Comments • Rating the companies that sell figures
Hello Again, KB here....
Re: 5 star seller review *****
This week I wanted to touch upon some very good sellers of anime. This will be short this week but the information I hope will help some to find what they are looking for. When it comes to finding new items, Hobbyfan.com has the best portal Ihave found so far to guide a buyer to the items they are looking for. The weak point in their website is the search engine, it requires a user to enter only ONE word of the title of manufacturer. If a user enters more than one word, the search engine gets confused and sends back the wrong information or nothing at all. As websites go, Hobbyfan has the very best layout so far.
I have been buying from Henry since 2006 with very little difficulties. There have been only three times when the manufacturer ran a short run and not everyone was able to receive their order.... (who else but Native). So as a breakdown I have a rating system of 1 - 5 for Hobbyfan
Finding an item: 4
Shopping Cart: 4
Pre-Order Policy: 4
Advance News: 2
At Conventions: 4
Customer Club: 3
Total Score: 4
As vendors go, Henry of Hobbyfan most certainly has a leg up on allot of other sites. However, with that said there is most certainly room for improvement in this economy. Still working on a very small margin, Hobbyfan tends to offer slightly higher prices than other companies, yet it is the reliability someone should look at before they make that purchase. Getting the figure in one piece is really important and being able to search for something coming up is even more important.
Next time, I will rate Toylet and Larry's online and face to face business model. Be sure to check that out.
Till then... Keep Collecting
4 years ago
Hello Again, KB here... sorry I'm late with the posting
As the owner of a business it is important to understand how the customer looks at the business they are buying from. Unlike my industry that has nothing to do with figures, there is little if any information that deals with companies who sell figures online and rate them for their service, product and (what is really important) communication. Unlike eBay, this is a real need now in the figure market to know how good a company really is.
As of today it seems this article is almost an equal split between those who think this is important and who does not, so I am going to continue for a while... That is until people tell me to stop.
For all of you who are new to collecting I'm speaking with you and there are some rules to follow when purchasing.
First off (and one would hope this is obvious) never purchase something from a vendor you do not know who does not have a legitimate mailing address. Also if at all possible, make sure to pay with paypal or a credit card (not a pre-paid card and make sure that when paying you look for a secure checkout link). Most good vendors will have a tracking number for your package when it ships and companies that ask for a 100% up front payment are more likely to sting you than ship your figure. I have yet to find a company that has not been a problem who has asked for a 100% up front payment. With some figure a 50% deposit is required and that in some cases is understandable due to the nature of ordering from the manufacturer. Also remember, if you pay 100% up front that constitutes a legal and binding sales agreement where the vendor is obligated to furnish the goods sold (in 48 of the 50 states in the US and in about 14 countries).
From my own personal experience purchasing over the last 10 years, I have found paypal to be very handy when a vendor does not ship and doesn't want to refund my money. You can never be 100% insured against fraud or even being on the short end of the supply chain when a manufacturer does not make enough to meet demand. That has happened a number of times with Native Products and I am still feeling the sting in my collection, but more on ordering later.
So enough on money... Here is a great way to set yourself with at least three vendors you can trust. My first step is to contact them via email link in their website, if they are on top of the their game you will get a reply in about 1 to 3 days depending on the time of the year. Sometimes, you may even see a response that day especially if you are asking about back stock or figures that are coming up.
When it comes to original figures, for some who buy on eBay (and I do) I have found many copycat/knock off figures and while I am not a die hard collector, at times getting a copy is usually not the same quality as the original manufacturers model. Also, be aware there are some online stores/vendors out there who sell knock offs as well posing their figures as originals. So, if you are always buying the real deal and want the original item, this posting is for you.
The anime/ecchi/hentai figure market is much like the consumer electronics market where margins are very slim and they make money on volume. So getting in good with a vendor improves your odds of getting the figure you want especially if it is a hot one. The best rule is, stay on top of your source of information when figures are coming out (like Neko Magic which is my first pick or even Danny Choo and here of course) that way you can contact your favorite vendor and ask if they will carry the figure. The next step to getting to know a vendor is to see if they do the circuit of anime shows around the USA (if you are here) or in your country. For me, I get great deals now since I have a first name relationship with three vendors and now they save figures for me knowing I will buy them when we meet. Either I am an easy mark or they just know me too well.....
This board is excellent for keeping track of a collection and it is the best I have seen to date. Still while this is a hobby and we live in the electronic age, being reminded it is time to order is a good idea especially if it is something you need for your collection.
Next posting will actually name the companies I have purchased from and the level of success I have had with each both buying in America and from Japan. So if you have a question, please feel free to ask and I will do my best to get the right information for you.
Till then... Keep Collecting
4 years ago
I am very interested in this topic. As a newbie to this hobby, I am interested in which stores are the best to order figures from and which ones to avoid.
4 years ago