The Italian Railway Society magazine Binari recently recommended an Italian model shop – TechnoModel of Livorno (on the western coast of Italy)
Just before Christmas I went onto their site (in Italian) and noticed they had a pretty special offer on an Italian HO diesel railcar set (DC) by Os.kar at above 30% off. I have a bit of a thing about railcars so in a spate of pre- Christmas bonhomie I placed an order. There was an added bonus of no postage charge! A note from Fed Ex followed a few days later (27th December) to say the parcel had been collected and should arrive on January 4th or 5th
Parcel dispatched from Livorno Italy 27th December Espresso FedEx actually arrived today-29th December (am)
In comparison-A British outline item pre-ordered back in 2012, which I had not un-naturally forgotten all about, was dispatched first class on the 24th December from Cornwall also arrived today but pm…. (of course the pre-delivery period was not the fault of the shop just what happens with Chinese manufacturing)
If your into continental HO I would recommend Tecnomodel www.tecnomodel-treni.it on the basis of this experience. I also use a German shop modelbahnshop-lippe.com from Detmold who also give excellent service with comparable delivery periods.
If continental model shops provide good service at affordable prices then I would suggest that you use them while you can. Being in Europe does bring some advantages…