An inside look at what it takes to be dealer of the year
The pages of Die Cast X are devoted to products from across the model world. Whether it’s a feature story, a review, or a news item on an upcoming release, we do our best to give you the source info for each brand and item we cover. But if you’re like most collectors, chances are you don’t always go directly to the manufacturer to buy. Models are sold by a wide variety of retailers, some in brick-and-mortar shops, but increasingly dealers are doing the bulk of their sales online.
We do a pretty good job of giving you the info you need on models, so we decided we should do the same thing for some of the dealers out there: to give you an idea who they are and what they specialize in so that you can decide if they fit your needs. To start things off, we’re profiling last year’s inductee to the Diecast Hall of Fame (DHoF) as Dealer of the Year 2017: Diecast Models Wholesale (DMW).
A DHoF selection is a pretty good testimonial, but it doesn’t automatically tell you what DMW specializes in or what to expect when you shop at its website (diecastmodelswholesale.com). Even though the word “wholesale” is in the company’s name, a lot of its business is retail to consumers like you. Some of us DCX staffers shop on its website pretty regularly too, so we can give you some firsthand impressions. To begin with, DMW’s list of brands is staggering: We counted 121 on the site at the time of this writing. Not all of those, of course, will be active at any given time; as with any retailer, inventory is rotating in and out all the time. But suffice it to say, DMW has access to virtually any current brand you might be looking for (and even some legacy stuff), and the company runs the gamut in terms of genre: from stagecoaches to supercars, muscle machines to dump trucks, and everything in between.
That huge selection does present a potential complication when using the site’s search function—namely, that if you aren’t careful with your keywords, you can end up getting everything (including the kitchen sink) in your search result. Luckily, you can also search tabs by vehicle make, category, and diecast brand, and most product pages have good photos and bullet-pointed descriptions, so it’s relatively easy to find what you’re looking for. Another helpful feature that some other online retailers neglect is that DMW uses SKU numbers that correspond with the manufacturer’s numbering systems. That means it’s easy to research a particular car on a manufacturer’s website and then quickly locate it at DMW to make a purchase. That consistency also makes it easy to comparison shop against other sites for price, which works to DMW’s advantage because it is a high-volume seller and rarely gets beat on price. It also offers flat-rate shipping and regularly runs sales and promotions that can save you some bucks if you shop intelligently.
We emphasize the phrase “shop intelligently” because the DMW site is not set up like some boutique dealer or manufacturer sites that educate the consumer. You’re not going to find historical background or technical tidbits about a specific model at DMW. Go elsewhere to research if that specific muscle-car model has a 4-speed or an automatic (unless you can see it in the pics, of course). DMW’s site is best for browsing categories or locating a car you have already determined that you want.
Other things that helped DMW in DHoF voting are its speed and responsiveness; for a volume operation, the company is surprisingly customer-centric, and items are shipped quickly. Also, something that is even more important than speed to us in the DCX offices is the care with which the folks at DMW pack models. They custom-size the shipping container so that there is minimal slop, and they individually wrap each car’s box in bubble wrap. It may sound trivial, but if you’ve ever opened a box containing a car for which you’ve been eagerly awaiting only to find that it had been damaged in transit, you know how important a little extra care can be.
by The DCX crew