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"Beware. Anyone ordering from HLJ should familiarize themselves with HLJ's shipping policies as they are very unforgiving. I put in 2 separate orders for 2 different Gundam kits and used SAL shipping for each individual order to avoid EMS. The next morning it shows that the two orders have been combined into a single shipment with the shipping method changed to EMS (more expensive). Mind you, they didn't even notify me of the change. Apparently they have a policy where any orders made within a couple hours of each other are combined if you use the "Ship Now" option. I admit it was my mistake for not reading their policies beforehand (To be fair, it was under the "Help" section... didn't think I needed help) Okay, cool. Lets just send an email to customer service and get things straightened out. Boy was I wrong. Customer service couldn't have been more useless. They responded to my email 3.5 days later saying they couldn't change my order because it was already shipping. Well of course, if it takes them that long to read an email, whats the point of even trying to rectify an order mistake before they ship it out. Even worse is I have no idea how much they charged me because they didn't notify me of any changes to shipping. Whelp, apparently they can do this because that's what it says in their "Terms and Conditions". So read that before you order to save yourself the trouble and headache. To be honest, just stay away from Hobby Link Japan and stick with Amiami or Hobby Search. Amiami has much better customer service (they respond to your emails much faster and don't threaten to blackmail you), have better prices and are much more flexible with orders."
"I have been a customer of HLJ since forever. By that I mean way before they introduced their private warehouse (PW) option. I think here is where the problem lies. Don't get me wrong, I think PW sounds great on paper but in practice it left a lot to be desired. I have bought large items from HLJ before and they arrived in mint condition and I was one happy customer, but with the new PW, upon my request to ship, I was told that there was not a big enough box to ship the piece that I just bought. Now here is the interesting thing, if you go on youtube and look for a review of the Trumpeter 1/32 F-117 kit, you can find a hobbyist reviewing the same kit who also bought his from HLJ! He is located somewhere in the US but he was lucky enough to get that limited edition shipping box. Ok, fine I will just have to be patient...so in the meantime, I bought another kit and requested it to be shipped along with my F-117. After this got dragged on for two months, I finally received the F-117 but without the second kit in it. After explaining my case to Corky Visminas, he offered a very unsympathetic choice of either a 85% refund or he can ship the item after I pay for the shipment. I understand this is their policy but the choice is clear: to lose 15% and not get anything and they get to sell the model again or to pay 15% more and get the model so that at least I can commemorate my own folly of buying more from HLJ? I picked the latter. After another week and a half of waiting, I received my trophy. In conclusion, I think HLJ has a lot to offer in terms of products, but it was not a pleasant experience. The PW policy is flawed due to their own internal inadequacies. At the least it can benefit by being more transparent to its customers. No one likes to be taken for a fool, especially a paying customer. As for me, you can say that HLJ has lost a long time customer. "
"http://postimage.org/gallery/5po24dao/I've ordered four products from Hobby Link Japan after being very cautious about them, out of the four products I got from them two were missing pieces(SAL shipping) and damaged(EMS shipping). I complained how the base was missing and the package that holds it was SEALED, they replied within two-three days for that one. About a week later I got the damaged package; which I paid more to ship via EMS. The moment I took it out of the shipping box I noticed INSTANTLY that it was going to be damaged; it's hands were above it's head and scrunched in a corner it couldn't fit in unless forced. Are you telling me that they couldn't see that was a damaged kit!? I saw it INSTANTLY, but enough about what I saw here is the part about their customer service which I thought was pretty good. I took pictures to prove the item was damaged; fingers were bent beyond belief. So then I wrote my email telling them that my model came in terrible condition and that this is ridiculous, I ordered four items and two were damaged or missing pieces so basically a 50% chance to have something wrong. Till this day I'm still waiting for a reply;10 days. I was going to order a lot of gundams from them but I canceled the order but here's the funny part they replied within two days to cancel the order. So they asked me if I want store credit or want it on my card, I said on my card of course but I added to the email "Why are you guys ignoring my email about my damaged model? It's been 9 days since I sent that email" now it's been 1 day and they haven't confirmed that they credited me my money to my card and the gundam is still in my orders. Guys please believe my words I don't want this to happen to anyone else stay clear of Hobby Link Japan, it takes a lot of crap to happen to me before I go to a site and write a review; my first time actually. If you want proof regarding this review feel free to look at the videos I made and pictures I took, also this isn't a way for me to get views just take a look if you don't believe me like they say actions speak louder than words. Stay safe friends, be very cautious!http://postimage.org/gallery/5po24dao/"
"I ordered a hobby toy from hlj.com about 42 days ago, but never received it. I contacted their customer service department. I got answers from a person, Corky Visminas (sounds like he is the owner of hlj.com website). He told me that I have to wait up to 90 days to get the product. He failed to show me a proof of the shipment. I have never heard that ordering a toy from Internet had to wait 90 days to get after paid. That is ridiculous. Actually, any toy shipped from Asia to US took no more than 14 days to arrive. Obviously, the seller did not have the product in stock, but they wanted to hold my money at the first place. I told the customer service person Corky that I will open a dispute in PayPal because I have never received the product for more than 42 days since I paid for it. Corky Visminas threaten me that he will put me in their company’s black list if I file a complaint. Now I am so scared! What kind company they think they are!"
"Echoing some of the other reviews on here - great merchandise, potentially troublesome ordering rules. Especially with paypal. The staff is very courteous in answering questions about products, but somehow they turn smug and annoying about paypal and their practices. In my case, they had an old address on file, but my paypal verified address was my new address. Paypal terms are for the vendor to ship to the paypal address, they shipped to the address in their file. They refused to work with me on this- and absolutely refused to admit that their practice might have a flaw. I'd recommend buying from other operations that don't act this way. There is nothing on HLJ that can't be bought elsewhere for less"
"My only "complaint" is that HLJ's stuff ships "too fast," I don't quite know whether that's a compliment or a joke =] but anywho HLJ responds to me via e-mail and through HobbyLink tv. Very great people working there, oversatisfied with shipping speed and stuffs considering that they're in Japan and I'm in CA. Very proud to be a customer of HLJ!"
"I've been a fairly regular HLJ customer for the past few years, and I haven't had many issues; what questions I did have almost always pertained to clarifying shipping discounts, prices, or availability. In all instances, HLJ's support team has been fast and courteous in its responses and has always thoroughly explained any relevant information.Their prices aren't always the greatest, but their site layout is both easy to use and extremely clean and professional. Compared to other import hobby stores out there (e2046, amiami.jp, Gundamstoreandmore), many of which are badly- or sometimes non-translated, shopping at HLJ is easily much more comfortable. (About the only site which seems to be on par with it in terms of comfort is Tatsu Hobby, which I plan on patronizing in the near future.) The fact that the staff are comprised of American and other English-fluent personnel does a lot to better the experience.It doesn't hurt, either, that their item selection is incredible. You can find almost anything related to model kits, be it models themselves, scratchbuild supplies, paints, or airbrushes. They specialize in all things Japanese hobby-related, so it's no surprise that they have an enormous selection of toys, figures, magazines, and other paraphernalia, too. They even keep discontinued items up for you to see, if you ever need to know.It should be common sense to be extra cautious when dealing with international retailers, and having done the research and asked pertinent questions, I've managed to avoid almost all the problems other people I talk to have experienced.All in all, HLJ is a retailer that I have had nothing but good experiences with, and I would rather place my faith in them than try my luck at any of the other hobby stores."
"Prices are not what they seem on HobbyLink Japan. I selected a specific model and carefully reviewed the terms. Total cost: around 130 USD. However, HLJ.com charged me for 180 USD. The service desk could not provide an adequate explainaton. My advice: either you accept that prices are misleading do you not buy on HLJ."
"Item shipped via SAL on April 14. I live in California. Received packaged on May 4, so it takes about 3 weeks or so for SAL shipping. Everything came as expected with no problems."
"This was my first order from HLJ after hearing about the site repeatedly from a close friend. The four figures I ordered got here quickly and in mint condition (I used EMS, though, because I've learned to always use a trackable method when dealing overseas), so that might make a huge difference. I did not set up a PayPal billing agreement with them, either, although I did use PayPal. I really don't like how you won't even know your shipping total until they get back to you (if you use PayPal without the agreement, they e-mail you back with the total they want you to send them instead of doing an instant check-out like just about every other site I have used). I have already placed another order but used regular shipping this time. If something goes wrong, I'll update."
"So hobby link Japan had free shipping on orders placed before midnight of sep 28th. I placed an order on sep. 28th. I was supposed to know that it was actually the 27th (because Japan is one day ahead) but they did not make that clear on the site, it just said the 28th. I was told after I placed my order that I did not qualify for free shipping. I explained my side, and asked that they cancel my order or honor the free shipping an they refused. I informed paypal and got my money back. I sent them a nice e-mail saying I am sorry for the misunderstanding and thank you for the refund.that was a week agoSo I check my e-mail and I have been charged AGAIN. I file an unauthorized charge and paypal took my side and i got my money back. DO NOT USE PAYPAL on HLJ!!! They trick you into signing up to a billing agreement that says they can charge you whenever they want. So after all of this I get this very PROFESSIONAL e-mail from them-HelloI have refunded the payment and canceled the order. Your account is now blacklisted. Please seek elsewhere for your hobby supplies; we can no longer accept any orders from you. It doesn't matter where you are shopping, if you PLACE an order, and select an automatic billing function such as PayPal's Billing Agreement, you are giving that company permission to process that order. YOU placed the order. YOU selected a Billing Agreement.Before I got this I already said I was never going to buy from them again...now they black list me anyway? It says on the site they will black list you if you ever place a charge back or paypal claim. So I was already blacklisted with the first claim...and they charged me again? Makes no sense. If you must buy from them use a credit card NOT PAYPAL."
"I have been shopping at this store for over a year now. It is a cheap way to fill you anime figure needs. Their customer service is great and they are very friendly. Overall a great store."
"I think HobbyLink Japan is a great place to buy anime figures. I have shopped at this store many times of the course of three years, and never once had a problem. Also, their prices are quite fair compared to some online retailers, and shipping is not too dreadful either. EMS can be a bit pricey, but depending on how badly you want your order it may be worth it. Good customer service as well. They do seem to take holidays every week, but be a little patient with them sometimes.I recommend this store for certain."
"Reading the other reviews confuses me. I have only had good experiences with HLJ, and although on one or two orders have taken a couple extra days to process in comparison to domestic online stores, that is not unusual for the Japanese market (I have no explanation as to why however). Japanese stores which accept oversea orders take on average 3 to 6 days to process the order and HLJ is not an exception. If you need something yesterday, ordering overseas is not the way to go. In addition to slightly delayed order processing is the shipping, with HLJ currently offering the popular SAL and EMS services. The prices for SAL are quite good, and shipping with this has taken about 2 to 3 weeks. EMS is more expensive, but faster, at 1 to 2 weeks. I almost exclusively use SAL, and considering that it is an oversea shipment, I am amazed that SAL is competitively priced and sometimes even cheaper than domestic shipping. If you do not mind the extra week or two, the price for shipping is unbeatable.Shipping is cheap, and the items are quite cheap as well. HLJ carries the most current figure releases and will charge only a little more than the street price. For current releases, domestic stores are not the place to go. Not only will figures be released months later, they will be overpriced. However, it is possible to get bargain prices on older figures in domestic stores which have not sold out an item, and that is the only case in which you should buy domestic, as the prices are usually very high. The packaging for items has been sufficient, and I have not yet received anything damaged or broken.The other reviewers complained about high prices, but really - the only other place you will find current releases online any cheaper is possibly 'HobbySearch', a similar online store. However, HobbySearch does not accept PayPal at the moment. I almost forgot to mention that HobbySearch only ships using EMS and doesn't tell you the price for shipping until after the order is placed. Since EMS is rather expensive, this can be a nasty surprise at times. HLJ gives an estimate for shipping for EMS and SAL and it is quite accurate. Anyhow, there are other online stores for figures, but most do not ship outside of Japan.In the end, I highly recommend HLJ and it is the first place I go to when ordering figures."
"I have recently received a crushed toy box simply because HLJ didn't put enough protection around the item. This is the third time I received a poor condition of toy box from them. Unlike other toy collectors, I am not extremely picky in terms of the condition of the toy box. Yet, I have a standard too. If the damage is too much, being a consumer myself, I believe I have the right to ask for compensation or replacement. Once again, HLJ has failed to impress me. They kept using the same lame excuse that the toy box is only for advertising or protection for the toy, any damage to toy box will not affect your enjoyment on the toy. In fact, this was stated in their FAQ section of their web site. Having a quick glance, from what I understand, basically this is what they are trying to say:"........ If you happen to receive a damaged toy box, tough luck, live with it as we are not responsible for any damage nor do we care, it just a pure mishap. If you want a perfect box, shop somewhere else..........". What kind of attitude is this? Their response has indicated that they are lack of professionalism and responsibility with poor customer service. Earlier this year (2006) , I have also received a damaged toy box , it was crushed with a deep tear around the top of the toybox. The strange thing is that the packaging box was fine with no damage and it didn't seem to be opened for inspection by the customs. This makes me wonder if HLJ has the intention to get rid of all these poor condition items to those buyers from overseas cause this has not only happened to me but to my friend too. I have bought toys from HLJ in the last 5 years, yet, it appears that they show no improvement at all. I doubt that I will shop there again. They should learn from those Yahoo Japan auction sellers. If HLJ is selling toys on eBay or other on-line auction site, I am not surprised to see them with numerous negative feedbacks. In conclusion, HLJ is your last resort to buy toys on-line, stay away if possible. There are still some on-line toy stores with reasonable pricing and offer much better customer service and packaging. PS: Beware, HLJ would not allow you to cancel your order when they are preparing it for shipment. So think thrice before you order or cancel your order before they are in stock."
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