One USA experience of buying from overseas from 4 vendors

Thanks to folks in the US who recommended buying from Hannant’s. I did, and had a great experience. I’m in the Chicago area fwiw.

This year I have purchased from 4 overseas vendors and wanted to share my entirely positive experiences.

Hannant’s: went there because they had stuff I really was having trouble finding in the US. The prices were good and I was fairly amazed at the selection of aircraft models they offered. They shipped Royal Mail and the tracking didn’t really work. I kept checking and it kept saying it would be updated when it arrived in the US. It arrived at my door before that message ever was updated. It took about 10 days. (I was not really concerned about this as I used to buy a lot of miniature figures from the UK and on a couple of occasions (way before COVID) had stuff that seemed to have been lost for a month or so but everything always showed up.)

HLJ: again they had something I couldn’t get in the US. As long as I was paying for shipping I picked up some kits at really great prices (all by Eduard, which I’m a little puzzled about). The savings on 2 of the kits covered the shipping. I used DHL (it was like $4 more expensive than the cheapest air delivery option) and it was here in a week.

BNA model world: once again they had something I couldn’t get in the US. DHL was about $5 more expensive then the other tracked option whose name I didn’t recognize and it was here in 4 days (I placed the order on the 13th and it just arrived - 4 days ahead of what they promised). I picked up a kit at the same time. The prices on their stuff wasn’t terrific, but wasn’t terrible.

HobbyEasy: when I was shopping for the stuff that I bought from the above places I also checked HobbyEasy. They didn’t have any of those things but I came across one great deal on T-rex tracks so ordered 3 sets from them. They had some of the other things I bought from above but not as great prices on them. (I don’t really understand their pricing, because I saw some great deals, and some prices that are more expensive than what I can get from US vendors.) I used their sf-express shipping which was fine until it got to the US where they hand off to the USPS. It took 6 days to get to New York and clear customs then almost 2 weeks to get here.

I had great experiences with all of these vendors and thought I would pass along as folks occasionally ask about them. Prices vary across them. All of them are great about order status updates and everyone did a very nice job of packing what they sent me.


Thanks. I generally don’t order from off shore but found your review/comments helpful.

I have bought from all the ones you list and many other overseas shops and never had an issue. The only issue with overseas buying right now is the glacially slow international main system. I had a small, padded envelope shipped from Italy on 13 Dec. I just received it on Tues, 15 Feb. Two months is crazy. I have had the same issues with small packages from China recently too.

It varies. I had two items ship from Ukraine of all places last week. From date of ordering to arrival to delivery was five days. This is from Andriy at Lemskits in case any of you aero guys are interested. Superb quality as well. Same with Model Hobbies out of the UK. Extremely fast shipping. Kits from China have been slower but not nearly as slow as they anticipated. Generally two weeks is about average. My guess, based upon my own experiences - things coming from Asia via the left coast take longer. Hasn’t always been that way HLJ used to be extremely fast but I have admittedly not ordered from them in quite some time.

I’m glad you had a good experience with hannant’s, mine was considerably less favourable and i wouldn’t tounch them with a ten foot pole. perhaps they value overseas customers than those of us who livr in the UK.

That’s a bit of a shame; I find them very efficient indeed. Not perhaps the cheapest, but very reliable - in my opinion. They are my “Go to” supplier for most things if my local model shop doesn’t come up with the goods.

My other favourite is Wildcat’s Models - they seem to stock things that others don’t and also have a very speedy and well run service.

@BootsDMS Brian i bought sn item years ago that got lost in tbe post and i contacted them about it, and their attitude was “it’s your problem, we have your money and we don’t care”.

so i never used them again.

Up to last year i have ordered from Hong Kong,China Taiwan,Japan, Austraila,Poland,Spain and Russia and have ways had good experiences,but since Covid and the supply chain crisis i have not.Its good to hear that maybe things are improving.

I have gotten all my items to date but the wait times have been long. I have packages in waiting from Australian, Japan, Spain and Germany, these are shipped via air. That said USPS has slowed down too, an extra day or two from Sprue Brothers. Recently had a package from Japan APO bet a package from NH to NC. Just the way things are.

I get stuff from the USA to Australia. Magazines now come by carrier pigeon. I had one USP parcel leave Atlanta. It took 10 days to get to a distribution centre in Florida. Another 7 days to get to LA. 2 days after leaving LA I had it in my hands in Australia. Typical? You bet. Packages coming out of the USA seem to be the worse. 1 package from the UK to Australia took 4 days from sender to my hot hand.
Recently I got some replacement parts from MiniArt in the Ukraine. 5 days after they sent it I had them.
Inbound to the USA I would bet it’s the last part of the journey that is the slowest part.

I have an order waiting from Lucky Model Hong Kong. Ordered 1/18. Still awaiting to be shipped. They blame covid. 8 bucks shipping and a month later.