Molds are a very specialized mechanic field, so when cheapest place to manufacture them, (like China use to,) start to grow, experts, process and so more left their low profit level and want more… sadly, better experts, better know-how, better materials, better process are in more traditional countries than in China or India, Portugal, Italia, Germany, Argentina, EUA, Canada, are better mold maker referents than China or India.
Your budget makes it feasible to outsource mold tooling to China, India and other countries. This is good from a finance point. The disadvantage is when tools are brought back into UK for example to mold nobody will touch them when they go wrong or need modifications and if they do the cost applied would of made it the same price at the start as if it was made in UK / Germany. Tool construction / quality in other countries are far from good. UK / Germany may be more expensive for initial tool but they run fully auto and correct procedures are followed. Overseas beat European hands down on manual labour costs when assembling or trimming molded parts.
If you are shipping molding in this is different as you only see the final products. What the tool looks like or runs like is irrelevant.
Total Life Cycle Cost of mold can be higher when going outsource even though initial tool build cost is low. Some people only look at the initial cost and think they are saving their company money by outsourcing mold. What has to be factored in is refitting the mold once it comes into the US or UK due to quality of some components. There are repair costs for failed items when materials spec’d were substituted with inferior material, or incorrectly hardened. There are costs associated with mold down time while it is out of production.
Production costs for life of mold whenever a change or repair is needed and the manufacturing information is from offshore an it’s correctness compared to the tool is in question. Management costs in UK/USA to coordinate the initial procurement, but also all the follow up time trying to fix problems along the way.
I’m sure others in the UK/USA can elaborate on this list. But the old saying always stands: “You get what you pay for.”