There are a couple of planes that I must get my hands on but looks like I'll have to buy online from different merchants. I am feeling very hesitant since diecast airplanes are very fragile items. I am worried that they will ship me a damaged one. I love buying at the store because I can check on their quality before purchasing. What does everyone think? Have your experiences been good or bad purchasing planes from afar?

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I always purchase online since these items are not available in Egypt. Most of the time they reach safe. When u receive any damaged items, usually stores send you another one depending on thier policy. Its why u have to deal with really good stores.
I have bought about half in store and half online. I've only had some small problem. On my ANZ 787 all blacks there was too much glue on the landing gear so they don't sit even. Surprisingly this was a Phoenix which usually is good quality. But I've never had a damaged product. I'd say just read carefully the details. I just bought a 1:200 A320 Frontier on eBay and thought I was getting an amazing deal because I thought it was diecast. I didn't know StarJets made plastic models. Oh well it'll still be a nice model. There seem to be a few major online stores which people buy from - diecastairpane.com (use code MAC10 to get 10% off) EZtoys to name a few. I've also bought from the flying mule.
Flying Mule, Aikens, EzToys, Adams Jets, and DiecastAirplane are the best stores i dealt with in the US.
Ahmed,

Thanks a bunch for the tip. The shipping costs must be crazy for you.
Indeed. Most of the time the shipping costs more than the model itself
What if they send you a damaged plane? Do you then have to ship it back? That will be a pain.
The times I've bought online they ship it with those foam chips. The inner plastic casing that holds the plane is usually enough to keep it secure too. I would think they'd check it before shipping it to you but check their return policy before purchasing.

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