Scalping

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by jerryitus, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. jerryitus

    jerryitus Transformer vacuum

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    Regardless of the arena (ebay, online forums, etc.), are you scalping if you're re-selling currently available at retail figures at more than a modest increase over the store price?

    I put up a wanted post for a current deluxe figure a little while back and was shocked at what other board members wanted for it. I feel that ebay scalpers get a bad rap, but somehow we tolerate it on forums, etc. If you don't want an item anymore and are selling it, fine, but if you're buying out the store and then selling for a profit to other board members, I still think its scalping. I know its my prerogative not to buy, but I'm wondering what others think on the topic.
     
  2. jtscribe

    jtscribe Well-Known Member

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    It's very subjective, IMO. There's a difference between "market value" and "scalping", IMO.

    For example . . . I think some of the online stores are selling Gen Thundercracker for around 20 bucks plus shipping. I wouldn't call that scalping, even though it's almost a 100% markup for what you could get it for @ retail. Forty or fifty bucks - yeah, that's scalping.
     
  3. exomega255

    exomega255 Emerald Green

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    can you give an example? How much is the mark up? Keep in mind different stores in different areas charge diff amounts. Ex, one TRU near me charges 17.99 for certain deluxe, while another TRU near me is consistently 12.99.
     
  4. The Dark Seeker

    The Dark Seeker TFW2005 Supporter

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    Well, this is the only example I think may befit this....Last year, mattel released the hot wheels ghostbuster ecto 1. In Target, apparently for winter months, they had a different cardback which included snowflakes amongst the regular deco on the card. Hotwheels are retailed at $0.99 or $0.97 depending on where you go. A seller on ebay wanted $200 for the Target version as a buy it now price.

    He didn't sell it though.....

    but it looked like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Wyvern

    Wyvern Velvet Sanchez

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    Technically it's scalping but what are you gonna do? It's part of the hobby. It's best not to think about it.
     
  6. exomega255

    exomega255 Emerald Green

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    Yes, that is scalping, but I thought you were looking for where to "draw the line" type of thing?

    Besides, ebay's known for people pulling this shit.
     
  7. Kaijumaster

    Kaijumaster 335

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    It's scalping when you clear out an inventory for the express purpose of reselling immedietly at a profit. It's less a course of action than a state of mind.
     
  8. jerryitus

    jerryitus Transformer vacuum

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    I think it depends on what retail is for that person. For instance, I had an offer recently from a Canadian board member to sell me Grapple for $35 plus shipping, but he advised that retail was $35, so it wasn't on him, it was retail that jacked up the price. However, if someone from my town offered to sell me that same Grapple for $35 + shipping I'd be pissed b/c I'd know he paid $19.99 for it.
     
  9. The Dark Seeker

    The Dark Seeker TFW2005 Supporter

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    I don't know where to really "draw the line" per say. I guess it depends on each person's preference and how much they're willing to spend. Some friends I know rationalize paying a certain more than retail because they figure in how much in "gas" they'd have to spend driving around looking for the toy.

    For me....that example I gave is way beyond any line I'd consider drawing. If a toy was just released and not even a year old and someone wants 200% mark up, I'm not buying it. If the person wants say....$15 more off of a retail price of say, $100......ok....I'd bite if its something I wanted really badly. Does that help?
     
  10. Alucard77

    Alucard77 Kaon Gladiator Champion

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    Has anyone looked at the price of City Commander lately? I thought I paid a lot at $170 when I got him with Ultra Magnus and the upgrade set with the missles and the guns. Now it is a steal.

    Saw a site selling him for $450. Said site always has good prices, so I almost fell off my chair. Then I go on Ebay and he is like $325 at the cheapest.

    Kinda nuts. I learned that you buy FP no matter what. People are crazy. You can decide if that is scalping or not.

    Aren't you over assuming here? If you can find Grapple congrats. I bet you won't find him. I am getting one from a friend for $30. Yes, I can get him for $20 + tax when he comes out. But good like finding him. TBH, if I found multiple, I would sell him at $35. The amount of gas I spent to hunt for stuff is ridiculous. What is even more ridiculous is that I didn't find shit.

    So if you take into account:
    1- Store Price
    2- Tax
    3- Gas while hunting

    $35 is a correct price.
     
  11. exomega255

    exomega255 Emerald Green

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    I disagree on "a correct price", because it depends. Some people find it without any trouble, and only b/c they were hunting their own stuff. Depending on circumstance, I would agree that 35$ is a reasonable price, and in other circumstances, no, its scalping. It really depends. There is no "generalization" of what's a good price for some items.

    Personally, I got my grapple for 19.99. HTS ftw, or BBTS had them for a while a few times, as well.
     
  12. Transbot90210

    Transbot90210 Banned

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    What you described, charging a bundle for a figure that is available at retail, is scalping. But I don't blame scalpers. With the rediculas amounts impatient people are paying for figures it is almost enough to turn this long time collector into a scalper...almost lol

    In regards to small increases in price such as the $20 fig going for $35 I can justify that. Let us even exclude taxes and gas from the price increase. What you are paying for is time. I took my time to get the figure and I am saving you time and giving you a peace of mind by selling it to you. Although I have a tight definition of scalping and would consider this to be sorta scalping but in the end it is not really a price gouge. I just really hate paying more than retail for something I can find at retail. To add, living in the Greater Toronto area, in my 16 years of collecting since BW started, I have only NOT found 2 figures EVER. The count may go up as high as 10 but all you awesome board members here have helped me in the past (without scalping) obtain the figs at retail that I could not find.
     
  13. jerryitus

    jerryitus Transformer vacuum

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    I'm just saying if you hit up a store, get lucky enough to find stuff, are you being cool if you buy everything and re-sell it for 2x the price on a forum. I always thought that part of the reason for belonging to online communities was to avoid that kind of mentality. My opinion.
     
  14. process

    process Hanlon's razor Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Agreed, I think it really boils down to intent.
     
  15. The Dark Seeker

    The Dark Seeker TFW2005 Supporter

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    Well I don't think its just impatience so as much as "battling" other scalpers too (to find certain items) who clear out the pegs of the toys. I mean, I had a good buddy tell me he was at a Target one morning looking for Joes and this guy walks up with a hand basket, puts it down and literally grabbed all the newly stocked star wars figures off one row of pegs as if he was a mechanized robot in an automation factory, and smoothly dumped it all into his basket. And then he did the same thing with the next row of pegs and so forth until all were gone. My friend was speechless. The guy looked at him and said "what?"
     
  16. Angelwave

    Angelwave Physical Maintenance.....

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    The thing is about it though...if this guy didn't have "customers" that pay those ridiculous prices...he probably wouldn't be bothered doing it in the first place. People go where the money is, and this is what happens.
     
  17. The Dark Seeker

    The Dark Seeker TFW2005 Supporter

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    This is true.
     
  18. exomega255

    exomega255 Emerald Green

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    unfortunately, we cannot collectively get enough effort to "not feed scalpers" especially with how much most members love to get their toys "earlier than the member next to him"
     
  19. Alucard77

    Alucard77 Kaon Gladiator Champion

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    The thing is, I doubt that anyone gets this lucky. I have been looking for RTS W2 and Generations for months now with nothing in my area. I have easily spent a fortune on gas. Now I say screw it and order it online.

    So I am paying $30 for it cause it is fair I think.

    Now that is what you call scalping.

    BTW, I have began buying 2 of everything with the intention to trade the second in the future if I want something.

    The thing I noticed is NOONE, except maybe one person I am friends with, sells their stuff at what they bought it for. I was looking for so many figures, and trust me, NOONE sold me their classics at $12.95. Recently I paid $70 for Music Label Soundwave.

    I don't like ripping people off, but I am sure these RTS will be worth something in the future and I better have something to trade or I'll get ripped off on figures.

    Just look at the cost of Ramjet and 25th anniversary Starscream. People are smoking serious crack.
     
  20. Cax6ton

    Cax6ton Insufferable Smartass

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    Scalping is traditionally defined as making a profit by artificially reducing the supply of something - someone buys all of the good seats to a concert, so they have a corner on the supply. Someone buys all the toys in the store, they have the local market under their control. City Commander isn't being scalped because those sellers don't have the supply cornered - that's just the prices that the market will bear. Someone buying one CC at $325 and attempting to sell it for $600 isn't scalping - they're just deluded. But it's $300-ish and rising because it has that magic combination of being "What People Want" and "What Is Hard To Find". If I put mine up for sale at $400 it isn't scalping - either someone will buy it, or it will sit there with a $400 price tag on it.

    But yeah, buying FP no matter what has been a pretty good tactic lately. Even if the prices don't go stratospheric, you end up with a pretty cool toy. I'm not aware of any FP stuff that has decreased in value :D 

    For everyone in general (apologies for being a pedantic ass): Scalping is about supply and profit, not about price. Someone who cleans out the toy store to sell toys for a dime more is scalping. Stupid, yes, but still technically scalping.

    What's your best option?
    1. Patience. Time is money, and it works backwards as well as forwards. If a scalper sells all of their stock at inflated prices, then that's what the market will bear - the scalpers just accelerated the process that would have happened naturally (see Shadow Scyther for example). But most of the time, a little bit of patience wins out. Either the toys will flood back into retail (TFTM Concept Bumblebee, Animated Arcee), or demand will subside and the scalpers will be forced to sell cheaper (Henkei Seekers), or you'll end up paying high prices everywhere else anyway (Commander sets).
    2. Preorder. Time is money. If you want it ahead of time, pay the extra couple of bucks, save yourself gas money and frustration. If you have reservations about paying extra and aren't sure if you'll want it, think of it as paying a few bucks to rent or demo the figure - a lot of times you can sell a figure quickly enough to get 90% (my personal target) of its retail price, which isn't all that bad. When you look at in reverse, it's kinda like buying an insurance policy against scalpers - most of the time you don't need it, but every now and then it saves you a bit of money.
     

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