Buying, and Karma, and Searching! Oh, my!

I’ve been very busy at work on the site, but have not gotten around to writing up any of the recent changes. I won’t bother listing everything as there is simply too much to write about I’ll just do some of the highlights here.

Multi Buy

This feature was quite complicated to design and build, and I hope I have achieved something quite usable. I’m happy to hear suggestions for improving it!

In addition to listing the total price to buy parts from individual stores, there is now a “Multi-Buy” option. This is basically an additional row at the top of the usual Buy Parts table. These details show the total cost of the parts when choosing the cheapest parts across all the stores in the database.

Click the details link and you will see something like the page shown.

Every part is listed down the page, along with every vendor across the columns. For now we have only three open stores but hope to add more soon. Obviously, the more stores in the list the more powerful this feature is.

Each cell in the table can be selected to choose the part from that store. The code will always try to pick from the cheapest parts first, so for example if you select two stores for a part it will get as much as it can from the cheaper store before getting the rest from the remaining store(s).

Sometimes, there will not be enough of a part in stock across all the stores (i.e. we need more stores!). These rows are shown in red.

The cells will change to red or green as you click them, and will always pick the cheapest parts from the selected stores first.

These calculations do not include shipping costs. However, as you are able to manually modify the search results to choose to buy parts from different stores you can try to reduce the number of shipments required and come to a trade-off between more expensive parts but less shipping costs.

You should also notice that all costs are now shown in your local currency using recent conversion rates.

Now the really interesting bit :) Rebrickable can help you buy these selected parts from each of the selected vendors. Under each vendor name is a summary of the parts selected in each column, as well as links to Add to Cart/Create BL Wanted List and Export the parts lists.

  • Add to Cart = Opens a new window for the vendor’s site and automatically adds the selected parts to your shopping cart. From there you can modify it on the vendor’s site and purchase them if you wish.
  • Create BL Wanted List = Just for Bricklink stores. It shows the usual popup with the Bricklink XML to be copied into your Wanted List on the Bricklink site. From there you can visit the store and buy the selected parts from your wanted list. There is a guide for buying from Bricklink which may help you through this process.
  • Export XML/BSX/TSV = Download a file of each parts list in the specified format. XML is Bricklink compatible. BSX is for BrickStore. TSV is for Peeron or any generic text editor. Of course, any of these files may also be imported back into Rebrickable on various pages (e.g. My Parts, Private MOCs, etc).

The calculations going on behind the scenes here are pretty intensive and some of the very large sets can be quite slow. However, I’m sure that over time I will be able to tweak the performance to make it much faster.

Also, in case I was too subtle above – if you are the owner of a parts store, either a custom built website or a Bricklink store, and are interested in getting in on the action here please contact me!

User Karma

For a few months now, any contributions you have made (comments, comment votes given/received, inventory submissions, mocs, etc) on Rebrickable has generated various amounts of karma for you. The more you contribute to the site, the more karma you get. So what good is it? Other than bragging rights, not much just yet. But who knows, maybe later I’ll start having monthly prizes for the biggest karma whores or something!

You can see a user’s karma in brackets next to their name on any comments, as well as in their profile (assuming they have given permission for users to see it).

Also don’t forget to update your profile details and avatar images. We can’t all look as good as David here though :)

Ignored Sets

This was a much asked for feature and I can understand why. When you search for sets you can build, there are often a bunch of small and boring sets that no-one cares about. Now you can ignore these sets from your build results.

Simply click on the cross at the top right corner of the result row and it is removed from these results and all searches from now on.

If you change your mind, you can always add it back in later from your profile page. There is a new menu item “Ignored Sets” on the left. Hover over a set and click the X that appears to remove it from your ignored sets list. It will now re-appear in your build search results.

Searching

There have been several improvements to the way searching works.

  • I’ve removed the annoying “sets” and “parts” keywords that were being used to restrict search results to sets or parts. They will still do that if you type them in, but are not defaulted anymore.
  • You can now search by the LEGO Element IDs for parts. Thanks to Lawrence at The Daily Brick for providing this data!
  • If not looking for parts in a specific color, they are displayed in their most common colors now instead of boring blue.
  • You can filter parts to only search within your My Parts list (which includes parts from your sets). I might include this functionality on the My Parts page at some later time too, but for now this should be sufficient.
  • The “Show Unused Parts” is now on by default which was causing some confusion and hiding some parts.
  • It’s faster! OK, to be honest, individual queries aren’t faster by themselves but when the site gets heavily loaded it can handle more of them concurrently than it has been lately.

Others

And there are a bunch of other small changes I’ve made that I couldn’t be bothered writing about :)

  • The part detail popups when you click a part now include details about how many of that part you own in your sets and loose parts.
  • You can now add parts to MOCs etc from your My Parts page.
  • On Bricklink Wanted List popups, you can now optionally enter a Wanted List ID to have the parts upload directly to a specific list if you have any.
  • The suggested sets listing on sets/mocs is a bit smarter now.
  • Several API improvements over the last few months. You can now fully manage a user’s inventory via the API. Come on people – where are those apps!
  • Improved email notification settings – too many emails? Reduce your frequency of new MOC notifications.
  • A new downloads page where you can get all the kick-ass parts images I made for Rebrickable. I got sick of hackers automating downloads and hammering the servers so this should make things nice and easy for everyone. Share and enjoy.
  • The parts details page now show rotating 3D models where available. Good for easier identification of the part. Thanks to Nicola Lugato for his Brigl 3D Renderer code.
  • Fixed bugs. Far too many to list!
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