Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Toa Maximus, Aug 25, 2011.
What are the shipping rates like from their?
Typical for shipping from Japan and they are a great site.
They're a great, great site from my experience. Although, do be cautious, they charge everything in yen, and the current exchange rate isn't exactly what you'd call good.
I love HLJ. Love their customer service. I typically scope them out first when it comes to otaku plastic desire satiation.
Fedex is solid, albeit the most pricy option. They're fast and take extra measures to make sure your item gets through customs (like cover fees and all that if necessary). I am describing my experiences with shipping to continental US though. Youll typically have to pay anywhere from 13ish bucks (think a deluxe transformer) to 50 (think like 2010 Takara Unicron) depending on the size and weight.
You can see the various shipping options described in their FAQ. Shipping estimates are pretty accurate.
Just be careful ordering things like paints and what not (chemicals), as those will get hold up in customs and you'll have to do paperwork and such.
I've recently only had bad experiences with HLJ.com
First of all, I had a couple of United TF's on pre-order. Now, I wasn't aware of their pathetic 'no-holding' policy, which means that if you make an order for a currently stocked item AND a pre-ordered item, they will not ship until the pre-ordered item is in stock, BUT they will not hold the item for you that is in stock either. So popular items (like United TF's) can come in and go out of stock again while you ordered them on time! I found out soon enough, though, when United Kup, United Scourge, United Wreck-gar and United G2 Optimus Prime slipped through my orders. I simply couldn't believe that they were unwilling to hold any of these items while waiting for later items to come in stock, due to some BS arguments about possibly being unable to unload cancelled pre-orders. I did also find out that you can actually request them to ship items in stock, but that'll mean you're paying for shipping costs for each and every item separately as it becomes available!
Of a complete order of 4 timely pre-ordered United TF's, I received exactly... NONE. Why, you ask? Because the last item I was waiting for in my order (supposed second wave United Wheeljack) suddenly became unavailable.
Then, even more recently, I ordered two Yamato Valkyries together. Now, what does f'd up HLJ.com do? They send them IN TWO SEPERATE BOXES! Which meant double transport handling costs for me when it went through customs.
I assure you, HLJ.com totally sucks when it comes to handling orders, and I would severely discourage you from making any order there.
Apart from the pre-orderthing HLJ has a gerat service with very good SAL shipping, never had any complaint. They are one of the best on the net.
There are shipping costs accurate estimates below the price of each item on a specific item's page.
You can request to ship items from an order before pre-orders are available even if they were placed together. Their shipping services [as in, processing, packing etc] can be extremely slow.
That's what I mentioned. And they charge you separate shipping costs for each separate item when you do this: it makes pre-ordering more than one item there very expensive very fast. Besides that, I fired the 'ship now' button several times on several items, but because they only process items a day later, items suddenly became 'not available' in the meantime, and I even missed out on those items.
I really am VERY disappointed in HLJ.com, although, truth be told, when the manage to ship something, their packaging is excellent.
Several years back, they got less of BTA Sunstreaker than they took orders for.
I was not informed of this until i mailed them several days after the release date, asking them if there was an issue.
Mailed back politely expressing my frustrations, esp in light of the fact the toy had sold out from a few other online retailers in the interim.
Their response was essentially. 'If you don't like it, take your money elsewhere'.
Which i did.
HLJ is generally a really good store. I've bought a lot of stuff from them in the last couple years and have had very few problems. The biggest issue I ever had was not realizing how their shipping set up works (if you select one mode of shipping for a new order, it is retroactively made the shipping mode for any existing orders or pre-orders). I had something that I ordered on the cheaper SAL shipping come out to me by Fed Ex instead. I sent them an e-mail about it and they gave me a 10% of one item coupon (which was later used on MP Rodimus Prime).
Their pre-order system is, honestly, a big mess. Their unwillingness to hold items for the people that ordered them can be a big problem. It's never screwed me over personally, but I've heard a lot of complaints from others who it has hurt. My approach is to always make sure that I log in on the day an item is released and tell them to ship it now instead of waiting for them to get around to sending me a payment request. The one time I've ever had an item go out of stock after ordering it (which was a first day release not a pre-order) they still got it to me within a month.
There is at least one better store to import things through, which would be Amiami, but their stock is considerably smaller and it can be harder to get things from them. HLJ is usually pretty reliable about getting decent sized shipments of product.
I didn't know about the nasty pre-order business.
I skimmed around their Help Center (where they have all their policies and such). I couldn't find how long they hold items for pre-orders.
Do y'all know if they have a set "time" they will guarantee to hold a pre-order?
Yep. Their set holding time is exactly... zero days. Seriously, their policy is that they do not hold stuff,while waiting for other stuff (not even if made in the same order). They also only charge you upon shipping, to make sure they don't charge you for something they can't deliver. If you are lucky, they still have all you wanted in stock by the time your pre-order arrives in stock. If your unlucky... Well, just read my previous post in this topic.
EDIT: and point 7 of their 'Delivery' section of their 'Helpcenter' sort of vaguely skims the subject. It's also the argument they use when they sell out of stuff you pre-ordered }:-|
No pre-order history with HLJ but I took advantage of some 50% off sales on MP, BT, and Encore a couple of years ago. Great experiences all the way.
I've had nothing but good experiences with HLJ, although their "processing" times (which I quantify as the period between sending the payment and their notifying you that the stuff has shipped) takes kind of long. And if there's a popular item you want, be sure to try and snag it while it's in stock because even though some items may say "backorder" on them, that's hardly a guarantee they'll get a restock, and they don't exactly let you know they failed to get the item either (my backorder for a Busou Shinki Artille was six months old before her listing was dropped to "out of production" and my backorder canceled. Without any notification whatsoever).
I usually only use HLJ for Gundams, Shinkis, weapon kits (for customizing) and figmas, though, since I don't collect recent Japanese TF releases.
yup like many mentioned, it's good for items currently in stock, preorder is a mess. because there's no holding period, be prepared to have each preordered item as separate shipment because having multiple preorders especially popular ones to be available at the same time is very unlikely. they also don't notify you when any of your preorder items becomes available so even if you're fine to have it ship as soon as available you can still miss out if you don't manually check your items status every day.
their preorder system is essentially pointless, other than estimating how many they should order from their vendors, as hlj doesn't charge you when you preorder and nothing is actually guaranteed or allotted to you until you manually check your item status and manually tell them to ship available items.
despite some drawbacks they are also one of the few, if not the only, english speaking toy shop physically located in Japan that can actually help you get the replacement parts for your kits or figs (not free obviously) as long as you know exactly what parts you need and the corresponding hlj product # and they're still being produced.
re shipping in multiple boxes: there's a size and weight limit of 2kg on SAL packages imposed by the US post for security reasons. so you'll have to group your orders to about 1700g with about 300g allowance for the box itself, it's not obvious when you order but it is in the shipping faqs.
Appreciate the further insight into the pre-order business. Thanks guys.
They look to be be the most affordable for Gundams, but I just want to know if they offer coupons because the shipping is murder.
Separate names with a comma.