Are you trying to build a certain robot but have run out of parts? BrickLink can be a great source for thousands of Lego bricks, axles, beams, pins, connectors, plates, wheels, and a multitude of other parts.
Here are a couple of things you should know:
- Team Member. If you are a Robotics Club team member, please note that this page is only for parents. If you are trying to build a robot and need specific parts, ask your parent to help you find the particular part and make the on-line purchase. These are mini financial transactions requiring email addresses, mailing addresses, order fulfillment, and payments. These are not transactions middle school children should undertake on their own. Ask your mom or dad for help.
- Vendors. Bricklink is a collection of thousands of small vendors. I've generally received everything I ever ordered. However, some vendors are faster than others in fulfilling the orders.
- Location. Some of the vendors are outside of the States. The physical location of the vendor is shown in the upper Right corner of the vendor's store. Avoid buying parts from outside the country. There are plenty of US based vendors.
Thinking about ordering from BrickLink?
If you think you might like to place an order through BrickLink, you will need to "register" an account. Go to the Bricklink website frontpage: http://www.bricklink.com
. Click on the Green tab labeled: "Register". Then click on the link called: New Member Registration. Create a UserID and password. You should probably write it down if you think you may forget it.
How to Shop
It helps a lot if you know the part number. Most stores have a "search box" in the upper left corner where you can enter a part number to find that part in that particular store. So, how do you find the part number? Click on the BrickLink logo in the upper left corner to get to the main screen. Then click on "Search" to begin searching for a part.
On the search page, look for the "pull-down" lists in the middle of the page. Select the Item Type pull-down list. You are probably searching for "Parts". Then select the Categories pull-down list (sorted alphabetically) and scroll down to the section that begins with "Technics". Select your Technics category: axle, connector, gear, link, plate... Then click on "Search Now". The results will appear on multiple pages. So, if you don't see your part on the first page, just keep looking on the subsequent pages. To get to the other pages, click on the numbers contained in the square brackets. There could literally be hundreds of pages of results.
To skip ahead many pages at a time, just keep clicking on the last item in the list before the "[Next]" link. You can also skip ahead by editing the URL in the address box to jump to a specific page. The URL has a parameter: "?pg=nn&catID=". Just change the number shown after the "pg=". This number represents the page number in the search results. You can go to the 100th page by changing the number to "?pg=100&catID=". This will go to the 100th page.
Once you have found the part you are looking for, just click on its picture to see the part number. Now that you have the part number, just go back the store and search for that part number to find out the price, quantity, and colors at the store. Enter a number in the box next to the phrase "Add to Cart" then click on the button at the bottom that says: "Add Selected Items to the Cart"
When you are done shopping, click the View Cart button in the upper left corner to make sure you ordered the proper items and quantities. Then press the "Checkout" button in the upper left corner to finish placing the order.
After you Submitted your order
Your order is not automatic. It needs to be filled by the vendor first. The vendor will take your order and then gather the parts. This process can take a day or two, depending on the vendor. Some slow vendors can take a week or more to get the parts. There seems to be a high turnover of vendors. So, I don't have any recommendations on which specific vendor to use. If you're interested, ask me and I'll tell you who I ordered parts from recently.
Once all of the parts have been gathered, the vendor will then submit a final cost of the order to you via email. You will then make the payment using PayPal. The vendor will then ship the parts to you.
You should have a PayPal account to make your purchases. PayPal is a fantastic service for making on-line payments. To pay via PayPal.com, the seller should provide you with their PayPal e-mail address. You should not send a payment immediately to the seller's e-mail address that's provided on the order notification e-mail as their PayPal e-mail address may be different than the one that the seller has on file at BrickLink.
To pay the seller, login to your PayPal account, click on the Send Money tab and fill out the seller's e-mail address and the amount. The BrickLink order does not appear in your PayPal account as for example eBay items do because the BrickLink ordering system is not connected to PayPal.
Most of the parts cost less than a dollar. Many small connectors and pins cost just pennies. Shipping and handling is usually a set amount. Depending on the size of the order, shipping usually ranges from $2 to $9. So, it make sense to order multiple items so that the shipping represents a smaller portion of the total cost of the order. For example, if you order $25 worth of parts, the shipping cost might be $5. If you order $40 worth of parts, the shipping cost might be $9. If you order 25cents of parts and the shipping is $2, that doesn't make it cost effective.
I generally keep my orders between $20 and $60 at a time.
The Bricklink website is: http://www.bricklink.com
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