Search for items does not show all stickered items


Searching for Design ID 32271 shows only one result - the beam bent 3/7 holes. This item has as design ids 16616, 32271, 42160.
I am missing now all the stickered items. If I open for example boid 977407 I can see that there's only the design id 16616 mentioned. For that reason this item won't be shown in the search result for 32271.

I think there should be a way to show all the stickered items, because they have also the reference to the "mother part" 32271.

I have never recognized this before, maybe something has changed in the search algorithm of the page. It the same with Design id 41486. And maybe it's the same with decorated items - this has not been double-checked by myself.

Best regards,


  • 5 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Not sure if this is quite what you're wanting but...

    if you go to the 'Sticker Parent' (the non-decorated part, in this case BOID 770805), you can click on the 'Decorated' or 'Stickered' tab and it will show you all the decorated/stickered parts.
  • @beaverbrick Yes, this function is well know. But it would be good to see the search result already on the "browser" page and not the additional step to undecorated item/sticker.
    For example if you enter 3001 in the search field on top of the page you get all decorated/stickered items as well as the undecorated item 3001.
  • I think there’s a point of diminishing return on a situation such as this.

    While I very much do appreciate the separation of variants, this particular added wrinkle of having a stickered variant gets very deep into the catalog weeds.

    For example:
    Within 32271 molds, there are variations. I can show you a 32271 with the 32271 nested into one of the barbell-shaped voids between the holes. I can show you a 32271 with the 32271 very tiny along the edge of the beam at the edge of a hole. There are other, presumably, 32271’s with no 37721 on them.

    Let’s say that 32271 mold gets replaced with 42160. A new set is released where the manufacturer need a million 32271 parts. They have on hand 700,000 32271’s and need 300,000 more, so they make a (imaginary) standard production run of 1.2 million 42610’s. Now they have 1.9 million appropriate parts.

    When the parts get counted at the factory, the 32271’s and the 42610’s all go in the same jiggle-hopper and are jiggled down the conveyor belts and are arbitrarily inserted into sets. Some sets get only 32271’s, some sets get only 42610’s and some sets get a random mixture of both.

    After the parts are all jiggled out, the remainder go back in a box and into storage. These parts are now potentially mixed 32271 and 42610.

    Instructions for the set are drawn up prior to the production of 42610, and thus show 32271.

    Here’s where things get complicated. The idealist wants the set to contain 32271’s as that is what the instructions show. The realist wants…and we now have three different realists…the one who got only 32271’s, the one who got only 42610’s, and the one who got a mixture. The pragmatist won’t care as long as the parts, whatever they are, are adequate to complete the model.

    The situation in the aftermarket is that some 32271’s have sticker A and some 42610’s have sticker A. It is possible that only 42610’s get sticker A while we have a catalog and instructions show this to be a 32271-with-sticker-A.

    Then there is the flip side situation where we have something like a dozen different designs for 3001, all of which are 3001, but are sometimes classified as “3001 old” or something else. This one is further complicated by the fact that, as far as I know, all the trans color 3001’s are not 3001’s at all, but have a different number.

    The catalog is full of quirks and inconsistencies because the product is full of quirks and inconsistencies. One seller may catalog the piece as 32271 with sticker A while another catalogs the same piece as 42610 with sticker A.

    So how does one construct the search parameters for a part? If you are the idealist and want a 32271 with sticker A, that is straight forward. But there is no way for the web search form to know if you are an idealist wanting ONLY 32271 with sticker A or if you are a realist or pragmatist and are accepting of either 32271 with sticker A or 42610 with sticker A.

    The one-box-fits-all search box I don’t believe can handle such a query because it cannot predetermine the intentions of the person conducting the search. The only thing I could suggest is an advanced search form where there is a checkbox that allows for the return of associated variants or substitute parts (yes/no) and a sufficiently robust underlying database and programming to establish the proper relationships between equivalent parts. I find it disconcerting sometimes (for example) to search for 32271 and get a results page yielding only 42610 items.

    So, while in a perfect world I would definitely like to see advanced search functionality, I have to think that getting there is a crap ton of work which would require a crap ton of research and a crap ton of verification to yield a result that is sometimes still open to interpretation.

    For my own purposes, here at BrickOwl, I have found that using the browse functionality, while it takes multiple clicks, does a good job of getting to what I want to find. While it is a drill-down mentality I generally find the ultimate results set more relevant than trying to construct a one-click search.
  • @mfav Thank you for your detailed explanation of your opinion.
    I fully agree to situations where you have really mold variations like 14769 and 4150. These are already two different catalog entries with a mold reference to each other.
    But the part 32271/42610 has some mold modifications which are not that big to have an own catalog entry. This is here the same as on the other Market Place. You can see for item 32271 that there are at least 3 Design Ids listed. And under this item I can see all stickered items.
    My issue is that I have the item 32271from my partslist and I would like to know if there's a stickered item I will find it via the undecorated item and stickered items. So far so good, the question is only if it won't be a nice feature to see all stickered items for this part independent from the Design Id I have entered to the search field?
  • Well, yes, it would be a nice feature, but how does the one-box search form determine whether or not ALL the stickered items are shown or NONE of the stickered items are shown? How does the form know what you want to see? You need an advanced search form where options are offered. For some parts, in some cases, there are also printed pieces. How does the form determine whether you want to see printed pieces but not stickered pieces?

    As I understand the issue, you want to arrive at your desired results in a one-click operation where 32271 and 42610 are all represented in their entirety, with stickers, or printing, or neither. So a search for 32271 and a search for 42610 both return the same results set…with every incident of each…regardless of the potential intention of wanting to find just 32271’s or just 42610’s.

    This is a situation of “what you want in this one instance”. There may be an instance some other time where you want to find just 32271 or just 42610. If you want to find just 32271 plain, why have to wade through potentially 30 or 60 results to find the one thing you want?

    I'm not in any way dismissing your desire for the functionality, I'm suggesting that it is not easily achieved with a one-box text-input-only search form.

    So, the part I'm focusing on is the “one click operation” given the existing search box.

    Also, the programmatic solution that works for 32271/42610 may differ from some other parts where there is a single part number for two (or more) parts that are fundamentally similar but functionally different in some way. It is a very complicated issue.

    Again, I believe an advanced search form would be required to return to you a consistent and expected results set based on your query criteria.

    The issue has to do to some degree with one’s expectations; what do you expect to get from a search for 42610? I would expect that search to return part 42610 and not however-many 32271 decorated parts. If I search for 42610 and get a lot of decorated 32271 parts, then I would be inclined to think the search function was somehow broken.
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