal is for the project. Maybe they'll refine that over time, but I don't see it going very far or getting off the ground. I don't see this as being an issue for Bricklinkers. Once version 2.0 goes live (which could be some time, who knows) it'll certainly make this a moot point.
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Re: Thebrickstop.com

Postby Medieval Guy » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:40 pm

I have long thought that a trading feature on bricklink might be nice. Maybe you could view another user's wanted list and make a trade offer. That part sounds appealing, from what you said, but I can't read the whole thing at the moment.
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Re: Thebrickstop.com

Postby Tedward » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:06 pm

Medieval Guy wrote:I have long thought that a trading feature on bricklink might be nice.

There may be a miscommunication as has been discussed on other forums. The English guys behind the site use "trader" and "trade" in a different sense than we do in North America. They may not be talking about swapping thing for thing but using it in the older sense of "doing business" as in "trading floor" or "I read an article about him in the trades."

That said, the idea is interesting but the feature would be problematical to add to BL. How would BL get it's "cut" in a swap?
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Re: Thebrickstop.com

Postby andhe » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:21 pm

Tedward wrote:
Medieval Guy wrote:I have long thought that a trading feature on bricklink might be nice.

There may be a miscommunication as has been discussed on other forums. The English guys behind the site use "trader" and "trade" in a different sense than we do in North America. They may not be talking about swapping thing for thing but using it in the older sense of "doing business" as in "trading floor" or "I read an article about him in the trades."

That said, the idea is interesting but the feature would be problematical to add to BL. How would BL get it's "cut" in a swap?


This isn't an UK/USA language thing, we would understand 'trade' as a 'swap' as well, I think this was just a miscommunication about the site.

I've read a lot of buzz about this on various sites, both for and against. Most of the views seem to fall on either the 'bricklink works fine, why do we need another site' view or 'bricklink needs updating and competition is good' view. It seems that the idea was born out of the 'bricklink is outdated' camp.

Personally I'm interested to see how it turns out. As a small scale buyer on bricklink, I find the current system fine, but it was a little daunting at first, and maybe a bit of competition would shake things up a bit.

What I would find more reassuring is if this new site had some bigger backing or support of an existing AFOL site or known AFOLs. I don't see who is likely to sell on their site, who isn't already on bricklink, and if people sell on bricklink, they are likely to be against any new site.

As for personal support, I'm not sure what I'd get out of it other than a potential new site to buy on, and the pledge gift, and there's nothing really that interests me. I don't have a problem with the gun thing, instructions like those have been around for ages, though maybe, again, some more traditional lego instructions (like the recent Ideas books) might have been more attractive to many AFOLs.
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Re: Thebrickstop.com

Postby Chuck06 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:50 am

I'm not inclined to read the kickstarter proposal, but I highly doubt that a no seller-fees model would be fiscally viable for very long. Bricklink gets big traffic, which requires bandwith, servers, and site design/maintenance/development--all of which cost money. Even if the venture were non-profit, how would the thebrickstop generate revenue to cover its overhead? Ads?

Ok, possibly, but the seller fee claim is irrelevant to attracting buyers. I only see sellers making the switch if they could ensure that they could somehow improve sales through a combination of reduced overhead (from the removal of the selling-fee), brinklink customers who make the switch in service, and new buyers attracted by interest in the site. Frankly, I don't suspect the numbers will add up toward this end, because there's not a whole lot of incentive for buyers to switch to the new site. Perhaps the promise of being able to do trades, but I don't think that's enough.

Bottom line: what do buyers stand to gain from a competitor for Bricklink? Better prices? Nope, Bricklink already puts sellers in competition with each other. I think there'd have to be some combination of new and streamlined services to overcome Brinklink's advantage in momentum.
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