Your Buying Strategy of the Day: Wednesday August 20th, 2014

There’s really nothing to write about. But have I ever talked about storage solutions? I try to tell you what to buy and when, but I have never told you what to do with it. I’m a firm believer that you should put the workload up front when selling parts rather than after the customer places their order. Take the time now to organize the parts, then list them in your store. This way, orders can be pulled faster, even if it means the parts won’t enter your store as quickly.

I use Stack-On drawer organizers to house almost all of my parts. One lot, one drawer. It seems like overkill when I have 1 part in a lot, but the oversimplification means that anyone can pull an order, including employees. You should always plan as if your store is much larger than in reality. If you can’t scale your storage solution up to a million parts store, then you are going to have to make time consuming, unnecessary changes down the road.

For small lots, I use these:

Lots larger than that get sorted into these:

If the lot becomes even larger whether by quantity or just size of the parts, I use these:
which are $0.94 each in the store. I don’t know why they are charging $50 for 15 of them here.

When you part out new sets and get an influx of certain lots, their combined volume with your existing inventory might mean you have to upgrade that lot from a small drawer to a large drawer or from a large drawer to what I call a shoebox container.

Much like an Amazon fulfillment center, the lots are placed where ever there is a vacancy rather than in any particular order. How do I find a lot when it is purchased? On BrickLink, the remarks field for every lot contains the drawer number. Then, orders received are ranked by the remarks field so you can pull orders from one end to the other simply by finding the right drawer numbers and counting the correct quantity of pieces.

In my mind, there is no better way to store an active, growing BrickLink store than in several scales of modular containers. Many of us start with the plastic bag method. They are great; they form to the size they need to be, they are clear, and they are cheap. But plastic bags won’t last you forever and if your store gets large enough, you’ll definitely not want to sift through a mountain of slippery plastic that grows ever more opaque with depth.

Invest in a great way to keep your store sorted and accessible. I am by no means endorsed by Stack-On though I really should be. I currently own 113 of their cabinets in these two sizes and use 156 shoeboxes plus ~100 large and small Pick-A-Brick cups.

p.s. Large PaB cups are just a tiny bit larger in volume than the large Stack-On drawers.

If you have any questions about running a store, I’d love to dedicate some daily posts to the operations of a store rather than just where to buy more bricks. I’ve been told that I should be using this blog to help you all in your efforts to buy and sell LEGO by the brick with knowledge that only someone like myself can give you. There are other places you can go to find where sets are on sale, but I’d like to provide you with a unique resource here. Thank you to everyone who has subscribed or who just reads the blog a week late. This sounds like I am quitting, but I’m not. I just need to refocus.

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