I was reading Brian's "For love or money" topic and thought this was somewhat related but deserved it's own topic.
I came to RDR about 12yrs ago as an experienced, but inactive, collector. While I had a large collection, most were older cars...FTEs were foreign to me and I didn't know what a Cadillac V16 was. So, I began gathering as many of the later model cars that were recommended to me and building a solid racing fleet. I found that local farmer's markets were a virtual treasure trove, selling new in-package cars @ pennies on the dollar. And then there was always ePay...while not always having good deals like the local markets, they almost always had what you were looking for...but you'd have to pay slightly more for it. But there were still deals to be had. It wasn't unusual to find Ferrari F40s or Funny Cars @ $2-$3ea. Original Modern Classic cars could be had for about $10-$12...loose Front Runnin' Fairmonts were about the same. MBX Laser Wheel cars were still an unknown commodity and priced to sell. Even the formidable JL BWF Camaros could be found for less than $20. And, finally, FTEs were reasonable with 20+ car lots selling @ $1.50-$2.50/car w/shipping.
Here we are 12 years later. I know there are some educated diecast consumers here that are well aware of current asking prices....Have we become a primary motivator in the market?