Where do you source your diecast models from?
Firstly, I seek to meet the market at the higher end, both in quality & condition and source the rare model. This provides a standard and supply that clients can come to expect from me.
Secondly, I have been a collector for 30 years and many models come from this accumulation. I purchase from quality auction houses and I purchase from the public when the quality and price is acceptable.
Thirdly, I sell high quality collections and models on behalf of other collectors and traders like myself. The website provides a platform of sale that most traders/dealers do not have.
How frequently do you update your inventory?
The last year of 2019 has not been the norm and in answer to the question, I would like to say each week.
However, as I have been spending much of my time in 2019 working on this latest website, my fourth, and due to selling many models directly to clients from my collection I have had less time to up the inventory.
As a new initiative at the end of 2019 I produced and issued my first in the post sales list, which was sent out to clients who generally do not access the internet. This has been very well received and many clients who do use the internet have also requested to be included. This I hope to produce quarterly.
In 2020 my ambition is to market at least 10 new models weekly onto the website.
Do you touch up you models before sale?
This is an easy question to answer.
I have never touched up a model since I was a 15 year old child. I do not like buying a known model with any level of touch ups. Auction houses have regularly received a model back from me if I then on receipt discover it has any level of added paint touches if not advertised as such.
I do confess I have changed a tyre and will do again, providing it is an original and not a repro. I have also repaired a box with tape or ironed a badly creased box.
Can I pay by cheque?
Yes. I receive several cheques weekly, you may also pay by bank transfer again a regularly used service for some clients.
It’s all about what you prefer but I have to admit these services reduce fees such as PayPal and credit cards to me so I am always happy with these methods. I do not have a card machine and have no plans to obtain one. I have run this business now since September 2012 and have rarely wished a card machine was available.
Do you offer returns if i’m not satisfied with my purchase?
Yes, absolutely. I want you to be happy with your purchase otherwise you may not come back again.
I would only ask you to pay for the return postage but if I have overlooked a clear fault I will even refund your postage.
Do you price match other sellers?
No not as such. However I will look at what price other sellers are or have sold for a specific model and may be influenced but generally it is based on what I have paid for the item and then allowing my profit margin to run the business. Condition is the biggest factor and if an item is mint how easily is it to replace that item. A mint item can achieve a much better price than a near mint item and the condition of the box carries a big influence. My experience has shown me that many clients will pay a premium if the quality is top notch.
Will you inspect models on my behalf?
Any model purchased through me is fully inspected.
To inspect your own models is a service and depending on the requirements I am likely to charge a fee. It would be your responsibility and cost to arrange delivery and any return costs.
Let me tell you of a story that happened to me and a customer in March 2019.
I visited a new customer, lets call him Frank and dropped a model off to him at his home as I was passing from a family visit.
We talked some and he came and bought some models from me.
I mentioned I used a detective lamp and showed it’s use. Could you get me one he asked I would like to check my models? I said sure but it comes with a health warning, you may not like what you see.
He checked his models and discovered 22 Dinky Toys he had purchased from one well known toyfair dealer to discover they all had touch ups but he had bought as mint. A purchase cost of around £9000 bought over several years.
He was rather upset to say the least. He knew the seller personally who was also local to him. There was some serious talking and the result was, all models were returned and a full refund reluctantly paid by the dealer over the next few weeks. A happy ending but not all similar circumstances, would turn out so favourable.
Incidentally everyone of those 22 models were later purchased from me with many others. Frank is now one of my best customers and an excellent relationship is now established based on full trust.
Are your models in authentic original condition?
I try to always purchase authentic models and I ‘light test’ before putting on sale, all models to reduce the chances of a fake or a touched up model being sold as genuine and without interference.
I believe any form of internet trading or selling without clients viewing in hand, should be conducted at the highest level of integrity. Of course, sometimes, a model can escape you but this is never knowingly sold without comment.
This attitude and ethical standard has been ingrained within me for many years as my career was Financial Services. I was an Independent Financial adviser with my own business in Woking Surrey for 25 years and this was a business built on complete trust and honesty. Its a well known saying but ‘A leopard doesn’t change it’s spots’ this can be seen both ways in honest or dishonest dealing.
Repeat business is based on trust and this is an essential business strategy for me.
I am not aware, of any other vintage diecast business, which advertises that models have been ‘light tested and inspected’ before offering for sale.
Do you sell models on my behalf?
Yes is the simple answer.
I charge 20% of the net sale price after taking into account any fees such as eBay-PayPal-postage fees(if not met by the client) In other words I receive 20% which equals 25% of what you receive.
Example Model sold for £115- Fees £15 = £100 net. You receive £80 and I receive £20
My only criteria from this is that my minimal handling sale fee is £15 and therefore please be aware that lower priced items unless sold in joint lots will change the calculation.
Model is sold for £60 Fees £10 Net Total £50 Your receipt is £35 and I receive £15
However due to the amount of stock I hold it is quality and rare models I do not have to sell which will receive priority and favourability.
Payments will be made to you monthly for larger collections or quarterly for occasional sales.
I sell on behalf of private customers but also on behalf of other dealers/traders like myself.
How quickly can you send an order to me?
All orders are generally sent out within 2 working days. I use purchased white boxes from the Royal Mail and use their First Class signed and tracked service.
I am very happy to combine postage on more than one item and will not charge additional postage unless an usual item like a heavy large boxed item.
How do I know what condition the item is in?
I have graded models for many years and try to be consistent. The photographs produced are high quality digital pictures and should provide you with a clear description as well as my written one. You may always ask for additional pictures.
My only self criticism is that sometimes when taking the pictures it is not the best light and I have noticed one or two are dark. Please always let me know if my description is not clear or a better picture is required.
One positive comment I have heard many times from a client is;
‘This model is much better than I expected from the picture or description’!
I think digital pictures expose the tiniest flaws which the human eye is more forgiving.
Do you offer bulk order discounts?
Yes but I can not be specific about this. It can depend on value of total purchase and the items selected. Also I am more reluctant to discount models that have only just come onto the website however another saying is ‘Business is Business’
How do you determine a model’s worth?
There are a number of influential factors;
My purchase cost and how long ago did I purchase the item.
The rarity of the item. How easy will it be to obtain another similar model.
The box carries a significant influence to the price. If you have a mint model but poor box it is like selling an unboxed item alternatively a mint box with a model with chips does not support a higher price.
You the buyer have to believe that what you are buying is good value. Paying top money for a mint and mint boxed item will bring much satisfaction to you and may well be sold in the future with a profit.
Buying an item based on a lower price but with some flaws may always niggle you and you look to either up-grade or retain that frustration.. This could involve two purchases and a possible sale.
Do you purchase stock that i’m looking to sell?
Though I have a working stock of not less than 2000 models I will always consider buying a collection or an individual model.
The most important consideration is, can I sell this model on my website and will it meet my quality standards? Secondly can I agree a price that is satisfactory to both me and the seller. The biggest issue is that whatever you offer a new customer they think it is therefore worth much more than what you offer yet they had no idea before you spoke. Generally people compare there model to the top price a mint model has been sold for as the worth value.
I am only interested if quality and trust can be established otherwise we move on. Generally I will offer around 60% of what I hope to sell an item for. Some items will not sell quickly and I will need to reduce sometimes significantly in order to sell. Therefore, I build some protection into my offer otherwise my business would collapse. Customers also often do not realise the costs of running the business and charges such as PayPal and eBay fees which I use to market the business. Then there is Corporation tax on a Limited Companies profits, this has to be covered. Have you ever looked into the cost of doing a bespoke website, take deep breath first.
Auction houses or eBay are alternative options to sell but informed clients will know that a trader with his client contacts can often achieve higher prices due to the personal service they provide. There is no work for you to do like eBay and you have a known price at outset through a trader compared to an auction house.