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Reasons why U hate AUTOart..!


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#26 OFFLINE   mobius

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 12:36 AM

View Postmox, on 16 January 2011 - 09:34 PM, said:

I don't hate AUTOart either. GMP? Them I hate.

Like everyone else here, I do hate the direction AUTOart has been heading for some time. I have a feeling it's going to be at best harmful and at worst ruinous to the future of the hobby. One only has to look at the number of collectors who are being forced to either severely limit their purchases or simply stop buying all together. In a few years they've gone from selling great models that nearly anyone could afford to selling good to excellent models that are approaching the threshold where only the rich can afford them.


I totally agree with you Mox. It's just like MR and CMC models, only people who are super serious and have $300-400 for a single 1/18 model can afford them. At the  prices AutoArt is raising (doubling in the last 10 years), they'll eventually reach MR prices. I guess I can sort of see why the Zonda model goes for $280....because it's a premium model that has over 400 individual pieces that takes 10 hours of man labor to assemble the whole model, etc. But why do the new Porsche models cost $122 a pop!!?? Didn't AutoArt Porsche models used to go only for $79 five years ago? The engine piece in those Porsche models is probably just made from a single piece of plastic as most Porsche models, we can barely see the engine details. So essentially, it's $122 because it's got really good paint.

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#27 OFFLINE   carbonsigma

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 12:43 AM

View PostDiecast24/7, on 16 January 2011 - 04:07 PM, said:

The R8 headlights look like a 16 yr old went to the corner hardware store and glued on some cheap rope lighting. I just can't get past that.  :occasion14: I'd trade an R8 for half of a ZR1.
I guess it now looks like that as everyone from Mercedes-Benz to street ricer is getting in on this LED trend!
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#28 OFFLINE   Super Snail

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 12:57 AM

View PostMclaren_F1, on 16 January 2011 - 10:17 AM, said:

Their new top of the line cars are better higher in quality, accuracy and details than many Exotos.   :occasion14:

One is joking, rite?
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#29 OFFLINE   Autobahn

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 01:34 AM

I don't hate AutoArt, but I am becoming annoyed with their business practices.

The price increases are inevitable, I know because I see the same thing happening industry-wide.  However, the rate at which AutoArt increases their prices is ridiculous, so much that it makes the rise in gas prices during 2010 seem like no big deal, and we all know that trend has at least as much to do with machinations in commodities markets as it does with any tightening of the world's oil supply.  I understand the challenges diecast manufacturers must face with the ever-changing Chinese labor force and all of the pressures associated with it.  But we're paying twice as much for the garden-variety AutoArt as we did just about five or so years ago, and I don't think we're getting twice the model in most cases.

Another annoying aspect of AutoArt's way of doing business is their practice of forcing diecast dealers to raise prices on existing models.  That Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3 sedan that was $79 three or four years ago?  Now it's $109, and in a few months, it'll be $119 or $129.  A 1971 Mustang Mach I that once sold in the $60-$70 range is now over $100.  Dealers can get around the price increases by offering sales or discounts on the purchase of other manufacturer's cars, but ultimately, shouldn't the pricing decisions be left up to the dealers anyway?

One more note about pricing:  The qualities that make one diecast worth more than another are dubious.  I had a CCX that I just traded because the doors were getting loose.  I suppose I played with them too much, although I really didn't since I have a small display space in which I regularly rotate my collection (so it wasn't even on display all the time even though it was one of my favorites).  I actually acquired it while it was on sale for $140 at a dealer.  The model has loads of detail, as anyone that has one in their collection or is familiar with mac47's excellent pictures and thorough review knows.  The engine in particular is stunning.  But even with that level of detail and the unique doors, it didn't feel like a model that should be priced just under $200.  The McLaren F1 looks nice, as does the Zonda R, but their price points are really getting out of my league.  I want to buy the Veyron Sang Noir when it's released, but I fear what the MSRP will be once it's on the market.

Quality control is also an issue.  At the price I paid for the CCX, the doors shouldn't be getting wobbly after only a few times of opening and closing them, although I realize that's the hazard of having a unique working feature that is faithful to the operation of the doors on 1:1 Koenigseggs.  And the "EB" logo on my Veyron shouldn't have fallen off, and it shouldn't have been off-center as it was when I took delivery.  I hope when I get the Sang Noir that issue will be resolved, but I won't hold my breath either...

As for release dates, there's no rhyme or reason.  There are cars we've waited for over 10 years now, and then there are cars that I wasn't expecting (that I want in my collection) that all seem to hit the market at once.  The next car I want to buy is the Lexus LFA.  I just passed on adding several Porsches (1980s Carrera, 1992 Carrera RS, and the 1986 944 Turbo) because my wallet wasn't ready for all of them to be released all at once!  And while they are great models, I may have a hard time paying over $100 for each when they would have been $60-$70 a few years ago.  Again, they are very good, but I don't see that much progression commensurate with the price.

All of that said, AutoArt is still the company that beats all others in the breadth and quality of subject matter offered.  Even when they don't deliver on cars we would like to see, they still release a wide variety of quality diecast cars in my opinion.  I would love to swear them off because of my aforementioned concerns, but my collection would feel incomplete without the AutoArts I have because the subject matter resonates with me more often than not.
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#30 OFFLINE   rossoGTO

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 03:02 AM

Whoaaa!!!  I'm amazed at all you guys input about AUTOart.   My thoughts were wrong about hating this brand.  C'mon I'm Japanese and the word " hate " is the only word that came to mind when I started this thread.   I guess I should take out my dictionary next time.
This afternoon I went to this Happy Hobby Shop and they have the 1:18 Zonda R, the LFA, and those new Porsche 930's.  One was silver and the other one was brown.   Very beautiful models.  But what caught my two eyes is the new Pagani Zonda R.  One word to describe it.....SUPERB!   Worth every single YEN or Penny for that matter that you're gonna spend.   I may be wrong but if you buy this model it will never lose its value.   10 years from now if you decide to sell it you will get what you paid for and more!!!!!    Just like the Lamborghini Diablo GTR.   I remember this model when I bought mine years ago it was worth less than $100.   Look at ebay now and check out prices on these GTR's!  
The old man said he'll give me a discount.  We kind of went back and forth with the price until we agreed on $245.00 even for it if I promise to come back and get the Lexus LFA too from him.      By the way he had them posted for $295.00 each!  Insane  :occasion14: The Lexus LFA are $145 each and the New Porsche 930 are $125 each.   Great!!!   I can buy the LFA and the Porsche 930 for a price of one Pagani Zonda R.   So I had to make up my mind in his store looking at other models while thinking.   Thinking and more thinking.  

Finally after looking at every single 1:18 Autoart, Kyosho, HOtwheels Elites, NOREV, BBR's models in there I made my decision.   I'm gonna get the Pagani!!   I gave the old man $45 ( Y4500 ) to hold it for me until payday.   I just have to cut back eating oka oka bentos and sushi for two weeks I'll be OK.    

It's worth it guys.  You'll never be disappointed with this new model.  Pictures won't do it.  You have to see it in person.  Stunning model.

#31 OFFLINE   Monster

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 05:04 AM

You must have been the very first person to check out the AUTOart Zonda R model in real life, this old shop owner must have some connection, and also please take a lot of photos for us!!, and he has the LF-A as well?

Edited by Monster, 17 January 2011 - 05:05 AM.


#32 OFFLINE   giamino

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 05:56 AM

Well lucky for you that you can actually see the model before purchasing. For me, that's impossible. I just have to wait for some members here to get it and decide from pictures only. Lol.

#33 OFFLINE   SchrodingersBox

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 07:29 AM

***Just playing Devil's advocate here***

On the topic of AutoArt price jumps for new models, I'd just like to say this.  Without being educated in macro and micro economics I don't think anyone complaining about pricing has any idea what they are talking about, truly.  In case we all haven't noticed. the last 30 years the world economy has been in the process of global meltdown.  With raw materials in high demand for developing areas of the world prices for those materials have spiked at  :rolleyes: 100%+ what they were ten years ago(whole process involved)!  *gasp* Can we see a correlation?  Has anyone considered the possibility that AutoArt and others' budgets are set up in multi-year projections, and that a major spike in raw material cost will skew their entire plan?  aka, they need to charge more just to stay afloat let alone turn a profit.  That may also be the cause for them forcing prices raised on older models.

Mind you, it could also be an awfully conceived marketing strategy to seem more luxurious than they really are.

There seems to be an aire of entitlement that if the price goes up, the quality must also go up too.  But this is not true, and never as easy as you might assume.  For a niche market company like a diecast manufacturer to make a move like that they need A) huge influx of investment, or B) huge positive sales figures for a couple years.  They wait for those things... all the while prices to manufacture keep rising.  Energy costs rise, raw materials rise, water costs rise, land taxes, business taxes, BRIBES even (considering we're talking Free Trade Zones here).  

Fact is these diecast companies have a lot of people to satisfy to stay in business.  Not just you, the consumer, the workers from the guy digging ore out of the ground, to the one driving the boat or truck, to the factory producing the processed material, to the officials and government in between, the guys who assemble it, then shipping it around the world.  Not to mention management!

Does anyone stop to think of just how much effort goes into making one of their models?  I mean from the ground up.  We'd like to think of diecast companies like any other big huge company.  Faceless, and rich to the point of slipping on dollar bills walking down the street.  But realistically, how many people in the world are billionaires or even millionaires because of the diecast car market?  I promise you that statistically, the number is low compared against their peers.

Please forgive my painfully reductionist rant.  I do agree they are too expensive and their business practices seem detrimental to the enjoyment of the hobby, but then I think, well maybe the hobby is what's too expensive.  Times change, and I'm just trying to make sense of it with you.  This rant doesn't embody my entire argument and I do in actuality agree with 99% of what's said in this thread.  I just felt the discussion was a little too narrow, so I expanded it a bit.  Hope you don't mind.

 :occasion14:

Edited by SchrodingersBox, 17 January 2011 - 07:31 AM.


#34 OFFLINE   Ducati-900SS

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 09:57 AM

I don't hate AUTOArt, and have one or two.  They don't make that many models that I'm interested in.  What kills me is that they are still making sealed models.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't their new Corvette Le Mans cars sealed and still demanding over $100?  

Back in the day (early to mid 2000s), AUTOArt was putting out really nicely detailed cars in which was priced in the lower side of the high-end category.  You could get a very nice AUTOArt model for $50-$70.  Can you even touch a new 1/18 AUTOArt for under $100 now?  

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#35 OFFLINE   acisne

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 10:07 AM

View PostSchrodingersBox, on 17 January 2011 - 07:29 AM, said:

***Just playing Devil's advocate here***

On the topic of AutoArt price jumps for new models, I'd just like to say this.  Without being educated in macro and micro economics I don't think anyone complaining about pricing has any idea what they are talking about, truly.  In case we all haven't noticed. the last 30 years the world economy has been in the process of global meltdown.  With raw materials in high demand for developing areas of the world prices for those materials have spiked at  :rolleyes: 100%+ what they were ten years ago(whole process involved)!  *gasp* Can we see a correlation?  Has anyone considered the possibility that AutoArt and others' budgets are set up in multi-year projections, and that a major spike in raw material cost will skew their entire plan?  aka, they need to charge more just to stay afloat let alone turn a profit.  That may also be the cause for them forcing prices raised on older models...

 :occasion14:

That whole argument goes out the window when you point out that a brand like Maistos were $9.88, 10-15 years ago, and $11.88 now (at Sam's club). Same raw materials, right?

Where is it written that the more diecast $$$ equals a better diecast?

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#36 OFFLINE   mox

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 10:07 AM

View PostSchrodingersBox, on 17 January 2011 - 07:29 AM, said:

***Just playing Devil's advocate here***

On the topic of AutoArt price jumps for new models, I'd just like to say this.  Without being educated in macro and micro economics I don't think anyone complaining about pricing has any idea what they are talking about, truly.  In case we all haven't noticed. the last 30 years the world economy has been in the process of global meltdown.  With raw materials in high demand for developing areas of the world prices for those materials have spiked at  :rolleyes: 100%+ what they were ten years ago(whole process involved)!  *gasp* Can we see a correlation?  Has anyone considered the possibility that AutoArt and others' budgets are set up in multi-year projections, and that a major spike in raw material cost will skew their entire plan?  aka, they need to charge more just to stay afloat let alone turn a profit.  That may also be the cause for them forcing prices raised on older models.

Mind you, it could also be an awfully conceived marketing strategy to seem more luxurious than they really are.

There seems to be an aire of entitlement that if the price goes up, the quality must also go up too.  But this is not true, and never as easy as you might assume.  For a niche market company like a diecast manufacturer to make a move like that they need A) huge influx of investment, or B) huge positive sales figures for a couple years.  They wait for those things... all the while prices to manufacture keep rising.  Energy costs rise, raw materials rise, water costs rise, land taxes, business taxes, BRIBES even (considering we're talking Free Trade Zones here).  

Fact is these diecast companies have a lot of people to satisfy to stay in business.  Not just you, the consumer, the workers from the guy digging ore out of the ground, to the one driving the boat or truck, to the factory producing the processed material, to the officials and government in between, the guys who assemble it, then shipping it around the world.  Not to mention management!

Does anyone stop to think of just how much effort goes into making one of their models?  I mean from the ground up.  We'd like to think of diecast companies like any other big huge company.  Faceless, and rich to the point of slipping on dollar bills walking down the street.  But realistically, how many people in the world are billionaires or even millionaires because of the diecast car market?  I promise you that statistically, the number is low compared against their peers.

Please forgive my painfully reductionist rant.  I do agree they are too expensive and their business practices seem detrimental to the enjoyment of the hobby, but then I think, well maybe the hobby is what's too expensive.  Times change, and I'm just trying to make sense of it with you.  This rant doesn't embody my entire argument and I do in actuality agree with 99% of what's said in this thread.  I just felt the discussion was a little too narrow, so I expanded it a bit.  Hope you don't mind.

 :occasion14:
I understand what you're trying to say, but how does that explain the fact that some companies are managing quite nicely to keep their price increases to manageable level?

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#37 OFFLINE   Diecast24/7

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 10:56 AM

View PostBiblitect, on 16 January 2011 - 10:00 PM, said:

View PostPumcy, on 16 January 2011 - 08:31 PM, said:

Unfotunately, AUTOart is not the only company guilty of that.

While I'm not exactly an AUTOart enthusiast these days, I once enjoyed partaking in their offerings. But, like everyone else, I just can't justify their prices for what you actually get.

Yet, for me AUTOart is not the swine of the die-cast manufacturers. Nah, I personally consider Exoto, specifically Tony K., to be the ultimate bottom-feeder and villain of our beloved die-cast hobby. While AUTOart is not wearing wings and a halo these days, Exoto seems to be more than proud to display their ugly horns and teeth. I can't say that AUTOart is necessarily a thief, liar, or scammer; however, I can say that and more about Exoto. Thus, I respectfully withhold my hate (or strong dislike) for the small California-based company who thinks they can spit in the face of its loyal customers and still make it into the Diecast Hall of Fame.

There's my two cents and quite possibly the most negative, trite, and distasteful rhetoric you'll ever hear out of me.Posted Image


I would be proud to call every word of the post above mine! Posted Image  If you're the recipient of Matt's venom, you deserve it. Exoto does.
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#38 OFFLINE   SchrodingersBox

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 11:33 AM

View Postacisne, on 17 January 2011 - 10:07 AM, said:

That whole argument goes out the window when you point out that a brand like Maistos were $9.88, 10-15 years ago, and $11.88 now (at Sam's club). Same raw materials, right?


View Postmox, on 17 January 2011 - 10:07 AM, said:

I understand what you're trying to say, but how does that explain the fact that some companies are managing quite nicely to keep their price increases to manageable level?


Not all companies are created equal (different business plans), and their suppliers are not always the same.  "Fine then!"  someone might think, "Tell AutoArt to just go buy their material from the same people Maisto do!".  Ohhh my if only free trade capitalism were as it seems.  

These companies don't think "ok we need to manufacture 2000 models, I need xyz kilograms of steel".  They sign contracts with suppliers to provide a steady stream of material.  That contract then locks them into buying from that provider for any number of determined years, and often at a fixed price!  What was a deal three years ago can be instantly crippling when a market dives, or a mine is stripped clean and a new source must be found.   If demands outreach supply the company may have to take on another provider who very likely charges a higher premium, and adjustments are made down the chain from there.

We need to take into consideration exactly where products are made, and where their material is sourced.  Just because they are diecast companies doesn't mean in the slightest that the ore they are using is coming from the same hole in the ground, let alone the same continent.  So to compare their sources price point to price point is a bit of a fallacy.  It looks right, but it's a cursory observation.

Also keep in mind not all suppliers are available to all people.  Depending on the country or zone they are in.  As a hypothetical example, the supplier for Maisto may very well be able to offer the same price for material to AutoArt, but that's only if they are permitted to operate in a certain trade zone, and that import duty is $0, local taxes don't take a share on the import, and that the processing plant in AutoArt's distract charges an identical price to Maistos ... and so on.. a very long list of variables follows those two points.

Now, if these factories are freaking side by side, well, then we have a fairly obvious example of someone is fudging the numbers.  But even being separated by province/territory within the same country can make a huge impact on cost.

If that doesn't strike home think of this.  An 8Gig Panasonic SD card here in Canada, $120, on sale for $90.  In New York state, $30 on sale regular $90.  Difference of 5 miles in geography.  It is exactly the same situation companies face, but they do it on a truly international scale.

Another point I haven't even mentioned, but I should as it is probably the most obvious driving factor in the price increase across the board, is that China is emerging as a massive super power, with many more millions of people than any other country.  The internal demand for products of all kinds has sharply sky-rocketed.  So, our stuff is made in China where demand for better quality products is rising, it is only natural to observe that overall costs of raw material will rise.

We tend to simplify big corporations as we see fit to aire our grievances and I'd be first to admit, I criticize them relentlessly.  But there are many, many more variables at play than simply the popularity or anticipated popularity of a certain design.

I'd like to repeat though, that I still believe the majority of AutoArt's price hike is in marketing themselves to rich people with money to burn, seeing the vanishing middle class across the Americas and Europe as a dead or dieing market.

Corporatism is about self preservation of the company, not satisfying customers.

End rant.

#39 OFFLINE   silverstar189

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 11:36 AM

Yep, whilst Autoart keep raising their prices for no good reason at least they don't withhold people's money and cheat customers with pre order scams like exoto do. Haven't some of the cars on the exoto site been on there for 8-9 years or more?

Tony K, diecast's (insert expletive of choice).

#40 OFFLINE   SchrodingersBox

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 12:09 PM

View Postsilverstar189, on 17 January 2011 - 11:36 AM, said:

Yep, whilst Autoart keep raising their prices for no good reason at least they don't withhold people's money and cheat customers with pre order scams like exoto do. Haven't some of the cars on the exoto site been on there for 8-9 years or more?

Tony K, diecast's (insert expletive of choice).

Minichamps is guilty too.  I've had two Lowenbrau 962C's on pre-order since November, and even then they were 10 months late to release.

#41 OFFLINE   RattlerGUNZ

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 12:25 PM

I just found out that MR.LEE closed the warehouse in MONTREAL,so all the AUTOart models will be coming from California to Canada.Nice Xmas Present to the ppl at the Warehouse Mr.Lee    :occasion14:
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#42 OFFLINE   mox

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 12:44 PM

View PostSchrodingersBox, on 17 January 2011 - 11:33 AM, said:

View Postacisne, on 17 January 2011 - 10:07 AM, said:

That whole argument goes out the window when you point out that a brand like Maistos were $9.88, 10-15 years ago, and $11.88 now (at Sam's club). Same raw materials, right?


View Postmox, on 17 January 2011 - 10:07 AM, said:

I understand what you're trying to say, but how does that explain the fact that some companies are managing quite nicely to keep their price increases to manageable level?


Not all companies are created equal (different business plans), and their suppliers are not always the same.  "Fine then!"  someone might think, "Tell AutoArt to just go buy their material from the same people Maisto do!".  Ohhh my if only free trade capitalism were as it seems.  

These companies don't think "ok we need to manufacture 2000 models, I need xyz kilograms of steel".  They sign contracts with suppliers to provide a steady stream of material.  That contract then locks them into buying from that provider for any number of determined years, and often at a fixed price!  What was a deal three years ago can be instantly crippling when a market dives, or a mine is stripped clean and a new source must be found.   If demands outreach supply the company may have to take on another provider who very likely charges a higher premium, and adjustments are made down the chain from there.

We need to take into consideration exactly where products are made, and where their material is sourced.  Just because they are diecast companies doesn't mean in the slightest that the ore they are using is coming from the same hole in the ground, let alone the same continent.  So to compare their sources price point to price point is a bit of a fallacy.  It looks right, but it's a cursory observation.

Also keep in mind not all suppliers are available to all people.  Depending on the country or zone they are in.  As a hypothetical example, the supplier for Maisto may very well be able to offer the same price for material to AutoArt, but that's only if they are permitted to operate in a certain trade zone, and that import duty is $0, local taxes don't take a share on the import, and that the processing plant in AutoArt's distract charges an identical price to Maistos ... and so on.. a very long list of variables follows those two points.

Now, if these factories are freaking side by side, well, then we have a fairly obvious example of someone is fudging the numbers.  But even being separated by province/territory within the same country can make a huge impact on cost.

If that doesn't strike home think of this.  An 8Gig Panasonic SD card here in Canada, $120, on sale for $90.  In New York state, $30 on sale regular $90.  Difference of 5 miles in geography.  It is exactly the same situation companies face, but they do it on a truly international scale.

Another point I haven't even mentioned, but I should as it is probably the most obvious driving factor in the price increase across the board, is that China is emerging as a massive super power, with many more millions of people than any other country.  The internal demand for products of all kinds has sharply sky-rocketed.  So, our stuff is made in China where demand for better quality products is rising, it is only natural to observe that overall costs of raw material will rise.

We tend to simplify big corporations as we see fit to aire our grievances and I'd be first to admit, I criticize them relentlessly.  But there are many, many more variables at play than simply the popularity or anticipated popularity of a certain design.

I'd like to repeat though, that I still believe the majority of AutoArt's price hike is in marketing themselves to rich people with money to burn, seeing the vanishing middle class across the Americas and Europe as a dead or dieing market.

Corporatism is about self preservation of the company, not satisfying customers.

End rant.
Yes, but we aren't just talking about one or two companies holding the line on prices. Maisto has managed to have virtually no increase, but they've been cutting corners for several years to achieve this. However, a lot of other companies have maintained or increased their quality/level of detail, while increasing their prices less over several years than AUTOart routinely does annually. Sunstar Platinum, Highway 61, Auto World are all at least the equal, if not better than, pretty much any AUTOart, with the exception possibly of AUTOart's absolute top of the line models, yet all retail well south of the $100 mark. A few years ago, these brands (or in Auto World's case, its predecessor Ertl) sold for roughly the same price as AUTOart. Now they're what...75% the cost? GMP used to be more expensive than any AUTOart. Now the bottom end AUTOart's are closing in on GMP's prices, and the way things are going will pass them in a few years at most. If costs are being driven by forces beyond the manufacturers' control, it seems AUTOart are having an extremely bad run of luck, while everyone else is constantly walking in sunshine.

John
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#43 OFFLINE   Diecast24/7

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 12:48 PM

View PostRattlerGUNZ, on 17 January 2011 - 12:25 PM, said:

I just found out that MR.LEE closed the warehouse in MONTREAL,so all the AUTOart models will be coming from California to Canada.Nice Xmas Present to the ppl at the Warehouse Mr.Lee   Posted Image


Are you serious, Johnny? (Where the hell have you been, by the way?)

This is earth-shaking news!Posted Image  Getting on the phone right now to a friend/competitor who moves alot of AUTOart but refuses to deal with Gateway Global in Calif. cause of all the lies they've been caught in. He loved the Canadian warehouse and had all his stuff imported. Will report back!
Justin

#44 OFFLINE   acisne

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 01:06 PM

View PostRattlerGUNZ, on 17 January 2011 - 12:25 PM, said:

I just found out that MR.LEE closed the warehouse in MONTREAL,so all the AUTOart models will be coming from California to Canada.Nice Xmas Present to the ppl at the Warehouse Mr.Lee    :occasion14:
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Where is it written that the more diecast $$$ equals a better diecast?

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#45 OFFLINE   Diecast24/7

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 01:16 PM

View PostSchrodingersBox, on 17 January 2011 - 11:33 AM, said:

View Postacisne, on 17 January 2011 - 10:07 AM, said:

That whole argument goes out the window when you point out that a brand like Maistos were $9.88, 10-15 years ago, and $11.88 now (at Sam's club). Same raw materials, right?


View Postmox, on 17 January 2011 - 10:07 AM, said:

I understand what you're trying to say, but how does that explain the fact that some companies are managing quite nicely to keep their price increases to manageable level?


Not all companies are created equal (different business plans), and their suppliers are not always the same.  "Fine then!"  someone might think, "Tell AutoArt to just go buy their material from the same people Maisto do!".  Ohhh my if only free trade capitalism were as it seems.  

These companies don't think "ok we need to manufacture 2000 models, I need xyz kilograms of steel".  They sign contracts with suppliers to provide a steady stream of material.  That contract then locks them into buying from that provider for any number of determined years, and often at a fixed price!  What was a deal three years ago can be instantly crippling when a market dives, or a mine is stripped clean and a new source must be found.   If demands outreach supply the company may have to take on another provider who very likely charges a higher premium, and adjustments are made down the chain from there.

We need to take into consideration exactly where products are made, and where their material is sourced.  Just because they are diecast companies doesn't mean in the slightest that the ore they are using is coming from the same hole in the ground, let alone the same continent.  So to compare their sources price point to price point is a bit of a fallacy.  It looks right, but it's a cursory observation.

Also keep in mind not all suppliers are available to all people.  Depending on the country or zone they are in.  As a hypothetical example, the supplier for Maisto may very well be able to offer the same price for material to AutoArt, but that's only if they are permitted to operate in a certain trade zone, and that import duty is $0, local taxes don't take a share on the import, and that the processing plant in AutoArt's distract charges an identical price to Maistos ... and so on.. a very long list of variables follows those two points.

Now, if these factories are freaking side by side, well, then we have a fairly obvious example of someone is fudging the numbers.  But even being separated by province/territory within the same country can make a huge impact on cost.

If that doesn't strike home think of this.  An 8Gig Panasonic SD card here in Canada, $120, on sale for $90.  In New York state, $30 on sale regular $90.  Difference of 5 miles in geography.  It is exactly the same situation companies face, but they do it on a truly international scale.

Another point I haven't even mentioned, but I should as it is probably the most obvious driving factor in the price increase across the board, is that China is emerging as a massive super power, with many more millions of people than any other country.  The internal demand for products of all kinds has sharply sky-rocketed.  So, our stuff is made in China where demand for better quality products is rising, it is only natural to observe that overall costs of raw material will rise.

We tend to simplify big corporations as we see fit to aire our grievances and I'd be first to admit, I criticize them relentlessly.  But there are many, many more variables at play than simply the popularity or anticipated popularity of a certain design.

I'd like to repeat though, that I still believe the majority of AutoArt's price hike is in marketing themselves to rich people with money to burn, seeing the vanishing middle class across the Americas and Europe as a dead or dieing market.

Corporatism is about self preservation of the company, not satisfying customers.

End rant.


Understood. What you're describing is the commodities market and from what I understand, it's been even more volatile in China than other parts of the world. We can speculate about it all day but I think the most interesting point in your post is this:

View PostSchrodingersBox, on 17 January 2011 - 11:33 AM, said:

I still believe the majority of AutoArt's price hike is in marketing themselves to rich people with money to burn, seeing the vanishing middle class across the Americas and Europe as a dead or dieing market.

I agree. We've said all along, even through the heaviest criticism of AUTOart, that they're following the strategy that they think suits them best. Whether AUTOart or General Motors or Mobil/Exxon are "greedy" or not is another debate. They're all just showing profit to the investor or their owner and "that's just the way it is."

Another point I've tried to make is that I could justify much of the price increase to myself as a collector if AUTOart would simply do limited runs of numbered-chassis cars. That means nothing to some people but if I'm getting a limited edition of only 600 pieces, I feel much more comfortable paying $130 for a model knowing that I own a real collectible and not something that's going to be reproduced 10k times for the next 10 years. AUTOart is effectively demanding limited edition prices already. The value is just not there anymore.

The whole mistreatment of distributors and retailers is another matter entirely and one that probably doesn't bear repeating as I think most DXers just really don't care.
Justin

#46 OFFLINE   SchrodingersBox

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 01:43 PM

View Postmox, on 17 January 2011 - 12:44 PM, said:

Yes, but we aren't just talking about one or two companies holding the line on prices. Maisto has managed to have virtually no increase, but they've been cutting corners for several years to achieve this. However, a lot of other companies have maintained or increased their quality/level of detail, while increasing their prices less over several years than AUTOart routinely does annually. Sunstar Platinum, Highway 61, Auto World are all at least the equal, if not better than, pretty much any AUTOart, with the exception possibly of AUTOart's absolute top of the line models, yet all retail well south of the $100 mark. A few years ago, these brands (or in Auto World's case, its predecessor Ertl) sold for roughly the same price as AUTOart. Now they're what...75% the cost? GMP used to be more expensive than any AUTOart. Now the bottom end AUTOart's are closing in on GMP's prices, and the way things are going will pass them in a few years at most. If costs are being driven by forces beyond the manufacturers' control, it seems AUTOart are having an extremely bad run of luck, while everyone else is constantly walking in sunshine.

I'd say it's a combination of cost and market share.  Granted companies like Highway 61, Auto World and GMP have managed to keep their prices at bay, but consider the market they sell to.  The most marked difference between all those companies and AutoArt is their subject matter (which creates the customer base), classics and American made vs. exotic/sports racers and hard to come by in 1:1 imports.

Who's more likely to buy a classic car model, or a 'good ol' American brand'?  Who is more likely to buy an exotic, or a sports racer?  Sure there will be overlap in the two, but the distinction could be obvious to us all that it is a difference of era, of age, and most especially emotional attachment derived from that.  There are more young idiots out there with money to burn than ever before, and you can bet AutoArt is counting on them to purchase every exotic they put out.  Just like I said all companies are not created equal, neither are market shares.  Many youths these days will respect classics, but don't care to display them without having some sort of special attachment, eg, father owned one, a neighbour had one and so on.  Whereas a more recent car like a 997 GT1 is more respected in the collective memory of youths in the know these days.  It doesn't matter if it's deserved or not, that's just how generations roll, always ON TO THE NEXT GREATEST THING!!! ... "The stuff of my era is better than the old era, so let's focus on the new."  I see this attitude in my students (teaching in technology).  They think a sociological or philosophical argument written in 2005 or 2000BC is out of date.  While possible it isn't necessarily so.  But it's not the content itself they immediately dismiss, it's the age.  In the information age kids believe anything not the most relevant is outdated.  It's disgustingly reductionist to the greatest faults of that kind of thinking.  Total nonsense but it's all they've ever known so it seems like a part of nature to them.  I make this point because this is a common mindset seen in youth generations.  Latest and greatest or not worth the though.

With that said one could argue sales in the Highway 61 etc market share have declined as the years go on, and as the generation who love those vehicles so much move on to old age and loose interest they leave behind piles of models no one really wants to buy.  The prices in those categories are likely low because demand is low.  Just look at the changing demographic of this forum.  I recall in November when I signed up reading threads about how it all used to be about muscle cars and stuff.  I barely see any talk of that now.  I can sift through miles and miles and miles of pre-1980's vehicles on eBay and to me it's like shopping for Nascar stuff in that, I'm sorry, it all sorta looks the same to me.  I'm not attuned to that era.  But then!  Go and search for a car I know exists as a model on eBay and I might get five results spread out across the world, because so many people want the thing they don't last when put up for sale.  Hotter than sliced bread!

Marketing agents know this all too well, and they are banking on these ideas.  The people most willing to part with their money these days are the youth (by which I mean 10-30ish).  We can hem and haw over why that is but that fact will remain.  So that's who AutoArt are marketing to.  People with money to burn.  It's obvious the long time collectors are not their concern.  However, the long term collectors just starting out (more or less, me, for example) are going to be used to paying that premium.  So in two years when AutoArt has peaked their pricing it'll all seem normal by then, and to new kids, as if it were never different.

So it seems as though these various companies have different intentions on where they want to go with their product.  Left in the line of fire, us, consumers.  What AutoArt is trying to do is position itself as the supreme leader to casual collectors.  Too many people in this world think dollar signs and decimal places equate to quality.  So casuals and newcomers will see nothing wrong, and gladly lay down the cash like it were nothing.

Seeing as this discontent is so pervasive across the community I'd challenge someone to not join in the chorus of complaints and use one of those free petition websites to deliver a message to AutoArt.  "Lower your damn prices or at LEAST explain what you are doing, or else."  The or else being we, the undersigned stop buying AutoArt AND educate the new collectors to the fact they are being screwed.  IF and ONLY if, that turns out the be the case.


I think these are the longest posts in my DX history and I can't believe I'm doing it in pseudo-defence of AutoArt.   Buncha dirtbags.

View PostDiecast24/7, on 17 January 2011 - 01:16 PM, said:

I agree. We've said all along, even through the heaviest criticism of AUTOart, that they're following the strategy that they think suits them best. Whether AUTOart or General Motors or Mobil/Exxon are "greedy" or not is another debate. They're all just showing profit to the investor or their owner and "that's just the way it is."

Another point I've tried to make is that I could justify much of the price increase to myself as a collector if AUTOart would simply do limited runs of numbered-chassis cars. That means nothing to some people but if I'm getting a limited edition of only 600 pieces, I feel much more comfortable paying $130 for a model knowing that I own a real collectible and not something that's going to be reproduced 10k times for the next 10 years. AUTOart is effectively demanding limited edition prices already. The value is just not there anymore.

The whole mistreatment of distributors and retailers is another matter entirely and one that probably doesn't bear repeating as I think most DXers just really don't care.

YES.

On whole distributor/retailer thing, I am interested, but I have too little knowledge of how those businesses run to make meaningful comments.

#47 OFFLINE   Diecast24/7

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 01:47 PM

View PostSchrodingersBox, on 17 January 2011 - 01:43 PM, said:

There are more young idiots out there with money to burn than ever before, and you can bet AutoArt is counting on them to purchase every exotic they put out.


Welcome to my signature, man! That is priceless. Posted Image  You totally "get it."
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#48 OFFLINE   SchrodingersBox

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 01:56 PM

View PostDiecast24/7, on 17 January 2011 - 01:47 PM, said:

View PostSchrodingersBox, on 17 January 2011 - 01:43 PM, said:

There are more young idiots out there with money to burn than ever before, and you can bet AutoArt is counting on them to purchase every exotic they put out.


Welcome to my signature, man! That is priceless. Posted Image  You totally "get it."

LOL.  HONORED, is the word I feel right now.

#49 OFFLINE   Diecast24/7

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 02:01 PM

View PostSchrodingersBox, on 17 January 2011 - 01:56 PM, said:

View PostDiecast24/7, on 17 January 2011 - 01:47 PM, said:

View PostSchrodingersBox, on 17 January 2011 - 01:43 PM, said:

There are more young idiots out there with money to burn than ever before, and you can bet AutoArt is counting on them to purchase every exotic they put out.


Welcome to my signature, man! That is priceless. Posted Image  You totally "get it."

LOL.  HONORED, is the word I feel right now.


I'll take that with a heavy dose of sarcasm, but I'll take it nonetheless!Posted Image
Justin

#50 OFFLINE   mox

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 02:12 PM

View PostSchrodingersBox, on 17 January 2011 - 01:43 PM, said:

View Postmox, on 17 January 2011 - 12:44 PM, said:

Yes, but we aren't just talking about one or two companies holding the line on prices. Maisto has managed to have virtually no increase, but they've been cutting corners for several years to achieve this. However, a lot of other companies have maintained or increased their quality/level of detail, while increasing their prices less over several years than AUTOart routinely does annually. Sunstar Platinum, Highway 61, Auto World are all at least the equal, if not better than, pretty much any AUTOart, with the exception possibly of AUTOart's absolute top of the line models, yet all retail well south of the $100 mark. A few years ago, these brands (or in Auto World's case, its predecessor Ertl) sold for roughly the same price as AUTOart. Now they're what...75% the cost? GMP used to be more expensive than any AUTOart. Now the bottom end AUTOart's are closing in on GMP's prices, and the way things are going will pass them in a few years at most. If costs are being driven by forces beyond the manufacturers' control, it seems AUTOart are having an extremely bad run of luck, while everyone else is constantly walking in sunshine.

I'd say it's a combination of cost and market share.  Granted companies like Highway 61, Auto World and GMP have managed to keep their prices at bay, but consider the market they sell to.  The most marked difference between all those companies and AutoArt is their subject matter (which creates the customer base), classics and American made vs. exotic/sports racers and hard to come by in 1:1 imports.

Who's more likely to buy a classic car model, or a 'good ol' American brand'?  Who is more likely to buy an exotic, or a sports racer?  Sure there will be overlap in the two, but the distinction could be obvious to us all that it is a difference of era, of age, and most especially emotional attachment derived from that.  There are more young idiots out there with money to burn than ever before, and you can bet AutoArt is counting on them to purchase every exotic they put out.  Just like I said all companies are not created equal, neither are market shares.  Many youths these days will respect classics, but don't care to display them without having some sort of special attachment, eg, father owned one, a neighbour had one and so on.  Whereas a more recent car like a 997 GT1 is more respected in the collective memory of youths in the know these days.  It doesn't matter if it's deserved or not, that's just how generations roll, always ON TO THE NEXT GREATEST THING!!! ... "The stuff of my era is better than the old era, so let's focus on the new."  I see this attitude in my students (teaching in technology).  They think a sociological or philosophical argument written in 2005 or 2000BC is out of date.  While possible it isn't necessarily so.  But it's not the content itself they immediately dismiss, it's the age.  In the information age kids believe anything not the most relevant is outdated.  It's disgustingly reductionist to the greatest faults of that kind of thinking.  Total nonsense but it's all they've ever known so it seems like a part of nature to them.  I make this point because this is a common mindset seen in youth generations.  Latest and greatest or not worth the though.

With that said one could argue sales in the Highway 61 etc market share have declined as the years go on, and as the generation who love those vehicles so much move on to old age and loose interest they leave behind piles of models no one really wants to buy.  The prices in those categories are likely low because demand is low.  Just look at the changing demographic of this forum.  I recall in November when I signed up reading threads about how it all used to be about muscle cars and stuff.  I barely see any talk of that now.  I can sift through miles and miles and miles of pre-1980's vehicles on eBay and to me it's like shopping for Nascar stuff in that, I'm sorry, it all sorta looks the same to me.  I'm not attuned to that era.  But then!  Go and search for a car I know exists as a model on eBay and I might get five results spread out across the world, because so many people want the thing they don't last when put up for sale.  Hotter than sliced bread!

Marketing agents know this all too well, and they are banking on these ideas.  The people most willing to part with their money these days are the youth (by which I mean 10-30ish).  We can hem and haw over why that is but that fact will remain.  So that's who AutoArt are marketing to.  People with money to burn.  It's obvious the long time collectors are not their concern.  However, the long term collectors just starting out (more or less, me, for example) are going to be used to paying that premium.  So in two years when AutoArt has peaked their pricing it'll all seem normal by then, and to new kids, as if it were never different.

So it seems as though these various companies have different intentions on where they want to go with their product.  Left in the line of fire, us, consumers.  What AutoArt is trying to do is position itself as the supreme leader to casual collectors.  Too many people in this world think dollar signs and decimal places equate to quality.  So casuals and newcomers will see nothing wrong, and gladly lay down the cash like it were nothing.

Seeing as this discontent is so pervasive across the community I'd challenge someone to not join in the chorus of complaints and use one of those free petition websites to deliver a message to AutoArt.  "Lower your damn prices or at LEAST explain what you are doing, or else."  The or else being we, the undersigned stop buying AutoArt AND educate the new collectors to the fact they are being screwed.  IF and ONLY if, that turns out the be the case.


I think these are the longest posts in my DX history and I can't believe I'm doing it in pseudo-defence of AutoArt.   Buncha dirtbags.

View PostDiecast24/7, on 17 January 2011 - 01:16 PM, said:

I agree. We've said all along, even through the heaviest criticism of AUTOart, that they're following the strategy that they think suits them best. Whether AUTOart or General Motors or Mobil/Exxon are "greedy" or not is another debate. They're all just showing profit to the investor or their owner and "that's just the way it is."

Another point I've tried to make is that I could justify much of the price increase to myself as a collector if AUTOart would simply do limited runs of numbered-chassis cars. That means nothing to some people but if I'm getting a limited edition of only 600 pieces, I feel much more comfortable paying $130 for a model knowing that I own a real collectible and not something that's going to be reproduced 10k times for the next 10 years. AUTOart is effectively demanding limited edition prices already. The value is just not there anymore.

The whole mistreatment of distributors and retailers is another matter entirely and one that probably doesn't bear repeating as I think most DXers just really don't care.

YES.

On whole distributor/retailer thing, I am interested, but I have too little knowledge of how those businesses run to make meaningful comments.
Although I don't go along with the cost side of your arguement, I think we sort of agree on the fact that it comes down to AUTOart charging what the market will bear. As long as people are willing to pay increasingly higher prices, AUTOart will continue to push the price envelope. And that is entirely their prerogative, and their customers are apparently quite content with the situation as well. However, I stand by my earlier statement that this will not end well for the diecast hobby.

John
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