NASCAR Diecast Price Guide Options


  June 19, 2018      Roger Carl


What's the Best NASCAR Diecast Collectible Price Guide?


The best NASCAR diecast value guide? During a recent national toy convention, this question came up as I was chatting with a fellow NASCAR diecast collector about how we each determine the value of our racing diecast collectibles. As our conversation continued, I realized that an up-to-date article on this topic would be helpful to fellow collectors. Having recently done way too many hours of research on this topic for my own education, this article aims to share with you my findings, and, most importantly, my opinions regarding the options for answering the age-old questions: How much is my NASCAR diecast worthWhat is the value of my NASCAR diecast collection?  

With an article like this, it is important to re-emphasize that the information below reflects my opinions and my interpretation of the information available online, and in hard-copy print, at the time of my research. I strongly recommend that you do your own research to verify these findings and to come to your own conclusion. If you do that, I am confident that your conclusions will align closely with mine. Without further ado, here are the best places to determine the value of your diecast collection, and the value of individual diecast cars.


#1 Diecast Registry

Best NASCAR diecast price value guide. This is a slam-dunk. A no-brainer. This website is the wholly grail of racing diecast collectors around the world. Every diecast collector of significance that I know uses this site. Just check out their Diecast of the Day. DCR Members get this kind of detailed information about every diecast in their collection.

The DCR NASCAR diecast price guide appeared online in 2003, at a time when Diecast Digest Magazine dominated the NASCAR diecast price guide market, and Beckett was the clear second-choice for NASCAR diecast values. However, Diecast Digest was out of business in 2006, and Beckett stopped updating their NASCAR diecast database in 2010. Why? There is one common denominator: Diecast Registry.

What's to like about Diecast Registry

  • It's a Real Price Guide and it's Database Driven. DCR provides robust filters and sorting options to quickly find diecast of interest.
  • It's Easy to Use. Even a novice computer user will quickly learn how to use the website.
  • It's Accurate. It provides both the "book value" and "retail value" of each diecast.
  • It's Accurate. The diecast database and the pricing are updated weekly.
  • It's Complete. It includes all diecast released in the modern diecast era (1989 - present).
  • It's Complete. It includes diecast from over 75 OEMs including Action, ADC, Brookfield, Ertl, Franklin Mint, GMP, Hot Wheels, Johnny Lightning, Lionel, Matchbox, R&R, Racing Champions, Revell, Team Caliber, University of Racing, Winners Circle, etc.
  • It's Advanced. Sometimes, its not enough to simply know a diecast's value. DCR provides diecast value trend charts so you can see if a diecast's value is increasing or decreasing. This is HUGE when making decisions about which diecast to sell and what to pay when adding new diecast into your collection.
  • It's Historical. The diecast value trend charts show users the monthly value of a given diecast all the way back to 2003.
  • It's Educational. For special paint schemes (e.g. the Dale Earnhardt Winston Silver Select), diecast comments tell you when a given paint scheme was raced, and how the driver did in the race.
  • It's Got Pictures. Lots of them. I must see a dozen 1:24 Dale Earnhardt diecast being sold in online auctions every month in the wrong box. DCR allows you to look at the multiple pictures of each diecast to see exactly what packaging is correct.  
  • No Conflict of Interest. This is supremely important. DCR is not associated with NASCAR or Lionel, and DCR does not buy or sell NASCAR diecast. DCR is completely unbiased. There is a reason Disney Corporation does not publish a price guide for its own collectibles. There is a reason Topps does not publish a price guide for its own baseball cards. Doing so would lead to immediate distrust of their brands. Same holds true for Lionel. Getting into the diecast price guide business would be a huge conflict of interest and would be damaging to their brand. 
  • It's Mobile Friendly. Users can access all DCR functionality from a cell phone or tablet.

What's not to like about Diecast Registry

  • The free Bronze membership will let you search the production list and add unlimited diecast into your garage, and sell unlimited diecast without listing fees or commissions. However, you will need to purchase a Silver, Gold, or Platinum membership to access the price guide. However, the membership prices are actually quite reasonable considering the value in return. 
  • DCR caters only to racing diecast (i.e. NASCAR, NHRA, WOO, Indy, F1, etc.). If you are looking for the value of a generic 1970 GTO from Franklin Mint, this is not your site.
  • DCR does not have a search feature that allows you to enter a SKU# to find a diecast. You will have to use their filters - which fortunately are quite easy and logical.

#2 eBay

If you are not aware of DCR, then you are probably using eBay as your point of reference. Its easy to look at the Completed Auctions and get a general idea of what a certain diecast sells for.   

What's to like about eBay

  • It's easy to use. Most diecast collectors are already familiar with eBay.
  • It's Volume. The sheer volume of diecast sold on eBay means that there is a good chance that you will be able to find sales price information for the popular drivers and diecast makes.
  • It's becoming more advanced. New features such as "this item is trending at $X" can be helpful.
  • It's Free. Users can access Completed auctions to see sales prices without purchasing a membership.
  • It's Mobile Friendly. Users can access eBay from a cell phone or tablet

What's not to like about eBay

  • Short-Term View. Users can see sales prices from only the past 90 days. So, if your diecast hasn't sold in the past 90 days, you are SOL.
  • It can be Misleading. Just because an unknowledgeable buyer pays $99 for a 2013 Ty Dillon 1:24 Wesco diecast, doesn't mean that its worth $99. The DCR price guide will tell you that this diecast has a wholesale value of about $15. 
  • It can be Misleading. Just because an unknowledgeable seller sets a $4 Buy it Now on a 2007 1:64 Dave Blaney M-Series diecast, doesn't mean that its worth $4. The DCR price guide will tell you that this diecast has a wholesale value of about $20.
  • It can be Misleading. Because sellers can place a diecast into the wrong box, or use inaccurate descriptions, sales prices may be much lower, or much higher, than the expected value.
  • The above bullet points should make one question the accuracy of eBay's "this item is trending at $X" feature.
  • Its not a Price Guide. Each user has to calculate a diecast's value based on the data he is looking at. Two users looking to determine the value of the same diecast may be looking at different data, at slightly different times, and therefore come to different conclusions.

#3 (tie) TeraPeak and WorthPoint

While eBay provides sales data that is limited to the previous 90 days, these sites provide sales data that goes back several years. Other than that benefit, these sites have same inherent problems as eBay when it comes to determining the value of diecast collectibles.   

What's to like about TeraPeak and WorthPoint

  • It's easy to use. Sales records are located using a search phrase.
  • Older Data. These sites provide sales records that go back several years.

What's not to like about TeraPeak and WorthPoint

  • Same shortcomings as eBay. Its not a Price Guide. You have to figure everything out based on the data returned from your search term.
  • I am told that sales data from eBay is not available in these forums until its at least 90 days old. This creates a HUGE problem. If you want to know what a diecast is selling for recently, you are SOL. The result? Now you have to go to eBay to see recent sales data, and then go to one of these outlets to see older sales data, merge the two together, and then estimate your diecast's value. What a mess. 
  • I also understand that these forums contain sales data only if the sale price was $10 or higher. This means that these forums are going to be useless for 99% of your 1:64 scale diecast. 
  • Cost. The annual fee for these sites is around $200. It is my opinion that the $100 Diecast Registry Platinum membership returns MUCH more value to a diecast collector - but this is something you should decide for yourself.  

#4 Beckett

Beckett is a well known presence in the sports card collectors market. In the late 1990's, Becket started adding diecast into its popular Racing Collectibles Price Guide (which is still printed annually). There are two things that are important for diecast collectors to know: (i) Beckett stopped adding diecast into their catalogue in 2008 (although some Action models exist through 2010); and (ii) Beckett stopped updating the diecast values in 2013. See for your self: look at the recent price changes on their home page. Given these facts, I am amazed at the number of eBay sellers who still state a diecast's Beckett "book value" in their auction as a way to artificially induce a higher sale price  

What's to like about Beckett

  • Some people, especially older collectors, like to hold a hardcopy book in their hands.
  • It's a real price guide. However, Beckett's expertise is sports cards. If you are a card collector, this is the place to be. Its great for sports cards.   

What's not to like about Beckett

  • Accuracy. The racing guide is notorious for its high values that are not reflective of online sales in any forum. For example, Beckett has the Dale Earnhardt 1990 1:64 Racing Champions diecast valued at $20-$50. You can buy this diecast at online auction all day long for $5 - $8, sometimes even less. 
  • Completeness. It does not have any diecast post-2010 diecast. 
  • Pictures and Descriptions. These are either non existent or are not good enough to give a user confidence that he is looking at the value of his exact diecast.
  • Cost. You can purchase the hardcopy book (with these shortcoming) for about $25..., or you can purchase the Diecast Registry Silver membership for $25. Your choice.
  • Cost. You can purchase Beckett's online membership (also with these shortcoming) for $99 - $140..., or you can purchase the Diecast Registry Gold membership for $50. Again, that's an easy choice IMO. Heck, you can purchase a Diecast Registry Platinum membership for only $100.

#5 Diecast-Search

When you Google "diecast price guide," Diecast-Search appears at the top of the search engine rankings list. This is unfortunate because this site is of almost no value to racing diecast collectors. When the price guide home page announces in red text "Please do not use the filter below! It does not work properly," you know that you have not landed on a professional site.    

What's to like about Diecast-Search

  • It's free. But somehow the old saying "you get what you pay for" will come to your mind no more than two minutes after you start using the site.  

What's not to like about Diecast-Search

  • No filter capability.
  • No pictures.
  • Poor descriptions.
  • The values they do show for diecast from the year 2001 or so forward are clearly the original sales price of the diecast, not any sort of current market value.  
  • There are no diecast from 2013 to present, so you can assume it hasn't been updated in at least seven years.
  • The database is the most incomplete catalogue you will find. For example, it has exactly four diecast from 1991, twenty-three diecast from 1992, twenty-six diecast from 1993, twenty-nine diecast from 2011, and exactly one diecast from 2012. You get the picture.   

#6 Diecast Digest Magazine

In the early 2000's, Diecast Digest Magazine was the 1,000 pound gorilla that dominated the NASCAR diecast price guide market. However, it was a conflict of interest that led to the demise of DCD around 2005. As the Internet became more popular, online diecast sales forums such as GoMotorBids and eBay emerged. Collectors began to realize that Diecast Digest's values were not in alignment with online sales. DCD values were 3-5 times higher than the sales prices seen in the emerging on-line marketplace. Heavy advertising by Action Performance did not sit well with collectors, either; the conflict of interest was obvious. The damage to the DCD brand was unrecoverable.

Today, DCD is not a real option as a diecast price guide. Theses magazines have become more of a collectible themselves, as they reflect a time when NASCAR, and racing diecast, was in its heyday.