HLJ - freight costs

02-06-2012, 10:38 AM
Hi guys,

not the first time, I made a not so great experiences with hlj concerning the shipping costs.

In October I ordered some Crazy Modeller p/e parts, December I (pre-)ordered a Fujimi kit and recently some tools. Not all article were available after ordering.

Now everything is available but hlj is not able to make one or two parcels. Instead they make several parcels (here 5 parcels in a little bit more than 3 weeks) that cost close to 50 Euro for freight - do they earn from the postage?

Some similar experiences you made?

02-06-2012, 10:46 AM
HLJ lesson learned long time ago: Only order stuff that's in stock.

There was a shop that made a "pile" for you until everything was in stock....RainbowTen.
Look where it got them....sad!

02-06-2012, 10:49 AM
Yeah, happened to me too, but my case was even worse. The items came into stock within a half a day of each other. They sent a decal sheet in one package because not everything apparently was in stock - the other stuff came in a few hrs later, and was sent in another package. really annoyed me. They said they don't have the space to hold items awaiting shipping. You know, because a decal sheet takes up a lot of space.

02-06-2012, 11:06 AM
This is a major reason I ended up ordering far less from HLJ than I would have otherwise. Because they never hold anything for you and do not have a real-time in-stock status, I just gave up ordering anything unless I was either preordering or had a good feeling that what I was ordering was actually going to be in stock when they pulled the order for shipment.

I got burned once or twice, but after that, it burned HLJ. I told Scott Hards in person at a show that I didn't really like that system, but he stuck to his guns...oh well, I can't think that their policies end up stifling sales rather than encourage them.

02-06-2012, 11:06 AM
I had a lot of such experiences with hlj. That's the problem with HUGE stores like hlj, the amount of business is tremendous they have to rely on their computer system. But I think this could be changed in near future as hlj has really improved a lot in the past few years.

02-06-2012, 11:30 AM
I totally agree and understand your frustration as I'm precisely experimenting the same thing with my current order(s).

they divided my order in three pieces sent in two days (?!?!), of course each with astronomical shipping fees, even sending appart (and before !!) the pending ordered kits to be stocked when they just entered stock whereas they couldn't even add what already WAS in stock...??!! But sent it the day after ?!?!
and the same day too the third part, several in-stock sandpaper sheets I added when getting information kits ordered were in stock...
Are they coompletely stupid or what ??
And of course I'm still waiting for the kits to arrive... whereas rest is already there !!
HLJ completely sucks, their automatic payment system make us enable to control anything while forced to accept to be charged and money taken as it pleases them without any certainty to get what we want as we want and when we want !!

That's taking customers for clowns !!! they only want to take money as they want but don't care which incidence their system has on orders and shipping fees.

I'm fed up of their banana republic system and processing !!
I've hesitated to complain but serioulsy think I'll do it because if some others do the same they may take in consideration... Even if I don't expect much from them...

But if they don't bring back the former system in which WE could decide when to pay and for what and control our orders and sendings, they'll have to forget me and my credit card !!
(and their fuck...g "paypal agreement" - agreement to what ?? being assf...ed by shipping fees due to their stupid system !!?? never saw a store launching payment without buyer agreement, now they process like that even with credit card !!)

02-06-2012, 01:51 PM
I gave up on HLJ after several incidents of "In Stock" items becoming "Discontinued" without warning while waiting for an order to complete. They also refused to let me add items to existing open orders for combine shipping, and instead shipped the new order right away. They gave the excuse of not wanting me jump queue with the new order by having an earlier order number than people who ordered between my existing order and new order, which made zero sense since they were able to ship the new order out right away and they don't hold stock for open orders anyway.

You can get much better service and shipping rates from other online retailers. These days I mostly use Hobby Search for Japanese kits I can't get locally and Hobby Easy for Chinese aftermarket parts. I have heard good results from MediaMix as well.

HLJ has become my last resort. The only occasion I'd order from them is when they are the only one who has the item listed.

02-06-2012, 03:12 PM
I wish HLJ would talk to someone like gomotorbids.com. What I like about their ordering/auction system is they give you 7 days to compile an order. You can buy as much or as little as you want, but you get 1 shipment which really does save on shipping charges.

Shipping charges continue to go up and I know that's a frustration for many of us, but that's not the business's fault. It costs me $10 to ship a 1/20 or 1/24 model within the states and over $20 if their in Europe which is why I don't do any business with modelers there. Nothing personal guys, it just isn't practical financially. Heck, if I'm not buying multiple models from someone here, it just isn't worth it.

02-06-2012, 06:31 PM
I see you are all really upset with HLJ.
On the other hand, I have recently ordered some items to pay with PP. They sent me a confirmation with the full invoice including shipping costs, I paid that amount and they shipped :/ I guess my only difference with you is that I only buy "in stock" items.
DonŽt you go the same way as I described? I wouldnŽt never pay anything without knowing the exact amount IŽm going to be charged, and this site play but that rule AFAIK.

02-06-2012, 08:04 PM
I feel all of you that dislike HLJ's shipping service. I'm really getting irritated with them when they ship out a fairly sizable box with only a thin decal sheet in it. There's a difference between keeping the item safe and absolutely overkill and being a RIPOFF. Get a clue HLJ. I might consider doing all my pre-ordering with someone else. :mad:

02-07-2012, 12:48 AM
Thanks for sharing your opinions, mates.

Your postings show to me, that lots of people are not satisfied with the way hlj sends items and about their freight costs.

I think with my next order IŽll try another company.

02-07-2012, 01:04 AM
In the decade I've been dealing with HLJ I have encountered all the same issues discussed here at one time or another.

I hate to think how much I have spent with them over that time but in their favor I have never had a lost or damaged package and the couple of times I've had an issue with what I have received it has been dealt with promptly and professionally.

Every mail order business I have ever dealt with I've had an issue with at some time. When we place an mail order all we see is our own order, where as a company like HLJ which services the world could be receiving hundreds or more orders every day.

At the end of the day they have to have a system that works for them.

02-07-2012, 02:46 AM
I wouldnŽt never pay anything without knowing the exact amount IŽm going to be charged, and this site play but that rule AFAIK.
HLJ has implemented a new Pay Pal arrangement, where you put them into your pre-approved list and they will charge your account directly when they decide to ship something to you.

I am very wary of that system. There is nothing to stop them from declaring something that holds up an order "discontinued", and shipping the rest of the items at their will, charging whatever price they want.

I have personally experienced price increase for in stock items during the course of waiting for an order to complete. I have also seen stuff going from "in stock" to "discontinued", then magically become "in stock" again after they shipped me the partial order, effectively causing two shipments for one order.

While HLJ will not charge you until they ship your order, I don't recall them asking me for confirmation before they ship things out and charge my account either.

02-07-2012, 08:48 AM
Same here, now i mainly order stuff that is in stock just because they hit you with extra shipping charges. My last order was for tamiya golf rally and some pe sets. The golf rally has been On their "restock" list for the last 4 months or so. They just move the month. So they tried to send me the pe first. Didn't follow through.

Although the only good thing is that you get to see what they have and will send you before you pay.

Besides that HLJ has been nothing but good to me.

02-08-2012, 12:00 AM
I find HLJ's shipping cost way,way expensive..

I now buy stuff from HongKong, which is further away than Japan, but the shipping costs less.. Go figure...

02-08-2012, 11:51 AM
I Only had one bad experience with HLJ. About 1,5 years ago when both Lotus 79 from Tamiya and Hasegawa released, they send the kits to me in different boxes and had to pay 2 x shipping fee and 2 x custom taxes. They released at the same day and where shipped on the same day. In my opinion. There shipping and handling process is crap. That's just messing with other people's money and they should improve it by checking the outstanding orders from there customers and look if they can combine. If it's possible to combine the shipping, then they have to do that even if they have to wait for a couple of weeks. Personally i don't care if i have to wait for a few weeks more to receive my goodies. That's why they also haven't reorganized there parts division. It's been before the earthquake and they aren't back in business. The other problem with HLJ is there payment system. They don't gave you any notice when you have to pay them, they just process the payment by them selfs and that is a bit of a problem for me. I still order stuff from HLJ, because i can't find it elsewere, but when i do i go some where else.


02-08-2012, 01:26 PM
I don't understand why you have so many problems with them. I'm not here to defend them but I found their service very good so far. I filled a cart with in stock items, selected SAL shipping, selected "notify me if out of stock", and one or two days later they sent me a payment request confirming all costs. I made the payment and they shipped.
My rules are: pay only if I know how much is it, SAL service, notify if out.of.stock. I haven't had any problem yet with any store.
Do you guys differ from my procedure? Did you have different steps as I do?

Again I'm not telling all this to defend that store. I just want to know you guys had such bad experiences.

02-08-2012, 03:07 PM
I don't understand why you have so many problems with them. I'm not here to defend them but I found their service very good so far. I filled a cart with in stock items, selected SAL shipping, selected "notify me if out of stock", and one or two days later they sent me a payment request confirming all costs. I made the payment and they shipped.
My rules are: pay only if I know how much is it, SAL service, notify if out.of.stock. I haven't had any problem yet with any store.
Do you guys differ from my procedure? Did you have different steps as I do?

Again I'm not telling all this to defend that store. I just want to know you guys had such bad experiences.

I've always payed by credit card and the charge doesn't show on my computer till after I have actually received the goods. I don't know how that comes about but its probably due to delays in the processing system somewhere.

I have always placed the costs of shipping secondary to dealing with companies that are reliable and package the goods in sturdy boxes.

HLJ have never let me down in that respect. The only issue I have is the on going strength of the japanese yen

I too have received sheets of decals from HLJ in a small box where I thought a envelope would have been sufficient but then just recently I received a decal sheet from a different retailer in a envelope and it had been damaged in transit.

There is room for improvement in HLJ shipping department practices though, as I, like others here, have had one item shipped in the morning and another shipped separately a few hours later. That is an issue HLJ needs to

address as it is just adding unnecessary costs to the purchaser.

02-11-2012, 12:26 AM
I am not trying to defend HLJ either but I think it's weird that a lot of y'all are portraying it as some sort of deceptive way for HLJ to make more money, and I don't think that is the case at all. HLJ is very transparent about how their ordering system works and they acknowledge the limitations of it throughout the site. They have also been making improvements over the years - some of which are pretty dubious and some even a step backward. Their system, if I recall, used to rather simpler and clearer.

For the most part I think their biggest problem is how strong the Yen is, it makes their goods expensive (remember when they were consistently the cheapest source, even including shipping?), and I think makes their shipping expensive too (which is why it's cheaper to ship out of Hong Kong - remember, there are a lot of other factors with greater weight than distance when calculating shipping price).

They are also really honest about how they describe what's in stock, future releases, and discontinued. A lot of Japanese manufacturers can't make their minds, pushing back release dates, discontinuing items then making more, suddenly stopping production for no reason, and these aren't things that HLJ has control over or necessarily knowledge of.

In any case, I also only use them as a last resort these days, or when their sales make prices on things less than they would be elsewhere. I also try to only choose in-stock merchandise. And I also try to choose whatever source is best, and it isn't HLJ very much anymore. As consumers we have choices about where we buy, and if you don't like HLJ, don't go there. If you don't like their PayPal thing, don't use it.

It can be frustrating that they ship the way they do, especially when it catches you by surprise, but I really, really don't think it's intentional. I think there are plenty of improvements that HLJ can make, especially when they aren't as price competitive as they once were, and hopefully threads and comments such as these will help motivate them to make those changes. Let's hope - because other than the weird shipping, their service is fantastic.

02-12-2012, 09:39 AM
HLJ Pros and Cons from my experience:

Pros: Good packaging
Cons: - awful product availability system
- very high shipping costs
- will not combine shipping, they'd rather split it (this was better 5 years ago)

This shipment splitting policy is very funny especially when they ship one order in 2 packages, both sent the same day! It looks like they do this in order to increase the number of packages shipped and to achieve a better position in their relationship with their carrier, which is lousy policy with regards to their customers.

Anyway they were top of my list 5 years ago, nowadays I only order from HLJ if I can't find a specific item anywhere else for a long time.

drunken monkey
02-12-2012, 11:30 AM
remember when they were consistently the cheapest source, even including shipping?

I was just thinking that when I saw the thread.
Once upon a time, the default answer was HLJ because of the very weak Yen and in my case, a very strong Pound.

02-12-2012, 02:59 PM
My latest experience with HLJ is on the 5 Feb I placed an order for 4 items shown as being out of stock from Tamiya, MFH, Shunko and S27.

On the 10 Feb I received the shipping notice. All of the items had been obtained and freighted to me in a single box. :smile::smile:

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