On scalping.

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by FAST6191, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. FAST6191
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    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    So around here we get the occasion whining thread or post about people charging lots for items in limited supply, a practice called scalping.

    Today however I was reading my copy of every man his own mechanic, a print from 1890 of a lovely book which teaches you how to be a handyman, 1890s style. It had some salient advice for those unable to stomach the concept of supply and demand, or indeed the notion of something being worth what someone else is willing to pay.

    every_man_his_own_mechanic_3.JPG
    Cover and title page for those interested in such things, click to see bigger versions
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  2. migles

    migles Mei the sexiest bae

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    my dad works for nintendo.
    i wonder if back in the day, shop owners where all mad at each other and trying to tip each other costumers with good prices
    or had meetings to decide the prices they would charge for stuff, specially on items you couldn't find anywere like thoose special nails
     
  3. FAST6191
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    FAST6191 Techromancer

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  4. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    Speculation of luxury items is the foundation of a free market. Well, not the foundation but it's pretty close.
     
  5. brickmii82

    brickmii82 GBAtemp Fan

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    I was about to post a serious rant about this. I'll just leave it here.

    I'm not opposed to resale profiting, but the ridiculous greed typically involved is overwhelming. I'm seriously to the point that I want to physically assault scalpers. I'm so fed up with greedy practices being defended in the name of "capitalism."

    With the NES Mini, it felt like the market established itself due to it being a collectors item. Cool. With the Ryzen chips, and the Switch, it's overly saturated with overly priced resale points. The Mini was at 140$ literally hours after it launched, and the market was steady. With these last 2 launches, I've seen the Switch priced at over double retail, and people are asking cost +50-80% on Ryzen chips. The problem here is that there are also sellers asking cost +25-40%. The scalpers won't lower their price, they'll hold on until the cheaper disappear and then we're left with the supply/demand equation. Unfortunately the haves will pay(more likely parents) and the have-nots that washed cars all damn summer to save up that 400$ find themselves SOL because daddy moneybags'll go ahead and dish out the 550$ so his bratty ass POS kid will stop whining.

    I only hope Nintendo pumps out production(they should because the Switch is a game-changer imo) so that when the cheaper ones sell out, those douchebags get forced to lower prices. As for AMD, Amazon gets its next shipment the 8th, so thank you AMD for ass-fisting said douchebags for trying to double up on a 3rd party resale. You did no work.
    I'm all about a dollar, but earn it. Don't just feed your lust for gold at the expense of someone else.

    You may just see it as a simple capitalist practice. But I see Epi-pens that save lives, CDO's, Synthetic CDO's, University degrees, jobs, etc all with-held/denied/put out of reach/created, and of course the poor kid who did odds and ends to earn it because assholes have to swear by the almighty fucking dollar. I'm fed up!
     
  6. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    You can't really compare critical resources or life saving drugs with a new game console. It is not essential, it's not vital, it is not life-saving, it's a toy, and the worst thing that can happen to poor little Timmy that has worked "the whole damn summer" is that he will have to buy his toy a month later when it gets restocked. He won't starve, he won't freeze, he won't die, what will happen is that he will have to buy his toy a little later, and the next time he will have the foresight to preorder like everyone else.

    Yes, scalping is a get-rich-quick scheme trying to exploit when a manufacturer misjudges demand (and they often misjudge the supply/demand and fail miserably (and then we point at them and laugh) and they don't really do much to earn the money, but you are mentioning top of the line graphics cards and brand new consoles, and the fact their prices were inflated for a little while because some people aren't willing to wait a few weeks for the manufacturer to shit out a new shipment really does not warrant such scorn. You are equating a minor annoyance with a war crime. You really can't compare the two.
     
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  7. brickmii82

    brickmii82 GBAtemp Fan

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    Why not? At the heart of the situation lies the exact same flaw I've described. The value of money over the human condition. I don't agree with this line of thought. Period. This isn't oversimplication. This is a face forward confronting of humanity's tendency to greed.
     
  8. barronwaffles

    barronwaffles GBAtemp Regular

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    If there are people willing to pay an inflated price for a luxury item then the price wasn't inflated.
     
  9. Vipera

    Vipera Banned

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    Your argument is missing one, deadly point.

    You buy quantities of things to resell because people either don't want to use the main source or they can't. That's fine.

    You buy quantities of things from sources people are already trying to buy from. You resell them because you bought them all. You are a parasite.

    So yeah. Stop justifying scalping. Do it if you want, but don't kid yourself: you are a parasite.

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
     
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  10. FAST6191
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    Some of my favourite life forms are parasites.

    Anyway this was less a justification, not that I feel it needs one, and more a suggestion for others.
     
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  11. Lilith Valentine

    Lilith Valentine GBATemp's Wolfdog™ ☠️Grunt☠️

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    It's a horrible thing, but at the same time I am not against it. If you can get something cheat or when the stock is low with high demand. It is completely within your right to profit off of it.
     
  12. Futurdreamz

    Futurdreamz GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    I'm wondering if these scalpers have real jobs.

    Lets say they bought the NES Classic for $60 and are selling it for (checks ebay) $100-130. That's only $40-70 profit. Even with an apprenticeship I can easily earn twice that every day. A scalper would need to sell 11-50 NES Classics every two weeks to match my income, and I doubt they are even selling one a month. Higher ticket items like Ryzen do raise things a bit, but still I really see no point in it - it's a complete waste of time and your income is completely unpredictable. Is hoarding NES Classics really going to make things better for you?
     
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  13. FAST6191
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    It is hardly a full time job; one listing, maybe three if you cover the big reselling sites, copy and pasted through for however many you have, and then you take them to the post office when you have time. Prices were a bit higher at one point and commission would have to be accounted for but going with 40-70 and assuming they had 10 then that is 400-700 dollars. As a cash injection/income supplement that would appreciated by a lot of people, and if you are less capable of working almost definitely.

    Do it right and any unsold you can probably still break even on. You say one a month and while now it has probably slowed it did seem like people were buying at the inflated prices -- there are enough either desperate or indifferent to the cash people out there.
     
  14. porkiewpyne

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    I dislike scalper as much as everyone else (except scalpers themselves of course) but I guess being a dick isn't exactly wrong per se. I believe that most of the time, they are enabled due to circumstances. Some blame can and should be attributed to the original suppliers and potential customers who contribute to this problem.

    Scalpers get away with what they are doing because people are desperate enough for whatever reasons they have to obtain the item. Whether said reason is worth the extra dollars is always up for debate. And if suppliers could do a little more to make it more difficult for people to artificially reduce the supply, that would be great but I suppose that it matters not to them if 1000 different people buy 1000 units or if 1 asshat swept up the 1000 units to be resold because it's still 1000 units sold on their end.
     
  15. FAST6191
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    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I genuinely have no problems with scalpers and rarely sell anything, and usually do it at cost when I do (makes taxes easier), so don't think I could be said to be one.

    A useful thing people working for others are encouraged to do though is figure out pain points for people. That being the price at which someone will jump regardless. if you are the kind of person that played games as a kid but nowadays will think nothing of dropping something serious on a DVD box set or $100 on dinner and drinks for any old Friday night, and now fancies a nostalgia trip then such a person is the would be scalper's target.

    I tend to find gamers and computer users are ultra sensitive to prices compared to other hobbies; I find it to be a large part of the reason why only crap extra accessories exist, if they exist at all, where looking at something like vehicles there are number of third party items of superb quality and performance. The only ones worse are 10 year olds buying sweets -- nowadays I have no clue but if I knew a shop 5 streets/20 minutes away was selling a given chocolate bar for 10p less you can bet I would have peddled there to get it instead, and not one of my friends would have complained or thought it odd.

    Beyond all that though the initialism is R.R.P, or recommended retail price, not enforced maximum retail price.
     
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  16. porkiewpyne

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    I think scalpers for most of us here would be the ones who hoard a significant amount of a limited item and selling them for hundreds if not thousand percent profit so in your case, I wouldn't consider you one either. Their sole intention is to deny other people of said commodity so that they can fill the void which would not have existed otherwise. It's a slightly different matter (and perhaps more of a grey area) for things which are limited to events which you cannot attend and hence would not be able to obtain anyway so you are paying for a middleman service which is fair enough.
     
  17. brickmii82

    brickmii82 GBAtemp Fan

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    This is partly how a Nash Equilibrium is achieved in a market. The strategy of all parties involved has been taken into account by all parties, and the parties have made the best decision they could make.

    Like I said before, I have no problem with resale profiting. I have a problem with greed. If something with limited production has been accumulated by unethical means(like the douchebag that bypasses the 1/2 per household rule by having his kid/aunt/mom/stepbrother/gf/bf etc buy also) then it's wrong.