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LEGO Star Wars Forum | From Bricks To Bothans • View topic - A digression on Scalping...
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A digression on Scalping...

The reason FBTB came to be. We don't forget our roots.

Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby Inzane » Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:33 pm

It seems to be human nature for people to blame others for their "problems" these days.


Now, as for a possible "solution", I can only offer this:

--> LEGO eliminates the concept of a "limited" set. If upon early release a particular set encounters higher than expected sales and acclaim, produce more of it. Period. If the TLG corporate folk, or LEGO brand store employees, feel bad for the kids who miss sets the solution seems simple to me. Extend the set's production run.

Case in point: NOBODY should be complaining at this point that they missed the UCS Star Destroyer set.
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby tamuhockey » Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:43 pm

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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby onions » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:08 pm

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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby meeotch » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:11 pm

"Always carefully check the source of your internet quotes" - Abraham Lincoln
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby tamuhockey » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:38 pm

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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby onions » Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:50 pm

your reasoning behind items being over/undervalued at MSRP is baffling. aftermarket prices does not dictate what the retail value should have been. when it comes to selling assets, such as property, cars, stocks, price is determined by a buyer willing to pay the seller's asking price. you said it yourself in your example. when it comes to buying goods at retail, the price is determined by a lot of factors, paramount of which is determining what the fair asking price is in order to move inventory. it does a retailer no good to sit on goods priced at after-market value if they move 10% of the stock; retailers would rather see 100% of their stock out the door into customers hands. they could care less about aftermarket value. that does not determine if something is overvalued or undervalued.

now if those goods are removed from retail either by end of production run (LEGO) or limited supply (action figures), supply and demand will either drive the cost of those goods in the aftermarket higher or lower. that still doesn't dictate whether it was over/undervalued when it was still available through retail. those things aren't even remotely related.
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby Solo » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:03 pm

                                                                                                                           
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby meeotch » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:08 pm

"Always carefully check the source of your internet quotes" - Abraham Lincoln
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby MrCRskater » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:13 pm

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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby tamuhockey » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:15 pm

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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby Solo » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:22 pm

OK, but that doesn't has any relevance on MSRP because it's no longer available at retail.

You're not being clear here by mixing the two markets. MSRP only applies to sets at retail. Hence the R. Once you toss in a middleman, MSRP goes out the window and the price settles at what people are willing to pay the scalpers. They're not underpriced for the aftermarket because the aftermarket price is already set by whoever is stepping in as the middleman.
                                                                                                                           
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby tamuhockey » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:27 pm

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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby Solo » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:47 pm

                                                                                                                           
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby tamuhockey » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:58 pm

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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby deco_droid » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:01 pm

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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby bigospedros » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:11 pm

i'm confused, we're suggesting here that the basic RRP for a set should be raised so that it's the same as the set sells for years later when it's no longer in production?! Firstly, how on earth would they know what a set might sell for years down the line when it's not available and secondly, why would they do that anyway given that a lot of people complain about the prices as they are now?!

Items only go up in "value" or rather, average selling price, because they are limited in quantities and have the added variable of condition which will increase the value of items said to be in mint condition. It's very hard to predict what will increase in value and what won't.

Also, the actual number of people who will pay massively over the odds for a mint item is a teeny tiny percentage of the overall market. So I'm not sure why anyone would want to pander to such a small element of their target audience?!

Perhaps, for the clarity of this thread, we need to come up with an agreed defintion of "scalping" ... although whether we can actually do that, based on the varying views in this thread, I doubt ?!

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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby Solo » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:22 pm

I'm can pretty much guarantee you the higher cost on that set is a reflection of the times, and not an attempt to adjust for aftermarket price gouging. the trend seems to be things are getting more expensive for us in general, but that was a whole 'nother discussion.

Also, since the comparison has popped up a few times (by myslef included), I want to point out the difference between scalpers ans retail stores. I know I'm stating the obvious, but scalpers buy sets at retail and add their markup on top of whatever anyone else would have paid. Actual stores - online or off - buy direct from the manufacturer at a reduced cost so that when they price the set at around MSRP they are still making a profit. If someone really wanted to make a business out of this, they would go through the proper avenues and set up an online shop of their own to turn a profit. Scalpers rely on the convince of their local stores and online shops and take advantage of not only the collectors, but the existing retail system to circumvent the extra cost of running a legitimate business.

Edit to respond to Pete: Exactly. Aftermarket price is driven by the limited availability. Don't make me break out my crayons and start drawing charts, because I so will. ;) Scalping has already been defined in here several times: Purchasing a set at retail to sell for profit later. It hasn't been said like that verbatim, but that's the simple agreed upon explanation. At least, for the people that don't think it's just made up.
                                                                                                                           
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby ufjason » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:26 pm

I definitely have seen Lego experimenting with pricing. Star Wars and IJ sets were slightly higher than non licensed sets. There are sets like the dwarves' mine selling for 10 dollars more than their original release. What Tamu is talking about regarding pricing are basic microeconomics and macroeconomics principals. I've linked a wiki on the subject so you can better understand what he's explaining. These concepts apply to EVERYTHING in the marketplace. MSRP is what keeps pricing lower than true market value in some cases. TRU typically prices higher than msrp, but I think that is what they should do. They are a specialty retailer and in order to compete, they sell a complete line as opposed to big box discounters like target and walmart. To charge a slight premium for this makes a lot of sense in order for them to survive in a highly competitive market place.

, contact me if you'd like to perform trades from my inventory. I'm looking for original genosian fighers, second version a-wing fighters and tie bombers. I may be interested in other sets so let me know what you have.
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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby onions » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:31 pm

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Re: A digression on Scalping...

Postby bigospedros » Wed Mar 04, 2009 3:35 pm


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