I'll put the TL;DR (too long; didn't read) right up front for anyone who doesn't feel like wading in:
I've been struggling, since February, to get several Breyer horses sent to me - from Breyer - and as of today they are FINALLY all here, after several e-mails, months of waiting and wondering, and about $80 total in postage, re-shipper fees, and more postage.
Late last year I ordered several Stablemates direct from Breyer, during an end of the year clearance sale they were having. Specifically, Valegro and American Pharoah for $2 each - I bought 5 each as bodies, OF show ponies, whatever. It was also a bit of a shipping test. I knew that Breyer appears to only use UPS Ground for shipping, so I knew they would take a while to get here (if they would?). They did, it took about 6 weeks. No biggie for the "slow boat" way of coming over (or "lashed to a sea turtle" as I like to say).
At the same time, I joined the Collector's Club for the first time and also the Stablemate Club.
February rolled around and I ordered the first horse in the SM Club, Kohana, as soon as he became available - yay!
End of March, I saw they had a 20% off sale on Classic scale models. I really wanted Mason, the new Saddlebred mold. So I ordered two: one for OF, one to customize.
Then came the email that Aiden, the second SM Club horse was available, in early April. I started to wonder, where was Kohana?
I went back through my emails and checked his tracking number.
He'd been returned to sender, about a week after I bought him, over a month ago at that point.
I checked the tracking number on the Masons.
They had been returned too and were en route back to Breyer at that time.
I filled out a help request on the Breyer website, laying out what had happened so far and saying I was hesitant to buy Aiden, since I hadn't received the others yet.
They said that UPS had not given a reason for the returns. Then they confirmed my address and told me they would resend everything. However, Mason was out of stock and would be back in stock the 16th or 17th of April. That's when they would resend.
So I went ahead and ordered Aiden, with a regular run SM too.
I received a tracking number for Aiden and friend.
They were returned to sender.
No word, shipment notification or anything, on what was supposed to be resent.
Then it was announced that Starlet was available, a beautiful appaloosa on the Croi Connemara mold.
Again, I e-mailed Breyer. Again, I laid out that I hadn't received anything since the end of the year box - which apparently was the anomaly, the only one to make it over here. Again, I said there was something I'd like to purchase, but couldn't, because it appeared the only way I was going to be able to receive my orders was to use a re-shipper - which will triple the cost of postage. (postage x2, plus a service fee, which is as much or more than the actual postage).
I was told to go ahead and order Starlet and they would refund the shipping cost for her.
Suddenly, in the middle of all of this, a Breyer box arrived at the post office. Postmarked April 20th, just about 10 days before - record time! (??)
Inside? Two Masons.
(postage was refunded for Starlet)
Yay! The end was in sight....?
Yeah, about that...
I received notifications from the re-shipper that they had a box for me. Then that it was on the way. It got here and I went to the post office, full of excitement - they're here!
I was handed a single horse box - the white ones with blue horses running design. I'd seen them before, with special models in them. My thoughts at the post office: "So, this is Starlet, where are the rest? Maybe they are tucked in there with her? Must be."
I was still hopeful so when I got home, so much so that I set up to film and did an unboxing video. Except, it WAS only Starlet in there.
(side note: she is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous!!)
Today, I got an alert that there was a package waiting at the base post office. I checked the tracking and see that it came from the re-shipper. I asked Jeff if he was expecting anything? (we both have accounts there now). He didn't think so.
At the counter I was handed.. another Breyer box. The same size one that the two Masons came in.
The whole drive home I kept thinking, what if I just got two more Masons? Well, I'll pay for them and have more to paint, that's fine I guess, but that means I'll be paying for a THIRD delivery through the reshipper??
Is this ever going to end?
(haha #firstworldproblems, I know...)
Happily, I was wrong in thinking it was MOAR Masons. It was:
Kohana, Aiden, and their regular run SM friend.
So now, months after the first Club release, I finally have the first two.
(another side note: the tiny boxes for the SM Club horses are AWWW-dorable!!)
Confusion though: I thought I'd only been charged once from the re-shipper. Nope, they did get me twice - so that's $43 total shipping (and fees) for 1 Trad and 3 SMs, through the re-shipper, because they were in two boxes, sent the same day.
While not happy at what all of this ended up costing me (in money and frustration), I am glad the whole ordeal is finally over. Sadly, I think I'm done ordering through Breyer, except for the rest of the SM Club, and they will each now cost me $30 in shipping and fees. At least until we are back Stateside I suppose.
Of course, I did see that Breyer is having a free shipping sale for May - which I couldn't take advantage of with an APO address, but now I can... That might be the only way I can justify ordering from them. Sadly, the free shipping sales don't seem to apply to any of the Club horses when there is an overlap.
Thus ends the Epic saga of my attempts (and eventual success) in importing six plastic horses, direct from Breyer, to a U.S. military base with an APO address in Japan.