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Bricklink Seller Review - Homebricknet - Varko.cz

Somewhere around the beginning of the year I was rather pleased to hear that Star Wars Planet Series 4 would be making it's way out onto shelves in the near future.  Then near the end of August I was quite disappointed to learn that the series had not done well, production was cut short, and all produced sets were sent directly to Europe.  Not Australia, not North America.  Serious bummer.  I spent the next week exploring all outlets to find me a set of SWPS4 that didn't require a second mortgage on the house.  Amazon.fr and Amazon.es were reasonably prices.  A few sellers on Bricklink were reasonably priced.  Ebay was a joke.  The biggest issue was shipping.  I don't mind paying a little extra on the price for the set but if the shipping is going to double the entire price, I'll pass.  I ended up finding a previously untapped (for me) source in the Czech Republic which has very reasonable shipping rates due to a generous definition of the term 'letter'.  After a few communications I placed a patchwork order for SWPS4 and FAS3 (Friends Animal Series 3).

Profile
Seller: Homebricknet - Varko.cz
Store: http://www.BrickLink.com/store.asp?p=hana129
Feedback (at time of writing): 1929
Feedback Ratio: 99.95% positive  One negative ever.
Location: Czech Republic, Moravskoslezsk√Ĺ Kraj (Moravia-Silesia)
Prices: Base prices a little lower than 6 month average.

My Order
Order Size: 2 lots, 46 pieces plus 6 small sets.
Condition: 100% New
Shipping Charge: Based on actual Ceska Posta rates.
Extra Fees: None (Bank Transfer payment fee of about $7.75)
Other: No minimum buy
Final Cost per Part: Sort of irrelevant here.  Parsing the shipping over the value of the order brought the planet sets to about $14.50 each and the Friends polybags to $4.95 each.

Timeline
Order Date: Sep 15
Invoice Date: Sep 15
Payment Date: Sep 16
Shipping Date: Sep 17
Delivery Date: Sep 23

Order Details
Why this store: Had the planet sets for a fair price and offered reasonable shipping
Packaging: Nice and snug in a box with some air pillows.
Part condition: Like new
Communication: Quick and professional
Feedback left: Positive
Odd telltale signs: None
Issues: One baggie wasn't sealed tight and some contents went spilling out.  Everything was accounted for.

Recommendation
Based on my uneducated 'Merican mind, I have always been under the impression that the further east you go, the worse the experience will be.  Therefore I have largely avoided former East Bloc countries and not even considered ordering from China.  However as I make small forays beyond my own iron curtain I find that the rest of the world is just like home.  Except they don't talk like me and some of the food is better.  I have added Homebricknet to my list of favorite stores and will definitely keep the sister site Varko.cz in mind next time I am looking for sets.  As a famous neighbor to the Czech once said, "I'll be back."

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