Entertainment Earth - Pop Culture Shopaholics...BEWARE!
Written: Aug 31, 2002
Looking for a set of The Simpson's Bobble heads? Is there a Star Wars fan that you're looking to buy that special gift for? Want to start a collection of Lord of the Rings memorabilia? Look no more. The Entertainment Earth Online Store is here to serve your every whim.
Who Is Entertainment Earth?
Back in 1995, three collectors of stuff got together and decided to open up a store that would provide new, and in mint condition collectibles for people just like them.
In 1996, they expanded their business to include an internet presence and a mail order catalog entity. They've been so successful in their venture (averaging a growth of 230% each year) that they were named one of the Top 500 E-Commerce Companies. Their brick and mortar store operates out of North Hollywood, California.
The Web Site
I know that someone is going to yell at me for this but hey, this is my opinion. I think that Entertainment Earth's web site was built with the male perspective in mind because it's extremely busy-looking and has no aesthetic extras to it.
The colors are olive green, blue, and white. There are so many ways to find what you're looking for. Across the top are index type subject headers. Right under those, you can browse by company, theme, or product type. To the left, you can type in free form searches. The rest of the home page feature different collectibles including best sellers and those that just came off of the truck.
When you locate the item you are looking for Entertainment Earth gives you a picture of the product, a solid description of it including dimensions, the price, if it is in stock, and what other people purchased (who also purchased this).
The web site is updated a couple of times a day to reflect current stock and to revise product descriptions.
Wow! You could spend hours browsing this web site, looking at all of their collectibles. They have a good variety and allow you to purchase most collectibles either by the case or singly. I doubt that any one brick and mortar online store has this big of a variety (except maybe Entertainment Earth's store).
Almost every thing that they sell is mint. If it isn't, the price is lower and they will clearly state in the description of the product that it is not mint.
What I really appreciate is that they let you know if a product is out of stock (never to be ordered again or available to order), or available. They also list collectibles that are not yet released so that you can pre-order them. Some of my Barbie's have been listed out there as much as 6 months before they're scheduled for release.
Once you find what you are looking for, just add it to your cart and checkout. You do not need to have an account. Payment options include American Express, Visa, Discover, Mastercard, and JCB debit/credit card. Your credit card does not actually get charged until they ship the item.
You'll give the usual demographic information, including your email address so that they can send you both an order confirmation and a shipping notification. If you create an account (which is not required), you have the option of storing your credit card information.
One nice feature that I have used is the free form comments you can make to customer service as part of your order.
Entertainment Online embraces both domestic and international buyers. In the U.S., you can receive your product via UPS or USPS. Expect to pay between $6.95 for shipment ($0 - $14.95) up to 6% of your total order (over $500).
Depending on when you ordered, you can expect to receive your "stuff" within a week as long as it is in stock. At least that's been my experience.
Internationally, shipping rates and methods depend on your location.
You may return any unopened product within 30 days for a refund or exchange. If it was shipped to you in mint condition, it must be returned in that way. They do not refund any of your shipping charges.
Guarantee On Mint Condition
If you're a collector than you'll understand this. There's nothing more irritating then receiving something in the mail and having it damaged. That reduces the collectible value. Other things that Entertainment Earth does to preserve the value: they inspect every single product prior to shipment, they do not place stickers, labels, security stamps, or hole punches on the collectible. If you're product arrives in anything but mint condition, they guarantee to replace it with a mint condition collectible.
You can call Entertainment Online or you can email them. I have used both options and have been pleased with the quality of assistance. In one particular case, I was looking for some collectible that I couldn't find anywhere. The individual I talked with researched it and informed me that the manufacturer had discontinued it awhile back.
Why Choose Entertainment Earth?
I've been shopping with Entertainment Earth for over a year and I have never been disappointed in the quality of their deliverables, the timeliness of the arrival of my product, or the customer service.
You'll notice that the prices are a little higher (about 10-15%) and the shipping seems a little over the top. Most "normal" people wouldn't even think twice about shopping elsewhere. To collectors, we're willing to pay the price for a mint product. The bonus is that by doing it on the internet we avoid having to drive from retailer to retailer to hunt down the collectible AND find one out of the group that is actually in mint condition. Combine that with Entertainment Earth's fantastic customer service and you'll understand why they've got a good thing going.