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Buying from Popondetta by email


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bummer they are super great with the tomytec vehicles as they break open a few dozen cases usually and sell them of one at a time and its tempting to pick extras of some up or get just a few from a set w/o buying the whole case, but with ems it becomes a big part of the cost then to ship a few those by ems!


still a great place to look for odd stuff, especially trains as they have a pretty good stock of used stuff from their shops rotating though.



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I couldn't reserve an item 6 months in advance.


I believe you can only reserve an item after it appears on each manufacturers' respective pre-order page.

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This is my first to deal with them, and I have some problem. Yesterday I try to place my order, their website show 5 in stock. After I placed my order, and it show 4 in stock. But today I received email said they are sorry because it's out of stock now?! I didn't get it, have this happen to anyone?



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bikkuri bahn

Likely their website order system is not keyed with their actual inventory system. Have you checked the stock again?  It should be at zero if so.

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Guest Closed Account 1

Likely their website order system is not keyed with their actual inventory system. Have you checked the stock again?  It should be at zero if so.


Monthly inventories are a must.  At least update the item quantities when the bin is very low.


If the site shows 5 small parts or under I usually try to buy all of them when it's a wear item. Then I actually get what really is left.


Anytime I see a quantity of 1. It's probably really zero.

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Likely their website order system is not keyed with their actual inventory system. Have you checked the stock again?  It should be at zero if so.


Here's one problem: while the website inventory updates in real time, you have to fight with people in the store as whatever is on their website is also on display for everyone else to purchase. And call me crazy but physical customers likely have priority.


Another problem: what they have on the site might not be what they have in store due to stuff like theft, etc...


Of all my orders, only one (and I order almost monthly LOL) has ever come back with no stock.

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Firstly thank you guys for the infomation on Popondetta! Was really excited for the fact that they can do seamail for bulky item orders... Decided to go ahead and try it out for the first time... However, was quite disappointed they no longer do seamail anymore... Also quite sore for the fact that after i ordered the Kato 10-008 E4 Max starter set which i wanted so badly that Hobby Search suddenly had a 50% discount on shipping promotion... 6000 yen on EMS shipping... I did the same items comparison if i had ordered on HS instead of Popondetta, the shipping would only cost me 3500yen after the discount... Oh well.. That's my luck... Here are some emails that transected:



Thank you for visiting Popondetta.


Shipping method is EMS only.

We packing the item, and inform you total amount.

Please wait for a while.


Best regards,







Thank you so much for the reply. We have already finished packing your



<Previous order>


(USED)KATO 鉄道模型総合カタログ 08 25-000 \525



11-206 新室内灯セット(6両分入) \1,680

10-008 スターターセットSP E4系新幹線MAX 入門セット車両付き \15,120

直線線路 248mm(4本入) 20-000 \604 *3



ザ・人間 022 学生(夏服)  \420

ザ・人間025 佇む人々  \420

ザ・人間026 佇む人々  \420

ザ・人間027 佇む人々  \420

ザ・人間029 歩く人々  \420 *2

ザ・人間031 歩く人々  \420 *2


Your order costs as below.  Follows are right total amout.


 Subtotal          22,497yen

 Shipping rate      6,000yen


 Total                28,497yen


We will send a invoice of Paypal to you.

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The parcel came in on 7th June 2012, about 3-4 days after i ordered and paid! Fast!  




yummy!  :grin


Overall very pleased with Popondetta's lighting speed in dispatching the item and packing to the items was really really good (individually wrapped bubble-wraps!), but quite an expensive shipping charge... Overall pricing for items is also cheaper, but shipping tends to be abit on the higher side. Will definately monitor more on this, especially the 2nd hand option they offer! Cheers!

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I would expect around Y7,000 - Y8,000 for shipping a box like that EMS.  How much did you pay?


In the last 2 years shipping prices have increased by about 20% per year for me.





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I would expect around Y7,000 - Y8,000 for shipping a box like that EMS.  How much did you pay?


In the last 2 years shipping prices have increased by about 20% per year for me.






Hi The_Ghan:


Paid 6000yen for shipping... Almost SGD$100. About the most expensive shipping i've paid for an item by far... Shipping has also increased 20-30% for me, especially so as now i am selling my Lego collection to fund N gauge and shipping rate is so hard to gauge now. Usually the Lego items are very much sort after in the US, but the shipping charges turns people off...

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Agreed JR.  But despite the high shipping prices, when you do the math buying online is still cheaper than buying in Sydney.





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Again, Popondetta makes NOTHING on the shipping. Look on the box and chances are, the stamp value is the same as what you paid. This is something completely out of their control. If anything, they're losing money on it as they have to eat the Paypal fees.

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Indeed... Thinking back such a large box coming by express EMS should cost a fair bit.. Indeed i think Popondetta doesn't make from the shipping, and might even have to absorb the Paypal fees as clem24 has mentioned.


Also, Popondetta prices also seems slightly lower than all other suppliers like Bigman/ Hobby Search/ Plaza Japan, about 10% lesser than Hobby Search. Also very very tempted to get a 2nd hand set that is already dos-continued from them to try out the conditions.


Thanks Popondetta!  :grin

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Also, Popondetta prices also seems slightly lower than all other suppliers like Bigman/ Hobby Search/ Plaza Japan, about 10% lesser than Hobby Search.

I just compared the prices for Kato's 10-221 Komachi:


HLJ ¥13,600 / USD 171 / 136 EUR (it looks like they are stocking up!)

Bigman ¥14,280 / USD 180 / 143 EUR

Popondetta ¥14,280 / USD 180 / 143 EUR

MB Klein (US) USD 182 / 145 EUR

Hobby Search (¥15,300 - ¥459 =) ¥14841 / USD 187 / 149 EUR

Plaza Japan USD 208 / 166 EUR


So, considering the HS point system, Bigman's and Popondetta's price is 4% lower than that of HS. However, HS offers SAL and currently 50% off shipping (until tomorrow, I hope it will be expanded).

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yeah its the sal missing that keeps me from ordering much from popondetta (and even bigman) as i find that ems ends up adding 20-30% onto the cost of most of my orders over sal. sal has worked fantastically for me, ive saved lots and lots of $$ with it over the years and am now very well self insured in case of a loss eventually.


glad to see hobbylink is restocking train stuff. trains were the worst part of their selection. they were stocking tomytech pretty well for a long time there, but its dropped off. they do great keeping the 20% off most all train stuff, offer sal and are also great folks to deal with.


i love the stuff you can find on popendetta like used and obscure trains or broken up tomytec car/truck sets. its gotten the better of me a few times!



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Being in Australia I just don't trust SAL shipping.


I got my 2 x 10-877 and 2 x 10-878 at 25% off with Bigman.


Currently he has the Greenmax 4094 Nagoya Railways 3300 at ¥15,120 while HS has it at ¥16,200.  And I've got the Modemo Odakyu 20000 Series NP501 reserved at ¥17,168.


Rakuten also has a rewards system.


HS also charges more for shipping.  Build the following Bigman order in HS and allow for Shipping to Sydney, Australia and HS charge ¥6,800:


【予約注文】2012年4月予定 KATO(カトー) [N]【10-877】 東京メトロ千代田線 16000系 6両基本セット(kato-10-877)

価格 12000(円) x 2(個) = 24000(円) (送料別)


【予約注文】2012年4月予定 KATO(カトー) [N]【10-878】 東京メトロ千代田線 16000系 4両増結セット(kato-10-878)

価格 6000(円) x 2(個) = 12000(円) (送料別)


TOMIX【鉄道模型】 Nゲージ 【9118】EF64 0形直流電気機関車 37号機・茶色(4543736091189)

価格 5120(円) x 1(個) = 5120(円) (送料別)


送付先件数 1(件)

合計商品数 5(個)

商品価格計 41120(円)


小計 41120(円)

消費税 0(円)

送料 5400(円)


合計 46520(円)


I'm not running HS down, they provide great service and support and their website is second to none, but there are great deals to be had from other suppliers too.





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Yes Jeff,


March 1st 2011: I ordered a couple of second hand trains from gemni1969 on Ebay.  They were posted SAL and never arrived.  Luckily paid through PayPal.  He could prove that he posted them, apparently, but the shipping number provided was invalid.  The dispute was settled by refunding me for one of the two trains.  I lost approximately $150 as the total order was worth about $317.  


I really believe the guy when he said he posted them.  I waited until the 39th day before lodging my dispute (you get 40 days in Australia).  I'd love them to turn up one day ... I'd happily repay the money that I was refunded.


For small orders, books and magazines, I'm using SAL.  But for anything over $100 I'm on EMS.


Edit: I believe the guy was in Canada.  His last sale was over 12 months ago.





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I'm curious have you heard of folks in Australia having issues with SAL?




Well speaking from the South Island of New Zealand (Australia is the West Island), I have been receiving several SAL parcels from Japanese retailers each year, for nearly twenty years, and not a single one went missing, or was more than 14-16 days in transit.  I figured that after a few years, any loss would have been covered by the savings on the high cost of EMS.  Not much saving from USA Jeff, most often the postage to here is more than the cost of the articles :))



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Ok, that was Canada, not Japan. Good to know. Did you have reason to believe it happened on the australia  side? Actually a lot of folks here have the same feeling about the USPS,but I do a lot thru the us post and have only lost one thing in the last 20 years. That package (a bunch of Japanese train mags shipped to me from within the us) turned up as a month later. The wrapping had come apart and the mags were destroyed, but the report did make it back to me! Over 300 sal packages over the last decade from Japan and everyone came thru fine.




Yep shipping to Australia or NA from the us is pretty nasty expensive. Why I like sal as a very reasonable amount, at least to the us!



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For the record Angus, New Zealand was administered as a part of NSW until November 16th, 1840!  We still celebrate that date each year by telling jokes about New Zealanders:


Why don't Kiwi's take their girl friends to the cricket? They are scared they will eat the grass.


What is the definition of virgin wool in New Zealand? The sheep that can run faster than it's farmer.


Knock, knock!  Who's there?  Maori.  Maori who? Nah, Maori Bro !


What's the Maori word for "car aerial"? Kotanga !!!!


and finally, my favourite ...


An Aussie meets a Kiwi, who is carrying a sack.  The Aussie asks, "What's in your sack, mate?"

The Kiwi replies, "Ducks, Bro"

The Aussie asks, "Mate, if I can guess how many ducks are in your sack, can I have one?"

The Kiwi answers, "Bro, if you can guess how many ducks are in my sack you can 'ave 'em both!"


Cheers  :grin  :grin  :grin



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No Jeff,


No trouble from Japan.


That Canadian order probably went to Austria .... you know what Canadians are like ...  :cool:





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So why do I know so many more PhDs from new Zealand then??? Most all PhDs i know in Australia are imported!



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For the record, Canada does not have SAL. Only small packet air, small packet ground (both under 2KGs I think), regular mail, XpressPost (EMS) and overnight. I would imagine that small packet air is somewhat equivalent to SAL? Within Canada, our options are even more limited. Only regular mail, XpressPost, and overnight, so no savings with small packet.


From now on, *all* my orders are through EMS as I've basically never been taxed once on it, whereas with SAL, 100% of my orders are taxes (5% + $10 handling fee). So in the end, it actually works out to pretty much the same cost or only slightly more for EMS, but with how quickly EMS arrives (plus the fact that it's fully trackable), I would gladly pay the premium.


As for Popondetta prices, I mainly buy used stuff, and pre-orders. If you order within something like 2 weeks of a product announcement, the discount is more substantial (like around 24 - 26%). They have the cost schedules up with their news pages (like which date you have to order by to get the better discount).


The one downside with Popondetta vs. HS is that with HS, the shipping charges can be previewed before check out, whereas with Popondetta, you cannot see the charges until after the items are packed up and shipped. But, one HUGE advantage of Popondetta is that they will hold my stuff for a month and I am free to add or subtract stuff from the order during the time. This is one of the reasons why they will get my business. Customer service is superb even if communications are usually severely limited.

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Interesting conversation!  :laugh:


@ cleam24 - Yes Indeed i agree with you, hence i'm swinging more towards Popondetta too. Their used stuff and packing + availibility to keep items for 1 month really appeals to me so much! Imagine grabbing a really nice used set, able to keep for 1 month, and later grabbing another set that is the add-on set for the first set you ordered, and being able to ship them together to save! Neat~


Here's a comparison for the different packing standards for the various suppliers, if anyone might be interested:



This is the packing from Plaza Japan. I've removed the newspapers by the sides, but basically you cant see any bubble-wrapped anywhere, so there is a high chance of damages during shipment (though this time round my Tomix JR-321 set was un-hurt)



Plaza Japan used NEWSPAPER to wrap my BRAND NEW Tomix catalogue, whereas Popondetta used BUBBLE-WRAP to wrap up my USED Kato catalogue...



Packing from Popondetta, picture from before. Look at all those beautifully wrapped up bubble-wraps! Really appreciated!



Here's the packing from Hobby Search. There is bubble-wrap, but only on the front. Newspapers were chuckled into the sides for added protection. Set arrived beautifully un-hurt.



Finally the packing from Bigman through Rakuten. Also nicely wrapped in Bubble-wrap, with very cute little shock absorbers poured in! Neat!


Overall, i would rate Popondetta's packing as first, Bigman Izu Second, HobbySearch third and lastly is Plaza Japan's.

How about your ratings?

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