Showing posts with label Germany. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Germany. Show all posts

Bricklink Seller Review - Playstones - Always Cheap

I like the colloquial translation of 'bricks' into other languages. In Spanish it's 'ladrillos' which means small bricks, the kind you'd build a chimney with. German comes back as 'stones' with the Dutch 'steen' sounding similar. Serbs and such call them 'cubes'. Indonesia's 'bata/batu' encompasses the same brick/stone/rock idea. Turkish 'tuğla' is a brick or tile. Funny to the English ear? In Danish they're 'klods'.

Incidentally that little anecdote about the Greek word lego (λέγω) meaning 'I built it' is a little far-fetched. The ancient root is more like 'I speak/choose/mean' with the closest idea being "I bring together". More commonly, this word has become the root in many languages of the verb "to read".

Profile
Seller: Playstones - Always Cheap
Store: http://www.bricklink.com/store.asp?p=playstones
Feedback (at time of writing): 320
Feedback Ratio: 98.8%
Location: Germany, Schleswig-Holstein
Prices: Below average

My Order
Order Size: 43 items in 24 lots
Condition: 100% Used
Shipping Charge: Actual which includes tracking
Other: no extra charges, not even Paypal! Minimum buy 5
Final Cost per Part: $0.85 (Fabuland figures anyone?)

Timeline
Order Date: Mar 26
Invoice Date: Mar 29
Payment Date: Mar 29
Shipping Date: (Being so far behind in my updates, I've lost that info...)
Delivery Date: Apr 15

Order Details
Why this store: A challenge was issued and I needed parts. Plus I needed someone who could continue helping me complete older sets.
Packaging: Baggied and placed in a thin cardboard box that was amazingly not one bit crushed in transit.
Communication: none
Feedback left: Positive
Odd telltale signs: none
Issues: none

Recommendation
The prices are reasonable and it's refreshing to see a European store who knows how to work their Paypal fees into their cost of business, not as a separate line item on the invoice. Selection is very interesting for older stuff. Response and transit times were a little slower than other stores

Bricklink Seller Review - bricksy - up to 80% OFF

Are flat one size fits all prices a good idea? Sometimes my kids ponder if everything was $1. "Great, I'll have a couple of houses and cars!". So then the price goes to everything being $100. "Wot, even a loaf of bread? I'd starve!" Hmm, so maybe flat rate (or flat tax?) isn't always a good idea. We'll work on the whole supply and demand model.



Profile
Seller: bricksy - up to 80% OFF
Store: http://www.bricklink.com/store.asp?p=bricksy
Feedback (at time of writing): 21225
Feedback Ratio: 99.9% positive
Location: Germany, Sachsen
Prices: Above average

My Order
Order Size: 355 items, 24 lots
Condition: 100% Used
Shipping Charge: Flat rate (one each for Germany, Europe, World)
Other: none
Final Cost per Part: $0.26 (yikes!)

Timeline
Order Date: Oct 22
Invoice Date: Oct 23
Payment Date: Oct 24
Shipping Date: Oct 26
Delivery Date: Oct 28

Order Details
Why this store: Wanted list email for a needed part and LOTS of them
Packaging: An oversized double wall cardboard box with large baggies of mixed parts
Part condition: Decent, some smudges or greasiness visible (from detergent?)
Communication: Great!
Feedback left: Positive
Odd telltale signs: none
Issues: Some extra pieces (store policy is apparently an extra 3% on each lot) plus two lots in the wrong color.

Recommendation
Prices are a bit high and shipping only makes sense if you make a large order. My price per piece was a bit high partly due to a spending spree on more expensive parts to make up for the higher shipping charge. I could have made an initial order of about $60 and typical shipping would have been 3,50 . But with the flat rate of 10,50  I felt like I had to pad the order a little more. So I added another $20 worth while I was there. It was easy to do as the inventory is deep and wide. Lots of great bits for bobs for every occasion. Sadly I had to cut it short since my Paypal account only had so much.

When my order arrived I was surprised to see it in a 6x6x11" box. Upon opening it I was greeted with a whole lot of empty space. The entire boxed order weighed 13oz (365g) but a label was purchased for 2kg (4.4lbs)! When I put it into a more appropriately sized bubble mailer it was under 7oz (195g). This could have easily shipped for much cheaper. Given the oversized box, baggies, and four single sided full size sheet print out of the order I could only make one guess. The seller got tired of stocking different sizes of baggies and boxes and now keeps a one size fits all policy. The expense of this waste of resources is passed on to the buyer. I cannot in good conscience shop here again unless their policy changes. If you decide to order from this store, make it weigh at least 2kg. However the order errors were corrected quickly so high marks on customer service.

Bricklink Seller Review - More Than Bricks

Sometimes a name is so obvious that it stands out to you. And sometimes those names can encompass a huge spectrum, depending on how you interpret that meaning. At a base level, bricks would imply the square blocks that are the basis of The LEGO Company. To say you have more than these might mean you have plates too! Joy! Or perhaps you take bricks to mean LEGO pieces themselves. Yeah, minifigs! Perhaps it even is used as a colloquialism to encompass everything that the LEGO company has ever produced. Cool, Brickarms? Or maybe take it a step further. Since the term itself is generic, perhaps we could also buy a pie? Or an Audi?



Profile
Seller: MoreThanBricks
Store: http://www.bricklink.com/store.asp?p=tiger24
Feedback (at time of writing): 5515
Feedback Ratio: 99.94% positive (a few old neutrals)
Location: Germany
Prices: Around average

My Order
Order Size: 421 items, 46 lots
Condition: 81% New
Shipping Charge: Great table on terms page
Extra Fees: None for US buyers, Paypal for German buyers
Other: Insurance required for all int'l buyers
Final Cost per Part: $0.23

Timeline
Order Date: Feb 3
Invoice Date: Feb 3
Payment Date: Feb 4
Shipping Date: Feb 5
Delivery Date: Feb 12

Order Details
Why this store: Part 6037 in tan. Plus other tan pieces for a commission.
Packaging: All packed well in baggies, then in a thin box.
Part condition: Very
Communication: Very friendly and prompt
Feedback left: Positive
Odd telltale signs: Fun extras: HERE'S where this store is more than bricks. I received a MoreThanBricks branded notepad as well as a small package of Tagungs Tiger gummy candies. With orangen, apfel, tropic, pfirisch, and cassis flavors. Mmm, cassis...?
Issues: One end of the box was torn open. I couldn't tell if this was from customs or not. More likely it was crushed by another box. This is a good example of why to use bubble mailers as much as possible. Boxes get sorted into one area, regardless of size. They are then subject to other boxes crushing them. Bubble mailers get bundled and thrown into a large bag. Rarely do they get crushed by other bubble mailers.

Recommendation
Tiger24 may not be the best English speaker but his communication is very good and understandable. As quick as he seemed able he would answer my questions about how much more room I had in my package (or not). When he sent an incorrect tracking code, I informed him and received the correct one in a few hours. I'm not sure what German time I was actually emailing at, but the replies were very quick. The little extras were nice but they are nothing without good service. Both and more were found here. I heartily (gummily?) recommend Tiger and his MoreThanBricks.

Brick Owl Seller Review - Brick Takeover

Sometimes you are left shaking your head at how some people can run their businesses.  I'll try not to make this an inflammatory post.  I had (keyword, *had*) an amazing large creation planned.  I couldn't get all the parts I wanted off the secondary markets so I went straight to LEGO.  They completely boffed the numbers, timing, and other factors such that they eliminated themselves.  Off to the secondary markets it was!  So I finally found a German seller who had a good portion of the parts I needed!  Joyous day!  The price was a little more but I was willing to bite.  Then I got bitten.

Profile
Seller: Brick Takeover
Store: Not linking to them
Feedback (at time of writing): 15928
Feedback Ratio: 99.68% positive on Bricklink
Location: Germany, Bayern
Prices: Higher than 6 month average.

My Order
Order Size: 6912 pieces, 9 lots (freaking huge)
Condition: 100% New
Shipping Charge: DHL rates
Extra Fees: Per Bricklink charges Paypal fees plus 5.99Euro to fill out a customs form!
Other: $2.03 minimum lot average
Final Cost per Part: $0.22.  Yes, I was prepared to drop over $1500.

Timeline
Order Date: Dec 31
Invoice Date: Dec 31 (Instant Checkout)
Payment Date: Dec 31
Shipping Date:
Delivery Date:
Cancelled Date: Jan 1 - Why would I note this and still review the non-order?

Order Details
Why this store: Had all the parts I needed.  Verified inventories with the seller beforehand.
Packaging: n/a
Part condition: n/a
Communication: Very good
Feedback left: n/a
Odd telltale signs: n/a
Issues: Yes.  Despite verifying with the seller that his inventory was correct, there was a problem.  Apparently his inventory WASN'T correct.  He cancelled my order and refunded.  I told him it would have been highly preferential to cancel just the items he didn't have instead of the whole order.  But I saw why he acted the way he did.  Once he got his inventory corrected he let me know.  I went to rebuild it only to find that he had DOUBLED the price on the huge quantity item I wanted.

Recommendation
To be sure, Brick Takeover has a high positive transaction count.  I've seen way worse.  But the terms page is a huge blockade of regulations with fees buried in the text.  Other German sellers have much cleaner terms.  Also, given the cancel/price-hike/relist scam, I can say that I find this seller to be less than honorable.

There, I said it.

Bricklink Seller Review - Bruno's Brick Depot

Well it's about time.  After last week's purchase from DK Bricks for the 2x2 round trans-clear plates, I just had to have the matching tiles.  I'd been eying them from two different sellers for close to a year.  I went into one of the stores and added a few to my cart.  I wanted to make the purchase worthwhile so I added a few more things.  Before I knew it I found myself with my biggest order ever by far and a ton of parts for my current (as of this writing) commission.


Profile
Seller: Bruno's Brick Depot
Store: http://www.bricklink.com/store.asp?p=legocastle
Feedback (at time of writing): 19107
Feedback Ratio: 99.97% positive (5 neutrals ever.  No negatives.  Whoa.)
Location: Germany, Niedersachsen
Prices: Below or at average

My Order
Order Size: 1690 pieces, 19 lots
Condition: 100% New
Shipping Charge: DeutschPost rates
Extra Fees: Orders higher than 20 get charged 2,20 for registration.  Orders over 100 get charged 1,80 for insurance.
Other: 10 minimum order
Final Cost per Part: 10c.  Boo-yaa.

Timeline
Order Date: Jun 11 (last of four batches)
Invoice Date: Jun 12
Payment Date: Jun 12
Shipping Date: Jun 14
Delivery Date: Jun 19 (super quick)

Order Details
Why this store: Wanted the trans-clear 2x2 round tiles.
Packaging: Parts well separated into baggies, wrapped in bubbles, and shipped in a thin cardboard box.
Part condition: Very nice
Communication: Easy and prompt
Feedback left: Positive
Odd telltale signs: None.
Issues: None.

Recommendation
Absolutely.  Germany is becoming one of my favorite countries to order from due to the reasonable shipping and selection of parts.  Must be a German thing.  This seller is very professional but also friendly in their communications.  They sent me a full on invoice that included all sorts of legal information.  Definitely a German thing.  When I asked for a tracking number I had it within hours.  For a seller with such volume (dozens of orders daily?) I am very impressed by their service and communication.  Sehr gut und danke schön!

Bricklink Seller Review - jonadi

Sometimes you really need parts.  And sometimes the parts you really need are in such low quantities that you might have to look for a store that might be worthwhile.  So what's worthwhile mean?  Good terms?  Cheap shipping?  Other items available?  Feedback profile?  What was important to me?


Profile
Seller: jonadi
Store: http://www.bricklink.com/store.asp?p=jonadi
Feedback (at time of writing): 1306
Feedback Ratio: 99.92% positive.  One neutral for the postal service's fault
Location: Germany, Schleswig-Holstein
Prices: Around 6 month average.

My Order
Order Size: 176 pieces, 17 lots
Condition: 80% New
Shipping Charge: Clearly stated in store terms
Extra Fees: none
Other: 10 minimum buy, only accepts payment in Euro
Final Cost per Part: $0.16

Timeline
Order Date: Apr 5
Invoice Date: Apr 6
Payment Date: Apr 6
Shipping Date: Apr 14
Delivery Date: Apr 24 (just in time for this review to go live)

Order Details
Why this store: Needed 12 dark red round 2x2 bricks.  It was either here or the Czech Republic.
Packaging: Each batch in its own half size baggie, placed in a small box, topped with crumpled newspaper padding
Part condition: Very good.
Communication: None
Feedback left: Positive
Odd telltale signs: The padding was from a German advert for TVs.  Very cool to look over.
Issues: None

Recommendation:
jonadi promises to ship orders within 5 days.  To me, this is a long long time.  But at least it's stated up front.  The shipping time actually ended up a bit longer.  They marked the order shipped on the 11th (5 days) but the postmark says the 14th.  This was over a weekend, not sure what caused the extra delay.  They also don't offer the typical 3,45 German shipping charge for non-insured airmail.  Between the length of time and the extra price I would normally skip this store.  But of the only three stores that had enough of the part I needed, this was the best option.  I probably won't shop here again for any old purchase but I appreciate that the parts I needed were not insurmountable to get.

Bricklink Seller Review - Spielzeugladen Kaisereiche

Sometimes sounds can be confusing (as per homonyms).  When I saw the store name I at first mistook it for "Kaiser Reich".  I was even more alarmed upon seeing a username that looked like a variant of Bin Laden.  No Bueno.  But curiosity got the best of me and I actually researched instead of fearing what I don't understand.  Apparently a Kaiser-eiche is an oak tree that is planted in honor of a German leader.  There are several throughout Germany, the most notable being in Berlin.  The word Spiel-Zeug-Laden literally means play thing carrier.  Could translate as toy store I suppose.  As for bienesladen, it seems to translate into load-bee.  Maybe something gets lost in that translation.  In any event, this little worker bee toy store next to the King's Oak is good for the people.

Profile
Seller: Spielzeugladen Kaisereiche
Store: http://www.bricklink.com/store.asp?p=bienesladen2003
Feedback (at time of writing): 7672
Feedback Ratio: 99.9% positive (some negatives and neutrals from years ago)
Location: Germany, Berlin
Prices: Lower than 6 month average (and currently a deeper sale as of this writing)

My Order
Order Size: 20 lots, 843 pieces
Condition: 100% New
Shipping Charge: Base DeutschePost rates (local pick up available - sure, that'll be cheap)
Extra Fees: Paypal +0,35 € + 4% for outside of Germany
Other: Minimum 10€ order, insurance mandatory above 20€
Final Cost per Part: $0.05 (included 600 trans clear 1x1 at a penny a piece and three frogs at about 40c each)

Timeline
Order Date: Jun 25
Invoice Date: Jun 25
Payment Date: Jun 25
Shipping Date: Jun 26
Delivery Date: Jul 5

Order Details
Why this store: Searching for low prices and high quantities of dark orange 1x2 tiles led me here.  Other high quantity low price lots made me stay.  As did the low cost shipping (and no customs fee)
Packaging: Most of my lots had a fair amount of pieces.  Larger lots were in their own baggies, smaller ones were combined with similar lots.
Part condition: Excellent
Communication: One question before the sale was promptly answered.  I tried to keep the English simple as I'm never sure how much English others know.  I'm sure they know more English than most Americans know of another language.  I was complimented on my German (which I learned 20 years ago)
Feedback left: Positive
Odd telltale signs: None but a pick sheet was included printed straight from Bricklink.  Everything is in English.  I hope whenever Bricklink gets updated that it includes some globalization options.
Issues: None

Recommendation
This is one of the largest stores on Bricklink at 1.8 million items.  With 2278 lots this means an average of 815 pieces per lot.  In fact 15% of the lots have 1000 or more pieces.  What amazes me is that even with this many items there were still some pieces I would have bought had they been stocked.  For such a large store though the shipping charge is reasonable, the minimum buy is reasonable, and there are no outrageous charges that I've seen in other stores of this caliber.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that this shop has something for everyone.

Unless you like Galidor.  And that's fine.  I won't judge.  o_o

Bricklink Seller Review - Brick Büdchen

Years ago in high school I took a German class.  Given the similarities to English the language has stuck with me.  One of the words I remember was "Mädchen" which means a young girl.  Looks and sounds very similar to 'maiden'.  So maybe I was taken in again by the similar word "Büdchen" which I could only assume meant 'buddy'.  Upon further research it appears to be similar to a walk up bar.  The words 'Mineralwasser' and 'Biergarten' are closely associated.  So this is apparently a Brick Bar.  Well take my card and rack up the bill!

Profile
Seller: Brick Büdchen
Store: http://www.bricklink.com/memberInfo.asp?u=HarryNRW
Feedback (at time of writing): 169
Feedback Ratio: 100% positive
Location: Germany, Nordrhein-Westfalen
Prices: Higher than 6 month average

My Order
Order Size: 4 lots, 21 pieces
Condition: 90% Used
Shipping Charge: 1,50 EUR for a Kompakt enveloppe
Extra Fees: None, not even Paypal
Other: Minimum buy $2.22.  Store deals in dollars so this does not fluctuate to the American buyer.
Final Cost per Part: $0.24, ouch.  This was mostly rarer specials.

Timeline
Order Date: Apr 9
Invoice Date: Apr 9
Payment Date: Apr 9
Shipping Date: Apr 10
Delivery Date: Apr 15 (!!!)

Order Details
Why this store: I was looking for one particular part.  Most sellers have either outrageous prices or very few.  This store had 8 count at a reasonable price.
Packaging: Due to communications regarding shipping options I backed out on one part.  The remainder were all 2x plates and a couple of teeth.  These were carefully placed on a CN 22 (customs sticker and then snugly into a custom stapled plastic LEGO bag.  Normally I wouldn't think this a very good practice but with used parts and a glue backing that's not terribly sticky I can understand and I appreciate the effort to keep the parts from shifting.
Part condition: Very good.  One extra part was included for free that should normally not be sold.  I appreciate the extra and I can use it in such a way that the nick won't show.
Communication: No problems
Feedback left: Positive.
Odd telltale signs: None
Issues: None
Issue Communication?: n/a
Issue Resolution?: n/a

Recommendation
This store has about 6000 parts on hand and not much of what I needed.  I started adding extras to my order but the cost per part kept climbing.  I finally realized that I should look at total cost, not per part and removed a bunch from the cart.  I got it down to the cheapest mailing possible and called it good.  That's not to say that you might not find what you're looking for.  And with actual shipping charged and no fees whatsoever the prices are not way out there.  I just would have continued buying things I didn't really need.  However thanks to Brick Büdchen for having enough of the rarer parts at a decent price.  I wouldn't hesitate to buy from here again, especially if there was enough of what I needed.