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Overdrive vs. Hobby Link Japan


Cyclone Trooper
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HLJ: As most have mentioned here, they are extremely slow. I've had a week go by after I ordered before I even got a processing email. And for a supposed "wholesaler" their prices are not very "wholesaleish" so to speak. And since they sell in yen, my bank hits me with a conversion fee.

I do like their multiple shipping options though. I'm usually in no hurry to get something if it saves me some $$. So I tend to go SAL most of the time.

Overdrive: Again, as others have mentioned their website has been plagues with problems this year. I think the whole month of April they couldn't take any orders. Their prices are great, and their Macross selection is pretty good. No conversion fees. But shipping sucks big time. And maybe it's not their fault. But it's the #1 reason I look elsewhere for items. What I order from them arrives nice and fast, but on a $89.99 Valkyrie the only shipping option is $30, or 1/3 the price. Which is crazy to me. This weekend I was pricing an order for 4 1/60 Valkyries and the shipping was $100! Which means I could get another 1/60 for the price of getting the others to my door. That's pretty hard to swallow considering it's already an expensive hobby to begin with. :wacko:

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But shipping sucks big time. And maybe it's not their fault. But it's the #1 reason I look elsewhere for items. What I order from them arrives nice and fast, but on a $89.99 Valkyrie the only shipping option is $30, or 1/3 the price. Which is crazy to me. This weekend I was pricing an order for 4 1/60 Valkyries and the shipping was $100! Which means I could get another 1/60 for the price of getting the others to my door. That's pretty hard to swallow considering it's already an expensive hobby to begin with. :wacko:

Nope it is not their fault. I ship out orders all the time for toy requests and it is not cheap for the buyer but I know they (Over-Drive) pretty much charges exact shipping for orders. So the problem lies with Japan Post. $100 for shipping 4 valks sounds about right to me. If they were 1/48 valks it would be allot more.

Oh yeah their site needs work.

Edited by Save
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I've had two orders bungled by over-drive's wonky credit card processing system. Basically, I submitted my payment but the CC processing company didn't report payment to over-drive or there was some confusion and the actual order was not placed. Both times I noticed before over-drive did and had to report it. The first time it happened it took around 2 weeks to resolve... the second time it went much smoother.

All I can say is if you're having issues with your service from over-drive is to email them and politely let them know what's going on. I say politely because the person reading your email has nothing to do with your order being bungled and he's far more likely to go out of his way to resolve if you're magnanimous about it.

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I've had two orders bungled by over-drive's wonky credit card processing system. Basically, I submitted my payment but the CC processing company didn't report payment to over-drive or there was some confusion and the actual order was not placed. Both times I noticed before over-drive did and had to report it. The first time it happened it took around 2 weeks to resolve... the second time it went much smoother.

All I can say is if you're having issues with your service from over-drive is to email them and politely let them know what's going on. I say politely because the person reading your email has nothing to do with your order being bungled and he's far more likely to go out of his way to resolve if you're magnanimous about it.

Yeah I sent them a message about it, sent payment through instant Paypal so there should be no problems there on my end.

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Can't they use SAL?

I don't know why they don't ship SAL. It is a big risk if the payment is via paypal. So many buyers ask for SAL and they know the chances of the package getting lost is high. These buyers always say if anything happens they will take lose, but every time they start a paypal claim and the sender is out the money since SAL has no tracking.

This month it finally happened to Tokyo Hunter and now he no longer offers SAL.

Spoke too soon I guess, been almost a week and my order from Overdrive still says "pending" even though I already paid. :(

Last weekend was a three day weekend in Japan, no mail went out or moved for three days.

Edited by Save
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I don't know why they don't ship SAL. It is a big risk if the payment is via paypal. So many buyers ask for SAL and they know the chances of the package getting lost is high. These buyers always say if anything happens they will take lose, but every time they start a paypal claim and the sender is out the money since SAL has no tracking.

This month it finally happened to Tokyo Hunter and now he no longer offers SAL.

That's a shame. Annoying that freeriders like that kill a good thing. Would love to see OD offer SAL, credit card is fine imo. EMS is rarely an option for me as it nearly doubles the price (on a 1/60 VF-1 for example) due to taxes and service fees. SAL only has like a 10% chance to get caught in customs in Western Europe while EMS always gets hit.

Edited by Bri
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There are 2 types of SAL, small packet (which HLJ insist on using) & parcel. Small packet doesn't come with tracking but parcel does. Since I discovered HW Japan I have gotten over 20 orders from them and all of them except for one have been SAL parcel which I have had to sign for. Parcel is considerably cheaper then EMS but not much more than small packet.

The only time I haven't used SAL parcel was on the last order I placed as they were having a Gundam sale and I went a bit crazy and scooped up a heap of MG kits. Because of the size and weight of the package it was only 500Y more for EMS.

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I use both of them and this is what I find with both of them. They both have their good and bad point but I am happy with both of them as they are both reliable sellers and can be trusted on.

HLJ

Don't charge you until they send out the items. Good you don't have to pay now but bad with the currency fluctuations. So sometimes better to pay now than later or vice versa.

They ship out items per order. You more or less cannot add things to your open order, unless you somehow time it correclty and add an item just before they send out your previous order and they somehow process everything together. And if your order is older than 2 months, any available items will be sent out even though everything is not in. I ordered the Bandai Michael and Luca at the same time and they came out a week apart but HLJ send them seperately.

Over-Drive

Charge you when you place your order. As above, good and bad due to currency fluctuations.

Orders will be shipped when everything is in. This is good or bad depending on the person.

Can add items to your order. But I find that the additional shipping they add on when you add more items is more than if you place the whole order again with everything in it. Unfortunately as you have paid for the initial order, it's not as simple as to cancel and replace your order as can be done at HLJ. But, Over-drive tend to keep their pricing for items the same while HLJ earlybird is only for a limited period of time and goes back to retail which is more expensive than overdrive.

Both pack their items well. HLJ uses a slightly more sturdy box (not by much though) but do not bubble wrap the items. They just fill the box with air pocket bags. Over-drive bubble wrap their items like crazy which gives a lot of protection to their items. All items I have received from both of them came in excellent condition.

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I use HobbyLink Japan most of the time. They have never given me any problem. But with the value of the US dollar falling, it is starting to cost more to buy directly from them.

They are great for the latest items. But if I am going to buy something that has already been out, like 1/48 VF-1J, I would look for domestic vendors.

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I like HLJ and my only problem with them is the sometimes inflexible shipping terms which has costed me some moolah.

I understand they have the system in place to speed up shipping and make things more efficient but it bugs me that it happens at the expense of the customer. I only wish they had more personalised help with your shipments like maybe you'd wanna split the packages as it might be more economical sometimes or to prevent customs from targeting your big box of goodies.

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Ordered a 1/48 VF-1J weathering from angolz on the 11 Oct, waited and waited for a wk and the status is still processing! Got sick of waiting so I decided to email them back to check. They reply saying " O we are so sorry, we made a mistake with the scale it's 1/60 not 1/48, so do u still want the 1/60? or if u want the 1/48 we will have to check with the supplier." I'm here trying to finish my 1/48 collection and this poo happen WTF man WTF. My experience with them is getting from bad to worst.

And I just checked my order status online and it's empty! Wrote and email to them and no reply yet. Can't they at least let me know whats going on!!! Getting really piss!!!

I'll sum up my experiences with the 4 websites I use. Note: I don't compare shipping times as living in the middle of Canada it's pretty much 2 weeks no matter what.

Overdrive

- Decent customer service. I only find the customer service wanting on the Macross replacement parts. They take forever to get back to you if they ever do. I am still waiting for confirmation for a replacement cockpit on my VF-1D as it shipped with a broken landing gear bay door. Conversly the order for my VF-1S replacement arms worked without a hitch..... <_<

- Usually the cheapest

- Good selection on new items.

- Don't always have items in stock after PreOder is done.

- They charge your credit card when you make the order not when they ship it.

- Never pay duty.

- Not the best website as it's a bit slow sometimes.

HobbyLink

- Good customer service

- Not always the cheapest but their shipping is usually cheaper so it pays to compare with shipping costs added on.

- Will ship SAL but most Macross items that I buy are usually over the SAL limit so I end up paying EMS anyways.

- Good selection and will have stuff in stock even when the preorder is over.

- Do not charge you till the item ships.

- Used to pay duty but didn't on my last couple of orders.

- Website needs work. I have to use search all the time to find Macross items.

HobbySearch

- Good customer service.

- Never the cheapest but they do have a points system that you can use to give yourself discounts latter. Like all point systems though your not really gaining anything in the end as they are usually more expensive than HobbyLink or Over-drive.

- They allow you to combine orders "after ordering" to save shipping. As long as it has not shipped yet you can usually combine it with another order.

- Great selection but they sometimes do not carry a stock of a product to much past the preoder stage.

- Have never paid duty.

- Great website. By far my favorite as they provide ALLOT of photos.

Angolz

- Never the cheapest

- Customer service is lacking. They can take a few days to respond to your emails.

- Good Website.

- Hit and miss whether you pay duty.

- shipping is not the fastest.

- They have the best sales sometimes. I got my YF-21 at $75 off which put it into the barely affordable range.

Edited by Dashgtr
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Spoke too soon I guess, been almost a week and my order from Overdrive still says "pending" even though I already paid. :(

Well I got this package from Overdrive finally, despite taking 2 weeks to ship I'm still pretty happy. Big thing I'm impressed with is they had the wherewithal to mark it at a low value ($40) and breezed through Canada customs. Will definitely try these guys again, hopefully the long delay in shipping was an isolated incident.

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Well I got this package from Overdrive finally, despite taking 2 weeks to ship I'm still pretty happy. Big thing I'm impressed with is they had the wherewithal to mark it at a low value ($40) and breezed through Canada customs. Will definitely try these guys again, hopefully the long delay in shipping was an isolated incident.

Hey Soundwave, Overdrive is usually pretty prompt with their orders (like within a week of the release) IMO. My only problem is shipping is 2-3 days from Japan to Canada and 1-2 weeks from Vancouver to Saskatchewan :blink: .......I've never paid duty on an Overdrive order but no matter who I order through it usually takes forever for it to get to where I live once it gets inside the country.

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My only problem is shipping is 2-3 days from Japan to Canada and 1-2 weeks from Vancouver to Saskatchewan :blink: .......I've never paid duty on an Overdrive order but no matter who I order through it usually takes forever for it to get to where I live once it gets inside the country.

I can believe it, I lived in Alberta for 10 years and had all sorts of crazy Canada Post experiences lol

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Yeah it seems if you don't live in the same province as the point of entry you get crazy shipping times. I don't know why it has to stop twice in BC and once in Alberta before it lands in Regina but it does. Oh well anything beats UPS! <_<

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This post is only for macross toys

hobby link: + choise, stock, fast et choise shipping method, good Customers service, pay when ready to ship

- price, no special items( like galia pack or armor part for vf 25 f alto), sometime have to pay for

Customs, cant add items after place an order and if you place an order with items in stock and preorder items which will come out in over 2 months apart after the date of your order, they send 2 parcels

Over drive : + price, choise, special items (but higher price for it) you can add item to your order, ship when everything is ready, fast shipping

- only EMS shipping method, some items are out of stock quickly, don't know about customers service, sometime have to pay for the customs :( :( how can i do for not pay :unsure: :unsure:

for the other HobbySearch and Angolz, never test it

what about HK collectibles , anyone test it , are they good because the price look cheapper but for the rest. :blink: :blink:

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I finally got together enough cash to order the VE-1 Elintseeker from Overdrive last night (Thursday) and paid $200.37 for it via Paypal. Last night, I checked the order and it said it was still pending. This morning, I tried to check my order status again, and none of my browsers (IE8, Firefox or Google Chrome) can resolve Overdrive's server. According to them, its like the server no longer exists. Paypal processed the payment because the $200 was taken out of my account this morning. Is this an example of the infamous server problems I've heard some people mention? And more importantly, will this affect my order in terms of Overdrive "losing" it?

Edited by Cyclone Trooper
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I finally got together enough cash to order the VE-1 Elintseeker from Overdrive last night (Thursday) and paid $200.37 for it via Paypal. Last night, I checked the order and it said it was still pending. This morning, I tried to check my order status again, and none of my browsers (IE8, Firefox or Google Chrome) can resolve Overdrive's server. According to them, its like the server no longer exists. Paypal processed the payment because the $200 was taken out of my account this morning. Is this an example of the infamous server problems I've heard some people mention? And more importantly, will this affect my order in terms of Overdrive "losing" it?

Probably, when in doubt send an email although there might be several people in the same boat as you doing the same thing so even emails might have a delayed response.

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I cleared my browsers' caches and rebooted the computer in hopes of possibly fixing the problem, but they're still returning a "DNS Error: Cannot find server" error message. I guess I'll wait a few hours and try it again...

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  • 2 weeks later...
Has anybody here have any experience with amiami.com seems like some good prices? Any input is appreciated, thanks.

I am just trying them out. Preordered some items with them on Friday. Received standard email to confirm order and yesterday received email telling me my order will be split due to them being released in different. So far positive and I did some checks on the internet before going ahead and people have been positive with them. They only accept Paypal and will only shipped via EMS. If I am not mistaken, they use to offer to Japan residents only and now open to international.

Another place I have just tried ordering on Friday is HWJapan. Good discount as well for the preorders I have placed. They are owned by Aoshima so they should be reliable. Again did some review and came out positive. Will ship by both SAL and EMS. They have a point system as well like Hobby Search.

If these two places provide good service, you can say that HLJ and Overdrive with face some tough competition for some products. Amiami is currently offering 25% off preorders on Banadai DX products. Their yamato macross items preorders currently about 17%. HWJapan about 20% on the reissues VF-1S with strike parts and unpainted VF-1S.

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Sorry to go a bit off topic.

But does anyone else shop at Anime-Export.com?

IIRC their prices are usually lower than HLJ and Overdrive's.

Does anime-export make you pay up front for preorders? I buy from HLJ 90% of the time because they don't charge me till they have the item in hand.

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Sorry to go a bit off topic.

But does anyone else shop at Anime-Export.com?

IIRC their prices are usually lower than HLJ and Overdrive's.

Does anime-export make you pay up front for preorders? I buy from HLJ 90% of the time because they don't charge me till they have the item in hand.

Yes and yes.

Anime-Export is fine, I've purchased from their web shop and via eBay.

-b.

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The goddam government wants their piece of the Pie even tho that same goddam government gives nothing in return

Amen.

But we better shut up and move it to PMs because there are rules forbidding us from going this route - and I support those rules, above all because the best way to smash the system is to IGNORE it and talk about anime girls and giant transforming robots instead - in other words - the things that really matter in life!

Pete

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Amen.

But we better shut up and move it to PMs because there are rules forbidding us from going this route - and I support those rules, above all because the best way to smash the system is to IGNORE it and talk about anime girls and giant transforming robots instead - in other words - the things that really matter in life!

Pete

what happened to freedom of speech

whats wrong with what i just said????

it pertains to the thread

wow .....

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Like I PMed you - I'm just saying that you're expressing a political opinion (the art about government taking but never giving anything back)

I personally actually AGREE with your opinion.

But I just wouldn't want anybody to accuse you of getting political - which is not allowed by the rules.

I personally think there's nothing wrong with what you said - but it could fall under the "no politics" rule.

It's ok to talk about taxes on imports - of course that's part of the topic.

But all I'm saying is that generalizing and saying government only takes and never gives back is political (and again -I agree with that opinion - but it doesn't matter whether I agree or not).

Also - as I wrote in my PM - I think the "no politics" rule is good because usually people who normally would be friendly with eachother end up arguing and fighting over politics.

And finally - I personally think that because politics is so corrupt and evil - then it's not really worth the time spent discussing it or venting over it anyways.

Please don't take my comment as suggesting that there was something "wrong" with what you said.

I'm not a mod or anything.

I just noticed a little bit of politics in the post and wanted to point it out to you before somebody else did - as a way of keeping you on the safe straight and narrow :)

Maybe I was being overly paranoid.

It could also be due to the fact that I'm due back at my local tax office for ANOTHER two hour audit on this Thursday...

Pete

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