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A digression on Scalping...

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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby bigkid24 » Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:38 am

I pretty much agree with Thinking Impaired, Puddleglum and darth jason on the whole sense of entitlement thing. Besides scalpers will exist no matter how much you hate them or wish they would go away. You have to beat them at their own game by getting up early and getting to the store, make friends with the toy aisle workers, or whatever. If you're not going to try to outwit the scalpers and are just complaining then I have no sympathy for you.

For the young'uns that have limited funds now or limited mobility in getting to the stores....wait until you're older. That's what most of us did on this board. :lol:
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby kyphur » Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:39 pm

bigkid24 wrote:I pretty much agree with Thinking Impaired, Puddleglum and darth jason on the whole sense of entitlement thing.


Whoa... I was the first one to call out the "Sense of Entitlement" issue here and you don't agree with me?? What's with that :lol:

Seriously now we're seeing the word "Fair", come on when has life ever been fair? Let's be honest if life was fair then no adult collector would get a single SW Lego set because all of the kids in the world would own every Lego set manufactured.

It simply comes down to either you want it or not and if you want it bad enough to pay the price then shut-up and buy it otherwise spend a little time & effort trying to get it cheaper but stop crying about it.
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby The Brain » Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:33 pm

I also agree about the entitlement idea, that if you can't get it, it wasn't meant to be. I'm not simply compliaing either--like bigkid24 said, the guys who come and buy huge quantities are always gonna be there, and you should try and make friends with the toy aisle reps at stores. I've done that on multiple occasions and it's worked perfectly. No, there is nothing morally wrong about selling sets at extreme markup, because like many others have said, the market only truly gets inflated when there are collectors who missed the set and want it enough to pay ridiculous amounts--these collectors in fact could be considered the heart of the problem. If they weren't feeding the scalpers all this money, scalpers would stop buying up extreme quantities, because there wouldn't be as many people to sell theses toys to.

I'm rather completely won over by the scalper argument now--I don't plan on changing my opinions on buying prodcuts from scalpers (don't have the money so I won't contribute), or being irritated when an entire store has no more Lego because some dude bought all the sets eariler that day, but from their perspective it actually is a smart thing to do. And in the recent case of ufjason's haul, he cleared out sets that weren't selling. It's more of a win-win in that case. Nice haul, btw. Would have loved to have nabbed those SW sets. ;)
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby Tyrant » Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:55 pm

ufjason wrote:Akator: $30
Torrent: $21
Magna: $17
Temple Escape: $21
Skeleton Tower: $18
Copter Rescue: $15
Bionicle 8954: $7
Agents 8633: $15
Dwarves Mine Defender: $3
Dune Buggy: $1
Mobile Police HQ: $15

I won't ask for a location, but how out of the way was this Wal-Mart? The Torrents and Magnas around here never went to clearance. Akator got to about $55 before it disappeared. I haven't seen a Skeleton Tower in my area Wal Marts in months and when I did find a clearanced one it was $25 or so. I either have competition (very likely based on some other things I have noticed) or I am surrounded by other potential buyers who are very patient and know just when to strike. Great find.
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby darth jason » Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:11 pm

I'm really impressed too. I thought I had the score of a lifetime when i picked up my V-19 NIB for $29 in an Ebay auction.
Right now not alot is moving there when i looked a couple of weeks ago.

Thats just diligence for you. I remember last year when i picked up General Grievious's starfighter NIB @ a goodwill store last year, actually it was 2 of them. I must have hit 3-4 stores every weekend, first thing in the morning for like 6 months not to mention making impromptu stops on lunch hours here and there so it that helped cover a whole other city. Until i finally got a little burned on that place. I've found stuff in flea markets and at garage sales mostly used of course but I've seen some new things at reseller stall's. Sometimes they're cheap sometimes they are not. Thats my suggestion for some of the FBTB's that have limited funds, you will be amazed what you might find if you hit 2 or 3 garage sales a week religiously. I very rarely pay full price for legos or anything for that matter. It is a lot more work but its worth it to me and its just good to work that way i think.
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby ufjason » Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:34 pm

To answer you Darth and Tyrant, just a matter of luck and chance. I had oversold a Batman Tumbler (wish I had bought everything I'd seen and not sold them right away.) and needed to find one more to fill an ebay purchase. I drove around one day on the hunt and found this one Walmart that was in an area that isn't so great socioeconomically. They had a fairly large lego aisle and had plenty post holiday clearance. I kept watching and found discounts rolling around intermittently and kept a watch. After reading the posts of huge discounts like $30 for the republic gunship, I figured that store hit another reduction. I was fairly close coming home from the airport and made a detour. I spent an hour checking prices and looking behind boxes finding anything that looked profitable. I ended up with a cart filled top to bottom. I should have asked for a discount but I haven't had good luck with that in the past. There are some locations I noted having RGS's but they're so far out I need a business reason to go out there to check for them on the side.

If anyone wants to trade clearance with me, I'm game. Looking for at least one republic tank, troll warships and IJ jungle duels.
Last edited by ufjason on Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby bigkid24 » Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:13 pm

kyphur wrote:
bigkid24 wrote:I pretty much agree with Thinking Impaired, Puddleglum and darth jason on the whole sense of entitlement thing.


Whoa... I was the first one to call out the "Sense of Entitlement" issue here and you don't agree with me?? What's with that :lol:



Short memory. XD But because you called me out on it I won't add your name to the list. :lol:

I was at Frank and Sons in Los Angeles and saw someone with the Republic tank and Hoth set. The Hoth set was $65 which I didn't think was that bad considering at some TRU's the price hit 69.99. The tank was $65 too but then I realized it's an ugly set and I passed. Don't feed the scalpers/dealers. haha
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby twentythree » Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:09 am

Wow, this is a long thread on a very gray subject. I have just finished reading all of the comments (took a couple of hours) and can see reasons for both view points. Initially, I was leaning towards the con side because of the argument that Lego is a children's toy and so taking the opportunity away from kids for personal gain is bad. Then, the numerous alternative ways to acquire sets (S@H, layaway, online retailers, ebay, etc.) started to pull me towards the "hoarders" perspective. Ultimately, I feel that it is everyone's opportunity to find this non-essential toy that makes it fair for anyone to own as many as they choose for whatever reason they choose.

I have seen many postings on the old FBTB boards from younger Lego fans wishing that they had a set that was released before-they-were-born/old-enough-for-it and how bad they wanted to get it but it was gone. I've also read of people sick of re-releases (and re-rereleases) and upgraded versions of previous sets. The point is, Lego can help kids get those ships/scenes by reissue (Hoth Rebel Base) or improved variants (A-wing/B-wing/X-wing/Y-wing/TIE/Vader's TIE/etc). When that doesn't happen the alternative can be "hoarders" that were good enough to keep MISB sets for future generations (at a profit of course). It is apparent from the last 10 pages of comments that this occurs with all sorts of collectibles/toys/vehicles and will continue. That doesn't make it bad/evil/selfish. It creates a possibility for someone to get that item when it is long gone from storeshelves. It also allows a seller to be able to continue providing sought-after items to those who didn't have the chance the first time arround.

Essentially, it is a business that supplies to those who are willing to pay. I can't argue with the concept or how profitable it gets. That is a gamble and is clearly controlled by how much a buyer is willing to accept. I've never heard of anyone being force to purchase secondary-market Lego at gunpoint (and hope it never happens) so that means it is a choice. I will agree however, that buying all of a CHASE ITEM (like perhaps, Titanium Series Battlestar Galactica ships) does seem to be less than nice to those that really just want to collect them (ME). This obviously doesn't pertain to the topic however so I'll stop here.

Bottomline:

-If you can get it, then do so. :)
-If you can't get it, then wait. :(
-If you still want it later and can get it, then accept the markup. >8(
(but you don't have to like it) ;)
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby darkentity13 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:38 pm

I have a serious question that I haven't seen yet: What if a person buys a set on clearance for say, fifty percent off and saves that set only to sell it for the original MSRP price? Where would these people fall in this seemingly black and white arguement?
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby ufjason » Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:47 pm

They would fall under the category of a fool. Just kidding of course but I suppose there are some that are altruistic enough to do it. I guess you'd call them a good person that would help out someone else by offering the item at original msrp. The reality is that anyone asking that price for by it now would sell the item instantaneously if the going rate set buy bidders was higher. The seller would fulfill the demand of one person and would have no effect on the market price.
Last edited by ufjason on Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby darth jason » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:02 pm

darkentity13 wrote:I have a serious question that I haven't seen yet: What if a person buys a set on clearance for say, fifty percent off and saves that set only to sell it for the original MSRP price? Where would these people fall in this seemingly black and white arguement?


ahem.. from a board or two back..

<If the con folks were able to get these lego sets well below cost is that wrong? If you ran into a person like this would you all point out to the seller that these are too cheap? In this scenario is this seller a victim of the consumer?

I asked a similar question earlier that was universally ignored by the con folks; it would be interesting to get their opinion on this.darth jason >

I've been trying to get the con folks to "man up" to that question myself and so far all i hear are crickets.
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby darth jason » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:10 pm

Well its not exactly the same question but does run along the same lines of the argument. I would also very much like to see the answer
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby The Brain » Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:50 pm

Well, I never said it was wrong to sell a set at insane markup as the market dictates--that would include if the set was bought on clearance. My original beef was that it was about intent, not outcome. But I'm not rehashing previous arguments. This thread has left that direction, thank God! :lol:
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby darth jason » Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:54 am

Well thats a bit of a contradictory argument really. buying,selling and reselling is all about timing, who you know, how much money/credit you have and to some degree luck because you really dont know what will resell very well until you actually are in the game. Every single one of these people have had things they have been sucessfull selling and they have other things that sit around for years that end up on or under the discount table. Thats why its a gamble and thats why alot of these people dont do this forever because its really not that easy. I dont go into a store or any other market and buy a product like this based on the owners intent,I already know what their intent is because everyones intent in business is to make a profit, be successful and keep the doors open. If i dont like the price I go somewhere else,thats the deal, period; they do or do not get my business based on this one simple fact. Bottom line price. Thats why the moral argument does not apply in the least. You have the answer to this problem if it does exist which as I said before really doesnt, buy from somewhere or from someone else. If a person has money,time and transport than they have all the tools at their disposal...If not get them, but don't cry about some moral deficiancy in someone doing something perfectly legal, perfectly moral and perfectly on the up and up. Just because you have no money or job or no inclination to get one. age has little to do with it. You can raise money at any age and if you're 14 or older and you dont have some kind of job you really have no excuse still being tied to allowances and apron strings for something as unnecessary as a lego set. You are the master of your own destiny. The skys the limit especially in the good ole US of A.

You dont have to buy from these people if you dont want to. If you missed out on a set from 5 years ago and now you want it brand new, as it stood on the shelf you have to pay for the conveniances that you did not exercise 5 years ago by not buying it yourself. And no one cares what you're excuse is, again intent is irrelevent. People reselling this way have always existed and they will continue to exist long after we're all gone. The longer you wait the rarer and more expensive it gets and as the years go on they are less and less quantity to be found in mint condition. Shot just storing the thing for 5 years costs money. I just dont know how much alot of the con folks understand about all these logistics or are willing to understand about them for that matter.

Whoever came up with calling this scalping really needs to get out a little more. Because the behavior that has been collectively described as scalping is what has been going on forever in all the secondary markets everywhere. Whether it be toys,comics and cards, books, antiques, furniture,guns,art,antiques,junk(yes junk),coins, models, pez dispensers whatever. They are out there and they are ubiquitous. Im just seeing a big green eyed monster from the con side based on the arguments I've read.

Hey Brain, so whats the significance of 41510 I dont believe thats a California Zip code?
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby The Brain » Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:21 pm

Well darth, try combining a couple of area codes (not zipcodes) from East and West Bay. See what happens. ;) :lol:

It's a common phrase said amongst teens here that represent the Bay Area. Hometown pride sort of thing. Here it's just an interesting way of showing people from the Bay Area who else is on this sight--at least I think it's a neat connection.
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby Teekay » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:56 pm

Okay, we see my return to this thread. I will shoot back to jasons's post.

darth jason wrote:Well thats a bit of a contradictory argument really. buying,selling and reselling is all about timing, who you know, how much money/credit you have and to some degree luck because you really dont know what will resell very well until you actually are in the game.


Yeah, but you can guess which will sell. For example, if it says "limited edition," you can be sure it will sell well. This is pretty obvious, because less people buy them in stores, so it will be more likely that people will want it, and be willing to pay more for it.

darth jason wrote:Every single one of these people have had things they have been sucessfull selling and they have other things that sit around for years that end up on or under the discount table. Thats why its a gamble and thats why alot of these people dont do this forever because its really not that easy. I dont go into a store or any other market and buy a product like this based on the owners intent,I already know what their intent is because everyones intent in business is to make a profit, be successful and keep the doors open.


Yeah, but scalpers often inflate a set online just for MISB. It is ridiculous sometimes. You'll see a set for, say, $30, and then, just for MISB, $40. I'm pretty sure anyone can tell you that that person wants to scam you.

darth jason wrote:If i dont like the price I go somewhere else,thats the deal, period; they do or do not get my business based on this one simple fact. Bottom line price. Thats why the moral argument does not apply in the least. You have the answer to this problem if it does exist which as I said before really doesnt, buy from somewhere or from someone else. If a person has money,time and transport than they have all the tools at their disposal...If not get them, but don't cry about some moral deficiancy in someone doing something perfectly legal, perfectly moral and perfectly on the up and up.


That is what I have been saying this whole time. I just, bottom line, don't ever want to buy things from scalpers. I don't care if you put something on Bricklink for 2x MSRP. I just don't want you to clear the stock out of the store just to make a profit. I'm sorry if my opinion wasn't clear.

darth jason wrote:Just because you have no money or job or no inclination to get one. age has little to do with it. You can raise money at any age and if you're 14 or older and you dont have some kind of job you really have no excuse still being tied to allowances and apron strings for something as unnecessary as a lego set. You are the master of your own destiny. The skys the limit especially in the good ole US of A.


Okay, yeah, I'm the master my own destiny on $20 a month, and occasionally being able to babysit my brother. I'm too young to get I job. In this case, age has something to do with it.

darth jason wrote:You dont have to buy from these people if you dont want to. If you missed out on a set from 5 years ago and now you want it brand new, as it stood on the shelf you have to pay for the conveniances that you did not exercise 5 years ago by not buying it yourself. And no one cares what you're excuse is, again intent is irrelevent. People reselling this way have always existed and they will continue to exist long after we're all gone. The longer you wait the rarer and more expensive it gets and as the years go on they are less and less quantity to be found in mint condition. Shot just storing the thing for 5 years costs money. I just dont know how much alot of the con folks understand about all these logistics or are willing to understand about them for that matter.


Yeah, but I don't buy from these guys, and I don't want it MISB, its fine for it to be in good condition out of box. And maybe I missed out five years ago because I wasn't into LEGO at the time, being much younger than I am now. And just saying, I don't think being in mint condition is worth $10.

darth jason wrote:Whoever came up with calling this scalping really needs to get out a little more. Because the behavior that has been collectively described as scalping is what has been going on forever in all the secondary markets everywhere. Whether it be toys,comics and cards, books, antiques, furniture,guns,art,antiques,junk(yes junk),coins, models, pez dispensers whatever. They are out there and they are ubiquitous. Im just seeing a big green eyed monster from the con side based on the arguments I've read.


Okay, I'm not sure what you are saying here, but the dictionary on the Dashboard on this here Mac (As a Windows person, I cringe to use it.) says: Okay, never mind, because this dictionary is stupid. Going to M-W.com...: "to buy and sell so as to make small quick profits <scalp stocks> <scalp grain> ; especially : to resell at greatly increased prices <scalp theater tickets> intransitive verb." This means I'm gonna stick with you on this one and go say that this is usually not scalping. However, reselling a limited edition set at the end of its run could be scalping.

But I hereby decree that I, as well of the rest of the con argument that chooses to listen to me, shall use "reselling," rather than "scalping."

Sorry if I seem crabby tonight. Sorry about my Mac related comment, it's just that the dictionary is set on just sticking to tickets. I don't like Macs, but it isn't anything personal to Mac lovers. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion. Also, if this is unclear, sorry. My head isn't clear tonight.

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I don't know why I dropped back here again lately. LEGO can no longer hold my interest, and I'm almost certainly gone forever. Bye to all who remember me.
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby darth jason » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:22 am

Well you certainly feel very strongly on the subject from your perspective which is limited by your circumstances.

I think you make some very good points.
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby darth jason » Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:30 am

The Brain wrote:Well darth, try combining a couple of area codes (not zipcodes) from East and West Bay. See what happens. ;) :lol:

It's a common phrase said amongst teens here that represent the Bay Area. Hometown pride sort of thing. Here it's just an interesting way of showing people from the Bay Area who else is on this sight--at least I think it's a neat connection.


Got ya! Im from the 408 myself. I realize that you call the 415 the "west bay" but its actaully called the "penninsula" in colloquial terms. That and ya left out a couple of zip codes. The ones that matter! :lol:

Anywho.. You guys spot any scalpers lurking in the toys r us parking lot with a AT-TE in his raincoat and Battle packs strapped to his legs? You dont want to know where he stores the chrome vader.
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby zithy » Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:22 am

Tis late, and I saw this thread from a link in a different subject. First off, I admit to not reading all 11 pages, so hopefully this wasn't mentioned already.

I think that buying and selling a sealed Lego set is and is not scalping. For the following scenarios, let's say you obtain 20 Echo Base sets as soon as you can find them anywhere.

Scenario 1) Immediately you rush home and list it on Ebay for $50 at the SAME time it can be purchased at the same store, or any other store across the country, or LSAH. Definitely scalping, if not a few other things (and lame, imo)

Scenario 2) It's December 1st and the set is sold out and unavailable everywhere, but NOT retired. Just on back order at LSAH. People want it for Xmas presents. You then list it for $50. To me, this is the best example of scalping. People want an item before a certain date but cannot find one at the normal sellers, so they turn to other means to obtain it, at a markup even though they could buy it later at the normal price. Supply and demand? Still smells like scalping . . .

Scenario 3) It's 2012 and Echo Base has been retired for two years and you still have your 20 sealed sets. You list them for $100 and sell each one. Scalping? Not even close. To sell them, your price would have to be comparable, if not better than others who were selling it too. $100 would simple be the current value then, and the normal sell price.

So there's ways it is, and ways it is not scalping. If you think a person is a "scalper" if he buys a set and sells it for a higher price, then EVERY brick and mortar are scalpers too!

There's other arguments for other scenarios about people who buy Lego to sell at a later date, but I'll leave my post to only reflect the issue of "scalpers".

Regardless, it's moo :)
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby twentythree » Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:51 am

I think your examples have shifted my thinking. It is scalping if someone is selling a product when a deadline (birthday, holiday, etc.) is a factor that forces people to pay higher than retail prices. The item may end up reappearing at retail outlets or online after the sudden rush dies down and backorders arrive. It is about timing. Now, if someone has surplus stock that they choose to sell after an item is retired, then it is supply and demand that dictates prices and not a deadline. The seller may have intended to offload the merchandise much later than when they bought it but that is not scalping. It is in fact a gamble. Scalping is created by taking advantage of an extenuating and immediate circumstance where the intent is to gain an unreasonable and guaranteed profit.
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