I'd like to start this review by saying that I'm in no way affiliated with this company. In fact I tried to get them to advertise on my blog and they turned me down saying that they didn't run an affiliate scheme as they preferred to pass savings on to their customers! Anyway, legal bit aside here goes.
When I got back into 40K about a year ago the first thing I was quickly reminded of was how damn expensive GW's prices are. Granted their miniatures are, in my opinion, second to none, but still. Obviously there's a thriving second hand market for models but I knew I wanted to have everything new so that I could assemble and paint it all myself. I like the idea of a healthy bits box and all my models individually posed by me with the equipment I want to give them.
I started my search for cheaper stuff on eBay, what I found was that despite the odd lucky find, it was for the most part not that much cheaper than GW when you take postage into account (which it seems most eBayers don't). That is of course if you're trying to buy new. I therefore decided to do some Googling (if that's a word) and this led me to Wayland Games. I bought a few items from there (they offer 20% off) for my Eldar army. Unfortunately I found they don't stock most of the items on their website and instead they only order them from GW when you order them. Fine in theory but in practice it means you wait a while for anything they don't have in stock.
I therefore continued my search and from reading some 40K forums I stumbled upon someone recommending Dark Sphere. I headed straight over there and found that they offer 25%. In addition they charge reasonable postage which meant that I ordered the vast majority of both my Tau and Space Wolves from there and saved myself a fortune.
I can't honestly understand why anyone would buy from anywhere else if they're shopping online? Yes I agree with supporting your local independent hobby centre but if somewhere else is cheaper then your hobby centre needs to compete! Whilst I'm on the subject, DS do have their own shop in London (no good for me in Sheffield) which means they tend to have most things in stock.
It's not just the discount and quick service. Their customer service is excellent too. I recently ordered a few boxes to bolster my Space Wolves force and I was disappointed when they hadn't arrived after a few days (since DS are normally really good). I phoned DS and they told me that according to their records they'd been delivered to my local post office and quoted me the tracking number. I was able to collect them and despite the delay (not DS's fault) I still received my miniatures within a week.
Anyway, I'm writing this just to bring them to your attention so you too can save some cash like I have. If you prefer to buy from someone else fine but it always surprises me how much stuff goes for on eBay when you can get it from a reputable retailer for cheaper and without the inherent risk in eBay. I know this sounds all very brown-nosey but I believe if you like a company then you should spread the word. If for no other reason than to keep them in business so you can still buy from them!
Where do you get your miniatures from? Anyone else tried Dark Sphere? Anyone had bad experiences with them or any other online hobby retailer?