deco_droid wrote: i had several sets for sale on ebay last december. as it happens, i recieved a best offer bid on some batman lego, and decided to take it. it was probably $150 more than i paid for it. evil me, right? well, i got a message from the winning bidder later -- it was a mother who went on and on about how happy her son would be this christmas because of this one set. point is, scalpers are out there making kids happy too, you probably just don't hear about it as often.
i would agree with you. scalpers provide a valuable service for consumers of tomorrow. i'll come to that in a min.
in the us, ppl can get sw lego for cheaper than elsewhere in the world. and since s@h provide cheap shipping as well, there is no reason why any americans can't buy them when they were available.
if you put off buying a set when it's available thinking it can be bought later during a sale, well, don't come crying when it's gone.
now back to my point: when sets are sold out in the us, are you prepared to buy a flight ticket to europe or australia where the sets are not sold out to buy one at msrp? no, because the effort and cost of procuring one is higher than the set's worth?
what if you have relatives or friends there, would you not pay them a little more than cost for the effort to ship it to you?
if this comes out to the same price as what "scalpers" are charging, why would you have issue with scalpers and yet not when it was from your friend?
it's pure and simple envy. because in one instance, a single person is making a lot of money while in the other the profit is spreaded out to more ppl (foreign retailer, shipping company, your friend, etc).
you see, being rich is one of life's success and unconsciously we all compete to be successful. it's hard not to covet what your neighbor has. for someone to make a huge profit out of you, you would naturally be angry since you are a little worse off while the scalper a little better off.
why do you think there's so much hate right now over the bankers? it's because of the perception (whether true or otherwise) that they caused the recession and yet are paid much better than ordinary folks. while your 401k (or other retirement funds) is nosediving, you are thinking the greedy fatcats probably sold everything and got out before the market crashed. so when you're a little worse off, and you perceive the bankers to be a little better off, animosity develops.
The Brain wrote: So you don't post this again: scalping is immoral because it is intentionally done to take away MSRP sets from people who would buy them, solely to sell them at a higher price. Scalping may be smart--I don't argue about that--but I don't feel that hoarding items for yourself, only to sell them later once their price has gone up, is morally gratifying. If it is, then wonderful for you...
i think that's a flawed argument. every set sold by lego is available from S@H, not just from retail shops. you can make the "scalping" argument when retail stores are your only option but not when you can buy directly from the manufacturer. there is no such thing as limited stock since TLG can make as many as they want.
scalpers essentially forego current consumption in order to provide service to future consumers. they could have spent that money on themselves today but chose instead to buy stock so that in the future, someone else can spend on lego sets that are discontinued. that's the value add that scalpers bring to the table.