Re: [gundam] Shopping on HLJ.


Edward Ju (gundam@loop.com)
Thu, 18 Feb 1999 02:43:03 -0800


>Have you bought models from HLJ?

>Until now, I bought my models from Japanese toy shop. Normally, I pay
>about $40 +
>tax for MG models. $60-$80 for custom order.
>How much do they charge for shipping charge and how are their customer
>support?

I don't quite remember how much, but when I ordered 3 pieces of PG Gundam from
them last year, I paid nearly $100 in shipping alone(!). Whichever Japanese
toy shop that's charging you $60-$80 for special orders is ripping you off.
Since you are from the L.A. area, you should check out Legends - they are
doing inventory now, so they're trying to get rid of their stock at 30% off
(Bandai kits only) - however, they do jack up their prices big time, but
it still beats special ordering through your Japanese toy shop. A MG GP-01Fb
would run you about $47 after taxes there.

Customer support is two-folded. They can take a while to respond to your
e-mails (Rainbow Ten, HLJ's competitor owned & operated by a Japanese staff
who can write adequate English, usually responds within 48 hours). Their best
"customer support" is in the upfront web content you get. Rainbow Ten's
web content tends to be more functional and has nearly no scans of new kits.

Rainbow Ten wraps your kits in plastic bags and carefully packages them for
shipping, and a copy of your invoice is included, which is great for record
keeping when your monthly credit card statement arrives. HobbyLink Japan,
OTOH, doesn't do any of the above. Kits are stuffed in boxes, I've had a
number of my kit boxes arrived with scratched/bent surfaces or badly dent
corners. Most people don't care about the boxes, but it makes me cringe when
the box arrived really messed up. HLJ also doesn't send you a hardcopy of the
invoice, you have to remember to print out a copy of their e-mail, which
is not as user-friendly for unorganized people like me.

>I just want to know if it's worth trying.
>Give me your opinions.
>
>Danny

Personally I prefer Rainbow Ten over HLJ, once you get past their Japanglish
and the annoying "Order System" (you need to submit a form e-mail to order
kits, they require this in order to avoid confusion), they are wonderful to
deal with. Of course, sometimes they are unable to fulfill your pre-order or
can no longer restock a requested item, that's when I turn to HLJ.

Hope that helped. If you plan on getting 2 of the same thing, try ordering
one from each vendor, and see how your mileage vary.

HLJ's URL: http://www.iac.co.jp/~hlj

R10's URL: http://www.wbs.or.jp/bt/models/english/index.html
  Order system e-mail adress:order@mail.wbs.ne.jp
  Question,inquiry and etc. :wbs01077@mail.wbs.ne.jp

Good luck,

Eddie

PS I just got my MG GM from Rainbow 10 yesterday, and this was using the
   slower SAL, not the faster and more expensive EMS. Anyone who ordered
   from HLJ got theirs yet?

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