For Beginner Figure Collectors #15: What to do if you have issues with your item or receive a damaged box?To All,
Based on what damage your boxes receive when it arrives on your end (usually either crushed or waterlogged), it can be very mentally taxing and worrisome to deal with it.
Either problem has their own drawbacks. You could probably salvage a crushed figure box (unless it's crushed to the extent that it damages the figure enclosed in the blister, then there is most likely no hope for the figure's box anymore). On the other hand, your water-damaged figure box is most likely a gone case, but it's more likely for the figure in it to suffer less damaged than in a crushed box.
So for starters, let's see what are the basic things you should do if you receive such a box before freaking out.
First, take a photograph of your sealed exterior box. That is, the cardboard box that your loot is secured in, and preferably one where the details of your order is visible as well. This is essential and the ideal first step to take, in case a photo of the extent of damage is required.
If the outer cardboard box is not visibly damaged but the figure box in it is, do also make sure to take a picture of the exterior cardboard box as well as the inner packaging as well!
Next, you can open up your exterior cardboard box, and while holding back those tears which are threatening to fall, take a look at the boxes of the items. If any of them appear to be visibly damaged, such as crushed or waterlogged, take a picture of them while they are still in the cardboard (to show how the company packaged the items before shipping to you), and a picture of the damaged box itself. If the box has windows, do ensure you have at least a photo of the figure in the figure box before taking the figure out.
Inspect the figure for any damages at once and take pictures of all the damages incurred during shipping. This includes any broken parts, paint chips, or loose joints.
After all that arduous task of taking photographs, you'll have to contact the site where you've ordered from. I usually get my items on pre-order from Amiami, so I'll contact them at email@example.com to relay the situation and extent of damage to them.
After which, I'll either wait for Amiami's reply or if I'm impatient I might just head on over to the manufacturer's end and drop them a message or email as well. Do note that for shipping mistakes, the site which you have ordered from is more likely to send a replacement, or refund, rather than the manufacturer.
Fortunately, Good Smile Company has quite a good customer service for overseas customers and it might be easier to get a replacement part from GSC if it falls within their boundaries of defects. This is usually not true for other figure companies you may order from, such as Alter as they are not catered to overseas customers and generally don't reply to emails regarding defects to their products. With such companies, it might be easier to simply contact the site which you ordered from, for instance, Amiami.
Do note that if only the figure box is damaged, and the figure itself is unscathed, it is very unlikely that you would be getting a replacement because unlike us collectors who'd like the item in pristine condition, manufacturers may only see the box as a means to protect the figure during shipping, no matter how pretty the box may be. It is also quite expensive to mail a single box alone and many figure companies do not partake in such replacements.
After sending the pictures, do remember to head down to Singpost and drop them a claim, because you need them to get things going by contacting Japan Post and doing all that administrative tasks behind your back. From experience, Singpost does need quite a bit of enthusiastic poking from your end before they finally start working on your case, thus make sure you are prepared to bother them quite a fair bit!
And it'll probably take a few months (or weeks, depending on how lucky you are) but I hope you'll be able to get the replacement or refund, especially if your shipping method consists of insurance!
And here's some blogs where other people have written regarding their damages. You can see which of theirs fits your case the best!
Water damaged -- Did not ask for a replacement or send in a claim.
Slightly crushed -- Probably not going to get a replacement
Severely crushed -- Contacted Amiami, replacement sent
For damages to the figure during shipping, follow the same steps as above, though I would expect the exterior cardboard box to not have sustained any damages if you haven't suspected anything upon receiving it. Remember to take clear photographs of the figure and the figure's box before contacting Amiami and/or the manufacturer. If the damage is huge, you'll most likely be liable for an exchange. But do not fear even if the damage is small,. I'd say just try your luck because what's better than a pristine undamaged figure sitting in your display?
For lost packages, skip directly to contacting Amiami (you'll need them to open a claim with Japan Post), as well as your country's very own postal service. If you're lucky you might solve it quickly, or get a replacement or compensation!
From Your Fellow Collector,
- What to do if you have issues with your item or receive a damaged box?
- Storage of Figures
- Storage of Figure Boxes
- Maintenance of Figures- Bootlegs- Sale of your figures