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AmiAmi Character and Hobby


bill937ca

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Hey there guys, I've been out of the Japanese N-Scale scene for a while, but (hopefully) I'm coming back into it.

I was thinking about pre-ordering those two new Tomix 209-1000 Chuo Line sets, and AmiAmi seems to be pretty cheap, but from some of the posts you guys were making about them recently didn't sound good, like shipping and other things changed?

Not sure if there is any place that would let me cancel a pre-order if the need arises, but I know Ami doesn't take that lightly.

Does anyone have any more info on all what happened with them, along with a possible recommendation on where I should get these sets from?

Thanks guys,

-Phil

Edited by Philphil
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Phil,

 

ive not experienced any new issues with amiami. Been business as usual for my orders from them over the last few years (maybe every 2-4 months). Most vendors don’t like preorder cancels, some say non cancelable on some preorders to be very clear, best to check their faq for the vendor if you are going to make a preorder you may cancel. In the long run probably best to stick to your preorders and put the money aside if you make one and stick to it. Good to develop a good relationship with your suppliers. I think I’ve only canceled one preorder and that was because I made the mistake of forgetting I had preordered an item already, but I was ready to eat it and try to resell if the vendor didn’t do the cancel.

 

i think the amiami stuff you may have been reading the discussion on the collection of Australian gst that some places are doing for Australia (something like $40k of Australian biz per year the Australian gov wants the vendor to collect the Australian gst for them and send it to Australia (as opposed to it getting collected thru Australian customs.) anyhow it’s not an issue for the us. Other issue is some think they collect Japanese gst on offshore orders. Really does not matter, what matters is the price they are selling it to you and if it’s worth it to you. What they want to charge for offshore orders is their business and it’s our if we decide the final price is right for us. Amiami has some of the lowest prices around so moot.

 

take a look at the suppliers forum for uptodate info on the usual suspects. Not much change in hobbysearch, modeltrainplus, poppendetta, plazajapan, etc in the last couple of years. New option is rail Gallery Rokko, but limited selection, but more may be available by contacting them directly. Loco1hobby sadly is no more.

 

jeff

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Haven't ordered from AmiAmi in ages, as Amazon Japan usually has everything I want, at a cheaper price, with cheaper and faster shipping, pre-paid import fees (great for me as a German) and the option to cancel my order whenever I want.

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I am not satisfied with the way they ship their items, but I seem to be the only one with that issue. Items always arrived damaged in some way, even after suggesting a different way to pack. And they overcharge on shipping for no reason, although it was easy for me to get the overcharged shipping refunded. Seems like they do not really read their e-mails or take me seriously. I'm more satisfied with ModelTrainPlus or Hobbysearch. Even though you pay a premium, they are quite flexible and pack better.

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4 hours ago, Yavianice said:

Seems like they do not really read their e-mails or take me seriously. I'm more satisfied with ModelTrainPlus or Hobbysearch. Even though you pay a premium, they are quite flexible and pack better.

Interesting. Before switching to Amazon, I found that AmiAmi actually charged less for shipping than HS. Also never had problems regarding AmiAmi's packaging. Customer service however I found to be pretty bad with both shops.

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Hugh, ive never had an amiami box or contents get damaged, but only maybe 20 or so boxes from them. They usually pack with plastic bags and paper like hs. Their boxes are sturdy (not the flimsy ones plazaJapan has used a lot over the years). Prices for sale shipping have always been in line with other places and a few small boxes have come thru at the 390¥ which I’m not sure I’ve seen from others. Their cs is there but it’s not the communication and information you can get from modeltrainplus, you’re probably not going to beat that!

 

I have had amazon orders come in a very thin plastic bubble wrap envelope for things like Tomytec train boxes in them that got the box crushed but luckily not the train damaged, but was just at the point of it ruining he train. I have to get Casco boxes for them as the Tomytec box was ruined. Sent in a complaint but it happened a second time. Now a bit gunnshy ordering Tomytec from Amazon (usually only do if it’s an outrageous discount or not available frommthe usual sources. Most come shrink wrapped to the piece of cardboard in the bottom of the box. Btw hobby link japan now does this as well.

 

jeff

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On the topic of supplies that we've had problems with, I've recently become a little frustrated with Plazajapan on ebay.  While they are still one of the cheaper and easier places to get unitrack in bulk, every order from them in recent memory has had one or two items missing.  Always smaller unimportant items, like this time greenmax rooftile, but still thats an extra $15 I paid that wasnt included.  I'd still use them for bigger items if they were the best deal, but always check to make sure you got everything you ordered!  They also stopped including a packing slip at the same time the missing items started, which is kinda suspicious. 

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Has PlazaJapan changed ownership?  Its a far bigger business than just the train shop. I don't ever remember receiving a packing slip from them. I would remember because I shred  those pieces of paper.  Anyways I don't like their EMS only train shipping. I can get a better deal elsewhere.

 

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Odd, do you mean the non ebay store?  I only have ordered from the ebay store, and up untill later last year they would include a itemized packing slip with every box I got from them.  A change in ownership could be the cause of the change, although I haven't heard anything about that on their page.

That said they are always quick to refund payment for items not received, although I was also upset I ordered the package on the 24th and it wasnt shipped till the 8th.  

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I think I have a vague memory of packing slips for plaza of some sort, but I only order from them maybe a couple or three times a year now on odd bits.

 

i think the ebay shop is/was run from a company with 2 or 3 hobby shops if memory serves me right. Jun use to be the main go to guy there and was very nice and responsive. Btw he use to let me ship anything sal on request as I said I would take responsibility for loss (I trust them to ship it!). Also a few times I’ve been on the fence for a few days on an item at plaza and by the time I decided it was gone. I emailed them thru ebay and they put another one up for sale for me. Too bad they don’t have an export website, but I expect the ebay overhead covers what they would pay for site development, charge processing etc and the hassle of rolling their own. Also so many use them as they like the ebay backup for an import order, so it gets them a market they wouldn’t have with their own site. A lot of us buysers of just a few bits here and there if Japanese stuff seem to use them exclusively.

 

jeff

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2 hours ago, Kiha66 said:

Odd, do you mean the non ebay store?  

 

Plaza Japan has a stand alone website and other eBay stores like Tokyo Hobby.    https://www.ebay.ca/str/Tokyo-Hobby/

 

I've bought from Tokyo Hobby before and got a message from Jun.

 

https://www.plazajapan.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwhuvlBRCeARIsAM720Hq_-2-pEHwH9FuvI5PN_1il6K9e4ZPP1vJlBhMKICPvjol94UyQ6D4aAhRaEALw_wcB

 

https://www.plazajapan.com/about-us/

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3 hours ago, cteno4 said:

I have had amazon orders come in a very thin plastic bubble wrap envelope for things like Tomytec train boxes in them that got the box crushed but luckily not the train damaged, but was just at the point of it ruining he train. I have to get Casco boxes for them as the Tomytec box was ruined. Sent in a complaint but it happened a second time. Now a bit gunnshy ordering Tomytec from Amazon (usually only do if it’s an outrageous discount or not available frommthe usual sources. Most come shrink wrapped to the piece of cardboard in the bottom of the box. Btw hobby link japan now does this as well.

I've had this as well. Also had a Kato train set delivered in an envelope, which resulted in the book case being squashed in several places. I filed a complaint and they sent me another one completely free of charge (train set, not just a box).

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I received a kato turntable wrapped in bubblewrap once. Not even in an envelope or wrapped in paper, just the original box, with bubble wrap around it held together by some tape, and the address label glued on top.

 

It arrived in pristine condition. Still don't know how that happened.

Edited by Yavianice
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I have had two or three smaller Amazon.co.jp orders show up in bubble envelopes.  Never more than a mushed corner to a box and never any damage to the product.

 

Most stuff comes attached to cardboard and wrapped in plastic stuck in a box.  In 3 flippin' days courtesy of DHL.  Speaking of which (DHL), AmiAmi lists DHL as a possibility and it seems reasonably cheap.  I have one pre-order in with them (from my exempt list).  We'll see how it goes.   I've done very little business with them (as they have not had what I needed when I needed it).

 

I've done a lot with HS, a little with MTP, a little with AmiAmi, some with Plaza Japan, and a lot with Amazon.co.jp.  

Edited by chadbag
had
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I've had packages from AmiAmi usually have DHL as the cheaper option.  I've been really happy with their service, although if I have the choice I'd rather pay $20 sal than $45 DHL.

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Just had a quick peruse on Ami Ami and it seems that a number of the Kato HO items have already closed pre-orders. Not sure if there will be limited stock or whether demand is high and they've allocated their pre-detemined units, but the Kiha 80 Motor units and the 24/25 JNR 4 coach set orders are both closed. I'll have to look elsewhere for both of these unless they decide to reopen them. Thought I had more time as the latter still is a good 4 months off release.

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And so, to cut a long story short, i had my very first not so sweet encouter with Ami ... I had been a long time customer with them and it shocked me how they handled this scenerio.... I'm writing in points for simplicity and ease of reading....

 

1) I received a payment request for an order that i made AND PAID. I chose the cheapest option (SAL) and due to COVID-19 situation hence it was on hold, like my many other parcels with the same SAL shippinh method 

 

2) I got shocked. Why should i pay for something that i already paid. Hence i contacted them 

 

3) They insisted i had asked them to combine this parcel with 3 other parcels for shipping using DHL. And as such, they had to 'refund' this order so that they can later bill me for the 'combined' order with the other 3 orders 

 

4) I was further confused. I did not request them for anything as such. Plus i will never combine 4 orders cause the shipping will kill and also i will get import taxes for high declared value. 

 

5) It confused me further cause the 3 other order numbers that they quoted saying i requested for combined shipment did not even exist on my order list! It wasnt even my orders to begin with...

 

6) I kept assuring them those will not even my orders, by screenshot of my order list to them. 

 

7) I also had to assure them i had already paid for my initial order by screenshot of my credit card bill for that particular charge 

 

8 After quite a while, they FINALLY  contacted me letting me know they had 'confused' my order with another customer who made that combined shipping request. 

 

9) It is at this time the payment request for that initial order got revoked due to non payment by the due date 

 

10) They then requested me to re-order those items (if i still wanted them) since they cannot reinstate the entire order. They reassured me the items were 'still in stock; and hence they cannot reinstate the entire order and i had to re-order them. Heck it was their fault to begin with... but oh well, so i went ahead to try and re-order the items. 

 

11) I could order some of them, but one particular item, which is the Kumamoto Sakuramachi Bus Terminal Set A, went out of stock. And as you guys know me, that cannot do! 

 

12) I then contacted them again, stating that they told me the items were all in stock and i cant re-order them, but now i cant. And that being the most wanted item in that order i just had to get it!

 

13) They then said:" Have you re-ordered the items? If you have not, they will reinstate the entire order' 

 

14) I was like... 'WWWWWHHHHAAATTTTT''.... now you're telling me you CAN reinstate the entire order... So what was all that ho-ha about anyway? So i asked them, didnt you guys say you cant reinstate the entire order and asked me to re-order them again? What now?

 

15) They then replied: 'However, since you replied back that  one of the item is unavailable then we will be assist you a special courtesy and reinstate your order. ' 

 

16) So i had to receive a special courtesy from them? What did i do wrong? 

 

17) 'We will proceed with reinstating your order and we will contact you again once it has been completed. ' So now what, am i going to have duplicates of the initial order and the re-order ones??? Luckily for me i only re-ordered one.

 

This entire episode left me with a sour taste and devastating of whatever happened to Ami's customer service. I kept reteriating that i never had issues with them and praised them for their good service all these years and yet this was what i got. Truely shocking. 

 

Apologizes for the long text... It was just something i had to get it off and would appreciate your comments.... Now i feel so sour i felt like telling them just cancel all my pre-orders and i'll take my business elsewhere..... 

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Poor sammy😞

I had a similar situation with plaza Japan via eBay but mine was only for a station building which still has nt turned up despite numerous messages via eBay.

Itwas also the reason I chose Outland models for my tram layout,although they come from China I ve had no problems with them at all,they arrive in about ten days and postage is about $6.

The whole world is in a degree of chaos at the moment I m afraid Sammy,it’s very hit and miss.Thankfully my experience has only cost me a few pounds.

i feel your pain buddy,hope it all works out for you mate👍😀

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Ouch. It sounds like their CS is real hit or miss during these times. My last order the actually contacted me to tell me I should split up an order to save on shipping in 2 smaller boxes instead of 1 larger box. All they needed me to do was to confirm this is what I wanted and they took care of everything else behind the scenes.

 

Still, after discovering Amazon JP ships to me, unless something is on super discount at AmiAmi I just wind up getting it elsewhere.

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7 hours ago, JR 500系 said:

Apologizes for the long text... It was just something i had to get it off and would appreciate your comments.... Now i feel so sour i felt like telling them just cancel all my pre-orders and i'll take my business elsewhere..... 

 

They have great prices but had a similar CS experience and I wasn't asking for anything unreasonable.  They have great prices but decided to support MTP instead for the great personal service and it's the closest thing to having a local hobby shop because I've actually met Nariichi and spent time with him. 

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