question about buying models online (HPI)

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builthatch
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question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by builthatch » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:30 pm

i have been scouring the web trying to build my collection and i've taken particular interest in the HPI models in the cases with the engine covers off - all LM or LM-type cars.

i have been buying from mostly ebay and overseas. two models spurred me to make this thread.

i want to preface this by saying i am very picky and tend to look at things as if they are made my machines and i know that isn't reality. i strive for perfection, sometimes to a fault so i have to always check myself when i question quality and things related...and not just with models, but everything. it's been a battle my whole life, haha.

so, check these out. both of these models were sold to me as new. one didn't have seals, the other had seals but they were very rough.

right now i have three HPI 787Bs

one is about as perfect as i would expect.

the other two have issues and i'm wondering if this is normal OR if these look like repairs?

787 test car - purchased from a dude in Germany who has a high seller rating and apparently sells a lot of models. seals were present but rough. the second antenna looks as if it broke somehow and the orig spot was drilled and possibly had glue added before the antenna was stuck back in. there is also what appears to be a glue spot on the roof next to it. i'm sorry for the image quality - i just got home from the gym and am anxious to eat dinner! these were shot through the cases and cropped accordingly. all of my other HPI models with the exception of one Porsche have very consistent, clean antenna bases and even that one is not like this.
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787 '91 LM #18 - this one had no seals and was purchased from a seller in the EU who interestingly has the same model for sale online now but for quite a bit more. the radiator (or i/c?) and the floor of the pan where it's installed have glue...A LOT of glue. the silver piece itself is more glossy than the other versions i have and the slats are closer together. it's almost like it's a different piece than the others, which wouldn't be that suspicious as i'm sure suppliers and things change, but the fact that it has glue on it (hard to see from the pics) and there is such a massive glue run next to it makes me concerned. there is also a white spot on the spoiler but it looks like a manufacturing defect. these shots were also done through the plastic display case and cropped.
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am i just being picky and this is to be expected with these models, or, are they repaired and people are just trying to pass them off as new?

i have over a dozen of these particular style HPI models with many more en route and just want to be better prepared for what to expect. and i don't even think i can ask if seals are intact because all four of my Saubers are DEFINITELY brand new and never opened and didn't have the round seal stickers. i have more coming so we'll see about those.
Last edited by builthatch on Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dbonser
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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by dbonser » Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:33 am

I don't have any 787s so I can't make any direct comparisons but the test car looks like a repair to me. Hard to say on the second one but I know one - possibly more - forum member has the car so they should be able to compare. Seems pretty sloppy if it's not a repair - especially on an open model.

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builthatch
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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by builthatch » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:03 am

thanks. is that common? to receive a model that has been repaired?? i know these things are delicate. i mean if someone says it's new, obviously it should be literally new, but i was curious if 1. these things come like this from the factory sometimes and if not 2. do people pull stunts like this on a regular basis and 3. if so, are there things to look out for in terms of certain types of sellers or whatever? like is it a faux pas to buy these things from certain areas or types of sellers and i'm just out of the know?! haha

update: welp i contacted the guy who i got the white/blue car from that let him know i wasn't happy with the condition and that it wasn't the one pictured in the auction...and that i didn't want a refund, but just that i was unhappy and that it sucked he listed the same car for more money after i bought mine, which to me meant that the second car is probably in the new condition mine was supposed to be in. he responded and said he can send the other car or offer a refund. i told him no worries, but i would check to see how much to send it back to his country just so i know if it's possibly worth it to just send it back to him for a refund. but i said it was not likely it would be worth it.

it was more or less just to let him know i was not happy with the situation and to be more careful in case this was an honest mistake.

he gave me a refund and told me to not worry about sending it back. i asked if he's sure and haven't heard back yet. very strange.
Last edited by builthatch on Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by rotormotor » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:28 pm

I have the 6 HPI Mazda 787B..Ill have a look later today but suspect you are correct.
HPI quality control is pretty good from what I found.
Lars

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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by Tom » Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:32 pm

I have only one HPI model but it's so good that I would not hesitate to buy more. With issues like that, I wouldn't bother.

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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by Baxter » Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:32 pm

The radiator looks to be in a place where it would be less likely to be broken or damaged, so I can believe that it came from the factory that way. The antenna could easily be broken and with that dodgy base and the glue spot I think it is a repair.

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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by builthatch » Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:29 pm

ok thanks guys. all the rest of my HPI models are pretty much perfect. yeah, some over zealous dark wash on some parts and some texture or small scuffs in the paint...hairline scratches in the windows, but i'm talking pretty extreme scrutiny lol. they are generally great.

these two above issues (sloppy glue, frayed parts) are not evident on any of my other HPI models and i have 16 after today's set arrival. nothing even close except some crooked antennas here and there and i have one Porsche that has the base sorta built up a bit vs. the rest, but it's still close to the status quo. in fact once i got the first one, a Sauber, that's how i got hooked on this scale - i couldn't believe the quality.
Last edited by builthatch on Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by thetrooper » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:02 pm

I'll weight in as well on this. The first is definitely a repair job and a bad one at that. The second looks more like it sneaked through QC. HPI are normally top notch, but as with most things, some slip through the net.
You will get some faulty models that come from the factory depending on the brand and you can excuse certain models if they have a lower RRP. If it's a higher end model you would expect perfection and I'd send them back if I didn't get that.

You will soon pick up which brands are better and also you will notice older releases (Even HPI) have lower precision in terms of detail and quality.
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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by RaceOddity » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:50 am

I can't keep out of this one either. Even if I only noticed it this am... :roll:
I have about 20 HPI models. Both with engine bay detail or closed body.
They are almost without fail my best models. My Jags have good shutlines
and no extraneous goo anywhere. The Porsches and Mazda are pristine as well.
My Mclarens, well. I sold off almost all of my other Macs (some signed)to replace them with HPI.
My guess is that the one you show was repaired, but since the seller responded well
when you informed him of the problem, I'd call no harm/no foul. But that's just me.

HPI models are a great place to start although the prices are rising since they stopped production.

Scott
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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by PLAYLIFE » Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:34 pm

I have 6 open Mazdas from HPI. None of them have these problems.

I did receive once one of those with the exact same radiator having fallen off. I sent it back because the base plate was broken as well.

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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by builthatch » Fri Jul 24, 2015 1:24 am

thanks guys, i appreciate the feedback.

after the one guy refunded me for the #18 car, i ordered another from Germany, a new to me seller with high ratings, and it didn't have seals - never did, by the looks of the black cardboard. anyway, it looks pretty good except it had glue or something running down from one of the mirrors bases and i noticed it has an issue that every Mazda that has passed through my hands has (four in total) - the mirrors all have seams on the top in varying degrees and a little raised anomaly where (i guess) they were taken off of the sprue for assembly. they look like they could be sanded down and repainted but i honestly don't think it's worth messing with these models to that degree. i think the risk isn't worth the reward.

at least the radiator looked solid on this one!!! haha

i think i am learning where my expectations should be with these. the fact seems that they can vary greatly and just because there is are inconsistencies, it doesn't mean someone fixed it.

- is there a hands down (brand) winner in 1/43 in terms of quality, especially with LM cars, where the quality is always above and beyond? i saw what you mentioned regarding quality, RaceOddity. i think these are amazing since they are so small but i think my expectations might be a little too high.

- also, is it just hit or miss with these ebay sellers, even those with spectacular ratings?


thanks again for the feedback.

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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by PLAYLIFE » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:16 am

For me the best in reasonably priced range is/was HPI (now named Ignition models) for me. But becareful, I had decals on one of the 150 USD models turn yellow on me in lesss than a year in a dark cupboard. Nowadays you can find HPI models going around for 30 or so euros which is a bargain.

For me the second is Minimax. They make 99% of the Spark, Bizarre, Truescalemodel (TSM), RedLine, Fujimi models and a few of the Ebbros.

I try to avoid anything else and only buy IXO, Minichamps or Ebbro in rare occasions because the shapes are often wrong and out of proportion. When I put a minichamps or IXO next to a Spark then I find often that I am dissappointed having paid even 5 euros for an IXO or Minichamps.


On ebay the "laboutiqueautomoto" is owned by Spark. They are great at swapping any faulty Spark models they've sent. I've had problems with 2 models so far and after I sent pictures I had to return the models and got a new one with no questions asked. I can't remeber if I got the return shipping cost though.

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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by builthatch » Fri Jul 24, 2015 1:39 pm

^ interesting info, i didn't know they had an outlet...and it's French! thanks.

so today i received the one thing that started me in this whole 1/43 model deal: the HPI '89 Sauber C9 three car set.

and, it's in wonderful condition! no issues. i am so stoked. even my wife begrudgingly admitted this one is cool.

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i also got a stand alone '89 #63 car from him that also was in great shape. they came from a Swiss dude.

in another shipment i got some others from a guy in Portugal who i found whilst searching for those Rothmans decals and all of his stuff arrived to me in great shape as well, including two C9s (a '88 AEG #62 and another '89 #63). a Jag had an engine popped out of place but with some very careful finagling it snapped back in without issue. definitely a result of shipping. no problem.

however, i order a Spark C291 from Japan and this is what i got:

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i let the seller know about it and am waiting to hear back. i also emailed Spark just so they know, in case this is a common issue with that foil.

i'm certainly learning a lot here!
Last edited by builthatch on Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by PLAYLIFE » Sat Jul 25, 2015 4:41 am

Firstly, great choices with the Saubers. I got them all and they are very nice. The problem with foil is not what I've seen before. I think you are having a run of bad luck.

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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by thetrooper » Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:53 am

I'm a sucker for multi car displays and that one it a great one to own.
Steve

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builthatch
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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by builthatch » Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:18 pm

PLAYLIFE wrote:Firstly, great choices with the Saubers. I got them all and they are very nice.
thanks. when i found out they (meaning the market) had small versions of those cars in a set like this, i was like "oh, great! i want to buy one." then i looked, realized they were produced several years ago and aren't that readily available, especially for a reasonable price haha.
The problem with foil is not what I've seen before. I think you are having a run of bad luck.
haha, i messaged Spark on facebook explaining the situation and that they might want to know since it's factory sealed and they are the manufacturer. they told me they don't sell on ebay, can't control who sells on there and can't help.

quite reassuring of them, haha. their reply didn't seem to match up to my message to them. who cares - the seller on ebay asked me to send it back air mail to Japan and they will cover the cost (so they say). we'll see how that works out!
thetrooper wrote:I'm a sucker for multi car displays and that one it a great one to own.
thanks. i too like the multi car diplays. they are a bit harder for me to show right now because of space but i will sort that out.

the one thing i wonder is with the HPI sets, the middle car always has these clear little decals holding the engine cover on the middle car. i wonder if those stay on there long enough, if they will pull up the tampo? i don't want to find out haha.

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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by PLAYLIFE » Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:55 pm

builthatch wrote:
haha, i messaged Spark on facebook explaining the situation and that they might want to know since it's factory sealed and they are the manufacturer. they told me they don't sell on ebay, can't control who sells on there and can't help.
Just wanna tell you to be careful with "factory sealed". Some ebay-ers put a new plastic wrap on the carton and it looks new. One seller "pinkpanther" is doing that all the time. But I suspect he just does that to better preserve what he is selling. I'm not saying it is the case here, but just so that you would know.

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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by builthatch » Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:42 pm

i got that C291 and it had the issue above. the foil is obviously puffed up and torn. the dealer said he'll take it back and get me another. as i mentioned, i contacted Spark too just in case or, if there was an easier way than sending cars back and forth from Japan and they said rather incoherently that they couldn't help.

i asked them how can i tell if a place i'm looking at to buy a model is a reseller, so i don't get stuck with a defective model that is represented as new? they said it depends on the country or state and they can look it up for me. this is via facebook, mind you.

so i said this seems very amateur - is there a dealer list i can review so i don't have to contact you each time i am looking at a Spark model? apparently, no, there is not.

no dealer lookup and if i buy something NEW from a reseller and don't check with them first to see if the resellers are legit, i can get stuck with a defective product because there is no reliable or easy way to confirm who is authorized and who isn't. i said "this shouldn't be hard. i'm buying models here. i'm not buying firearms or caviar."

oh well. like i said earlier, i'm learning here.

EDIT:

man, i need to adjust my settings on here so i realized when there are replies, i'm sorry!
PLAYLIFE wrote: Just wanna tell you to be careful with "factory sealed". Some ebay-ers put a new plastic wrap on the carton and it looks new. One seller "pinkpanther" is doing that all the time. But I suspect he just does that to better preserve what he is selling. I'm not saying it is the case here, but just so that you would know.
understood. i should have studied the Spark model closer now that you say that. everything looked so pristine with the wrap and seals. HPI's seals (if they are there in the first place) seem like they make it pretty hard to play games. a lot of them have these clear circles that are on the sleeve and the case, and on both sides. so, if you remove them from the case, you better be VERY careful with heat and something to not mark them up. because, when they are new, it seems very obvious. however, not all models have them from the factory. i know it because there is absolutely no hint of the seal on the sleeve and being paper, they would tear or show something under scrutiny, esp. since there are two per kit. so, kind of weird that some have them and some don't. i have seven individual Saubers and none had the seals present whatsoever. two out of four Mazdas do. all of my 956s do. the one dude from German who sold me that silver 787 with the obviously repaired antenna and glue spot swore up and down the model was like that brand new from his distro and the seals were totally removed from the case and had finger prints on the adhesive, etc. I should have just returned it but whatever.
Last edited by builthatch on Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by RaceOddity » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:25 pm

The HPI seals have nearly without fail been kind of winky on the models that I have purchased
Even worse afterward because I photograph them with the lids removed.
Apparently I am one of those dangerous characters of which you speak... :o

Still it's nice to get them sealed like my Chaparral set was from time to time/

Scott
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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by GBOAC002 » Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:17 am

Ebay gives buyers the option of asking questions before bidding. Sometimes pictures of items are awful and others they can be very detailed. If you go ahead and press the 'buy' button without asking questions sellers will assume you are happy with what you've seen so far. Nowadays you can easily raise a not as described dispute with ebay and get your money back from trade or private sellers so you're covered either way.

In one instance in your posts one seller has even said 'keep the model as well'. A definite 'Win Win' situation that I have also had on one occasion.

Sellers can lose out big time if they are not very careful. Because buyers cannot physically check over the goods there is always a gamble that they'll be getting exactly what they want and expect. Auctions aren't like buying over the counter. "Buyer Beware!" is the order of the day.

Private sellers are probably more likely to pass off stuff which of course is now second hand no matter how good the packaging is made to look. Online retailers are shifting stock off shelves and mostly won't be inspecting the goods in minute detail. For us collectors that is annoying and the sellers lack of product scrutiny before despatch may even prove detrimental to them in the long term. Name and shame on a forum can be a powerful deterrent. But as above you always have the option to return the goods and get your money back. How badly do we want something not quite perfect or that we've assumed was better than we received?

Depending on the amount of money you are spending quality of the finished article may either be low or very high. I've had Starline and Welly products for which I've paid peanuts and been extremely pleased with quality and finish which have been way beyond my expectations. The more I pay the more fussy I become.

Earlier this year I had a 'beef' about a poorly put together partworks item.The German online seller readily accepted my complaint and actually issued a return post paid coupon. He quickly replaced the modestly priced item with one which was better and acceptable for the price level I had paid. I will definitely buy from him again but be more careful examining the auction photo next time.

The manufacturers of our models have or should have decent Quality Controls in their factories but mostly operate through retailers - online or bricks and mortar. I believe that by law they are separated from the end consumers.

It should be no surprise that the manufacturers don't like getting mixed up with retail customer complaints. Your dispute as a consumer is legally with the retailer which has safeguards or private seller which doesn't - at least in the UK. Doesn't matter whether it's a vacuum cleaner you've bought or the latest Looksmart 1:43.

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builthatch
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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by builthatch » Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:19 am

the problem is a lot of the sellers show a representative picture and say item condition is "NEW". esp at the beginning, i didn't know what to expect from HPI but i figured it'd be pretty tight so if someone says it's new, it's actually new and there shouldn't be obvious issues present due to HPI QC. other than asking for detailed pictures of the actual model they have in their possession, and then keep asking them for better pictures if they aren't showing ALL of the details of a 1/43 model to inspect for the issues that have popped up, which i probably wouldn't see in even decent pictures, it's hard.

seller rating can help but it definitely isn't that dependable so far for me.

i think certain things can be expected with these models and i'm learning them. paint rash is a biggie, nibs in the paint, little nibs from the sprue tree on mirrors and or mold lines, sloppy wash in certain areas, wonky antennae going back, forward, right or left....and a popped out piece here or there (but can possibly be snapped back in). also, possibly, some sloppy glue, maybe even a bit of a run or two.

as far as Spark, i agree. i just wanted to let them know in case they had a suggestion. however, my issue is that they didn't even offer a real way for me to figure out who is an official reseller and who isn't, so i can enjoy the benefits they told me would come if i were to deal with one of their official resellers. seems wacky to me.

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Re: question about buying models online (HPI)

Post by builthatch » Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:18 am

i came back to mention that the silver HPI 787b above that had a bunch of issues - i ended up finally addressing most of them tonight. i sanded/polished the glue mess areas, trimmed the ragged plastic base pieces from the apparent antenna repair, rotated the front antenna base so it wasn't totally wonky and i added the bright orange back into the worn top signal lamp paint.

for the glue mess areas on the paint i did 3600, 6000, 8000 and 12000 grit paper, then polish OR compound then polish. then i coated with a high tech paint coating i work with in my professional life. some of the areas i didn't coat (spoiler), just finished with an all in one final polish/sealant.

the area on the left front...i ended up sanding a bit through the clear but it's ok because it looks a lot better than it did with the glue and scratches that it had there. i was contemplating touching it up with acrylic gloss varnish which i know would lay down really nice but i didn't feel it was necessary to make me happy.

i don't have progress pictures or anything, but i did take this picture as a joke for those on the full size detailing forum i frequent.

Image

i know it seems like a lot of work for a pretty common model but i was up to the challenge to see if i could at least improve things.

next on my list is the white #18 787b. i have a simple plan of attack with that - refinish the radiator so the "dents" are less noticeable and i'm going to paint the shiny superglue mess with flat black acrylic or matte acrylic varnish - we'll see which works better. i got my money back for that one and got a nice replacement elsewhere so if this one implodes during the fix, that's fine. i'll have fun.

PS - the photo etch radiators coming off of these is DEFINITELY an issue, so the (sloppy) repair scenario on that one isn't too far fetched. i got a black HPI Kid Box 787b that was definitely NIB and the radiator was hanging on by pretty much nothing.

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