Gus Jae (gusjae@channel1.com)
Fri, 21 Jul 2000 00:47:40 -0400


Ok, I can say that I have been around the park a few times, both as buyer
and retailer. Here are some thought you should think to yourself if you are
wondering about the asking price you see at your local or on-line store:

Where are they getting their stuff from and how quickly did they get it
since Japan release?

Well, if the stores are in either NE or W part of the states, like NYC or
LA, then chances are their sources are either Hong Kong or Japan. If you
are in your local comic store in mid-west somewhere, then they maybe going
through a distributor like Diamond or Right Stuff (Your chances of getting a
cheap price is pretty slim). If the stuff is directly from HK or Japan, and
the kit shows up within 1-2 weeks after Japan release, then prepare to pay a
pretty penny. $60 for a 4000 yen kit is not uncommon, since they have to
pay for the rush shipment.
So if you want it right away, expect to pay about 1.5 - 2 times of the yen
price, depending on how many middle-man the store had to go through. The
size of the kit also matters... since most shipping company charge by volume
instead of weigh, it cost a lot more to ship one MG Sazabi than 3 regular
MGs, or approx 6-8 1/100 Wing kits when you break the cost down to per kit,
you catch my drift?
But if you can wait, wait. Once the slow boat arrives, the supply picks up,
the cost of shipping is cheaper, so the cost to the stores are cheaper.
Hopefully they will past the savings on to you. Expect to pay about $12.00
for a 1000 yen kit. Most stores have to make some money to pay for overhead
and to keep the store for you to browse (not everyone that goes in the store
come out buying couple of hundred bucks worth of anime stuff everyday).
Also, once a kit has been out for a period of time, Bandai then start
shipping them in assortments, mixed in with other stuff. So say you are
looking for a MG Gelgog B/C, you may end up paying a little more pending on
the supply the store can get it's hands on.
You may find that ordering from HLJ or other online stores to be a quicker
(clicker) process, but SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL ANIME STORES, give them some
business once in a while, just think what would you do if the local guy went
outta business and you wanted to check out what the latest kit look like
before you buy! This does not mean you should be ripped off either!! Don't
go paying $40 bucks for a 1500 kit that came out 2 years ago... unless you
want it that bad and can't find it anywhere. How you justify the way you
spend your money is up to you. With the way the yen has been since the late
90s, to obtain the collection I now have would cost 1/3 less, ouch! But I
am pretty sure you can't get half the stuff I have anywhere else now :)
That's how I justify mine... now if only the wife can understand :(
Bottom line, be an educated shopper! What;'s the difference between a
"good" price and a "cheap" price? A "good" price is a reasonably set price
by the seller after taking all cost into consideration. A "cheap" price is
a price set below what YOU think the item is worth. $35-$38 for a MG 1/100
@ 3000 yen is a "good" price. $30 for the same kit is a "great" price! But
$60+ for a "show only limited edition" MG kit @ 3000 yen is "cheap", if that
is what you are looking for. Get it? :)
Know what you are buying, feel free to ask on the list and you won't get
burned. None the less, you are the ruler of your money, if you can justify
it, spend it!
Ok, time for me to shut up.

Gus Jae
gusjae@channel1.com

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