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Purchasing experience with Leader hobby

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#1
We're a single income family with a big mortgage, with little to spare to feed the hobby. Ten or 15 years ago I wouldn't have had a chance to enjoy this hobby the way I can now with the advent of really cheap online stores. The first I came across was Hobbyking. They've got an impressive range, low prices and are not just resellers but involved in manufacturing as well. My purchasing experience with them has been pretty good so far, though I've had a couple of hiccups in my 21 purchases. But I can't complain too much. They're pretty much responsible for my entire collection, including a couple of freebies I've scored.

No other online store really came close to their range or prices until a few months ago, when Leaderhobby appeared on the scene, which was responsible for Hobbyking lowering the price of the 9x below $40 to price match. Hobbyking also held the internet domain leadershobby.com for a while which redirected to Hobbyking, but it seems that's gone back to leader recently.

Comparing the two, the Hobbyking website is much better set out (user-friendly), is both a wholesaler and manufacturer, has local warehouses and has great promotions. Leaderhobby is cheaper but difficult to navigate, and full of airframes rather than PNF type models. They have some common sources with Hobbyking as well as some unique ones, though the electronics brands are mostly new to me (for servos, motors, ESCs etc.).

Hobbyking is the devil I know and lots of friends know too. I've decided to have a go at Leaderhobby, lured in by some $12 EPO airframes and cheap electronics. I'll let you know how things go and what I think of my buying experience and product quality. If other people have made purchases from there already, let me know what you think.
 

Brian fred carr

Site Moderator
Mentor
#2
I am Looking forward to hearing how it goes lobstermash ....its always nice to hear of a new choice
of cheap supplier for our hobby....the prices in the uk are astronomical so unless its something small
and cheap I always have to go overseas
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#3
*subliminal message* Pilot Scott, bring Grayson to Aus and UK *end subliminal message*

Will do. Most of the motors on Leader come with connectors for the motor AND the ESC! On paper *ahem* screen they look like serious competition for HK.
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
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#4
OK, first impressions... There's nobody home.

Unlike Hobbyking, there's no confirmation of order email, no green ticks, just a 'payment received' indication under status. There's also a note saying that status updates may take 48 hours. That's OK. Ebay is much the same, where you eagerly await the posted symbol.

Just for reference, this is what I've bought:

EMP SERIES Outrunner Brushless Motor C2826 KV1900 $ 4.30
ME109 EPO RC Aircraft Fighter Foam Jet Blue Cam $11.92
Mounting seat-C(0190065) for C28 series motor $ 0.32
S0008 8g Servo X3 $ 5.49
S0307 3.7g Servo X2 $ 2.00
ESC 30A Speed controller with T-plug for rc airplane X2 $11.00

Shipping (Air Parcel Australia 1500-1999g) $25.35
Total $62.38

All in US dollars of course.
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#5
By the way, a couple of days ago there were a lot of planes available to buy now or pre-order, however many of them are now sold out!
 

jd7792

Senior Member
#6
Just had a look at the Leaders site. They are out of most planes, so either their doing really well or just need to get stock in!
Does anyone know anything about the 9ch tx they are selling -

2.4G 9 Channel remote TX and RX for Heli andAirplane(Model 2:Throttle in left)
Product Code:[9394001220239].

How does this stack up against the Turnigy 9x?
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
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#7
Same product. The battery they sell for it is better though. Has the correct plug so you can't accidentally reverse the polarity... And is cheaper by about 50% than HK's equivalent.

I'm not advertising for them, by the way, although if you want to sign up for an account, feel free to put me as the referral email ;) (gerutabindy@gmail.com)
 

con244

Senior Member
#8
Its the same transmitter except its a FlySky badged unit. I ordered one a long time ago. The unit arrived with a great big footprint on the box and the transmitter was damaged beyond repair. The damage obviously happened in transit and I had a tough time getting it replaced. Similar to HK in that department. Still replace it they did and they didn't want the damaged unit back so I have another unit with lots of spare parts for later. Overall the shopping experience was ok, no better than HK, but cheaper stuff. I found postage was a bit better as well. Another one to try is HiModel.com So far I've been happy with them but I've only had a couple of orders. I suspect the customer service on HK is about to change. They have been offline all week and are hiring staff. Interesting times.
Cheers
Con
 

jd7792

Senior Member
#9
I don't think that their changes will come in time for either myself or friends that are looking to buy. Was very unimpressed with being told that the Tx unit I was trying to order would only be available to USA customers. I thought we were all on the same side....so to speak???? Or at least my dollar paid through Paypal would be the same as any other paid through Paypal. Worse was not to get any reply to questions asked about the matter!

It has really opened a box of questions for me! especially since my last two purchases were with Banana Hobby and the service and delivery times were OUTSTANDING. It makes me wonder what changes took place there in order for their game to be lifted so much. Just goes to show what reputations are really worth hey?!:confused:
 

lobstermash

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Mentor
#10
I've looked at BH a few times, but the shipping costs are horrendous! Same with Grayson. Would be great to have the option of using these guys (and NP for that matter), however the shipping is far too costly for me to contemplate a purchase.

My Leader Hobby experience isn't feeling so wonderful any more. My order hasn't left Hong Kong yet. I asked them on Friday when it would be shipped. Their online chat support was very slow to respond and gave one word answers to everything. They told me 2 days for the package to be shipped. 4 days later my order status is unchanged.

I'll update when there's anything new.
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
Mentor
#11
OK, I contacted chat support again on Thursday, as the status on my order hasn't changed. She told me it would ship today (Saturday). I asked her how certain she was of that, and she told me very certain and gave me the tracking number! So in spite of me worrying that there's been no change to the status on my account, the order's progressed at fairly normal pace. I checked the tracking number this morning and:

tem Number: CP851412815HK

Posting Date Drop-off Point Origin
3-May-2012 Yeung Uk Road Post Office Hong Kong

Date # Location Delivery Status
3-May-2012 Hong Kong Item posted and is being processed.
3-May-2012 Hong Kong In transit.
4-May-2012 Hong Kong Processed for departure.

# Location Date

It'll depart today and be here by the end of next week! So about the same amount of time as HK's JIT orders to process. Considering I saved between 40-60% on what HK charge for similar items... Hell yeah! I guess I should hold off being too impressed before the parcel arrives and the gear tested...
 

con244

Senior Member
#12
OK, I contacted chat support again on Thursday, as the status on my order hasn't changed. She told me it would ship today (Saturday). I asked her how certain she was of that, and she told me very certain and gave me the tracking number! So in spite of me worrying that there's been no change to the status on my account, the order's progressed at fairly normal pace. I checked the tracking number this morning and:

tem Number: CP851412815HK

Posting Date Drop-off Point Origin
3-May-2012 Yeung Uk Road Post Office Hong Kong

Date # Location Delivery Status
3-May-2012 Hong Kong Item posted and is being processed.
3-May-2012 Hong Kong In transit.
4-May-2012 Hong Kong Processed for departure.

# Location Date

It'll depart today and be here by the end of next week! So about the same amount of time as HK's JIT orders to process. Considering I saved between 40-60% on what HK charge for similar items... Hell yeah! I guess I should hold off being too impressed before the parcel arrives and the gear tested...
Yeah that seems typical for some of these Chinese places. They are a bit slow when it comes to updating stuff. I bought some batteries from RCTimer and they arrived after 2 weeks (ok) but were still showing that they were in China in the tracking info of Hong Kong Post. I guess you've just got to wear the inefficiencies of their organisations as a trade of for the cheaper prices. BTW the worst delivery time I had was from LeadersHobby sending some lipos through Singapore post. The damn things went on a trip around the world before they were delivered after about 4 weeks. Doesn't seem to be a problem with other suppliers and shipping companies (I know you pay more for lipos).
Con
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
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#13
OK, the package is in Australia! Should be at my door on Thursday or Friday, or perhaps even Wednesday if Australia Post can get it together... I'll be away for work on Thursday and Friday, but I may be able to build on Friday night. I'm very excited! Is this going to be part of a beautiful new relationship???
 

lobstermash

Propaganda machine
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#20
It's here! Well, should I say it's there... I'm told all items arrived in their proper order. However apparently the paint isn't wonderful in some spots. Never mind. I look forward to getting home tomorrow and putting it together (and getting the Bixler going)