Online Hobby Stores

DreamKnight

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I wanna see if I can get some of your others here to share some of the places you buy online. I normally stick to stores in the USA and Canada since it sems most of the time, the oversea shipping seems so overboard.

I usually don't shop at online stores unless it's well built and doesn't look like it's from flash back geocities weekend. I have a few on my list but I usually stick to the following three:

towerhobbies.com (at their plastic-models.com site)
These guys fulfill fast usually in the first or second day of the order. For me, with the shipping usually using their small parts program ($5) since I usually order 1/72 models and small tools, I get my stuff in 2 days. Pretty fast and never had a problem with them. Great prices.

ehobbies.com
I just tried them out. I put in an order on yesterday before they opened (monday) and it looks like the stuff is going to arrive tomorrow. So another fast delivery place. Standard shipping cost me about $8. Excellent prices and a very well set up webstore.

dickblick.com
I ordered a couple sets of chalk pastes for washes on Monday from them as well. Already on it's way to me so they fulfill pretty quick. About $7 shipping here.
 

AKE

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Usually carry hard-to-find items and small company stuff.
http://www.starshipmodeler.biz/shop/index.cfm

For all things from the Far East. Prices are often cheaper even after the shipping costs. They also list OOP kits, so it's good for doing reference work as well.
http://www.hlj.com/

Another East Side store. Super dirt cheap prices. I've bought kits at half retail price even with shipping. Some sci-fi, but mostly military kits.
http://www.luckymodel.com/
 
S

ScaleModelMadman

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For me, here in the US...

no one has ever come close to the service I get from http://www.spruebrothers.com/.

I don't know if they are the cheapest but their prices have always seemed fair IMO. I don't know if they're the fastest but I have always gotten my item far earlier than expected and if it says 'in stock' it IS in stock.

I try to stay within the US borders because of shipping rates, which can get out of hand quickly. I might on occasion buy from Luckymodel if I am ordering a selection of voyager PE sets because the shipping in that case is free.

Ebay sometimes gets my business as well, there are a few overseas dealers who get me hard to find items for fair money if I don't mind the wait and when I can't find it elsewhere, like my K59 resin fifty cals.

If I place in this contest, I am going to give Scott and Elm City a try since he is supplying some of the prizes. I hope he has some Vallejo pigments in stock if and when that happens. ;)

I'd probably buy off of him more often but the shipping would probably make it more worth while driving to the store personally... that reminds me. I have to make sure my passport is up to date. ;D
 

DreamKnight

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ScaleModelMadman said:
For me, here in the US...

no one has ever come close to the service I get from http://www.spruebrothers.com/.

I don't know if they are the cheapest but their prices have always seemed fair IMO. I don't know if they're the fastest but I have always gotten my item far earlier than expected and if it says 'in stock' it IS in stock.
I'll second that. Spruebros is the main store I purchase from online now. Between them and Squadron. SprueBros is usually cheaper than Squadron. Just a tiny more expensive than Towerhobbies (like by under a dollar). But Spruebros carries more stuff that I can get than from Tower or Ehobbies.

They are freaking fast too. Anything online I order is guaranteed in stock and it's out the door when I order in the morning of the same day. I usually get it in 2 days in my mail. Big or small order it gets to me pretty quick.

I was ordering from Squadron about the same rate but a couple of orders it took them over a couple of weeks before I called and canceled. I'll just get stuff from them when they have good sales or something I need that I can't get from Spruebros that I don't need quick. So I'll be ordering more from SprueBros.

Like SMM, I usually order from places inside of the US so I don't have to pay so much or wait so long for shipping. Paints and thinners and the like they sometimes stop at customs and it takes forever to get.
 

Elm City Hobbies

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DreamKnight said:
ScaleModelMadman said:
For me, here in the US...

no one has ever come close to the service I get from http://www.spruebrothers.com/.

I don't know if they are the cheapest but their prices have always seemed fair IMO. I don't know if they're the fastest but I have always gotten my item far earlier than expected and if it says 'in stock' it IS in stock.
I'll second that. Spruebros is the main store I purchase from online now. Between them and Squadron. SprueBros is usually cheaper than Squadron. Just a tiny more expensive than Towerhobbies (like by under a dollar). But Spruebros carries more stuff that I can get than from Tower or Ehobbies.

They are freaking fast too. Anything online I order is guaranteed in stock and it's out the door when I order in the morning of the same day. I usually get it in 2 days in my mail. Big or small order it gets to me pretty quick.

I was ordering from Squadron about the same rate but a couple of orders it took them over a couple of weeks before I called and canceled. I'll just get stuff from them when they have good sales or something I need that I can't get from Spruebros that I don't need quick. So I'll be ordering more from SprueBros.

Like SMM, I usually order from places inside of the US so I don't have to pay so much or wait so long for shipping. Paints and thinners and the like they sometimes stop at customs and it takes forever to get.
Believe me, I use Squadron to buy stuff for the shop, and lately they have been dropping the ball big time. It used to be that I could place my order on Monday morning (usually before they start for the day, as there is a couple of hours difference in the time zones) and my order would be out the door on the Fed Ex truck by the end of the day, or early the next morning. My last couple of orders have gone in Sunday night, or early Monday morning, and I am lucky if they are getting it out the door by Wednesday night.

Now some would say, that a day or 2 one way or the other doesn't make much difference, however since I am in Canada, to get their deal on the shipping, I have a PO box in Maine, which I usually go up once or twice a month to pick up (about an hr drive from here). Well if the order doesn't get out in time, then it doesn't make it to Houlton by Monday...and it has to sit there for another couple of weeks before I am back.....not so bad it if is just stuff for the shop, but if I have stuff on there for customers....then it is just bad business to have to make them wait. Most customers for the most part are fine, and don't need it right this second....but that isn't the point, I pride myself on great customer service.

My last order has taken the cake however. When the Moebius Vipers came out, both my suppliers basically sold out so fast it made your head spin. One that I had some on pre-order for, sold my pre-order from under me. So I put 8 on hold with Squadron waiting on a restock. Well my other main supplier got them in....and no sign of them coming from Squadron....so I got them from another supplier (actually got 12). I sent my order to Squadron on Monday morning....very small order, I get the invoice back and it is about twice what it was from when I ordered. I look, and here are 8 Vipers on the order that were on back order(which I no longer need), and without them notifying me of them. Granted I forgot to tell them that I no longer needed them, but they always inform me that back-ordered stock has arrived, and if I still wanted them.....not this time....they just threw them on without telling me.

Even now, after I sent an e-mail to my salesman asking WTF? I am still waiting for an answer.

My other 2 suppliers, Stevens International, and Sprue Brothers pick and ship the same day your order goes in (unless the order is in there really late, and they will then do it the next morning....no biggie), so I am not sure why the lack of service from Squadron all of a sudden. Not to mention I am on my 4th salesman in about 18months. One retired, her replacement lasted a month and quit, his replacement just left and took a new job, so now I am on #4, who isn't crazy about returning my e-mails.

I know Squadron reads some of the boards (or used to) to see if people were having any problems.....guys if you are reading this one.....this customer isn't happy, if you don't like taking my money.....I know others that would be thrilled.
 

DreamKnight

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Elm City Hobbies said:
Now some would say, that a day or 2 one way or the other doesn't make much difference, however since I am in Canada, to get their deal on the shipping, I have a PO box in Maine, which I usually go up once or twice a month to pick up (about an hr drive from here). Well if the order doesn't get out in time, then it doesn't make it to Houlton by Monday...and it has to sit there for another couple of weeks before I am back.....not so bad it if is just stuff for the shop, but if I have stuff on there for customers....then it is just bad business to have to make them wait. Most customers for the most part are fine, and don't need it right this second....but that isn't the point, I pride myself on great customer service.
I can only assume ECHScott, that you have a reseller account with them? I would be livid too with them if I were in your shoes trying to get my order out to my customers cause it's your name on the line.

I dunno what happened with them but if they changed up sale peeps like that, it could be it. From what I heard their main sale gal was top notch and kept the sales order in line.

It started happening to me beginning of this month. At first when the stuff didn't ship out the first 3 days, I emailed them and like 2 or 3 days later, the emailed me back telling me they just got back from their show and the 4th of July holiday and they were behind and then almost three weeks later, still nothing so I canceled it.

I did the order of the same items (minus 1) with SprueBrothers and it came in TWO days. The last item I put in a reorder with Squadron adn that actually shipped out three days later... but then again, it's just two items. It was a canopy and I didn't want to pay $3 then more for shipping so I added a $15 model. lol So they basically lost $150+ which I gave to SprueBrothers instead.

Normally I hate splitting orders like that. I like to keep everything coming in one so if I wanted to get that 2 planes, 1 tank and a bunch of supplies and one canopy and Spruebrothers didn't have it but I can get it from Squadron, I would go order with squadron. But man, I'm too afraid to put in orders with them anymore. I usually do big orders most of the time so it's easier for me to keep track of stuff in one place. But if they can't handle it, I'll do all the big stuff with Spruebrothers, who not only sends orders out super fast but the one time I needed to email them I got a reply in 2 or 3 hours. It wasn't even about an order. I asked them if they have Gift Certs as prizes for a contest.

I'd order from you too Scott if you weren't over the border. The last time I ordered anything from Canada, it was from some art place and it had thinner in the order that I couldn't find in any of the close art stores where I live and it got caught up in customs for some stupid reason. By the time it got to me weeks later, I already got it from a local art supply store here.

Also the exchange rate kinda makes it a buck or so more expensive for us down here too :/ I'm not sure if it's still the case right now though but with this economy... lol
 

Elm City Hobbies

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Hey there Dreamknight,

While I wouldn't try to send say an aerosol can across the border, I have sent other items that have made it no problem. I think it tends to depend on how it is sent. Xpresspost has to be there in a guaranteed amount of time, so I think customs tends not to sit on those as much.

Exchange well we were even for a bit, but the US$ is starting to pull ahead a bit, however the shipping cost and time would probably detract quite a few people....however nothing I can do about that....I have but one option and that is the crooks at Canada Post, mind you I could slip over the boarder and mail it from the USPS in Houlton, but I am only over there once every couple of weeks.

Yes I have a merchant account with Squadron (actually MMD which is their dealer side). When I first went there, my sales lady was fantastic (for the life of me I can't remember her name, Judy I think), but she had worked there since Squadron started, and both her and her husband retired (much deserved I am sure), and everything started downhill from there. Her replacement lasted a month and was a moron. His replacement lasted about a year and a bit, Roland was pretty good, and would bend over backwards. He however was offered a better job, closer to home and more money so can't blame him there, but now I get no response from my salesmen. Meanwhile Mark Graves at Stevens International bends over backwards for his customers, mind you they are wholesale only.

Worst part is Squadron is the importer of certain lines (Hobby Boss for one, but also True Details, Warrior, etc), so I can't cut them out completely, however Stevens has been getting more and more of my business, very seldom have problems with them.

So.....likely will have a sale on Moebius Vipers in the near future! LOL
 

Grendels

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Grendels said:
I have been using My Atomic for on line orders. When an item is in stock, they ship pretty fast. They also offer free shipping for any order over $25 us.

http://www.myatomic.com/catalog/
These guys recently went down as far as I can tell. I placed an order with them, and didn't hear back from their complaint department when I tried to contact them. They website shows zero inventory in most categories.
 

schweinhund227

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There are soo many eStores... you guys named Many that I use and used to !! HLJ is my latest Wallet thinning machine.... Great Tamiya specials... sometimes free shipping.... Not a place to get richer !!! LOL

anyway...

A few more for Scratch-builders and Robo Mecha modelers.... "Mechaskunk.com" for Mecha related accessories... Wicked selection of turned aluminum nozzles and other Mecha related stuff...

I buy a lot of springs and fine mesh and colored lenses from Richard !

Another place I used to go to for very "obscure stuff" !!! and Mainstream !!! is
Rainbow Ten in Japan!!! http://www.rainbowten.co.jp/english/

a little tedious to find your stuff... as they give you huge list but if you know what you want... you can search the list you get... i.e. AFV and other stuff by... either Name or Kit Number !!! and cross check those on the WEB... some times you get access to stuff you would never find in America !!!

after you set up an account... Your first purchase will give you an account # then the speed and selection might dig a Deep hole in your pocket !!! I received great service from those guys in the past....

http://www.starshipmodeler.biz/shop/ is another venue for Star ships from many galaxies !!! S.W. S.T. Galactica. and so on...

http://www.culttvmanshop.com/ also Carry Sci Fi stuff....

anyway... the list goes on !!!

take care !!!

and Keep some money for FOOD !!!
 

kiwi gav

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Cheers to you all, I've bookmarked the lot. Sorry I haven't got any to add just yet, but I will keep looking for good sites....
 

rookie

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Here is a great supplier located in WA , the web site is still very new, new stuff getting added every day. I met the owner at a local Model show, great guy realy commited to providing unique subjects from alot of the smaller manufactures. Worth a look if you live in OZ and are chasing something out of the ordinary.

http://www.hobbymania.com.au/
 

ModelMan

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Not to forget "Modeler's Brand Hobby Supplies". :)
www.modelersbrand.com

No plastic, vac, resin or aftermarket kits as yet, but all the electronics gear needed to make your models glow and blink!
 

WebbyNZ

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I would also recommend checking out www.hobbyeasy.com for some great deals, they are Hong Kong based and I often find the exchange rate makes for good deals.

Other international sites ive ordered from include
www.hiroboy.com in the UK
www.mediamixhobby.com.sg/shop/ in Singapore

For those guys 'downunder' I often browse the following
www.bnamodelworld.com

and in NZ we have
www.mrmodels.co.nz
www.modelcraftsandhobbies.co.nz
www.acornmodels.co.nz
www.bayhobbies.co.nz
www.modelair.co.nz/
www.ironhorsehobbies.co.nz/
www.aargonhobbies.co.nz/
www.modelsat747.com/
 

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