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Brotzmann
January 24, 2013, 2:24 PM
I'm ordering quite a bit of stuff from Japan from HLJ and plan on using FedEx to ship eventually. Does anyone order from Japan very often? I'm wondering if it will be less expensive to ship a ton of stuff all at once or break it up into a few smaller shipments. Also, what would your preference be, EMS or FedEx? I'm obsessively worrying over a large package full of plastic getting tossed around and beat up. Any advice or people with experience?

Ultra
January 24, 2013, 2:32 PM
They're all on sprues so even if the package does get beaten up I doubt it would matter.

Brotzmann
January 24, 2013, 2:49 PM
They're all on sprues so even if the package does get beaten up I doubt it would matter.

I've always had good experience with FedEx so I shouldn't be too worried.

ChapelMkII
January 24, 2013, 3:00 PM
I've never had anything from HLJ arrive damaged, so if it does happen to you I'd consider it an unfortunate fluke.

Shipping from Japan can be a bit of pretty nasty hit to the wallet, depending on what you've ordered.

Standard SAL shipping is by far the cheapest, but it also requires the longest wait time. HLJ is obligated to say it could take up to 60 days to arrive, but on average it takes about 14-17 days for my packages to arrive here in Orlando from HLJ. The shortest amount of time I've waited was 9 days, and longest was 45 days (that was a one time fluke), and major local and/or Japanese holidays tend to add 7-9 more days to the average I gave.
EMS (via FedEx/USPS) costs about 15% more than SAL, but it arrives in 9 days. The catch though is that signature confirmation is required, so if you miss the mailman, you've gotta go through the hassle of rescheduling a delivery or picking it up directly from the post office.
FedEx Express is by far the fastest, but also double the price of SAL and still requires a signature confirmation.

The problem with the first two options is that SAL and EMS have volume restrictions on them, so if you have a lot of things to ship, you'll have to settle for express. Your wallet will scream in agony, but it will ultimately be slightly cheaper (and noticeably faster) than breaking it apart and shipping items individually via SAL or EMS.

ChapelMkII
January 24, 2013, 3:01 PM
And on an unrelated note, your avatar is awesome.

Deathscythe!
January 24, 2013, 4:13 PM
I ALWAYS order packages from Japan delivered to Germany.
Unable to afford to put FedEx in charge of bringing my package, I use the cheapest service to decide on.
With SAL not making any mistake or causing it any damage, you may expect your package to be unharmed.

Dlinker
January 24, 2013, 4:29 PM
I order stuff from Japan and Hong Kong often and never had anything arrive damaged. That's with choosing EMS, FedEx, and even SAL, although the latest item I shipped via SAL arrived today and the box was damaged. Having said that, you can't go with with EMS / FedEx and they're really interchangeable in that either one will work well.

Regarding shipping things at once or in separate shipments, I would think it's cheaper to do it all at once since you only get one shipping charge. Never tried it before so take this with a grain of salt.

Squee
January 25, 2013, 12:14 AM
They've really improved their shipping prizes. It gets to the point that when you order alot, it's actually only slightly more to ship ems or fed ex instead of sal. A few day compared to a month from SAL definitely make it worth it.

E.F.S.F
January 25, 2013, 1:28 AM
I may be dumb on this subject matter but when it comes to Gundam stuff why import from Japan? When there is (at least in the USA) plenty of good online base suppliers that offer about the same price on stuff and you don't have to pay for international shipping

Squee
January 25, 2013, 1:48 AM
I do it for earlier releases, cheaper preorder prices, and bigger variety.

E.F.S.F
January 25, 2013, 1:57 AM
I do it for earlier releases, cheaper preorder prices, and bigger variety.

Roger that.

Squee
January 25, 2013, 2:21 AM
Yea and by variety, to be more detailed, i don't have to go to different places to order different things. Giant distributors like HLJ have things from a bunch of different series. And now that they have the private warehouse where you can store purchases to ship more things later, you really save money on shipping.

Brotzmann
January 25, 2013, 7:56 AM
Yea and by variety, to be more detailed, i don't have to go to different places to order different things. Giant distributors like HLJ have things from a bunch of different series. And now that they have the private warehouse where you can store purchases to ship more things later, you really save money on shipping.

I've ordered from HLJ for all the reasons Squee listed. They are one of the only places I can seem to find Keroro Gunsou models as well. With some exceptions, I think the lower cost of the models with more expensive postage evens out to be about the same as ordering in the US. I have paid 12-15$ postage here in the US and the prices tend to be higher to cover the cost of importing them.
Thanks for the help everyone!

Ultra
January 25, 2013, 1:24 PM
On the note of importing from your own country you guys in the US are lucky to have online shops with them. In the UK there's like 2 and they all are so expensive I wouldn't bother. 10 added onto what it would cost on ebay then the cost of shipping seems a bit much. Also they don't have much variation. And mostly have Gundam Age kits which I have no interest in.

Deathscythe!
January 25, 2013, 5:36 PM
On the note of importing from your own country you guys in the US are lucky to have online shops with them. In the UK there's like 2 and they all are so expensive I wouldn't bother. 10 added onto what it would cost on ebay then the cost of shipping seems a bit much. Also they don't have much variation. And mostly have Gundam Age kits which I have no interest in.

I feel you bro.
There's the same in Germany.

Squee
January 25, 2013, 10:11 PM
Japanese Yen has weakened this week. It's now $1US:91JAPYen. And it's still weakening. Hopefully we see it back at 1:100 or better soon. Even more of an incentive to buy overseas.

ChapelMkII
January 28, 2013, 9:42 AM
Japanese Yen has weakened this week. It's now $1US:91JAPYen. And it's still weakening. Hopefully we see it back at 1:100 or better soon. Even more of an incentive to buy overseas.

Yes, the "good ol' days" when I started importing models. I think it was $0.85 to every 100 Yen back then.

Brotzmann
January 28, 2013, 11:05 AM
Yes, the "good ol' days" when I started importing models. I think it was $0.85 to every 100 Yen back then.

Nice! I hope it continues to drop. It looks like it has been dropping since it peaked last year. That would be nice if it dropped to the 2008/09 100 < $1 low.