Miniature Market is an online retailer selling a variety of games and gaming supplies. A lot of the Axis & Allies ForuMINI members are huge fans and as a result of the increased business Miniature Market has graced forum members with exclusive coupons.
One such coupon took $5 off when ordering the new War at Sea: Flank Speed set. Normally I purchase all of my War at Sea cases from my friendly local game store, Battleground Games, and for Flank Speed I have purchased two cases. But, I thought with the good price point I’d get a third and order it from Miniature Market.
This review details my experience providing reflections based on my experience. I would be remiss if I do not clearly state that I received a $5 gift certificate to Miniature Market because I am an Axis & Allies ForuMINI member. I was not compensated for this review. In fact, I’m never compensated for my reviews and if the day ever comes that I am or am given special review only product I will gladly say so at the start of the review.
A lot of discussion existed on the forum about Miniature Market. Most of it was amazing and all of it was good. Almost, I thought, too good (it wasn’t too good to be true) to be true so I contacted the company with questions. In particular I asked questions relating to the special discount, to shipping (when would the case arrive), and how to order. The sales rep replied first thing next morning (I sent the e-mail after business hours) answering all my questions.
He explained how shipping works, that the coupon code gave $5 off when purchasing at least 1 case of Flank Speed, and answered all my questions. The customer service was excellent! Unfortunately, it turned out that a portion of his information was incorrect.
Since the customer service was so incredible I placed an order for 1 case of Flank Speed. I entered the coupon code and was told I didn’t meet the requirements. This was confusing because I did exactly what I was told. After placing the order I e-mailed the sales rep again explaining the situation and asking him to fix the problem.
He explained he was mistaken and that the discount only was activated when spending at least $125 (the case sold or $110). To get the discount I’d need to add on items to my order. I didn’t like that but there were a few other items I saw so I included them. Unfortunately the shipping department was quicker than the sales rep so I wasn’t able to add on to the order. Instead, I was given a $5 gift certificate to use on a future order.
I cannot stress enough how polite, helpful, and considerate the sales rep was. Normally I don’t name people but he was so exceptional that I need to place a spotlight on him. Erik Peterson is the delightful person who answered all my questions and helped to resolve the situation for me.
One odd thing is that the company charges a nominal shipping charge but then charges 75 cents on top to cover “shipping and handling.” I was put off by this.
My order was shipped on August 27th via UPS ground. The set didn’t officially release until September 1st. The owner of Miniature Market, on the ForuMINI, claimed that no product was shipped until the release date. I understand why he said that but clearly it isn’t true. My case arrived in my state on the 31st and sat less than 20 miles from my house for a day.
On the 1st it arrived to my “local” UPS facility. Normally UPS delivers to my house by 11am or noon at the latest. I got home from work after 6pm and it still hadn’t arrived. I did not receive my case until after 9pm. Once the case left Miniature Market’s hands they had no control over delivery. It was all UPS.
On arrival I opened the case and was very disappointed by its contents (see War at Sea: Flank Speed Case 2 Opened From Miniature Market). I was also upset because several of the models arrived damaged (bent wings, ships that looked like a banana boat) and several stat cards arrived damaged (roughened edges, a bent corner). Additionally, the packing that Miniature Market did was unusual. I ordered a World of Warcraft CCG card and they taped it on the inside top of the box. I actually cut into the card with my box opener not knowing the card would be right where a person would cut to open the box.
Placing the order was a little rocky due to faulty information on the discount. But, it was mended with the stellar customer service provided by Erik Peterson. The price was rock bottom but the confusing shipping pricing was misleading and unnecessary. Combine both shipping and handling prices together instead of adding a separate 75 cents surcharge. Doing it as it exists in bad customer service.
The shipping time was fairly good. UPS was problematic in the time to deliver but I am thankful that I received the case on release day even if it was very late in the day. The downside with this was the damaged product. I cannot say if this is because UPS was rough with the package or if it would have been better off being better packed. But, it shipped in the case the boosters come in so the boosters are snug but their contents are not. The case I purchased from my FLGS did NOT suffer from any damage and I received it before the one from Miniature Market.
Also, packing my WoW CCG card where they did was simply awful. Bad packaging, bad planning, and bad customer service. I can only imagine it was placed there to cause minimal disruption to the integrity of the sealed case. Even so everything should have been shipped in a larger box, the cards could have been sent in a separate bubble mailer (with cardboard protecting them) or something. Instead I ended up with damaged cards that were in a hard plastic sleeve and stapled shut, which seemed odd to me.
Price 9/10 $110 for a case is incredible. There are lower prices out there but this is quite low.
Value 8/10 The price for the product is very good. But, they did arrive damaged and there are other good deals out there.
Customer Service 9/10 Stellar. I had to take a point off for the error with the coupon code and failure to update my order in time. But this is the shining gem for Miniature Market and why I would order from them again.
Shipping/Packaging 7/10 The product arrived damaged, poorly packaged, and even arrived slow-ish. Some of this is UPS’ fault, potentially, which is why I didn’t drop the score lower (maybe to a 6). It was decent but nothing special. I’ve had much better shipping/packaging from eBay sellers, TheWarStore, or at work (in a library) from Indonesia.
Contentment 8/10 I was generally very content with the experience. The only drawbacks were shipping/packaging (not all of which was the company’s fault) and the hiccup with customer service. I’d definitely give them another try (and in fact have, ordering some singles from them).
Overall 41/50 or 82% or B-
Miniature Market is definitely worth your time. Ordering singles from them, which I didn’t do in this review, produces much better results. If you intend to order a case please go to your friendly local game store first. They likely will give a discount for purchasing a case and perhaps have a customer loyalty program. If you are looking for a good online deal then consider Miniature Market as a good option.
I was drawn in by the low prices and words of praised, ordered because of the phenomenal customer service, and have come back because of the personal touch. They really are good and a great side effect is they sponsor my favorite War at Sea online forum the Axis & Allies ForuMINI.
If you do order from Miniature Market please put a note saying you went there because of the CWF GameCast and also the Axis & Allies ForuMINI.