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New trend in mail order vendors


TheWalrus
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A new trend seems to be starting among mail order vendors.

 

A new product is announced as a "Pre-Order"; you place your order and find that your credit/debit is charged immediately. You then are expected to wait a month or more until the product arrives on the market and in the vendor's hands for actual shipping.

 

I know of at least three major and one lesser known one who practice this. Seems like a good way to use our money to purchase inventory. An interest free loan for whatever length of time needed. A product is annouced to be released in the future, but "we have a special price for pre-orders". You pre-order and that gets the vendor the money for operating funds to order the stock when it does become available.

 

Sweet!

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They were one of the ones on my list. Great Models, with whom I havde long been a customer is now up to the same practice. I had a long conversation with Loic in Omaha He obviousdly saw no problem with it and thought he was doing us a favor by offering product at a lower price for pre-orders. The Tamiya P-51 pricing did not, however prove that out.

 

Dragon has been doing the same thing lately and the lesser one is the US branch for Zoukei-mura (Volks USA). SZoukei-mura does the 1/32 Shinden, Ta 152H-1, etc.

 

By the way, if you are interested, Dragon has shipped me a Great Wall 1/48 P-61 and I should be receiving it in a day or so. i.e it's now in-country and available. GMW won't haved it until next week or more according to their web site.

 

I am shiftng most of my business to Squadron becaaue they do not charge until product ships - so far.

 

Vendors take note.

 

Yeah,

Ask Sprue Brothers about their pre-order on the 1/32 Wings models that they were going to be the exclusive provider of!

Edited by TheWalrus
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The biggest problem with the pre-order charges is your recourse as a consumer should the item fail to appear or the company ceases operations.

 

You only have 60 days to initiate a claim. Some of these kits are 6 months away. Good luck if they go tango-uniform.

 

Buy from your local hobby shop!!

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Nick,

I used to think HLJ had GREAT prices until the other day when I went looking around for the MiniArt GAZ-AAA 35112 tire set. Price blew me away. Other than that one instance, I completely agree.

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Check out Squadron's "NEW" items page: The B-17 In Action book and the USS Arizona book each jumped in price by $10.00 between Friday and Monday.

 

 

Ouch.

 

Two versions of the book. Note the different stock numbers!

 

Softback versions on Friday (traditional version)

SS10219 Squadron Signal Books USA B-17 Flying Fortress in Action SC $18.95

SS34001 Squadron Signal Books USA USS Arizona Squadron at Sea SC $24.95

 

Hardbacks on Monday

SS50219 Squadron Signal Books USA B-17 Flying Fortress in Action HB $28.95

SS74001 Squadron Signal Books USA USS Arizona Squadron at Sea HB $34.95

 

No price increase for the same item. Just be glad they haven't done the usual publishing thing of issuing the HB version first and then waiting 6 month for the SB version!

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That's what I said. In the case of the Wings kit 1/32 scale B-25's I pre-ordered the kit with the understanding that it was not releassed yet and the price may go up. I had no problem with that.

 

The next day I discovered that the pre-order had been processed and charged to my card. When I complained I got a snide response and the offer to cancel the oirder. I took them up on that.

 

That was in the time frame of the initial announcement of the kit by the potential manufacturer. A looonggg time ago. Since then the initial manufacturer has gone belly up and said it the Wings line may be released in the future by another manufacturer. That, also, was a looongg time ago. A short time ago I received a note from Sprue Bro's announcing the kit line had been canceled and so had my order. Fortunately I had canceled the order shortly after the initial placement. Had I not canceled it at that time, I would have been placing over $100 into the Sprue Bro's coffers at an interest free loan for the time from order placement until last week or so. Sorry I cannot remember the dates as this stretched out for a long time.

 

Another example is when Zoukei-mura announced the 1/32 Shinden. The release date was for "Fall 209" It was announced in the early Spring. I ordered it from the US distributor (Volks Intenational) and found that my card had been charged within a day or so. I called and canceled the order after discussion and a series of e-mails. As it turned out, I would have made them an interest free loan for at least 6-months and probably more. I ordered the kit when it was actually on the market.

 

Dragon USA and Great Models are now entering this game.

 

So with th current economy in mind not only are you making an interest free loan to help out with the business operating and inventory expense, cost of doing business, but you have the potential of waving your money good bye completely.

 

I don''t think Sprue Bros charges your card for things not in stock, unless it is one of those special pre-order deals.

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Good addvice. Unfortunately, in some cases, such as mine, my Local Hobby Shop is 40 miles away and does not carry an inventory of the more esoteric and exotic stuff that we frequently look for. Squadron, etc. are right here in my man cave 24/7. It is a clear choice to make for me. Oh, I forgot, there is a very well stocked model shop 15-miles, a $30 round trip ferry ride and another 10 miles away.

 

I do wish there was a local hobby shop but that went by the wayside when we chose to live in our little paradise.

 

Take care my friend.

 

The biggest problem with the pre-order charges is your recourse as a consumer should the item fail to appear or the company ceases operations.

 

You only have 60 days to initiate a claim. Some of these kits are 6 months away. Good luck if they go tango-uniform.

 

Buy from your local hobby shop!!

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Mark, what you saw was probably the result of QE1 & QE2 with the yen going from 125:$1 down to about 75:$1 now.

A 3000¥ kit was $24 three years ago and is $40 now! Ouch!!!

 

I hadn't noticed that change in the yen. Thanks for pointing it out. Really, the Yen went up and the US Dollar has devalued. I lived in South America during the 70s and 80s and am familiar with devaluation. The US needs to get it's budget in order before this becomes too common. When the US starts printing $500 bills, we will be in trouble.

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Actually, this practice has been around for quite a while. I remember ordering a new lens for my camera from a fairly large NYC photo retailer back in the early 1980s only to see my credit card charged before my lens was ordered....from Japan! I'm glad most of the photo vendors I deal with have stopped that practice. Or was it me moving on to other vendors?

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Two versions of the book. Note the different stock numbers! No price increase for the same item. Just be glad they haven't done the usual publishing thing of issuing the HB version first and then waiting 6 month for the SB version!

 

Ooops. I missed the HB/SC difference. Being a bigtime B-17 fan, I may just have to get that one now.

 

Cheers!

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