Community Buzz

Importing Diecasts – Risk or Profit?

We always come across the question, Why are imported diecasts so costly ?

All was very well till March end 2021 when #Hot Wheels/ #Matchbox/ #Majorette/ #Tomica were imported officially by their authorized distributors and were sold at a reasonable price. While few people imported some attractive Diecasts which were not available here officially and they used to be priced at more than 3-5 times the equivalent ones here.
Come April 2021 when some bureaucrats suddenly realized the dominance of China in Toys industry and put restrictions for importing toys for kids under 5 years by enforcing ISI standards. At that point, all overseas Toy Companies temporarily pulled a plug on Indian market and started chasing ISI Mark/BIS Certifications for their products.
Consequently at that time a lot of individuals started importing small quantities of diecasts on their own to satiate demand of growing herd of collectors. Many collectors while importing for themselves also started importing small quantities in multiples and sell extra ones to cover their costs. As a result, some of them got converted purely from collectors to sellers.
While it may be very easy to bad mouth sellers/collectors and assume that they earn huge profits by selling items at exorbitant cost, its also necessary to know about the Other side

  • Sellers had to import diecasts by paying currency conversion charge, Customs duty, shipping & handling charges plus interest amount if purchased using Credit Cards. This basically hikes the price of items by approximately 2.5 times the basic cost.
  • Very few sellers have channels to evade custom duty which enables them to price the Diecasts at prices way lower than competition, but better not to comment about them. Most of the sellers import through proper channel or at least that’s what I believe is true.
  • Sometimes, items are not packed properly by shipping party and the cards/ boxes get damaged in transit, thus affecting their usability/ salability and eventually the cost involved gets affected to be recovered from the good remaining pieces.
  • Sometimes, entire parcel gets lost in transit and we don’t have anybody to blame as our own postal department turns out to be the culprit.
  • Order in small quantity and importers have to pay higher cost of shipping. Order in bulk and importers come in radar of custom department attracting show cause notice and justify reason of bulk importing. Not to mention, extra overheads they have to bear to clear the parcels.
  • Since more than last 1 year, there were rumors going around of diecasts soon to be available officially from manufacturers, yet it were these importers who risked their money and continued importing till the stock was actually available here. (Big risk of having unsold stock which was imported at high cost when items will soon start to be available locally).
  • Above all these, if a margin of 20-25% is added over the landed cost, sellers are questioned as if they’ve committed a crime.

Now the question is, who forced the collectors to buy from these importers? Are these collectibles a basic need that needs price capping? You don’t want to self-import, but still want a crisp card/ box while buying? And you want them at local price as well?
Now that some brands are back officially on Indian shores, suddenly these importers who kept this hobby alive for 2 long years are called as looters.
The purpose of this write-up is just to shed light on woes of the other side.

Sellers import, sellers risk their money, sellers risk Damage or Loss-In-Transit (DIT/LIT), sellers face buyers & their demands and yet sellers are considered as looters? To conclude, lets accept a fact – “No seller in this hobby has become a millionaire just by selling diecasts. More than 95% of sellers are primarily engaged in some other profession to run the family while they are selling diecasts just for hobby, passion or some additional income.”

A word of advise to collectors – Buy only if YOU feel the price is right!