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Has anyone noticed that HLJs Private Warehouse is not really a savings


wm cheng
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Hi all,

Now that I have a few items in the private warehouse, and played with adding and subtracting items I have stored in there for shipping - has anyone noticed that there really isn't any real savings in lumping your shipments together? As I add and subtract items, the shipping option changes (of course as the cost goes up, you lose the cheaper SAL options and are left with Express FedEx or EMS) and basically it just works out to each item being shipped separately added to the total costs of the shipping option. At least for me, it seemed that it would have cost the same if I shipped each item as it became available than lumping it all in one large shipment now. (I tried to keep track of what the shipping costs would have been before). I don't seem to see any advantage for us... its cheaper for them to lump it together, but I don't see the savings yet. Has anyone else noticed this?

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It's all based on weight. I finding great savings with my private warehouse. Shipping macross chronicle issue by issue is not feasible!

Meanwhile, I find that FedEx is a lot cheaper once you reach a certain weight, and the weight bracket (same cost between two weighs) are much larger with FedEx.

Perhaps shipping to your country is different?

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The Private Warehouse makes it more expensive actually. Every time I create a order I browse through the Robot Damashii/Figuarts/Sales sections of hlj to see if I can add anything to the order. Well played hlj, well played. :(

Hm I wonder when the next Quarter sale is due. I need to snatch one of those before they disappear. Hopefully I can combine them with something because shipping will be very expensive for the Quarter alone. ^_^

Edited by Scyla
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I find that sometimes, if you add and subtract randomly, you'll get a great price. First, try adding all your stuff at once (if there is a lot, sometimes there will be an error, but you can keep going). Then take out one of the biggest items. Then add it back. Then just try adding/subtracting things one by one until you get the best price. This has only worked with at least 5 items for me.

Edited by octibon
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Hmm, I usually use SAL if that's an option, but whenever I put stuff in the warehouse, that option often disappears, I think its a limit thing, if its over a certain limit, they must go FedEx or EMS (at least that's what I guess).

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This scares me. I pre-ordered the hasegawa vf-25 kit and then figured I'd add a few items to make the shipping more palatable. I ended up with two WWII 72 scale kits in addition to the messiah kit.

My PayPal funds are extremely limited so if that means my shippig will be higher, I'm inclined to remove the extra items (the messiah isn't in stock yet) and wait till the preorder is in.

But, I risk the other kits I added going out of stock. Confusion setting in...

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Honestly, I don't think I've ever payed that much attention to the private warehouse shipping difference if I combine big items. I generally order a bunch of large items at the same time, so any benefit can kind of disappear.

What I do find useful is the ability to throw small items into boxes with a big item. Like if I'm ordering a large model, it doesn't add much to the shipping if I throw a few modeling supplies into the same box. Being able to hold back larger items to see if there's anything small I want to throw in usually is worthwhile.

Mostly, I just appreciate the private warehouse as a way to make it so I don't have to drive across town to pick up packages so often. :p I figure I'm saving gas, so I'm good.

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I've never found the Private Warehouse options to be more expensive.

You actually do save money by combining items. The PW doesn't save you money just by having items put in there. What it does is that it allows you to order items over a period of time and you decide when they ship and how they ship. The PW option isn't meant for "make an order and then ship the order when ready". It's meant for people who intend to make multiple orders over time and then ship them at their leisure and to their specifications with respect to which items to ship in an order.

I've just compared the shipping costs of an order I have in my PW and the exact same order processed without using the PW option and the shipping costs are exactly the same.

PW saves you money if you take some time to arrange your orders to maximize the potential for putting smaller items in with larger items to essentially piggyback on the larger items and either minimize or nearly eliminate extra shipping costs that would be incurred if you put together orders that don't make effective use of the shipping box sizes that HLJ has. Weight is used to calculate shipping costs but that's not all. A major factor in shipping fee calculation is the size of the box the order is shipped in, the dimensions.

For an example of just straight forward savings made by maximizing the use of shipping box space, I recently ordered 3 model kits that fit perfectly into one of HLJ's smaller sized shipping boxes. The extra space around the model kit boxes was roughly half an inch on each side. The shipping cost was roughly 1500 yen. To ship each model kit individually would cost 980 yen per kit.. If I shipped just two of the model kits, the shipping cost was 1300 yen. By adding the third model kit to the order, I only had to pay an extra 200 yen for a total of 1500 yen.

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Yeah weight is actually less important than diemensions. That's what bumps your price. In the states anything larger than 11 inches will start racking up fees, regardless of weight, because od the space it takes up on the plane.

Also, its nice not to get several packages over the course of a month if you're busy. Id rather just get a big package.

Edited by Gakken85
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Highest price I've ever paid at HLJ was 70$.

However it included the Macross Quarter and a VE-1.

Plus a load of model kits. Separately it would have costed roughly 230$

( I did the math before shipping)

Where most places charge you 50$ for one item going EMS

I can ship a mini-fridge sized box of goods for 40$

If you don't see the value in the PW, you're not doing it right.

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Always cheap for me. In fact, I usually use it for a preorder, then I toss in small things like option parts, books and tiny model kits that vary in availability. It always saves me money, and allows me to stretch purchases out over a couple of months as my hobby allowances are rather limited at times.

It's been a great resource for me to obtain little things like option parts, gundam markers, tankobons and stuff that's invariably out of stock when I'm placing an order, but which would be prohibitively expensive if I ordered them on my own. A couple of pens, a small tanko and a sprue of Wave or Koto option parts usually doesn't impact the shipping of a larger item more than 100Y, if at all, for me.

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Hmm, maybe I just have all large sizes or my combinations aren't really any savings, but so far it seems to cost exactly the same. I'll give it a little more time, just getting wary with all these supposed "deals" everywhere but it's just a marketing way to screw the customer (maybe I'm just getting jaded or hit a rough patch of bad customer service all around me - not with HLJ in particular, just about everywhere else and its colouring my views towards everything around me).

Thanks, I appreciate the feedback though.

Edited by wm cheng
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To be fair the only time you can save with combined shipping is (and that's the case with every shop) if you are having many lightweight figures shipped together with EMS instead of one by one. E.g. 5 Revoltech figures which might cost 5000 Yen with EMS, instead of something like 9000 separately. If you add items that are over 1kg each you can hardly save. :-(

Hmm, maybe I just have all large sizes or my combinations aren't really any savings, but so far it seems to cost exactly the same. I'll give it a little more time, just getting wary with all these supposed "deals" everywhere but it's just a marketing way to screw the customer (maybe I'm just getting jaded or hit a rough patch of bad customer service all around me - not with HLJ in particular, just about everywhere else and its colouring my views towards everything around me).

Thanks, I appreciate the feedback though.

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Well after a few more items appeared, and trying to click and re-combine different options, it does seem like if you add small items to a big shipment, the cost doesn't go up, it seems to go up in increments based on box size. I feel better about that. However, in the midst of all that clicking and re-combining, I accidentally shipped only 1 of my 2 Hasegawa VF-25F/S models - damn!!! Any savings I would have achieved was instantly negated... I guess I'll have to wait for something else small to come along to ship that last model out. I e-mailed HLJ about the mistake the moment I made it, but they say very specifically that once a Private Warehouse order is sent in, it cannot be altered. Oh, well, it seems so rigid, but it was my mistake, I just wished there was better service everywhere.

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  • 2 months later...

I just got two items essentially for free in terms of shipping.

I had a T-Rex Sentinel Powered suit, my second Smokescreen, and a Hot Toys Man of Steel in my warehouse.

Shipping = $30 bucks fedex. ($10 bucks cheaper than EMS)

Typically the Hot Toys would be $25 on it's own. The Powered suit and Smoke Screen would have been $30 on their own.

It was nice because I already had some money in my paypal from ebay and it was only $160 for the Man of steel. B))

But anyway, Saving $30 bucks 5 or 6 times a year is a whole nother toy in the long run :D

Edited by Gakken85
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I like the PW for combining items I buy as sets.

The savings shipping depends SAL is cheap till a certain point than EMS becomes cheaper.

You will need to check the English pricing tables(weights & sizes) on the Japan Post website to plan shipping properly.

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SAL is based on size and weight. EMS is only based on weight and after 5kg goes up in increments of 1kg - there is ultimately some size limitation, but it's pretty large, and they will split shipping before that.

Private Warehouse has huge benefits if you order many small items like a weekly magazine subscription that you can ship every two months.

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I find that if you have many items of differing sizes, weights, or values, you can save quite a bit on shipping by adding and subtracting them until you've reached an optimum mix. Case in point: I had purchased a bunch of things off their X-mas sale and one of the items was about to reach the imposed 60 day limit on their Private Warehouse system. Shipping it alone would've been 780 Yen by SAL, and another, larger item that still had 2-3 weeks left would've been 1260 Yen SAL if shipped by itself, but combining the two was still eligible for SAL at a total of 1680 Yen (a 380 Yen savings); next, I started adding small items (ex.: an etching saw set) that would cost around 580 Yen apiece if shipped individually until the quote changed; I then cut back on one of them to restore the previous quote of 1680 Yen for 5 items combined via SAL. Playing with the Private Warehouse this way saved me about 2100 Yen over shipping each item on its own. So I have notice that HLJ's PW system does save you money.

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