For those of you who don't know what Bricklink is, it's an online marketplace where you can go and buy individual LEGO pieces or sets. The marketplace is worldwide and 1000's of sellers exist there.
I spend along time on Bricklink, as one of only 60 or so members with a feedback score of over 10,000 I feel I can have a voice about how it fits in todays online world.
So why do I think there is something wrong with it?
There are two parts to what I think is wrong.
1. The owners of Bricklink do not engage with their members anywhere near enough. Bricklink has a forum that is not only used by it's members to talk about their hobby involving plastic bricks or their LEGO selling business, but is also used by Bricklink employees to discuss site issues or present their next set of changes to the site. As I write this post on 28th March 2016, the last post made in the Administrative section in the Forum was dated January 19th. Not one communication in over two months.
In today's world where transparency rules and everything you do online is watched and judged by your current and potential customer base, this spells out a message. The message is that Bricklink does not care about its current customer base, or that it has nothing to say. I'm sure that they do have something to say. They did introduce us to a new preview of their grand site upgrade (http://alpha.bricklink.com/pages/clone/newsview.page?msgid=970858) which made me forget about how much I think about their lack of communication. But since then there has been nothing. This brings me onto my second point.
2. Bricklink's user interface is still stuck in the year 2000. Now I hear that many people don't want it to change, and that changing the look doesn't change the features of the site, so it is not worth doing. As a business owner of a Bricklink store, I can honestly tell you that I hate telling customers about Bricklink. Anyone visiting the site for the first time usually runs a mile and forgets about spending some money on LEGO and goes somewhere else. So I welcome the news of the new site look and feel. It cannot come soon enough for me.
However I am not disputing that there are several missing features from Bricklink, that would make business a lot easier. We are a VAT registered company in the EU. However, the implementation of VAT in Bricklink prevents us from turning on the VAT feature in our store. You see, each member of the EU has its own VAT rates and rules. In the UK, VAT is at 0% for books. This includes instructions to make things. So all of our LEGO instructions and books in our store would have to be set at 20% VAT if we turned this on, thus making it impossible to use for us. I am sure that many other sellers and buyers, have their own thoughts about what features they would like to see.
In conclusion I really want Bricklink to up it's game. Bring us a clean looking interface, easy to use and full of features that attract all types of sellers, from the hobby seller to the multi-employee seller.