A Word on Pre-Sales
1) The types of products we sell are sophisticated pieces of art, not mass produced pieces of plastic. These kinds of products take time to develop, manufacture, and prepare for shipment. They cannot be rushed out the door on a moment’s notice. The manufacturers we do business with will NOT ship a hastily-assembled product, even if it means that the product will be delayed. Delays are normal with these types of products.
2) We send out a Weekly Status Update that has the most current news on the products we sell, the suggested ship dates that are provided by the representatives of the manufacturers we do business with. These are only suggested dates and if the dates change, as they often do, we will update as quickly as we can. Again, delays are normal with these types of products but that does not mean that the product has been canceled. It is very, very, very rare that a product is canceled, even if it’s long overdue.
3) There have been a few situations where a product was delayed for more than a few months. This can be attributed to a problem caught in quality control at the very last moment, a packaging problem, or a legal problem. Many of you remember the Master Replicas Darth Vader 1:1 Helmet fiasco… in 2005, over the course of 6 months, the fiberglass helmets were developed, manufactured and shipped to Master Replicas’ warehouses. It was discovered, right as the helmets were starting to ship to customers, that they had not been sufficiently protected and nearly all of them had gotten scratched, enroute from manufacturing. Now, considering that a customer paying $900-$1500 for this helmet would never accept anything less than perfect, the helmets had to be shipped back to manufacturing, nearly all of them. After an assortment of legal headaches, the helmets were completely redone. This took 16 months, but the helmets were all re-manufactured and re-shipped (sufficiently protected, the second time around) and each one of our pre-sale customers got their helmet. It took 16 -18 months, but we delivered as promised. Now, this is a rare example, but these kinds of things do happen from time to time in the limited edition collectibles world. We will do our best to inform our customers of the delays but at the end of the day, we simply cannot ship what has not been shipped to us.
4) As a collector myself, I have one word to share with our new customers and new collectors coming on board: PATIENCE. Secret Compass will get you what you want, but given the nature of these types of products and the delays that often go hand in hand with them, it really helps for you to be patient. At any given point, I personally am waiting on 3-4 products that I want to add to my collection. To share another one of my experiences from the very beginning… in 2003, I was snapping up Sideshow’s Lord of the Rings statues as quickly as I could, but they were selling out quicker than I could buy them. I wanted one of those Moria Orc Swordsman statues but I was too late, it was sold out on Sideshow’s website. I found the item as a “backordered” item on a Direct Dealer’s website, and I placed the order. I emailed the website once a week within the next few weeks, and they always gave me the same answer: “It’s backordered, but we’re guaranteed to get it.” To make a long story short, I grew impatient and canceled the order. A few months later, I got an email from that same website, notifying all confirmed pre-sale customers that the Moria Orc Swordsman was finally in stock, and shipping! Too bad, because I was no longer a confirmed pre-sale customer. By then, the statue had gone from an MSRP of $125 to around $800. I never got that statue and if I had wanted to pursue it once it was in stock, it would’ve cost me serious money. The moral of the story, and we cannot stress this enough: The only way to be sure that you will get what you want at a fair price is to place an order in advance (a pre-order), with a Direct Dealer, before the product sells out. This is the only way to be 100% positive that you will get what you want, without having to fight for one later, on the secondary market. Please be patient as we try our best to fill your order as quickly as possible.