Rule 162: Even in the worst of times, someone turns a profit

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by TrueNomadSkies, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. TrueNomadSkies

    TrueNomadSkies Airachnid's ratservant

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    So, I was reading Firehawc's comment earlier today & got it me thinking about how in the end, the people who consistently come out on top are the middlemen, rather than the buyers or sellers. In other words, that regardless of who comes out with the better deal, it's really that someone waiting below us with a bucket (such as Paypal, postal services & of course taxmen) who will have a much more stable edge over the other parties because they're constantly collecting scrapings from every transaction.

    Now, without getting too much into taxing theory & whatnot (as this would not only get political, but also be quite redundant for most of us), how do you feel about the quoted statement, and, how have you been involved in the circle?

    I mean, even though small time buyers & sellers are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to turning a profit, the basic mentality of selling goods & services for more than it costs you to acquire them is present everywhere, and dealing with middlemen like paypal, ebay, shipping companies & of course our country's taxes are simply some of the mandatory costs of doing business. Similarly, if you have something that others would value right now that you don't particularity care for anymore, isn't selling it for a price that you can currently move it at a way of making profit for yourself because you're cutting your past loses & taking advantage of a current opportunity, regardless of what you might have paid for it in the past?

    However at the same time, I also think we've gotta recognize what we're capable of drawing here without making it our full time (or even part time) job, and how we shouldn't always expect to make money from this hobby because selling toys that we don't want anymore isn't exactly the wisest business strategy in general, let alone the best way of building an inventory (at least not with having a steady income in mind). It's actually the same thing with Yugioh & most other collecting hobbies, except often to a more painful degree in card games because of fast something that used to be 70 dollars can become worth next to nothing, often due to things that don't even involve how rare or even useful the card is.


    tl;dr - The 162'nd Rule of Acquisition states that even in the worst of times, someone turns a profit. It's usually the middleman when it comes to an aftermarket, but what does this mean for the rest of us?
     
  2. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Hammer of the Gunplas

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    I am in total agreement with what you quoted. ebay, Paypal, and the like are just services that, regardless of whether or not the seller actually makes a profit from the deal, will come out on top because they always get money.

    The way I see it, trying to sell things online as a sole source of income is a mistake that should be avoided if possible because the amount of income that is coming in never is certain, if even coming at all, and you're always paying the premium for secure services.

    Now, as a small side income in addition to a well-paying job or even just trying to get some stuff and sell it to others to spread product around (I.E. Windcharger)? If you are making money from that venture, you are still effectively making a profit even by using those services, but it should just remain a side income that can be stopped if need be.

    Personally, I don't sell things online. I just use Paypal to send payments to other people for stuff.
     
  3. Timesynch

    Timesynch Go For Broke! TFW2005 Supporter

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    I could say it's just the cost of doing business but the fees and charges laid against sellers is a bit ridiculous these days to the point where turning a profit is like trying to squeeze blood from a stone.

    The whole gift or non-gift payment option for PayPal is a whole can of worms in and of itself (I can see both sides of this argument, but I'm OK with money orders and snail mail if the buyer doesn't want to use gift nor pay the 3-4% markup... but again, money orders and a postage stamp aren't free either).

    Bottom line is, anything worth having ain't free.
     
  4. TrueNomadSkies

    TrueNomadSkies Airachnid's ratservant

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    Not to discredit the rest of your post (I agree that the gift vs purchase thing creates its own complications), but I think you really got me with this statement right here. If something's worth having, then it's gotta have some value, meaning that it can't be free. Actually, I'm pretty sure there's at least one Rule of Acquisition about how even things that're free usually aren't.



    @ Autobot Burnout: Well, I've sold a couple of things, and the most profitable of which I basically made 6 dollars on, and that's not including any of the packing, driving, etc. In that respect, I pretty much covered the cost of some deodorant that I picked up from Superstore along with Windcharger, so it's all good because I wasn't relying on that sale to support myself with.

    Also when it comes to the profits of liquidation & whatnot, I'm in the process of buying a figure from someone, where they'll be making 5 bucks (that's the listed price). However, they would've paid about 15 when it was new in stores (maybe less on a sale of they were lucky), and the shipping will be about 10 dollars, which I'll be paying. This means that in the end, I'll be paying the same amount as I would have in the store, the seller is cutting their losses & making 1/3rd of what they paid (I really do see this as cutting their losses), and the postal service is making 10 bucks for their efforts. In our deal (and as usual), they're coming out on top.

    Now, I suppose I could also mention that this person lives about 4 hours from me, thus making it more hilarious because of how Canada Post rolls, but that's not really the point I'm replying to.


    Getting back to it being a side venture, I think that's one of the strongest things one can make. That's sort of why people who do use this fandom to support themselves have to devote a lot more to it than most of us who're just as you say, looking to liquidate or pass product around.
     
  5. Rodimus Mike

    Rodimus Mike I Drank What?

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    Ebay:
    I get what yall are saying but there are a few things to consider here,and they are:

    1.Paypal doesn't charge either buyer or seller if you use personal payment owed,unless you go over the $500 limit each month (well for me anyway,may be higher or lower for others)

    And 2.That is the way society works,for thousands of years people have used money to get something they want or need,and the cycle starts all over again,people need money to pay for transformers or whatever.

    So in conclusion we are all just contributing to the circle of life.Later.
     
  6. Billzilla

    Billzilla Skeptic

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    I can verify that he did, in fact, do this. This is not a hypothetical example, this happened. It pays itself forward.
     
  7. Timesynch

    Timesynch Go For Broke! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Huh? Isn't that what I just said? Unless my English was faulty there, heh. Just replace "ain't" with "is not". XD (If you're not correcting me and are actually agreeing with me.... then.... cool, bro, carry on then, lol.)
     
  8. TrueNomadSkies

    TrueNomadSkies Airachnid's ratservant

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    Haha, so could the guy who bought the WC I had listed (Necrocron9), but even if I'd sold it for a lot more, it's not like it would've mattered much in the grand scheme of things. At the very best, even selling a bunch of them heavily marked up would've helped pay for more transformers & Yugioh cards that I'd have bought anyways, and again, the postal service would be the ones actually making money.

    In retrospect, I should probably have sold them both at the same price to make it more fair to him (rather than selling yours at cost before listing the other), but since I was holding that one for someone who backed out, I figured it'd be somewhat the same as my original plan or at least the possible alternative of simply returning it. I just didn't wanna do the latter because some random kid would probably have picked it up & eventually ran him over with their bike, but you know.


    Your English was fine, hah. I was just agreeing with you & somewhat furthering the point, so no worries.
     

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