Monday, March 20, 2006

The Evolution of the Lego Marketplace

Back in the day, when the Lego community was a lot smaller, the Lego marketplace consisted of trade-deals (on RTL), selling Lego (also on RTL), e-mail based auctions, and Auczilla. This was in the very early days of eBay... before BrickLink...

I think as a community, we learned quickly about snipe-ing. And the evils of eBay. Even back then, it was hard to get a real good Lego deal on-line unless someone misfiled an item in the wrong category. There were several proposals for Lego auction site that would work against snipers... but I don't think they ever took off with much following.

BrickLink emerged as the defacto standard for buying/selling of Lego. Before that, it was Todd's Auczilla. With Auczilla, you received an e-mail with parts, quantity, color, description and opening bid. You bid by placing an 'X' by the lot you bid on and e-mail a copy back to the server. Scripts would run against all received e-mails and negotiated bid amounts. At the end, you would be e-mailed out the results... at that point, you could up your bid or not.

Thinking back upon it, it was a lot of work. Michael Ulring and myself had licensed similar e-mail auction software from Steve Demlow and ran a highly successful auction... but it really ended up being so much work, that we never had a second one... It was fun... It was exciting... But things got busy and by the time we considered doing another auction, BrickLink (or then named BrickBay) had appeared on the Lego scene...

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