This step by step tutorial will help you find and order parts from Bricklink.com automatically using my source files. Bricklink is the biggest marketplace to buy LEGO parts and its my preferred choice to get all the parts needed.
– Register to Bricklink.com
– Once you are logged-in hover the mouse over Want button with heart icon and choose ”Upload”
– Now you need to find my bricklink source file. This will be file with .io extension. File name will include words ”Source” or ”Bricklink Source”. This file won’t do anything by itself, you won’t be able to open it (unless you have tools that can open and edit this format files). But you don’t need to open it, just locate this file, so you can upload it on site.
– Phones won’t recognize this file, so you need to use computer! If you open/extract my downloaded ZIP Instruction file on phone .io source file won’t be visible!
– Once you have your source file you can either drag and drop it on upload screen, or click browse ”Browse for file”
– You will get green message that your source file was accepted. Click on ”Proceed to verify items”
– Now you will see all the parts. At this point, if you already have some parts on your collection, or plan to buy them elsewhere you can remove them from the list or change the quantity.
– If you need every part listed – you can go to the next step, no need to change anything else here.
– I recommend to not change part “Condition” section away from “Any” – because almost all my models will include parts from discontinued sets (at any given time LEGO only uses small fraction of their part library/color combination). So these parts from older sets will appear as used. Most of them will still be available as new, but with higher price (and there might be very limited selection of shops available that have these parts). Proper sellers/shops will sell used parts in same or almost the same condition as new parts (properly cleaned, without any noticeable wear/scratches) so you don’t need to worry about getting used parts. (If there are some quality issues with part, sellers should always mention that in comment section below part).
– My price estimate (that you can find on my models description page) is based with this setting in default configuration (Any).
– Scroll down and click on ”Add to Wanted List”
– You will get green message that items are successfully added. At this point all your parts are saved in “Default Wanted List“, and will stay there until you delete them. So if you close your browser or log-off from your Bricklink profile – you can return later and everything will still be there. You can access them in same way as you accessed “Upload” button in STEP 2 – hover over the “Want” button with heart symbol and click on “Wanted List“. So if at any point of next steps you want to go back and start over, you don’t need to upload source file again, just open your Wanted List and continue from there again.
– If you want a fresh start from beginning, or want to upload different source file – delete all existing parts from “Default Wanted List” first, otherwise parts will be added to your already added parts!
– To continue – Click ”View Default Wanted List”
– At this step you can edit parts (change color for example) or add extra parts if you want.
– To continue Click “Buy All”
Now you can see all stores that have your parts. Let the Bricklink to find the best way to buy them – adjust the store filters and click ”Auto Select”
– What you want is to have the least amount of shops needed because shipping is what will add up really fast with each extra shop. So check the different filters and see how total price changes and how much shops you need. Sometimes it might be cheaper to have few $ more in parts, and have less shops needed. For my City (6 studs wide) scale models it usually requires 2 – 4 shops to buy everything. Creator (8 stud wide) models will require around 3 – 5 shops. Expert (10+ studs wide) around 4 – 10 shops depending on your location.
* Store location – try different options and see which works the best for you. Ideally you want to buy everything near you (or in same continent) to keep the shipping cost down, but if all parts are scattered across many sellers, it might be cheaper to order overseas if in that case you need less stores to buy everything.
* Large stores will always accept either USD or EUR or both. You can try to switch between them to see if you get better results (PayPal will convert your order to correct currency)
* Instant Checkout – if this option is selected Bricklink will only find stores that have automatic checkout (you will see the exact cost + shipping immediately), stores that don’t have this option enabled will send you invoice after ordering (that can be paid on site), but you won’t know the final shipping cost before invoice arrives. I usually order from stores with instant checkout, but if you don’t get good results, its worth to see the results without instant checkout.
A message will pop-up. Read it and continue with ”Start” button. No need to check that Minimum Buy option.
– Now you have your stores selected. Check the total item price. And check how many stores you need. As we can see in my example – I need 3 stores, which is OK for City scale model. Remember that total item price is only parts – shipping will show up once you will check out at each individual store (either on automatic checkout, or in invoice). Depending on store and how many parts you need shipping usually cost anywhere between standard envelope cost to around $10 per store.
– If you want to try different options, remove selected store by clicking Remove and then try Auto Select again with different filters.
– Check out that all numbers match and you have all files selected. Numbers in same color circles should be the same. And on top of the page (where blue arrow is) it should be 100% assigned.
– If it shows less than 100% (in that case numbers also won’t match) then some parts are not selected (usually because there are no stores to match the filters – mostly if some stores have minimum buy requirement that is not reached). If this happens there should be stores visible at the bottom part of the screen (where the pink arrow points) – then you can check and select these stores manually. Sometimes it might be cheaper to to pay that extra $ if you are really close to stores minimum buy, than to change everything and get different stores that would cost you more in total.
– If it shows more than 100%, this means that some parts are selected from bulk lots (with already defined quantity) and you will have extra parts. Usually this happens if these bulk lots still cost less than finding the right amount of parts in other stores (even if your bulk order will have more than needed quantity). So if total price still look OK, you are good to order. Or if you want, you change the filters. Or manually remove that shop from the list, and manually select another shop instead.
– When everything looks good you click “Create carts” button. After that you can order from each of selected stores.
If you order parts for someone as gift – always check that you have every part, because mistakes can happen! I’ve seen missing parts or wrong parts in packages.