WARNING::: Be Careful about purchases from AE - Anime Export in Japan (REVISED - See Below).
This website at the time I purchased ( Anime Export (ext link) ) gave an impression that it was located or has offices in San Diego but this is not the case, Anime Export is a company based in Japan and apparently does not care about customers in the USA. The actual address is Taito, Tokyo Kuramae 2 ー 1 ー 32 ー 201, Japan +81 3-5809-2419 (東京都台東区蔵前２ー１ー３２ー２０１, Japan)
After doing some research on this "6 year old" company I have found every type of difficulty including shipping methods that will damage the collectable you have purchased, pre-orders that have never been filled, wrong figures or lower value sent to customers as the actual order and plain loss of order even though payment is made in full. Some claims I discovered we way out of line while others were right on target to what I have experienced.
What is suspected here with Anime Export and is the belief is that this company is taking money of 100% in advance to fund their operation to purchase stock and fill Japan orders first who apparently do not pay in advance. If you are located in the USA, it is very likely that you will NOT get your order and may not get your refund depending on how you paid. (ALWAYS PAY WITH PAYPAL for this reason alone. My association with the major retailers in the United States and my global business connection have educated me on the figure market and the practice of Japanese supply and demand. Know this, US customers will come last most of the time unless it is a vendor who has a global business model.
In my case I have ordered two figures from Anime Export the very moment they came available and paid with PayPal. After paying IN FULL for both pre-orders, I had to discover on my own that my first order will not be filled. As an important fact, no other company I have encountered has you pay in full, usually it is half or nothing up front. As of today, there has been NO communication from Anime Export in Japan of any sort in regards to any communication I have sent to them.
I can see even from this board (and thank goodness this feedback is here) that I am not alone nor is this an isolated incident with Anime Export of Japan. In addition after I made my pre-order, the only confirmation I received was from PayPal informing me of my transactions, I have to this date received nothing from Anime Export.
After ordering and receiving thousands of dollars worth of figures from (Japan) Hobby Japan, Hobby Search, Otacute and (USA) Reggie of PowerAnime, Henry of Hobby Fan and Larry of Toylet, I have come to trust these companies and know that I will receive my order in excellent condition. This is especially important to me since most of my figures start at the $200 mark and go up from there like the native collections.
There have been times where I have ordered figures and paid a %50 deposit only to discover the manufacturer made less than the demand and I was one of the many persons not to receive my order. To Henry's credit of Hobby Fan in San Fransisco, there has been three time when I was informed immediately of the difficulty and was refunded my money on the spot. to say I was disappointed woould be accurate, but the sting was much less when I was told in advance.
Please read the additional information
(Additional information and update) As of September 6th 2013
With many companies doing a bait and switch to customers online with taking orders and not delivering, dealing with Anime Export made me very curious and suspicious. Yes the above is completely true and is an accurate account up to the most recent activities by Anime Export (Friday Aug 31, 2013). This is an ongoing review of this company and shall be updated as my order is processed right up to delivery and I have two order with this company.
However, when a company steps forward to rectify a situation it places them back in the category of reputable while on unstable ground. So comes to the matter of Anime Export but only to a point. It seems PayPal is completely our friend when dealing with purchases overseas. Once I filed a dispute with PayPal for non shipment of product, there was an instant response from Anime Export. Some may find it strange or a simple coincidence, so giving the benefit of the doubt, Erika Sato did of Anime Export respond to my original emails (all eight of them).
Though I made no comment of seeking legal action and only stating that taking money in full for a product is a legal and binding agreement, I was surprised by her response of "It would have been best if you would have simply sent us an email requesting information instead of treating legal actions.. don't you think?" was highly dubious.
On a scale of one to ten, I would have to grade this company with a 6 at the moment. In addition Ms. Sato made an attempt to claim that emails had been sent to me, however my business server that handles ALL of my email shows no sign from Anime Expo excluding her emails that were sent to me. In fact, every email respond from Erika Sato of Anime Expo has reached me including the PayPal request for shipment of product. So again this is either a strange tactic to save face or a real issue with their own billing server. Either way the situation is still in the air and we shall see just how the company performs in the future. I plan to keep my second order to see if it is filled and that I am notified when to send payment for shipping.
On the side of Anime Export, I was very pleased with the price of shipping from Tokyo Japan to the United States via EMS Rapid Ship. Most companies like Hobby Japan and the like have charged as much as $75.00 USD for standard shipping that has taken up to 6 weeks to arrive. Even when I was in Hong Kong sending articles back to the United States via EMS, shipping was never more than $50 per package of reasonable weight.
Reviews are just that, reviews as an unbiased opinion of services or products that are offered to the general public for consumption. There are some however who take their position beyond the point of reason and into the realm of interference of business. Reviews like this one are only meant to educate the public and give a company the ability to change for the customers needs.
WARNING: Don't buy anything from AE. I have been dealing with their bullshit for over 4 months now. They don't respond to your emails 90% of the time and their customer service rep (Erika Sato) is rude, sensitive, and a liar. Back in April I had my item shipped to the wrong address. I emailed (they actually replied right away!!) AE and told them that the package had been shipped to the wrong address. Erika said that it was my fault because they ship to the address that's on your profile. The thing is, is that on multiple occasions I have tried to change the address on my profile, but their archaic website never saves the changed information. I told Erkia about this, but he wouldn't admit fault in the websites system. Anyway, he told me that he would have the item shipped back to Japan and then ship it to me from there. Okay, fine. 2 months go by without me hearing a word from AE. This is where the bullshit began. I sent them countless emails asking them if my product had arrived back, or if it had been reshipped. No response. Finally in July Erika decides to respond to my emails, but when he does he gives me a bulsshit excuse that he had emailed a week prior asking for the address I wanted the item shipped to. That's Fucking bullshit!! I replied and told him that I did not receive any email from AE. Whatever. I gave him the address I wanted my item shipped to. I never heard back from him or recieved a shipping notice. This was on July 3rd and it's now August 29th and still nothing!! In the last 2 weeks I've sent AE numerous emails and have not gotten a response. At this point I fear that they have just taken my money. I read similar complaints about their shady business practices on some transformers forums. AE is not in the same league as Amiami, Hobby Search, or the late Otacute. AE and Erika Sato are extremely unprofessional. Please beware of their shady business practices and buy elsewhere.
Has anyone ever had issues with preordering something from them, only to not receive a confirmation email when it comes in? I'm sort of freaking out right now, because I took a risk with them -a company that I have never ordered from before- and pre-ordered the Tamashii Arts Persona 3 Protagonist, which released in September. I should have gotten SOMETHING by now. I had to pay up front for this preorder, and I'm very displeased (that is a super understatement) that it's now on "backorder" status.
do your shop have an stand in the manga convention of barcelona this year?
Do you still have CM's Baldios limited in stock?
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