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LEGO MOC Shop, BrickLink update & more!

by admin on August 28, 2014

in Community News

If you build your own LEGO models you are most likely already familiar with BrickLink.com, the Unofficial LEGO Marketplace were you can buy LEGO sets, parts, minifigures, instructions booklets, posters, and everything else ever made by The LEGO Group. BrickLink is somewhat like eBay, with buyers and sellers from all over the world, but specifically catering to LEGO fans. There has been some major changes brewing at BrickLink – some of which just went live a few days ago – so I felt it was important to let our readers know about them. 🙂

LEGO Marketplace BrickLink MOC Shop

As you may remember, BrickLink was sold and taken over by new ownership just a bit over a year ago (see: LEGO Marketplace BrickLink Sold to Nexon). Since then there has been plans to modernize the website and also expand its reach. As BrickLink was built by one person and based on old and no longer used code, bringing the site up to modern standards means that it pretty much has to be rebuilt from scratch, while keeping all the wonderful and complex functionalities users love. A daunting task for sure…

BrickLink - LEGO Marketplace

To ensure that the current usability of website remains intact, but also being able to try out new features that could be later added to the main site, BrickLink’s team decided to work on something brand new, called the MOC Shop. The MOC Shop is a venue where LEGO fans can list their own LEGO creations for sale (providing both the required elements and the building instructions). However instead of just the original creator being able to sell the kits, the MOC Shop provides a platform where other shops can sell the kits as well. This is especially useful for LEGO fans who like to make models, but don’t want to bother with sourcing parts, making kits and selling them. And it is also a nice way for shops to expand their inventory. The original designer, the shop selling the kits, and BrickLink shares the profit from each sale of the custom LEGO creation.

BrickLink MOC Shop Launch

After much work and several delays, the BrickLink MOC Shop went live a few days ago. Below is the original announcement from Jay Kim, the current owner and CEO of BrickLink, with dedication to Dan Jezek the original founder of BrickLink:

“I am privileged to announce the release of MOC Shop, our first service as part of BrickLink’s modernization project. With over 300,000 registered users and 8,000 active sellers around the world, BrickLink has grown to be the largest marketplace run entirely by the LEGO fans and collectors. In the past year, BrickLink sellers sold more than $40 million worth of items – the biggest year ever for the BrickLink community. Transactions occurred from every sector of the globe spanning from the United States and Canada to Europe and Asia.

With MOC Shop, BrickLink is on a mission to bring the creativity of building back to the world by means of everyday commerce. We’re providing a platform where our sellers and buyers can meet a whole new category of designers. We not only sell loose parts and official LEGO sets but also custom designed sets built by the most innovative brick-artists around the globe. Our platform seamlessly connects designs to active BrickLink stores that will source the parts based on preference or popular demand. We’ve built a system where anyone can share, review, and purchase parts and manuals all in a collective experience. We’ve introduced the one-click solution for you to buy packaged MOCs as gifts or even just for yourself. By the end of this year, our goal is to deliver as many sets and models as possible through this platform. In the upcoming year, we will be rolling out new services for our customers and revamping the original BrickLink.com. We appreciate your valuable support along the way, and hope you stay tuned.”

LEGO BrickLink MOC Shop

As the BrickLink MOC Shop is still very new it doesn’t have an extensive offering of LEGO creations, but I believe as more and more people learn about it, it can become a popular place to buy and sell unique LEGO sets. Especially with the holidays coming up I think there is a good opportunity to promote the MOC Shop to LEGO fans who are looking for something unique. I would suggest that you check the site regularly to see what’s new. You may find something that you like, or you may want to upload your own design for others to buy. You can visit the MOC Shop at MOC.BrickLink.com. The Help Section is particularly useful to learn how to navigate the site and buy and sell LEGO creations.

LEGO BrickLink MOC Shop Products

To promote the MOC Shop, BrickLink is also planning to run a series of LEGO building contests, the first of which is happening right now. It is called the Seed Part Challenge #1, which requires that you include in your entry at least one of a particular LEGO element (in this case a LEGO vehicle mudguard in medium-azure color). Winners will receive cash prizes, and will also have an opportunity to include their creation in the MOC Shop. You can read more about the contest here: MOC Shop Seed Part Challenge #1

LEGO BrickLink MOC Shop LEGO Contest

Another major addition to the website is BrickLink China Version 1.0, which was also just released a few days ago. Here is the original notice: “We’re happy to announce that the long-awaited Chinese version of BrickLink LEGO Marketplace – BrickLink China Version 1.0 – was launched on August 20th, 2014. BrickLink China is intended to serve Chinese LEGO players and other Chinese-speaking customers. We have added several handy functions on BrickLink China to provide a better user experience. This is a milestone in the history of BrickLink’s development. At this moment we want to thank all BrickLink users for your support to our team. We would not have made it this far without your help. Henceforth, user experience will be the thing we care about most. If you have any suggestions or ideas on BrickLink China, please feel free to let us know at any time.”

LEGO BrickLink China

While expanding to new and emerging markets can be a good idea, there has been much debate at the BrickLink Forum about BrickLink China ever since its release – mainly concerns that China mostly floods the market with fake LEGO items, which is well evident on other online venues like eBay. BrickLink members are concerned that the new administration will allow other brands and counterfeit LEGO products to be sold, destroying the entire purpose and identity of the website. There has been no response from BrickLink’s administration in regards to these concerns, which is quite alarming to LEGO fans who are worried about BrickLink loosing its reputation of providing genuine LEGO products (at this point even LEGO employees recommend the website), and also giving a venue to illegal operations. We shall see how this story unfolds…

What do you think? Do you buy and sell on BrickLink? Are you looking forward to a modernized version of the website? What features would you like to see? And how do you like the MOC Shop? Are you planning to buy anything or sell your own designs? How about the contest? Are you going to enter? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below! 😉

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

lego ff August 28, 2014 at 11:09 AM

That contest looks cool but i dont have the seed piece 🙁

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Maethorneth August 28, 2014 at 11:17 AM

I often buy parts on Bricklink but I doubt if I will use the MOC shop. The ‘modernization’ will be a nice change for sure.

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Kim August 28, 2014 at 2:08 PM

I looked at some of the listed MOCs but the ones that I liked said “Not for Sale” next to them instead of a price. Except for these two “go-kart” sets but they had a price but weren’t available for purchase.

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admin August 28, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Kim, the site is still very new, so I’m sure it will take a while before everything is in order. I’m not exactly sure about how the whole process works as I haven’t gone through the process myself as of yet, but I think you upload your MOC and your proposed price, then sellers have to elect to sell them. Then when the seller is ready with having everything in inventory, they sale goes live… or something like that…

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Kim August 28, 2014 at 2:59 PM

Hmm ok.

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gid617 August 28, 2014 at 7:02 PM

It struck me as though the seller decides the price, but I could very well be wrong.

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Håkan August 28, 2014 at 3:31 PM

I wonder about the rules for the MOC shop. I’d assume it’d be limited to parts and colors currently in production, to guarantee a supply large enough for interested consumers.

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admin August 28, 2014 at 3:44 PM

What I remember reading is that they encourage you to use colors and parts currently available. I don’t think it necessarily has to be colors/parts currently produced by LEGO, but that it has a good abundance on BrickLink (for examle although Bionicle is discontinued, there are plenty of Bionicle parts available from many sellers). It is in the designer’s best interest to use colors/parts that sellers have a good stock of. Otherwise no shop will ever pick their MOC. Also, it should be parts that are not too expensive, otherwise the MOC will have to be way overpriced. So yeah, those things have to be considered for a MOC designer.

It is totally up to shops to put together as many MOC kits from the available designs as they want, and they can always add more, or to no longer offer a particular MOC if they are not interested in selling them any more. In otherwords the supply of parts doesn’t have to be very large. Some MOCs may only sell a few times, some lots of times. It is totally up to the sellers, and I’m sure with times sellers will figure out which MOCs sell the best and are worth stocking.

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gid617 August 28, 2014 at 4:04 PM

It’s a very interesting concept, and I think could really take off with time, and be a great way for aspiring designers to make some tries in that direction. Does the person who designed the MOC get paid if their design sells? I would assume so, but do you know how it works? And I suppose you’re required to provide instructions along with the build & inventory?

And I’m definitely looking forward to a new interface. I don’t have much trouble navigating the current one but it looks so outdated!

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admin August 28, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Yes, the designer of the MOC gets paid, along with the seller (and of course if the seller and designer are the same, that’s even better!), and also BrickLink. I can’t remember the percentages, but it should be under the Help Pages. I’m planning to check out the site in detail later, but since it is still being teaked based on user feedback I didn’t want to do it just yet.

Yes, you have to provide PDF instructions for your MOC. The buyer may choose to receive printed instructions, or they can just receive the PDF file electronically. I know there was a discussion about this on the BrickLink Forum, because printed instructions can significantly add to the price of both the MOC and shipping. Shipping paper is expensive because it is so heavy. So some sellers want to opt out of offering printed instructions, but I think at this point that’s not possible. At least that’s what I read.

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gid617 August 28, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Okay. I would definitely want to be able to opt out of printing instructions, especially for a larger MOC, at least unless the price was adjusted accordingly, but even then I’m not sure it would be worth the hassle. On the other hand if I were buying it I would want printed instructions, especially for a longer/larger build (yes, exactly the opposite).

After looking it up on the MOC.Bricklink website, it says the Design Fee (Buyer to Designer) $0.00 – $1.00 Flat Fee per each MOC sale (and also, “When the seller(s) of your MOC make a sale, you will receive a design fee between $0.00 and $1.00.”). That doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense to me… it’s an incentive for designers to build smaller models and sellers to sell larger ones (supposing there are any). And then it also says “At the time of uploading a design, you choose a percentage known as the design fee,” … huh? 😕 – that seems to me to contradict the other statement, unless you’re limited to a percentage that will give you less than $1.00. (This was the page I took all three quotes from, http://moc.bricklink.com/pages/moc/help/topic.page?idmochelpcontents=49 )

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gid617 August 28, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Unless, you choose a percentage on top of the Flat Fee, but I can’t say that makes a lot of sense.

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admin August 28, 2014 at 9:12 PM

Okay, so I just read it myself, and yeah, it does seems like there is some contradiction there. I think what I will do when I’m ready to write an article about this is to get in touch with someone who is actually selling some designs and hear from them firsthand how the process works. I know Miro (who is also a contributor here) is planning to sell several designs so I will probably talk with him. Maybe I will even ask him to write an article. What are you guys more interested the designer side, the seller side or the buyinng side? Or maybe all three?

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gid617 August 28, 2014 at 9:32 PM

Personally the designer side, but a little on all three would be great. And getting a hold of someone who’s gone through the process would probably make things easier to understand!

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admin August 28, 2014 at 9:43 PM

Yesh, I think that will be the best approach, to get hold of someone (or several people) have have done it already. Besides Miro I also know a couple of other MOC designers personally, so will gather information from them as well.

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gid617 August 28, 2014 at 9:35 PM

And I wonder if you can have a monopoly of a certain design? … especially if the same person was designing and selling, would he have to allow others to sell the same design too (obviously still paying the design fee), or could he just say no, or could he make the design fee prohibitive?

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admin August 28, 2014 at 9:42 PM

Those are really good questions. I don’t know the answer to them, but I will keep them in mind when researching the subject.

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BLProductions August 28, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Hi from vacation! I managed to get Wifi for an hour, so I’m checking the news. 🙂
This sounds interesting, but I never was really into buying Lego parts from anywhere but LEGO itself. Although I was hoping to get a LotR Helm’s Deep of of Bricklink. Are all the old items still on the site?
Mocshop sounds cool, I’ll have to check it out later, but I doubt I’ll ever do anything on it. 😐 Maybe when I have anything worth selling. 😕
And where exactly does that blue piece come from? The Friends Summer Caravan? I have seen it before somewhere.
Also, why do all the new set names have to come out during the time I have no internet? Just look at Brickset’s homepage. Ah, well, over and out! 😉

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BLProductions August 28, 2014 at 7:20 PM

Never mind about the blue piece, I found it. Apparently it only comes on the Heartlake News Van and a cool convertible, both Friends. Hm. 😐

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admin August 28, 2014 at 9:14 PM

Hello, there, vacationer! Nice to see you pop in! Yeah, lots of news coming out on the 2015 sets! I will probably summarize them here for our readers as well sometimes next week. As far as BrickLink, you can find every set, part, minifig, accessory, or whatever ever produced by LEGO, going all the way back to the beginning, so yeah, everything is listed. 🙂

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sakil mahmud August 29, 2014 at 10:46 AM

I often buy parts on Bricklink but I doubt if I will use the MOC shop. The ‘modernization’ will be a nice change for sure.

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Tien Do August 29, 2014 at 10:58 AM

I often buy parts from BL, but I doubt its MOC shop works. BTW, as a LEGO fan and BL user I’m sad to know that they don’t response their users’ concern about China fake items. First and foremost, BL is an ugly and hard to use website but I think people love it because they love LEGO and can buy almost any (authentic) parts here. Now, opening for fake/clone LEGO parts will ruin their BL reputation.

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admin August 29, 2014 at 11:16 AM

I agree that the whole China thing is a huge concern. There have been some long dicussions about it on the BL Forum, but – as usual – no response from BL owners/admins. I really hope they don’t screw up the site. 😕

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