After folding in early June, GoMotorBids.com and its sister company, DailyHobbyDeal.com, have been purchased, combined with the European die-cast website ToyCollector.com and repurposed as Planet Diecast.
The new website, planetdiecast.com, which was announced Oct. 2, will serve three purposes, said Russ Dickey, North American operations manager: to host an online die-cast community, to provide collectors with a comprehensive catalog, and to sync that catalog to an online marketplace. Parent company HobbyTalk Corp. also has plans to link Planet Diecast with similar marketplace websites under its partnership umbrella that deal in other hobby segments, he said.
In the Planet Diecast online community, members can post to forums, read blogs and create enhanced profiles. The online catalog was a project ToyCollector.com has been working on for several years. And the online marketplace is meant to be a cheaper alternative to selling products on eBay, Dickey said.
So far, more than 400,000 items have been cataloged, and the company is adding approximately 20,000 items per month. Planet Diecast is also working with more than 500 toy and collectible brands as well as 740 volunteers to constantly update its database, which includes pictures, manufacturer numbers, release dates and descriptions, Dickey said.
"What’s really cool is that the catalog directly ties in to the marketplace," he said. "Let’s say you’ve got a collector out there who’s researching some out-of-production Mattel piece from five years ago. If there happens to be a reseller on the Planet Diecast marketplace who has that particular piece, the catalog links to the marketplace."
Planet Diecast currently has about 125,000 members.
The website has made it free for members to create an online storefront and sell items. Sellers then pay an 8 percent fee on the total sale. There are no additional or hidden fees. Dickey said eBay has been known to tack on fees that push its cut closer to 15 to 20 percent of the total sale. "We’re trying basically to capitalize on eBay’s mistakes," he said.
In April, Peterson Manufacturing, the former owner of GoMotorBids.com and DailyHobby Deal.com, abruptly ceased operations of both websites. The company had been trying unsuccessfully to sell the two websites before they were shuttered.
HobbyTalk Corp., which is based in London, began the purchase of the sites from Peterson in July, said Dickey, who served as GoMotor Bids.com’s director of marketing before the sale. "They consummated the deal with Peterson, and I was brought on board in late July," he said.
Former members of GoMotorBids.com and DailyHobbyDeals.com have been automatically enrolled on the free Planet Diecast website and notified by email, Dickey said.
Also in the works for HobbyTalk is a project that will link Planet Diecast with similar online catalog and marketplace websites that deal in other hobby segments, such as radio control and plastic models. HobbyTalk already owns several such websites, Dickey said.
"A lot of hobbies, especially when it comes to vehicular hobbies, you have strong crossover," he said. "For example, I’m a die-cast collector, but I also collect slot cars, and I build plastic model kits."
HobbyTalk expects to complete the project in 2013, Dickey said.