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USA Buyers Beware: Modelissmo Troubles


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#1 OFFLINE   snackwel5

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 09:26 AM

Hello all,

It is with sad news that I have a very negative story in regards to Modelissimo.

Back in April of this year, they had a sale on many of their items including a 1:18 AUTOart Porsche 911 GT1 and some Spark 1:43 Le Mans cars. The models I purchased were:

1:18 AUTOart Porsche 911 GT1 996 White
1:18 Minichamps Porsche 956L White
1:43 Spark McLaren F1 GTR
1:43 Spark Mazda 787B
1:43 Spark Nissan R390 GT1

In total, I paid 207 EURO for all 5 models, which is a great price considering the 911 GT1 costs that much by itself normally. I paid for the items on April 23, 2020 and was provided a DHL tracking number on the 24th. It said it entered German Customs on the 24th of April, and that is the final update that is had besides a generic "in transit to next facility" that  popped up in late June. I contacted Modelissimo first in late June (close 2 months after last tracking update) with my concern of tracking update. With a global pandemic going on, my patience levels are much greater than normal, which is why I waited so long before first contacting. It took them nearly a week to respond, in which they simply said "we will check with DHL". 4 weeks go by without a response, which is when I brought it to PayPal to formally take action. What do you know, they respond immediately with a lot of excuses, and no offer of help or anything at all. Finally I escalate it to a refund claim, and a few days ago I was refunded the whole amount.

Really bummed about this whole situation, as I was left dealing with a lot of stress from an international seller, and my money was tied up for 102 days and I have nothing to show for it. This should go as a warning from US buyers, though. No matter how great of a deal Modelissimo says to have on their website, the chances of you actually receiving the model from them is very slim. I was very lucky to get my money back, but it still stinks I won't ever get those models into my collection. Forever lost in transit.
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#2 OFFLINE   . . .

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 10:01 AM

I don't buy from modelissimo since 2015. I made an order and they didn't sent me one of the models I ordered because they didn't have it on stock. Best pert was, I saw it once I got my package! They didn't even bothered to tell me that. Prior to that, almost every order I made had at least one, most of the time 2-3 models that had some damage and I had to return them back. At the end, I decided best way to deal with them is just not to buy anything from them. Most of their discounts are because models are damaged.

Second, this goes for all DHL packages. If you go to Minichamps website, you will see that there are some restrictions and when you click on restrictions for US this is what you see

USA:
At this time, transport capacities to the USA are substantially reduced. As such, special measures are required to maintain the shipping of letters and parcels.
  • It is still possible to send letter mail items weighing up to 500 g and with a maximum thickness of 2 cm (documents) to the USA.
  • Warenpost and Päckchen products are no longer available for shipment to the USA until further notice.
  • Private customers: Until further notice, the only option available for sending parcels to the USA will be via the Premium service.
  • Business customers/contract customers: DHL Paket International items can still be sent until further notice. Please note that a crisis surcharge of EUR 2.20 per kilogram (or part thereof) will be applied to each parcel.
  • European business customers: Deutsche Post Packet products can still be sent until further notice. Please note that due to the current international crisis, the prices for all Packet products have been increased. Please contact your Account Manager in your European country office for further information.
So, I'd say all of you in US before you order something from anywhere in the world, do some research to see can it be shipped and are there any restrictions.

#3 OFFLINE   190mph

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 02:37 PM

Just to let everyone know Germany - Deutsche Postal Services (Regular DHL) is basically a disaster. Everyone is in the same situation around the world. How can Germany have so many problems exporting out Air Parcel Post so badly when they did a great job controlling the virus. The USA will always have enough airplanes coming into their country with an out of control virus. Here in Canada not as popular for flight traffic but not a joke either and we have it under control and it seems we are not getting Air Parcel from DHL unless you go full Express services.

But at the end of the day Air Parcel Postal services rely on Air Passenger Airplanes for cargo space. There is no dedicated airplanes to the cargo like UPS, Fedex, DHL Express have.

I ordered model cars from Netherlands - Post NL Air Parcel took an extra 7 to 10 days than normal but it flew over for sure.
I ordered in late May from model store in Italy and they used EMS with Post Italy. Got here to my house in 6 days including the weekend.
I ordered from China with EMS and it did take some extra days to catch a flight "Waiting for Airline Space" but got here in just over 2 weeks.
I won some auctions from that German seller in late June/Early July that had tons of cars and won 5 BBR cars and they use normally the DHL Paket. I said no thanks let's work out UPS or DHL Express and got in less than a week.
BBR Model Store always 2 to 3 days but because they use DHL Express or UPS.

But in all that at the end of the day, the model dealers should be doing better jobs offering options of UPS, DHL Express, Fedex during this pandemic. If they don't they are a disaster.

I just ordered a Black Pista Piloti from CK last night after asking North American customers experiences during the pandemic over at Diecast Arena FB page. Some guys responded it has been pretty good and then one guy in Canada that responded he had a recent order show up good and then later retracted it was not the order as it was from ebay seller in France when I asked for what is recently clarification. Urgghh! Other guys responded that their orders were in April and one switched to Surface Shipment and is not far from getting his parcel now. Another one is waiting still for CK to ship it still from April. There was general refusal to ship. Lots of confusion everywhere in March and April and early May. Not sure if his situation fell through the cracks. Who waits that long and how does CK not figure out an alternate with them?

So I emailed this morning thinking better catch them to ask about an upgrade in shipping for me. I hope they are not so rigid on their shipping partner. If BBR can ship out a 1/18 car for 27 EUR DHL Express then CK should have close access to something like that as they are pretty big.

DHL Regular Shipping International Parcel service for Zone 6 (Canada) seems to state it goes Surface shipment Oceanliner.

#4 OFFLINE   slartibartfast229

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 03:38 PM

I have an ebay purchase from Romania stuck in their postal system.
It's sitting in the 'received from sender' section.
The sender - with excellent feedback scores is trying to find out what the hold up is.
And I am sure online retailers are fed up listening to complaints about delays they have no control over.
For myself I have to accept that this is the new normal, at least for the moment.
It's why I started the 'Delays, delays thread'.

#5 OFFLINE   MSZ

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Posted 09 August 2020 - 12:00 PM

I ordered a model at CK back in May, and they simply refused to ship out my parcel every time when I asked about it via email. Last week I simply told them that I have had enough and I want a full refund, thankfully they agreed.

#6 OFFLINE   Mike K

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 01:27 AM

I've made two orders from Modelissimo in the past few months, both took about 6-7 weeks to arrive.  It's not just Modelissimo, and it's not new or just a result of the pandemic... I remember in the past, models shipped from Germany via DHL taking well over a month to get here.
It's a dilemma... obviously, I don't like waiting.  But these shops in Germany still seem like the best option for a lot of what I collect, some of the resins.  On stuff like BoS and Cult resins, it's a savings of around $50 per model versus shops and eBay sellers here, if there are even any that have them in stock.  And then the combined shipping, it's a huge savings.  I've never had models show up with problems, even models from companies with QC problems.
From what I've seen, the shop ships the order out within a day or two, and then it gets through Germany quickly enough, the problem is getting from DHL to USPS.  DHL gives the USPS tracking number, and then on USPS tracking, it will say "Origin Post Is Preparing Shipment" for several weeks, whatever that means.  What it means is that the problem is with DHL and US Customs, more than it is with these shops.

Although, I've got an order from Kleine Klassiker (who also use DHL) on the way now.  I ordered it the last week of July, and it should be here this week, so only 3 weeks... we'll see  :hope:

#7 OFFLINE   jazzy426

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 07:02 PM

Sounds like a case of hit or miss with DHL nowadays. Although I won't necessarily put the blame solely on the sellers considering the pandemic is still wrecking havoc on international logistics but they should definitely improve their customer service. Very sorry to hear the frustrating experience you had with them and they weren't keen to follow up on your missing parcels until you involved Paypal.

I've been buying stuff from the two German leading sellers since 2012 and my experience with them have been more or less positive (knock on wood) apart from occasional "broken on arrival" but they are limited to piss poor BoS packaging. Ck is rigid with their policy and would insist on returning the faulty goods to them and only then you will be reimbursed including postage. Modellisimo on the other hand willing to compromise and offers credit voucher as partial refund. In the past the wait time between Germany and Australia at peak season can be long as 5 weeks shortest i've experienced is under 2 weeks. I guess with the limited transportation nowadays between Germany and Australia like what the DHL website stated I may experience extremely long transit time like others.

Ck has been "reminding" me of their 15% time limited discount in the past week or so but unfortunately their "crisis surcharge" of 6eur per model put me off at least for now. I think I am in the same boat as Mike, there are models which I really like that are only sold by them and I have grown accustomed to some of their house brands i.e. KK-scale, MCG, BoS and so on. Their flat international postage is also a major attraction and the VAT 19%/16% deduction plus further 10% member discount make them the no1 go to scale model shops for me personally.

#8 OFFLINE   ttgxc

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 07:25 PM

View PostMike K, on 10 August 2020 - 01:27 AM, said:

I've made two orders from Modelissimo in the past few months, both took about 6-7 weeks to arrive.  It's not just Modelissimo, and it's not new or just a result of the pandemic... I remember in the past, models shipped from Germany via DHL taking well over a month to get here.
It's a dilemma... obviously, I don't like waiting.  But these shops in Germany still seem like the best option for a lot of what I collect, some of the resins.  On stuff like BoS and Cult resins, it's a savings of around $50 per model versus shops and eBay sellers here, if there are even any that have them in stock.  And then the combined shipping, it's a huge savings.  I've never had models show up with problems, even models from companies with QC problems.
From what I've seen, the shop ships the order out within a day or two, and then it gets through Germany quickly enough, the problem is getting from DHL to USPS.  DHL gives the USPS tracking number, and then on USPS tracking, it will say "Origin Post Is Preparing Shipment" for several weeks, whatever that means.  What it means is that the problem is with DHL and US Customs, more than it is with these shops.

Although, I've got an order from Kleine Klassiker (who also use DHL) on the way now.  I ordered it the last week of July, and it should be here this week, so only 3 weeks... we'll see  :hope:

Have you tried American-Excellence? They are the U.S. arm of Model Car World. They ship via UPS and arrive in about a week. With the recent increase in shipping costs from Germany, it's a good alternative. $9.99 to ship and over $150 is free shipping. Just received the new Norev Mercedes W123. Acme Diecast also carries a lot of brands including GT Spirit, Otto, etc.

#9 OFFLINE   jazzy426

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Posted 10 August 2020 - 11:23 PM

i wish we have an "Australian-Excellence" or something similar here LOL. I am afraid we don't really have much choices here as much as I would like to support local businesses.

#10 OFFLINE   UDPride

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 12:08 AM

We must distinguish between shipping carrier issues and just poor service from the supplier. I think there's a bit of both here.  First, there's no excuse for poor customer service, deceptions, white lies, and lengthy silence on the party line.  If nothing else, strong, consistent, and timely communication must always remain front and center.  If inventory is low or unavailable, be truthful. You never have to remember what you said when you tell the truth.

The supply chains can harm model suppliers however during a pandemic. I ship products every day w/the USPS and ran into this.  Im a graphic designer and many of my products are shipped in matted frames. When my stock of mats and frames ran out, I tried ordering from my supplier. But the lockdown forced businesses closed by mandate. That delayed my own shipping of product w/o the mats and frames even though my prints were ready to go.  When the businesses were allowed to come back online, they were dealing with a huge stockpiled backlog of orders that took weeks to sort through and catch up with. What usually takes a week to get mats and frames took 6 weeks.  I couldnt ship some of my product that required mats and frames during this time. But, I was up front about the issue to my own customers. I basically said, "we have to wait it out...youll know everything I know."

Then there is the actual shipper. I ship 2-3 packages a day with USPS using Priority Mail across the USA. Normally PM is guaranteed 2-3 day delivery depending on how many zones it has to traverse.  During the pandemic I have had packages take 19 days to go from Ohio to California. I had a package take 9 days to go from southern Ohio to northern Ohio.  I had a package go from Ohio to Puerto Rico however in 3 days.  The USPS has said they no longer guarantee delivery times even for PM unless its an Expedited level. When my customers call and ask "where the hecks my package", there's not a whole lot I can tell them except "It was picked up 12 days ago and the last tracking update says its been sitting in Cincinnati for a week."  Unfortunately once businesses send the package out the door, we are at the mercy of the shipper to take care of the last chain in the biz-2-consumer transaction/relationship.

Now if I saw how the USPS was doing things it would probably explain the long delays and not make much sense and wouldnt be how I would run a railroad.  Because its government-run, its designed for inefficiency by definition.

So I have a lot of sympathy for intra- and international shippers.  They can only control what they can control until the package leaves their loading dock.  But pandemic is no excuse for poor transparency and lack of communications. Emails and phone calls and voicemail should be replied to in minutes -- not hours or days.  If you cannot do that, you probably shouldnt be in business.

I have ordered from ck-Modelcars but it was many years ago. Most of the transactions were fine but I had a damage issue on one shipment and needed to send the package back. It was a giant PITA. It was like dealing wit a circus with international paperwork and declarations and forms. Id fill out one form, then the next USPS person would tell me to fill out a different form.  It was the kind of thing you had to sort out in person at the USPS and couldnt really do online. In line for an hour. Then it would take the package 2 weeks to traverse back to Europe then another 2 weeks to get a replacement so we're now circling a month into this issue. Just became too much aggravation for something as insignificant as model cars. Were it life-saving medicine maybe I would have felt different.  CK-Modelcars handled everything fine, it was just the inherent strings and reality that made it a total drag to sort out.

So since then I have a rule to only buy from North America. Ive bought from Toronto Motorsports w/o a problem.  If and when there are North American issues the return protocol is just very basic and more expedient and no language barriers or time zone wrestling. Plus I can do a solid for a yankee doodle.   Its helped that over the last few years more of the models we couldnt get we can now find here. Ottos are much easier to get now. Some of the manufacturer/museum-issue pieces are still hard to get for foreign marques but they pop up at times.
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#11 OFFLINE   slartibartfast229

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Posted 11 August 2020 - 06:44 AM

I worked with a company who exported electronic devices into and outside of the EU.
Each shipping company had it's own paperwork and declaration requirements.
As a computer user of many years I always thought that the paperless office would arrive some day.
The problems with even the limited arrival of electronic documentation can be seen with tracking numbers.
As mentioned elsewhere, I have a package on the way from Romania.
The tracking number is useless once it leaves the originating country.
My local postal system has no facility to cross reference codes from most other countries - inside the EU or not.  :gaah:

Edited by slartibartfast229, 11 August 2020 - 06:46 AM.


#12 OFFLINE   Mike K

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Posted 17 August 2020 - 01:26 AM

View Postttgxc, on 10 August 2020 - 07:25 PM, said:

View PostMike K, on 10 August 2020 - 01:27 AM, said:

I've made two orders from Modelissimo in the past few months, both took about 6-7 weeks to arrive.  It's not just Modelissimo, and it's not new or just a result of the pandemic... I remember in the past, models shipped from Germany via DHL taking well over a month to get here.
It's a dilemma... obviously, I don't like waiting.  But these shops in Germany still seem like the best option for a lot of what I collect, some of the resins.  On stuff like BoS and Cult resins, it's a savings of around $50 per model versus shops and eBay sellers here, if there are even any that have them in stock.  And then the combined shipping, it's a huge savings.  I've never had models show up with problems, even models from companies with QC problems.
From what I've seen, the shop ships the order out within a day or two, and then it gets through Germany quickly enough, the problem is getting from DHL to USPS.  DHL gives the USPS tracking number, and then on USPS tracking, it will say "Origin Post Is Preparing Shipment" for several weeks, whatever that means.  What it means is that the problem is with DHL and US Customs, more than it is with these shops.

Although, I've got an order from Kleine Klassiker (who also use DHL) on the way now.  I ordered it the last week of July, and it should be here this week, so only 3 weeks... we'll see  :hope:

Have you tried American-Excellence? They are the U.S. arm of Model Car World. They ship via UPS and arrive in about a week. With the recent increase in shipping costs from Germany, it's a good alternative. $9.99 to ship and over $150 is free shipping. Just received the new Norev Mercedes W123. Acme Diecast also carries a lot of brands including GT Spirit, Otto, etc.

Definitely, I have ordered from American-Excellence many times, I trust them and some of their sales are really great.  They're good to go to for when models from some of these resin companies first come out.
But another thing is, it seems like the shops in Germany and maybe Italy too have certain models in stock long after A-E, or any other shop that I know of in the US.  For instance, in my order from Kleine Klassiker that came last week, 3 of the 4 models are long gone from just about everywhere else, and I paid no more than MSRP for them.  I just hope to find shops in the US or even Canada that have such a selection.

#13 OFFLINE   Sir Arun

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 10:44 AM

Another thing about modelissimo is that their website is ancient and has a layout from the mid 2000s. The forgot password button often doesnt work, hell I just tried to register again and am still waiting for a confirmation email. That being said though, my experience with them in the past (ordered many times) has always been positive, even received partial refunds for damaged items which ck for example doesnt do (they allow you to send it back for free tho, and either refund you or send you a replacement - sucks if the replacement has its faire share of flaws too tho)

Edited by Sir Arun, 02 September 2020 - 10:45 AM.

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#14 OFFLINE   slartibartfast229

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 12:05 PM

I received another order from Modelissimo on Monday - and no issues to report.
Well apart from one.
I asked them to replace the green packing pieces with old newspaper or similar, but am still getting those blasted things.
Woe betide anyone who tries to transfer them into a plastic refuse sack if the wind is blowing!

#15 OFFLINE   jazzy426

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Posted 02 September 2020 - 08:00 PM

View Postslartibartfast229, on 02 September 2020 - 12:05 PM, said:

I received another order from Modelissimo on Monday - and no issues to report.
Well apart from one.
I asked them to replace the green packing pieces with old newspaper or similar, but am still getting those blasted things.
Woe betide anyone who tries to transfer them into a plastic refuse sack if the wind is blowing!

I have lifetime supply of those green packing peanuts thanks to Modelissimo and CK-modelcars. I don't fault them for using these to secure the items in the parcel box but yes they be real pain in the butt to dispose of when you transfer them to trash bag. I gave about 8 bags of them away on local classifieds and a lady came and collect them for her own packaging needs.

#16 OFFLINE   slartibartfast229

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 07:53 AM

View Postjazzy426, on 02 September 2020 - 08:00 PM, said:

View Postslartibartfast229, on 02 September 2020 - 12:05 PM, said:

I received another order from Modelissimo on Monday - and no issues to report.
Well apart from one.
I asked them to replace the green packing pieces with old newspaper or similar, but am still getting those blasted things.
Woe betide anyone who tries to transfer them into a plastic refuse sack if the wind is blowing!

I have lifetime supply of those green packing peanuts thanks to Modelissimo and CK-modelcars. I don't fault them for using these to secure the items in the parcel box but yes they be real pain in the butt to dispose of when you transfer them to trash bag. I gave about 8 bags of them away on local classifieds and a lady came and collect them for her own packaging needs.
You're lucky.
I offered around the same number of bags of the stuff free to a local packaging company, and they didn't want them.
Probably for the same reason I don't like them....

#17 OFFLINE   Craig

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 10:11 AM

I prefer those over that thick Brown paper as most German sellers are using now.

F**k you Photobucket.



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#18 ONLINE   cwbs

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 03:01 PM

I have three 120 litre bin bags full of those green styrofoam nuggets. I was planning to use them to top up my attic insulation, but that sounds like a stupid idea.

Maybe I'll start selling some models and pack each of them with generous amounts of the green stuff, just for laughs! :smile:

#19 OFFLINE   jazzy426

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Posted 03 September 2020 - 08:09 PM

I once filled up a bean bag with those styrofoam peanuts as filling and they are quite comfy LOL.

#20 OFFLINE   slartibartfast229

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Posted 04 September 2020 - 06:32 AM

View Postcwbs, on 03 September 2020 - 03:01 PM, said:

I have three 120 litre bin bags full of those green styrofoam nuggets. I was planning to use them to top up my attic insulation, but that sounds like a stupid idea.

Maybe I'll start selling some models and pack each of them with generous amounts of the green stuff, just for laughs! :smile:
Those packing 'nuggets' are not flame proof, I would imagine quite the opposite.
I strongly recommend not using them as insulation, your insurance would almost certainly be nullified.

#21 OFFLINE   MB63AMG

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 08:23 PM

View Postttgxc, on 10 August 2020 - 07:25 PM, said:

View PostMike K, on 10 August 2020 - 01:27 AM, said:

I've made two orders from Modelissimo in the past few months, both took about 6-7 weeks to arrive.  It's not just Modelissimo, and it's not new or just a result of the pandemic... I remember in the past, models shipped from Germany via DHL taking well over a month to get here.
It's a dilemma... obviously, I don't like waiting.  But these shops in Germany still seem like the best option for a lot of what I collect, some of the resins.  On stuff like BoS and Cult resins, it's a savings of around $50 per model versus shops and eBay sellers here, if there are even any that have them in stock.  And then the combined shipping, it's a huge savings.  I've never had models show up with problems, even models from companies with QC problems.
From what I've seen, the shop ships the order out within a day or two, and then it gets through Germany quickly enough, the problem is getting from DHL to USPS.  DHL gives the USPS tracking number, and then on USPS tracking, it will say "Origin Post Is Preparing Shipment" for several weeks, whatever that means.  What it means is that the problem is with DHL and US Customs, more than it is with these shops.

Although, I've got an order from Kleine Klassiker (who also use DHL) on the way now.  I ordered it the last week of July, and it should be here this week, so only 3 weeks... we'll see  :hope:

Have you tried American-Excellence? They are the U.S. arm of Model Car World. They ship via UPS and arrive in about a week. With the recent increase in shipping costs from Germany, it's a good alternative. $9.99 to ship and over $150 is free shipping. Just received the new Norev Mercedes W123. Acme Diecast also carries a lot of brands including GT Spirit, Otto, etc.



Am I missing something? Many people here say great things about American Excellence but a lot of their stuff seems wildly overpriced.

Edited by MB63AMG, 09 September 2020 - 08:23 PM.

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