Originally Posted by frognbuff
I've known about these guys for years but have never figured out how to potentially buy their stuff. Obviously, speaking Spanish would help! There is a hobby store in Buenos Aires called "Hobby Mundo" (Hobby World - possibly a chain like HobbyTown USA??) that sells these kits (which used to be called CondorTec, I believe). If anybody ever cracks the code, please do tell!
I've ordered hobby items (model rocketry and other products) in such situations by using FreeTranslation.com (see: www.freetranslation.com
). To avoid any potential misunderstandings, I explain in the e-mail inquiry that I'm using that website and include its URL, so that the seller(s) can use it as well (for their reference--in case anyone on their staff understands English--I also include my original message, below the translated version). Also:
As a further safeguard, I use only Basic English (the ~800 word, simplified [but not "pidgin"] version of English that is used as a second language worldwide), and avoid any idioms, as they could be unfathomable to the message recipients. I've had 100% success so far, and sometimes I get a reply in English. It takes a little longer to work the transactions than with "Anglosphere" vendors, but not by much. In addition:
The only time I ever had a problem making a payment (it wasn't a barrier; it just took longer because of a mistake I made) was when--several years ago, for a German immigrant friend of mine--I ordered a bettwäsche (she called it a "bettbezug," see: http://www.quelle.at/heimtextilien/...ue&sview=extern
) from the German department store chain called Quelle. At that time, they (their German chain) wouldn't sell to the U.S., but their division in Estonia would, so I wrote to them and explained the situation (they understood English, which made things easier). They were somewhat intrigued and definitely surprised, but they were happy to fill the order, but they would only accept a U.S. Postal Money Order for payment. Unfortunately, there were two types, and I--like Colonel Klink in that bomb-defusing scene in an episode of "Hogan's Heroes"--sent them the wrong type! Some weeks later (after receiving their letter regarding the wrong money order), I'd sent the one they would honor, and the much-anticipated bettbezug arrived. All of the other times when I ordered items from international vendors, PayPal or a credit card worked just fine (so did [well-hidden] mailed cash, when I ordered several Esbit tablet-fueled mini-hot air balloons from a one-man company run by a former East German fellow).