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Now might be the time to get your Sauber, folks! Got this in an e-mail from Exoto:

"Right now is The Best Time to Buy your grand 1:18 scale Sauber-Mercedes C9 Racing Legend replica! Next week, prices will be increased to $239.95 each. Complete your collection now while each is still available at original prices!"
 

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I will bet that all they are going to do is raise the price by $50 and trhen offer $50 coupons so people will end up paying the original $189.

The Sauber is an awesome model but it no way is it worth $239.

Companies like Exoto and Franklin Mint are quickly pricing themselves out of business if they expect the kind of money that they are threatening to charge :ranting
 
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I've got a question regarding Exoto and FM/DM.

Does anyone know who and what their targeted markets are, is it collectors or 1:1 enthusiasts?
 
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It was mentioned here once before that Exoto has an extremely large customer base outside of the hobbyist/ collector community. I'm just curious who and what that market is.
 

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I am starting to wonder what direction these companies are marketing their products to :confused

Lets take FM.
At one point they were the detail kings.
They were always expensive, I think they started at about $80 in the early 80's.
They went after the older, more affluent customer that wanted older cars that were classics from the early years of the automobile into the 30's.

The level of detail was incredible for the time (not very good compared to today) and the price placed it as a premium product.

The cars kept getting better with each new release and over the years, the price went up accordingly.

A few years ago, the price was around $120 for a pretty decent model.
Some of their new "Limited edition" cars were hitting $135.
Still not horrible money to pay for that special car.

TFM was starting to get some real pressure from Danbury Mint as DM's price was lower and their cars were better.

The big thing that FM had going for it was an extremely loyal and large customer base.
They also had a large catalog of cars numbering in the 100's.

FM and DM are unique in the way they are sold, they controlled the market by only selling their own product.
You could not see them in a store and you would never find it cheaper anywhere else.
Their customers were happy and were only happy to buy whatever was released at top dollar.

Then FM got greedy...
They started to open up some high end retail stores to reach more people.
They not only sold diecast but all sorts of other "stuff" from Princess Diana plates to naked lady and snakes sculpters.
The stores lost a lot of money and led them to another drastic decision.
They started selling thier cars thru "Preffered Partners" who were in reality brick and morter hobby shops.
That put their product into the regular retail chain and cars started ending up on ebay which in my opinion, killed their core business of direct selling at full price.
It took a few years but it happened.
Why would the computer savy collector buy from FM and wait up to a month or more for their order to be filled when they could buy it from ebay for 75% and have it in 3 days.

Then FM also figured out that they could repaint an old release in another color (in 1:24 you don't get multiple colors) call it an Limited edition by only making 10,000, 5,000 3,500 and all the way down to 500 of them and charge another $35+ for it and watch their customers fall all over themselves to buy them.

Then they started to go to the well way to many times.
Everything was a repaint and everything was more money.

It all hit them and the company is very lucky to still be in business,
They let go 100's of people and closed all the stores.
Now they are focusing on diecast and in thier announcments for 2005 all of the are L/E repaints at some outrageous prices.

The worst example is a very old and Lo-tech Cord that brings about $60 on the secondary market that they have the nerve to ask $170 for because it is painted a new color.
No improvements to the mould, just another color!

I don't know what thinking is behind $170 Franklin Mint cars and $240 Exotos but I know it won't include me.
I can afford them but I won't be spending that kind of money.
At those prices I will enjoy what I have and spend my money on other things.

I guess at these prices, it will be fine for the spur of the moment, occasional or first time buyer.
But us hard core collectors who have collections in the hundreds will not be able to enjoy the hobby the way we used to.

Sorry for the long rant but I guess I am just pissed at what is happening to this hobby :ranting
 

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:iagree :iagree :iagree TK must be having a laugh if he thinks serious collectors are going to happily fork out $240 for models like the Sauber, which as good as it is has been out since 2001. It looks like I will be very selective in future when it comes to buying more Exotos. I'd rather 6 AUTOart's to 1 $240 Exoto I have to say!!! :ranting
 

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It makes a lot of sense. But what baffles me is how a company like theirs could torpedo themselves so "effectively". They seem to have a shortsightedness that leaves me cringing.

Anyway, I'm incredibly glad I scooped my Exoto 'Michelin' C9 when I had a chance to from Toronto Motorsports. J Racer is probably quietly cussing me for having beat him to that last Michelin car. Too bad there wasn't another one since I couldn't think of a diecast racing collector who be more appreciative of that particular model.
 
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