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alpineaustralia

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alpineaustralia

Popondetta (additional information supplied)

Recently, I gave details of an online store called Popondetta.

The details of the store are:

 

Popondetta Co., Ltd.

Rail Way BLDG

3-3-3 Sotokanda

Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0021

JAPAN

TEL: 81-3-5297-5530

FAX: 81-3-5297-5538

URL: http://www.popondetta.com/

E-mail: tu-han@popondetta.com

 

 

On their website, they have second hand, new and 'yet to be released' categories for Kato, Tomix, MicroAce etc.

 

You copy the item (and all the rest of the details of the item) from their webpage into an email and send it to them.

 

They will respond with a confirmation email reciting back the order and asking if you are happy to pay and asking you to choose between EMS shipping and seamail.  DO NOT PICK SEAMAIL unless you are happy to wait 1 - 3 months for your package. To Australia, I am currently receiving EMS couriered packages within 1 week and and I still waiting for a seamail package sent over a month ago.

 

If you want to add to the order you must add additional items under a heading <Additional order>. If you do this, then you can expect another email reciting back the order and asking if you are happy to pay and asking you to choose between EMS shipping and seamail.

 

Once you confirm the order and tell them you are happy to pay, they will then send another email with the total and postage and asking if you are happy to pay.

 

Once you confirm that you are happy to pay, they will send another email with a hyper link to a Japanese Paypal type of arrangement with instructions on how to interpret the japanese only page.

 

Once you make payment, they will then confirm that they have recieved payment and quote an EMS or seamail tracking number.

 

I have done transacted with them on a number of occassions and found them helpful, efficient and responsive to emails.  On average, i find that their prices are about 10% - 20% cheaper than comparable ebay sellers (eg PlazaJapan)

 

I am currently looking to into another supplier who is 10% cheaper still called inchinbankan but there are serious language difficulties that I am trying to overcome. Will keep you posted.

 

Any other US, Japanese, European etc suppliers that anyone would like to review (positively or negatively).

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Martijn Meerts

Not really a review, but I found New Hall Station in the US fast, and they have some hard to find items (my Doraemon train is from there, arrived at my door within a week after ordering.) Their address is http://www.newhallstation.com

 

If you need Kato, M.G. Sharp is a good one. They're a bit weird to talk with, they seem to think they're the end all be all for Kato trains ;) They're an official importer of Kato though, so lots of Kato stuff there. Their page is also somewhat crappy and confusing, http://www.mgsharp.com/

 

And of course, there's Japan Model Railways in Germany, most of you already know what I think of them, I've sent quite a few thousand Euro's to their bank account =) http://www.japanmodelrailways.com/

 

 

Note that all of these are expensive compared to ordering directly from Japan. Japan Model Railways however is an official Tomix dealer, and I believe he has some pretty good contacts there. He'll be able to get all sorts of Tomix stuff. He's even listed in the Tomix catalog.

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alpineaustralia

I can second MG Sharp which is very good for more obscure Kato items.

I have been buying Kato decoders and other spare parts from them to fix up some the sub-optimal trains that I have bought on Ebay.

 

Martijn is absolutely correct when he says that US, UK and European suppliers (and I gather in particular Japan Model Railways) are more pricey but give you a better service - alternatively one can go for a cheaper price direct from Japan with little or noo service and the language barrier.  As the saying goes "Pay your price and take your choice".

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I can recommand hobby world aoshima in Japan. They give excellent service (why should there be no service from a Japanese store?) and there is no language barrier - the communication is in English.

Japan Model Railways in Germany is excellent, too. When I order from them I do not have to pay for customs so the price in total is often similar to ordering from Japan.

 

Thomas

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Martijn Meerts

C62, there's no reason why there shouldn't be good service from Japanese stores really. What I like about the non-Japanese stores though, is that people who run a store that specializes in Japanese trains are very likely very interested in the items they sell. Often that means you can have long talks with them, as you share the same interest.

 

In Japanese stores, especially the big ones that sell more than just trains, they'll likely have lots of knowledge about the trains as well, but the discussions would be different, since they aren't necessarily interested in the train hobby.

 

I've dealt with stores in Japan, China, Hong Kong and other place, and I usually get a great response and service from them, but it's nowhere near as personal as I get with Japan Model Railways, or my local train store (for my Marklin needs ;)) for example.

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CaptOblivious

I don't mean to be a snob but...I come here for the train discussion :D I don't worry about getting it from my supplier. A little conversation isn't worth Newhall Station's premium—I paid $220 with shipping for my full Kato E4 set from Rainbow Ten (excellent service); NS wants $266 before shipping :o So I'm paying close to $60 for a little chit-cat?

 

Besides, I like you guys better.

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alpineaustralia

Capt - your point is even more apt with an example that I ran through on another post where the price for the Enoden Type 1500 "S.K.I.P. Go II" from one supplier that also gave additional service (by "service" I mean advice, discussion etc) was Euro 85.90 (about USD$134.46) + airfreight to Australia of Euro 58.00 (about USD$90.79). A  total of about US$225.25. 

 

From a japanese supplier on ebay that only just supplied, the same tram was US$94.00 +  airmail postage to Australia of US$15.00. A total of about US$109.00.

 

Mate - you'd want a lot of chat for that sort of difference.

 

Thats why I buy from popendetta, HW, Hobby World, HobbySearch, Rainbowten, Pazajapan etc. 

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Martijn Meerts

Well, living in Norway, I pay a premium for everything already anyway ;)

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alpineaustralia

especially beer. I hear it is very expensive in the scandanavian countries

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Martijn Meerts

Any alcoholic drink, as well as tobacco, fuel, and even cars themselves. When buying a car, we pay more for the various taxes than for the actual car  ::)

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I have some recommendation and questions.

 

Recommendation:

Online purchasing...

1) www.wig-wag-trains.com

- a good source to  pre-order European and Japanese trains comparable or lower than Europe and the eBay supplier but you need to reserve it asap.  Good service but sometimes slow e-mail response due to the popularity of the shop.  It also has a great selection of Unitrack with the lowest prices in North America.

 

2) http://www.toytrainheaven.com/

good selection of unitrack products, prices sometimes cheaper when on 'Cloud 9 Sale'

 

Questions:

1) Are all the Japanese store recommended accept Visa / Mastercard?  If they do, is there an extra charge to the listed price?

I remember visiting many of the hobby shops in Japan and they imply extra fee for visa purchasing.

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CaptOblivious

to2leo: Good sites! and a good question, too. Here are the ones I know: Rainbow Ten can take credit card or PayPal; Hobby Search takes credit cards. Neither charges a premium or fee for using credit cards.

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alpineaustralia

My experience is that not all japanese internet sellers do. Many take only japanese issued credit cards. Having said that, the sites mentioned above in this post, eg HW, Hobbysearch, Popendetta etc all take M/C and Visa  without a problem

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If you're ever in Wales (or more specifically Cardiff) then Lord and Butler are worth a look. They have two shops, one specialises in N while the other has a few bits of Kato (mostly track). Friendly people, similar prices to M G Sharp. Addresses follow:

 

Main shop:

 

The Pumping Station,  Penarth Road, Cardiff,  Glamorgan , CF11 8TT

Tel: 02920 667225

 

N Scale Shop:

 

8 Wyndham Crescent, Canton, Cardiff, CF11 9EH

Tel: 02920 667227

 

N.B. They are not open every day, and sometimes keep unusual hours. Worth calling before you go. I have not managed to get to the N scale only shop yet but the main one is great, so I'd expect it to be "more of the same".

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If you're ever in Wales (or more specifically Cardiff) then Lord and Butler are worth a look. They have two shops, one specialises in N while the other has a few bits of Kato (mostly track). Friendly people, similar prices to M G Sharp.

 

They sound good, but (AFAIK) they don't have a website yet - an essential these days. Any website has got to be better than M G Sharps.  ::)

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True - I get the impression they are something of a one man band, and can't or don't want to get someone to build them a site. Even something with the opening hours, addresses, and maps on would be better than nothing.

 

The British model trade seems to be a bit slower to adopt the internet, apart from a few who only seem to deal in mass market stuff. The only Japanese N retailers I can think of are M G Sharp (good but limited range, no Tomix for example) and Wellington Models, who look a good bunch although I've not tried them.

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My experience is that not all japanese internet sellers do. Many take only japanese issued credit cards. Having said that, the sites mentioned above in this post, eg HW, Hobbysearch, Popendetta etc all take M/C and Visa  without a problem

 

I got to admit, my order from Hobbysearch that arrived two weeks ago; the charge for it to my credit card did not come through to yesterday. I'm not sure when HS got paid, but man if they did not get their money until yesterday, I'd sure call that a good faith purchase.

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alpineaustralia

Yeah. I noticed that HS were slow like that.

In my case, the Australian dollar has collapsed by over 10% over the last 3 weeks and so the delay had actually cosy me more money!

Popendetta pack the order on good faith and send you an URL for a japanese "Paypal" arrangement. Once they get payment (instantly) they send it. 

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i really like PLAZAJAPAN.

 

the prices are very reasonable compared to Newhall and some of the other sellers.  Plus i get my package faster than stuff i order locally.  im located in the bay area so that probably cuts down transit time compared to east coasters though.

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i really like PLAZAJAPAN.

 

the prices are very reasonable compared to Newhall and some of the other sellers.  Plus i get my package faster than stuff i order locally.  im located in the bay area so that probably cuts down transit time compared to east coasters though.

 

Nah. I live in St Loius, and my orders are always on direct flights to Chicago, followed by an overnight truck down here. I imagine on the east coast it all flies into New York or Atlanta to keep delivery times more or less constant.

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i really like PLAZAJAPAN.

 

the prices are very reasonable compared to Newhall and some of the other sellers.  Plus i get my package faster than stuff i order locally.  im located in the bay area so that probably cuts down transit time compared to east coasters though.

 

I think Plaza and myself have gotten off to a bad start :(

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really??  what happened.  i ordered about 600 worth of stuff already and ive been very pleased so far.  im thinking about trying hobbysearch for my next purchase though.

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CaptOblivious

Alpine,

 

Since you've posted this, it appears that Popondetta has moved to a new on-line ordering system. They take registrations from people overseas (I've registered), but the check-out page is entirely in Japanese. My address was automatically filled in by the system, and I was able to translate enough of the page to make sense of everything, but before I pull the trigger on my order, I just want to confirm with you—since if anyone knows it's you—that they will take foreign orders through this method?

 

Popondetta (additional information supplied)

Recently, I gave details of an online store called Popondetta.

The details of the store are:

 

Popondetta Co., Ltd.

Rail Way BLDG

3-3-3 Sotokanda

Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0021

JAPAN

TEL: 81-3-5297-5530

FAX: 81-3-5297-5538

URL: http://www.popondetta.com/

E-mail: tu-han@popondetta.com

 

 

On their website, they have second hand, new and 'yet to be released' categories for Kato, Tomix, MicroAce etc.

 

You copy the item (and all the rest of the details of the item) from their webpage into an email and send it to them.

 

They will respond with a confirmation email reciting back the order and asking if you are happy to pay and asking you to choose between EMS shipping and seamail.  DO NOT PICK SEAMAIL unless you are happy to wait 1 - 3 months for your package. To Australia, I am currently receiving EMS couriered packages within 1 week and and I still waiting for a seamail package sent over a month ago.

 

If you want to add to the order you must add additional items under a heading <Additional order>. If you do this, then you can expect another email reciting back the order and asking if you are happy to pay and asking you to choose between EMS shipping and seamail.

 

Once you confirm the order and tell them you are happy to pay, they will then send another email with the total and postage and asking if you are happy to pay.

 

Once you confirm that you are happy to pay, they will send another email with a hyper link to a Japanese Paypal type of arrangement with instructions on how to interpret the japanese only page.

 

Once you make payment, they will then confirm that they have recieved payment and quote an EMS or seamail tracking number.

 

I have done transacted with them on a number of occassions and found them helpful, efficient and responsive to emails.  On average, i find that their prices are about 10% - 20% cheaper than comparable ebay sellers (eg PlazaJapan)

 

I am currently looking to into another supplier who is 10% cheaper still called inchinbankan but there are serious language difficulties that I am trying to overcome. Will keep you posted.

 

Any other US, Japanese, European etc suppliers that anyone would like to review (positively or negatively).

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