What is the Difference between Scalping and Selling for Market Value?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jourdo, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. jourdo

    jourdo TFW2005 Supporter

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    Ebay:
    This thread got me thinking about this last night. Granted, the thread kind of exploded since I last check it... but let's debate this anyways.

    What exactly is your definition of a "scalper"? Why is what he/she doing wrong in your eyes?

    Who exactly determines the monetary value of an item (Game Console, Sporting Event Ticket, Transformer, whatever)? You personally? The company that produces a product? The retail stores? The other re-sellers?

    Now after you have answered these questions... how do you believe the basic rules of "supply and demand" work? How would this be the same (or different) from your definition of "scalping"?

    When exactly do you draw the line of selling a product as being wrong? What price should you sell a given product at?


    As for myself:

    I feel a scalper is an individual who goes out of his/her way to take something out of the mass market and sell at an inflated price. Is this price artificially inflated? Maybe. If there are not any people who want the product, then he/she will not be able to sell it (high supply, low demand). However, if there are people who are willing to buy it, and pay the price... then there is profit to be had (low supply, high demand). I personally feel that scalpers make the best use of our economic system. They buy low and sell high. Do I personally agree with doing that... well... if selling something for an inflated price would get me an extra car/rent/other payment.... then I do not have a problem with that.

    Good or bad... "Scalping" is a product of the free market system we all live in.

    Let's try and discuss this. Personally I give it 5 or 6 posts before we get the popular "all scalpers must die!" argument.

    Just as a final thought... Hypothetical situation here:

    You purchased Optimus Prime in 1984, kept him MISB until this very day. What was his MSRP back then ($30 to $40... I don't actually know... maybe someone can chime in on this)? You are going to sell him. What do you sell him for today? And why?

    - Matt
     
  2. butz

    butz slippery when wet

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    Much as it annoys me when someone buys up all of a hard to find item (so that just about the only way to get one is from him at a ridiculous price), I protest this kinda behaviour by simply not paying those ridiculous prices. The people that have no qualms with handing over, say 3 times the retail of something you could buy at retail if you wait, are handing "scalpers" the means motive and opportunity on a shiny plate.
    Scalping (aside from tickets) is perfectly legal, so if people want to draw a line on whats just too much, they should do it by saying "no deal."
     
  3. drippy

    drippy is a freethinker.

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    Not with a 10 foot pole if it does ya fine.
     
  4. llamatron

    llamatron Shut up, Nigel. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Here's an example of scalping:

    Recently in Australia K-mart's got in a batch of super cheap reissue Astrotrains. They retailed for about $20 each and were very limited and pretty hard to find (if a store got any in they only got maybe 3 or 4). They're basically sold out everywhere now, but suddenly people on ebay have started putting them up with a starting price of $35 or more. People have just gone and cleared out K-marts and tried to resell them to collectors who couldn't find them in store at a huge profit. That's scalping and total BALLS.
     
  5. Zero Prime

    Zero Prime Windows user no more

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    I think scalping is wrong and I define scalping as buying a lot of an already possibly rare item to make it even more rare.
     
  6. Pimpimus Prime

    Pimpimus Prime (┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐) TFW2005 Supporter

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    Ebay:
    A scalper is anyone that buys something, intending to sell it at higher than normal prices.

    I really have no problems with people buying an extra and tossing it up on eBay at cost. If they make a few bucks off the sale, more power to them.

    Scalpers to me are the douch bags that come in and clear out an entire store or stores and then toss it up on eBay at inflated prices. These guys know they'll sell the stuff at these prices because a) the stuff is in high demand and b) they bought them all. For example, when classics came out, people started clearing out Fry's and Meijers stores and selling the toys at 2x-3x retail.
     
  7. Chaos Muffin

    Chaos Muffin Misadventure Veteran

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    Alwasy looked at it as scalping is buying up/hoarding as much as you can fom a shelf to to sell it for hopefully more than their worth. Especially if it's a new item.
    They also know the store truck schedules and are selfish to the max.

    Doing it the market way would be to order cases from Hasbro or whoever and sell them for around store price. Or just picking up a few extra ones from the store to sell off or to fill some requests
     
  8. butz

    butz slippery when wet

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    I have never seen Classics figures at a Meijer store... are you sure you aren't thinking Fred Meyers, which is a completely unrelated chain, owned by different people and named after a different Fred Meyer, not Fred Meijer?
     
  9. Mike

    Mike Banned

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    A Scalper is someone who takes all the good stuff, so no one else will be able to get it, then tries to sell it to those very people for an inflated price.

    Most of the world, buys stuff from SOMEone to sell for a higher price, that's the way the world works. Nothing wrong with that.

    But I do see something wrong with going to Costco, buyign a transformers ultra magnus/optimus prime two pack, and throwing it up on ebay for a BIN of 139.99
     
  10. *Deathblade

    *Deathblade Well-Known Member

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    BUT judging off your posts you dont see anything wrong with someone throwing a PS3 up with a BIN 2,000?

    If someone pays $2,000 then they are stupid and that's fine right? The same applies to that $150 costo 2 pack.
     
  11. Motor_Master

    Motor_Master Lets the balls touch TFW2005 Supporter

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    As Jourdo illuded to, its all about supply and demand. There are countless auctions that go un won everyday on Ebay because their prices are infalted well above what people are willing to pay for it (i.e. a THS-02 with a BIN of $100 plus shipping). Eventually the prices come down and the items sell.

    Now I have no problem with someone buying an item to sell it on ebay to make a profit, it's part of the free market system. If they can make money on it, all the power to them. As my father would say "its making money with your shirt on."

    I see two scenarios when it comes to selling rare items on ebay:
    1) Seller starts the bidding at an insanely low price and lets the demand for the item set the final price.

    2) Seller starts the bidding at an insanely high price (usually a BIN price) and simply waits for someone desperate enough to come along and buy it.

    The first option seems to fetch the most profit for sellers, where as most of the un won auctions seem to fall into the later category.

    As a collector it does suck when someone picks the TF section clean before you get there, just to resell on ebay. However since 2000 when I started buying every TF toy released in mass retail (RID, Armada, Energon, Alts, Universe, Cyb, etc) there have only been a few items that I have not been able to find and had to resort to ebay or online stores for.
     
  12. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    Dare I ask what making money with your shirt off is? :lol 
     
  13. butz

    butz slippery when wet

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    Career in porno?
     
  14. ckhtiger

    ckhtiger old skool fool

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    I don't really see anytihing wrong with "getting market price" for something. for instance, there's been a couple of times when I've come across something in a toystore that I know is hard to find, and have bought it and auctioned it off on ebay. the way I look at it, I took something that was readily available to me, and made it available to others who obivously couldn't get it any other way. by auctioning it off, I just made sure I got my money back, and if people want to pay more for it than I did, they can do so by bidding higher and higher. if $15 is too much for a $10 figure, then they don't have to bid any higher. but if it's worth it to them to pay $30, then they can go right ahead if they have the means to. the figure I'm actually referring to is a mcfarlane's twisted oz dorothy. I found 3 of them at a mall in the berkshires 2 years after they were released, on a rack in the local ebgames.

    what I DO have a problem with is people going out of their way to clear an entire REGION of a toy, thereby creating an unnatural shortage of such a figure, and making the only way possible to find such toys the secondary market. this is how I feel about what people are doing with the game systems.

    by the way, if I had a misb prime that meant nothing to me that I paid original retail for, you can bet that I'd auction it off and let people pay what they wanted for it, instead of just listing it for sale for the original $30 that I paid for it.
     
  15. Blunticon

    Blunticon The Oddjob

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    Scalping on toys sucks.. But if I had some tickets to a game or concert and couldnt go or whatever I would def. be out there with the scalpers trying to get my money back, but thats also in no way scalping. Skrew scalping on toys. I mean what about the kids who really want them to play with and the honest collectors who want to collect.
     
  16. Vangelus

    Vangelus Long Live the New Flesh Moderator Content Contributor

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    Ebay:
    To me, a scalper sells an item that was already being sold at a retailer before he or she bought it. I guess another criteria is having an opening price of double or triple retail.

    Also believe that use of the term 'scalper' is influenced by emotional climate. Many times I have seen 'dealer' replaced with 'scalper' when the individual doing so is personally unhappy.

    Slightly related: I never fault someone if their eBay auction soars far above the retail price because of the bidders' activity.
     
  17. Mike

    Mike Banned

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    no no, putting it up at retail price and letting idiots who are WILLING to put out $2000 is fine, but asking a BIN of $2000 would be bad.

    IMO there's a difference in trying to MAKE someone pay an inflated price, than letting people pay more then what its worth by bidding crazy amounts. Most of the Ps3's I saw on there were starting around retail price, maybe a bit more, some even less, yes they sky rocketed up to $1500 to $2000. If someone really wants to pay that, which obviously hundreds of people did, then yeah. It's just a game system, and I think it is stupid not to take the money, but that's just me.

    But again, buying a PS3 and charging a BIN of $2000 grand would be bad bad bad
     
  18. Shaun_C

    Shaun_C The REAL One True fan Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Great thread topic Jourdo.

    I personally find it a waste of time to buy something I don't want just because I know I have a more then 50% chance to make back double what I paid by using Ebay.

    I guess it's how you go about it that the clincher

    1)Make it an open auction fairly low w/no BIN price vs 2) Starting the auction at a low price w/a high BIN

    Also one should factor in how high above MSRP you set the price. Over here PS3's are like $750 once you add our 14% tax. So I have no real problem seeing the consoles on Ebay for $1,000. But when I hear stories of people selling it for $5,000, then I see that as 1)Being greedy and 2)Taking advantage of other people's stupidity.

    See IMPO there are 2 kinds of scalpers, reasonable scaplers and greedy scalpers. Like someone said in that other thread, everyone's a scalper. It's just that some people are reasonable scalper while other scalpers take it over the top.

    1 thing I find ironic though is that this fandom gets livid when someone buys up a hard to find TF and places it on Ebay at an overly inflated price. Yet some seem to have no problem doing the same thing to other like with the PS3 or XBox360
     
  19. Foster

    Foster Super Mod

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    I blame the buyers for being idiots just as much as I blame scaplers for exploiting them. I strive to be neither.
     
  20. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    Well said.
     

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