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Snowtrooper Central => Scout Report => Topic started by: Darth Cosmos on December 07, 2015, 12:12:38 PM

Title: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Darth Cosmos on December 07, 2015, 12:12:38 PM
Hello Everyone,

as a new member here I have found this place to be riddled with scalpers, lurkers and more.  There have been numerous members using PMs to hide locations and links due to the fear of scalpers and lurkers. 

I think that we should work on using PMs to communicate to ensure we aren't ruining chances of the future Black Series waves that are incoming most importantly.

How do most people here feel about it?  I think members getting figures at MSRP should be the goal for this forum.  Personal businesses, scalpers and other issues seem to be a fine thing here, which creates competition for people just buying for personal collections.

Let's discuss the topic further here and see how we can make sure we aren't supporting scalpers if we are against their presence here.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: ambasah on December 07, 2015, 01:13:42 PM
it is a worthy discussion.

Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Hellboy on December 07, 2015, 01:37:21 PM
The best way to combat scalpers is to not buy anything from anyone for more than retail... especially if it is a newly released item.
But, yeah, I rarely post finds anymore unless there happens to be a boat-load of whatever.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Darth Cujo on December 07, 2015, 03:10:27 PM
The argument that anyone who charges more than ToysRUs or Walmart is a scalper is based on naivete and/or ignorance. Others have explained why in the other thread. If that is your rigid definition of scalping, you will find this entire hobby very frustrating, never mind these message boards.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Hellboy on December 07, 2015, 03:22:26 PM
Was that directed at me? I'm referring to kijiji and craigslist and other one-off postings when it comes to "paying more than retail".
People who run businesses and order through legitimate distribution chains are not the scalpers picking the shelves clean. I indulge common sense to the buyer who should be able to tell the difference.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: brianakarobin on December 07, 2015, 03:23:48 PM
One way we try to limit it is by only posting specific locations in the provincial sections - do you have access to those yet?  Only members who have been posting for a while can get access there, so lurkers are not able to see the posts, and thus cannot head out and scoop the product out from under your nose. 

The PM option works, but may be more difficult overall in that you would either have to pm a lot of people, or most legitimate collectors would not get the news.  But it does avoid the scalper issue.

Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: brianakarobin on December 07, 2015, 03:29:15 PM
I do have a question here for Darth Cosmos, though, as he is quite hung up on the MSRP.  As was pointed out in the previous thread discussing this, MSRP is "Manufacturer's SUGGESTED Retail Price" - it is not binding on the retailers like Wal-Mart, TRU, etc.  That is why their prices differ. 

So, my question is, do you feel that comic shops, or small specialty retailers that order vastly smaller quantities than Wal-Mart and TRU (and, therefore, do not get the same unit price as those large chain retailers) that order directly from Hasbro are still scalpers, as they are selling above the price points of Wal-Mart and TRU?  This product would never even hit any shelves if these smaller retailers did not bring them in, as they are ordering them directly from distributors.  However, the price is likely above Wal-Mart and TRU, as their unit cost was higher.  For example, one of the great retailers on here for a long time was Legends Action Figures in Montreal.  Are these legitimate business also scalpers in your mind?  Because they aren't in my mind - it is a completely different scenario. 
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Darth Cujo on December 07, 2015, 03:34:47 PM
Was that directed at me? I'm referring to kijiji and craigslist and other one-off postings when it comes to "paying more than retail".
People who run businesses and order through legitimate distribution chains are not the scalpers picking the shelves clean. I indulge common sense to the buyer who should be able to tell the difference.

Are you asking me?
Nononono!!
We are of the same opinion. Reread my post.

Darth Cosmos seems to have it in his head that anyone who charges more than walmart or TRU is a scalper. Anyone who thinks that someone can run a small business and charge as little as Walmart or TRU is either ignorant or naive.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Darth Woo on December 07, 2015, 03:42:34 PM
Sometimes the prices are inflated cause of fees.  Paypal charges like 3% or so.  Also, I would be willing to pay C$29.99 for a Black Series figure if I can't find it here.  They retail at $24.99 at TRU and Walmart, but if I just bought it off someone for $30 here, saves me all that gas going back and forth.  Plus, taxes too add to the price, so if someone posts that they are selling a Black Series figure for $30, I would say it's totally worth it.  Even at $35 because after taxes, these are like $28 here in BC.

Generally on these forums, I do not like selling.  If I sell, it would only usually be on Ebay or if someone just offers me an offer too good to refuse.  If after a while on the forums no one wants to trade, then I would sell it on Ebay, as I'd much rather use these forums to trade my hard to find figures to get other hard to find ones I need in my collection versus just 'scalping' them off for cash.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: napseeker on December 07, 2015, 03:51:45 PM
I'm going to use not a Star Wars example, but Marvel Universe figures. I got into collecting the MU 3.75" line somewhat late...  resisted the idea of collecting yet another line of toys but as usual I eventually caved in  :P

Now one of the places where I bought my MU figures was Silver Snail downtown; they had a more consistent inventory of every wave including waves that had long since sold out at the retail chains (compared to say TRU or Zellers where you could go crazy trying to guess what wave was going to come there and how late or at all).  Now the only problem is that their minimum price tended to be $14.99+tax, to as high as $29.99+tax for rare figures.  I mostly just stuck with the stuff under $20+tax since I refused to pay $30 for any one figure (other than the SDCC Zaranna, a whopping $45US).

TRU sells the MU line for $10+tax, but that's just for whatever figures they do get in. So is Silver Snail scalping?  What if later, years down the road I needed to downsize my collection and I sell them for what I paid e.g. $20+tax to recoup my costs?  It's too simplistic for the end-buyer to yell out "Hey that figure only cost $12 at TRU! You're scalping!!!"   

A decade ago, I bought a holographic Emperor figure from Toy Addict for $20+tax.  The question is, how much did the toystore owner pay for that rare(?) figure from some guy who walked into his store and sold it to him?  He had to make a profit of course, but if he paid $12 to get it, charged me $20+tax to resell it, then I later resell it for $23, who's scalping?  People pay different costs to get their wanted item, it's not always possible to pay MSRP. 
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: fishfan on December 07, 2015, 04:04:36 PM
How do most people here feel about it?  I think members getting figures at MSRP should be the goal for this forum.  Personal businesses, scalpers and other issues seem to be a fine thing here, which creates competition for people just buying for personal collections.

Again, you're using that acronym MSRP.  You understand that it is short form for Manufacturer's SUGGESTED Retail Price, right?  You seem to think that this is a written in stone price that every retailer big or small has to price their product at and anyone who is over that, is scalping.  This has been asked before without response.

This point has also been brought up without response, so I'll ask it again to see if you bother reading these posts. 

Walmart buys 48,000 Star Wars The Force Awakens figures (4,000 cases)and Hasbro says that it will cost them $5 a figure for buying in large quantities. They ship those cases to their 400ish stores (10 cases per store).  They then sell them for $15, making $10 a pop.

Your local comic book shop buys 120 figures (also 10 cases) but because they are buying in such small quantities, Hasbro charges them $10 a figure.  The comic shop sells them for $20 a pop.  They are making the same profit as Walmart, but charge $5 more.  Is that scalping? 

Who is taking more advantage of the consumer?  Walmart or the Comic Shop?  The independent would be making half the profit of Walmart in order to be competitively priced.  Walmart could lower their price to $10 and still make a profit due to their buying power.  And if they did so, the Comic shop probably wouldn't even carry them as they'd make no money at all if they tried to price the same.

Comparing independents (both small business and vendors at a show) to Walmart or Toys R Us is apples to oranges.  Expecting them to all have the same price is unrealistic.

Is the comic shop a scalper for selling their item for more than Walmart? (to be clear, this is directed only at Darth Cosmos.)
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: KaleDayspring on December 07, 2015, 04:18:11 PM
Was that directed at me? I'm referring to kijiji and craigslist and other one-off postings when it comes to "paying more than retail".
People who run businesses and order through legitimate distribution chains are not the scalpers picking the shelves clean. I indulge common sense to the buyer who should be able to tell the difference.

Are you asking me?
Nononono!!
We are of the same opinion. Reread my post.

Darth Cosmos seems to have it in his head that anyone who charges more than walmart or TRU is a scalper. Anyone who thinks that someone can run a small business and charge as little as Walmart or TRU is either ignorant or naive.

I gather that Darth Cosmos has never been to a comic or a collectibles shop. Yes I can go to Walmart and get Kylo Ren for $25. But they don't have it. So I go to the comic shop and they have it for $30. I make the decision, if I want it now, I can spend the extra 5 and be happy. Or I can wait for the next shipment.

MSRP is a suggested price. If it were the stated price then the Jakku speeder would not be 38 at TRU, 40 at Superstore and 48 at Walmart (still can't figure that out). I consider someone scalping when I see something for an outlandish mark up. On Kijiji there is a Snow Trooper commander for $50. Is that scalping? I would say yes since it's $20 over the cost. However, if I don't live near a TRU and this was the price shipped, I might but it simply because I can't get it.

The other thing is that on here, I mean the site, if a price is way too high, usually they get laughed at and then ignored and the item goes unsold until they bring the price down to a level that is acceptable. But that again falls to me making the decision if I want to buy or not.

This reminds me of the time at my friend's comic shop. He had a near-mint on card Star Wars Boba Fett. The only thing that was our of place was the price tag which he adjusted for. A kid came in and wanted it so he went and got his dad. My friend was asking 50 since they bubble was not yellow and there were no marks on the card at all. The father saw the price tag and then the Woolco price tag and went on a rant about how my friend was ripping them off. He insisted that the figure be sold for the 2.94 that was on the card. Same applies here. If I want a figure NMOC from 1978, I don't get to buy it at that price. If I have to pay a little extra for a figure because I want it now, my choice.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: jjreason on December 07, 2015, 04:31:37 PM
Darth Cosmos - we post specific finds in an area you don't have access to yet - "The Outer Rim" which is organized province by province (coloquially referred to as "The Provincials"). In fact you'll notice my presence in a number of threads where folks have provided specific information which I in turn edit out (when I catch it, I'm sure many instances exist where I failed) and ask that specifics only be posted in the provincials.

The reason we do this is to deter the scalpers and guide our fellow local collectors to the stuff they want - believe it or not. You'll even find numerous discussions where collectors are picking up stuff at retail and completing deals with friends later to save them a failed trip. This happens literally every week between users here, if not closer to daily. I do feel bad that we've somehow managed to give you such a wrong impression of what we're doing.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Darth Cosmos on December 07, 2015, 04:32:37 PM
Why does everyone keep thinking MSRP is loosely followed.  What big retailer sells any for above the MSRP?

Wal-Mart, TRU, Amazon, etc, NONE SELL OVER MSRP.

So I am not sure why this keeps getting brought up as defense.

People in comic shops and such that sell them for over MSRP are scalping yes.  They know what they are selling is in high demand and low stock and purposely sell above MSRP because they know they can.

Regardless I have never paid over MSRP for anything in my SW collection or any collection I have.  So I am a big stickler when it comes to things being purposely overpriced to take advantage of collectors desperation.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Darth Cosmos on December 07, 2015, 04:33:06 PM
Darth Cosmos - we post specific finds in an area you don't have access to yet - "The Outer Rim" which is organized province by province (coloquially referred to as "The Provincials"). In fact you'll notice my presence in a number of threads where folks have provided specific information which I in turn edit out (when I catch it, I'm sure many instances exist where I failed) and ask that specifics only be posted in the provincials.

The reason we do this is to deter the scalpers and guide our fellow local collectors to the stuff they want - believe it or not. You'll even find numerous discussions where collectors are picking up stuff at retail and completing deals with friends later to save them a failed trip. This happens literally every week between users here, if not closer to daily. I do feel bad that we've somehow managed to give you such a wrong impression of what we're doing.

Would be nice to have access there, but apparently I am not yet worthy.  ???
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Darth Cosmos on December 07, 2015, 04:41:38 PM
Haha wow, all the comments removed and more scalpers revealed themselves too.

Mods protecting scalpers as well.

This place is awful.  Like I said PMs only for links and locations.  Can't trust anyone here if the mods themselves are brushing our discussion under the table and wiping out all comments.

And that was polite, no one was being rude, and if you don't like the term scalper, well...that is what most of you are end of story.

Still waiting for those prices...

Also for those who talk about running around and picking up figures to sell, why the heck else would you do it other than wanting to make money?  I see very few people actually wanting to do people a solid but people wanting gas money, finders fee, etc. etc.

Ridiculous.

I don't like scalpers and find small vendors trying to scalp items offensive sorry.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: jjreason on December 07, 2015, 04:44:23 PM
Nothing has been removed - read again. The locked post is the start of this discussion.

The access is granted at 50 posts or one year's membership. You're close - but I'm about done with you saying the place is awful. If you're not happy with what we're doing or how we operate, find another forum.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Darth Cosmos on December 07, 2015, 04:46:25 PM
The access is granted at 50 posts or one year's membership. You're close - but I'm about done with you saying the place is awful. If you're not happy with what we're doing or how we operate, find another forum.

Sorry, but from the perspective of someone who does not like scalpers and reselling there is nothing else to say but awful.

Just seems that plenty of high profile people here are scalpers/resellers and that includes the mods and their support.

Just because I don't like that doesn't mean my opinion should be invalidated sorry.  Scalping and reselling is awful, and Star Wars merchandise right before a new film is easy prey. 
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: KaleDayspring on December 07, 2015, 04:46:43 PM
Why does everyone keep thinking MSRP is loosely followed.  What big retailer sells any for above the MSRP?

Wal-Mart, TRU, Amazon, etc, NONE SELL OVER MSRP.

So I am not sure why this keeps getting brought up as defense.

People in comic shops and such that sell them for over MSRP are scalping yes.  They know what they are selling is in high demand and low stock and purposely sell above MSRP because they know they can.

Regardless I have never paid over MSRP for anything in my SW collection or any collection I have.  So I am a big stickler when it comes to things being purposely overpriced to take advantage of collectors desperation.

Jakku Landspeeder
Toys R Us Price 36.99
http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?productId=58237146 (http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?productId=58237146)

Walmart Price 47.92
http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/star-wars-the-force-awakens-375-inch-vehicle-jakku-landspeeder/6000192660478 (http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/star-wars-the-force-awakens-375-inch-vehicle-jakku-landspeeder/6000192660478)

Now, which is the MSRP? Who is scalping?
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Darth Woo on December 07, 2015, 04:48:20 PM
Ok, you are totally missing the point on comic stores.  My friend owns one and he does not even bring in Star Wars or G.I.Joe toys (the only things I ever buy from him) unless someone pre-orders a whole case. (more on this later)

He is a smaller shop so he has to buy from Diamond Distributors.  Diamond get them from Hasbro.  They mark it up to sell to the comic stores.  The comic stores then mark it up to sell at the store.

They are not scalping as they more often than not cannot get the items directly from Hasbro.  They get it through other distribution channels that already mark up their product. 

Also, by your logic, Superstore is a scalper cause they sell the XWing for $69.99 whereas it's only $59.99 (I think) at TRU.

Back to comic shops, I know what they get their stuff for and honestly, what they charge is usually really reasonable if you know how much they pay.  The other thing to note, most get their stock from the US, and with the weak Canadian dollar.  There's a local shop selling some Black series (the older ones) for $27.99 because that was what they CDN dollar was back then.  Now the dollar is lower and the new wave of figures are $29.99.  I totally get that and it's not scalping to me. 

Then there are other instances that you point out, which is why my friend will only sell the figures in cases.  Due to Hasbro's crappy case loadouts, the comic retailers tend to sell out of the hard to get figures right away and are left with peg warmers.  I know a lot that will raise the price a little on the desired figure so that it makes up for the peg warmer either not selling or selling at a lower price.  My friend doesn't want to do that nor get left with crap that he can't sell, so that's why he will only sell 3 3/4" action figures by the case.

An example of scalping is the comic store owner hitting up every TRU every morning and grabbing all their desirable stock so no one else has a chance at getting them.  Then selling all that stuff at his store for a markup.  That's scalping, but the majority of shops get their stuff from distributors so their toys are more expensive than TRU because their distributors charge them more in the first place.

Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Darth Cosmos on December 07, 2015, 04:48:36 PM
Why does everyone keep thinking MSRP is loosely followed.  What big retailer sells any for above the MSRP?

Wal-Mart, TRU, Amazon, etc, NONE SELL OVER MSRP.

So I am not sure why this keeps getting brought up as defense.

People in comic shops and such that sell them for over MSRP are scalping yes.  They know what they are selling is in high demand and low stock and purposely sell above MSRP because they know they can.

Regardless I have never paid over MSRP for anything in my SW collection or any collection I have.  So I am a big stickler when it comes to things being purposely overpriced to take advantage of collectors desperation.

Jakku Landspeeder
Toys R Us Price 36.99
http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?productId=58237146 (http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?productId=58237146)

Walmart Price 47.92
http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/star-wars-the-force-awakens-375-inch-vehicle-jakku-landspeeder/6000192660478 (http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/star-wars-the-force-awakens-375-inch-vehicle-jakku-landspeeder/6000192660478)

Now, which is the MSRP? Who is scalping?

Its called sales, something scalpers don't do until they are desperate.  Wow the grasping at straws is amazing.

 :D
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Darth Cosmos on December 07, 2015, 04:50:01 PM
Ok, you are totally missing the point on comic stores.  My friend owns one and he does not even bring in Star Wars or G.I.Joe toys (the only things I ever buy from him) unless someone pre-orders a whole case. (more on this later)

He is a smaller shop so he has to buy from Diamond Distributors.  Diamond get them from Hasbro.  They mark it up to sell to the comic stores.  The comic stores then mark it up to sell at the store.

They are not scalping as they more often than not cannot get the items directly from Hasbro.  They get it through other distribution channels that already mark up their product. 

Also, by your logic, Superstore is a scalper cause they sell the XWing for $69.99 whereas it's only $59.99 (I think) at TRU.

Back to comic shops, I know what they get their stuff for and honestly, what they charge is usually really reasonable if you know how much they pay.  The other thing to note, most get their stock from the US, and with the weak Canadian dollar.  There's a local shop selling some Black series (the older ones) for $27.99 because that was what they CDN dollar was back then.  Now the dollar is lower and the new wave of figures are $29.99.  I totally get that and it's not scalping to me. 

Then there are other instances that you point out, which is why my friend will only sell the figures in cases.  Due to Hasbro's crappy case loadouts, the comic retailers tend to sell out of the hard to get figures right away and are left with peg warmers.  I know a lot that will raise the price a little on the desired figure so that it makes up for the peg warmer either not selling or selling at a lower price.  My friend doesn't want to do that nor get left with crap that he can't sell, so that's why he will only sell 3 3/4" action figures by the case.

An example of scalping is the comic store owner hitting up every TRU every morning and grabbing all their desirable stock so no one else has a chance at getting them.  Then selling all that stuff at his store for a markup.  That's scalping, but the majority of shops get their stuff from distributors so their toys are more expensive than TRU because their distributors charge them more in the first place.

Hahaha you're the person who I called out for scalping and then you made a lame excuse which everyone used as me misunderstanding and then you talked about your scalping and reselling here.

Please, I don't like scalpers and resellers sorry.  I don't care how much "cred" these people have here, what you do is unethical and wrong.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: jjreason on December 07, 2015, 04:50:09 PM
Ok, I've decided you're purposefully causing trouble at this point. Thanks for your contributions.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Wedge1021 on December 07, 2015, 04:51:50 PM
Why does everyone keep thinking MSRP is loosely followed.  What big retailer sells any for above the MSRP?

Wal-Mart, TRU, Amazon, etc, NONE SELL OVER MSRP.

In fact: http://www.jeditemplearchives.com/content/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=14958

And this is only one measly example for unimportant items like children's toys.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Darth Cosmos on December 07, 2015, 04:52:18 PM
Well, I am just done with this.

I have learned a lot of high profile people here, mods included, are either scalpers or support it, so I will make sure I do everything I can to not feed them.

This community has a scalper parasite but everyone is fine with it I guess.

Continue on.

 :rockon:
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: fishfan on December 07, 2015, 04:53:57 PM
Ok, I've decided you're purposefully causing trouble at this point. Thanks for your contributions.

Oh thank the maker!
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: KaleDayspring on December 07, 2015, 04:55:07 PM
Why does everyone keep thinking MSRP is loosely followed.  What big retailer sells any for above the MSRP?

Wal-Mart, TRU, Amazon, etc, NONE SELL OVER MSRP.

So I am not sure why this keeps getting brought up as defense.

People in comic shops and such that sell them for over MSRP are scalping yes.  They know what they are selling is in high demand and low stock and purposely sell above MSRP because they know they can.

Regardless I have never paid over MSRP for anything in my SW collection or any collection I have.  So I am a big stickler when it comes to things being purposely overpriced to take advantage of collectors desperation.

Jakku Landspeeder
Toys R Us Price 36.99
http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?productId=58237146 (http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?productId=58237146)

Walmart Price 47.92
http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/star-wars-the-force-awakens-375-inch-vehicle-jakku-landspeeder/6000192660478 (http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/star-wars-the-force-awakens-375-inch-vehicle-jakku-landspeeder/6000192660478)

Now, which is the MSRP? Who is scalping?

Its called sales, something scalpers don't do until they are desperate.  Wow the grasping at straws is amazing.

 :D

No those are the actual prices. If you go to the links you would see. If you went to the store you would see the same thing and the fact that it is 39.99 at Superstore as well. They are not on sale, that is the price these stores have set them at.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Darth Woo on December 07, 2015, 05:00:00 PM


Hahaha you're the person who I called out for scalping and then you made a lame excuse which everyone used as me misunderstanding and then you talked about your scalping and reselling here.

Please, I don't like scalpers and resellers sorry.  I don't care how much "cred" these people have here, what you do is unethical and wrong.

Did I ever say I do that?  I'm telling you how business is for these comic shops. If you can't understand the simple concept of distributors and the fact that in Canada, small businesses are usually at the mercy of the Canadian dollar, then there is no point discussing with you. 

I resent being called a scalper and I've helped others on here and Rebelscum and G.I.Joe forums on various occasions.  We might not actively go out looking for other people, but we remember what people want and if we see it while looking for ourselves, we may pick it up to help out someone on the forum.  It's called paying it forward just for when that forum member you helped finds something you need.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: jjreason on December 07, 2015, 05:03:24 PM
He won't be back to argue his points, Darth Woo. He came too close to attacking members personally.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: JediPatrick on December 07, 2015, 05:27:26 PM
Also for those who talk about running around and picking up figures to sell, why the heck else would you do it other than wanting to make money?  I see very few people actually wanting to do people a solid but people wanting gas money, finders fee, etc. etc.

Ridiculous.

I don't like scalpers and find small vendors trying to scalp items offensive sorry.

Never said I'd do that. Selling these figures. Only to a friend in need, and at the price I paid, absorbing the mileage, gas and time. Because they would be friend. To anyone else? I wouldn't sell because I only buy what I need for my personal collection. Never bought to resell anything, and the few times I did was to get rid of some stuff, so at lower than retail prices, mostly. And honestly, right now, if you'd ask for help, I'd say sorry, I help my friends before I'd help anyone who insults me. I wouldn't even bother doing the math to try to repay my expenses.

But then again, you accusing people here proves my point. Respect is something you gain, not something you request out of people. Right now, I'd say you're being offensive and you don't deserve more than harsh comments from people here...

Sorry to hear you leaving. Guess your arrogance blinds to the point where you don't even want to try to learn who us people are. I'd say you're a very poor judge of character if you rely only on your own convictions to prove your point.

Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: JediPatrick on December 07, 2015, 05:30:28 PM
He won't be back to argue his points, Darth Woo. He came too close to attacking members personally.

Thanks Jim. We don't need that kind of scum here. Move along move along.  :tongue0024: :winking0071:
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Darth Woo on December 07, 2015, 05:35:39 PM
He won't be back to argue his points, Darth Woo. He came too close to attacking members personally.

Cool.  Glad to see him gone.  I read his posts on the thread about helping out Sanjay and seriously, you expect someone to be able to get something from the US and sell it here for Canadian MSRP or else the person is a scapler????   Heck, the US MSRP is already more than the Canadian one after conversion!  I have no idea what Sanjay was planning on selling his Phasmas for, but anything between $30-$40 Canadian is actually justifiable as that is still cheaper than what I would have had to pay for my friend in the US to buy one at retail and ship to me with him making no money at all out of it.  That's how I managed to get my Shocktrooper...cost plus shipping from the US was like $35US. (it's funny how many whiners actually forget that the person buying it for you needs to pay taxes too)
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Darth Chadus on December 07, 2015, 05:49:40 PM
Thanks Jim, glad I don't have to read that anymore.  It was getting tiresome....
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: jjreason on December 07, 2015, 06:00:42 PM
What hurts my feelings - and it really does, I'm not kidding - is how far off track he got in such a short period of time with respect to his opinion of what we do & what we're trying to accomplish.

And Sanjai - when you do check back in - please accept my personal apologies for letting that go on as long as it did. For public consumption - my rationale was that there was a discussion to be had around the topic, even though someone got called out pretty much by name (2 people in fact, Darth Woo's post was the spark that started this fire, if anyone else has been reading along the whole time, and he got picked on this afternoon).

Woo - my apologies as well, but as soon as he targeted you I banned him. I didn't let it go on as long as I did with Sanjai. I hope you guys feel supported by the other users, please know that I - personally, as I really can't speak for the site - support you guys & find your community participation has been nothing less than 100 percent positive over the time we've been here together. I hope you'll both continue using the site even in light of what's happened here over the past couple of days.

Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Darth Woo on December 07, 2015, 06:14:12 PM
No worries.  I've been here since 2004 so I know what kind of a community we have here. 

For me, I personally know people who own comic stores and know the ins and outs of the business. 

I actually was talking more for them than anything else because he obviously didn't understand that comic stores don't get their product from the same places big box stores do.

Darth Cosmos didn't understand that and I was merely trying to educate him.  I guess he missed everything I said and saw me standing up for comic stores so that in his mind, I must be a scalper...LOL!

Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: cmkjmacd on December 07, 2015, 07:53:16 PM
You guys punted him before I had a chance to sink my teeth into him.  So people just don't get it. Only time I have ever seen people sell things a little hire than retail is if it is a rare figure or if they got from a Con or something like that. And yes most comic shops do have to charge a little more because they are not buying the same mass amount as the big box stores. However there are a few out there that base their prices off of eBay. There is a comic shop in Edmonton that does this in particular. I know this as I went in there one time inquiring about a figure he had for sale that had been in his store for months and he flat out told me that his pricing was based on what it was going for on eBay. So yes there are a 'few ' comic shops out there that are basically scalping their stuff but most do not. Oh and if you want to really talk about scalping go over to Cybertron.ca
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: DarthDerek on December 07, 2015, 08:51:59 PM
Hey Guys,
Although I'm a very very new STORMTROOPERS.ca recruit, I have been reading your posts for about two years after I sold something to a Ian once on eBay and he mentioned I should check out this site ( I think it was IanToronto, but not positive). Anyways , I'm glad admin. Took action on DarthCosmos, he was defacing the awesomeness that SNOWTROOPERS.CA is! :snowtroopers: :D
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: jediburrick on December 07, 2015, 09:34:58 PM
I'll deal as the sith (in absolutes)

Option 1 : Darth Cosmos is unable to understand the basis of capitalism.

Option 2 : Darth Cosmos is a troll

I'd say Option 2. What's your take?

Edit: I realize I'm a bit late at the show. I guess I'm still on purpose nonetheless
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: jjreason on December 07, 2015, 10:30:11 PM
By the end I formed the opinion he was trolling. That coupled with the personal stuff & it was time.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Canadian Jedi on December 07, 2015, 11:15:06 PM
Did I mention I have about ten 6-inch captain phasma, five 6-inch stormtrooper (new one)
2 disney die cast stormtrooper and 2 disney die cast kylo ren that I can sell at below retail to Darth Cosmos.  He should be happy with that.  I got a really good deal from a guy in Van down by the river.    :P
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Eradicator on December 07, 2015, 11:22:07 PM
Thanks for ending this person's tirade. The Snowtroopers community doesn't need people like this.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: jjreason on December 07, 2015, 11:26:35 PM
Did I mention I have about ten 6-inch captain phasma, five 6-inch stormtrooper (new one)
2 disney die cast stormtrooper and 2 disney die cast kylo ren that I can sell at below retail to Darth Cosmos.  He should be happy with that.  I got a really good deal from a guy in Van down by the river.    :P

Damn, I should not be laughing at this.  :speechless-smiley-004:
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: The Death Star on December 08, 2015, 12:11:53 AM
Wow, that was quite a day of posting I missed.  Its unfortunate that Darth Cosmos comments were deemed offensive.  I am sure if everybody thought another lesser know or newer member was using the forum for scalping then it would most likely be deemed acceptable to call this person out.  I do believe he was genuinely acting out of a disdain for scalping.  Before I comment on anything, I hope that Hellboys comments about "whiny-assed punks" were dealt with accordingly by the admins and I'll leave it to them. Putting the term "scalper" aside, I believe it is the only time name calling has been resorted to in this entire discussion.

Its was a wise move to move the discussion to a separate thread, as we can further discuss scalping, if other members choose to do so, and come to a conclusion about scalping before naming members believed to be doing so.

I think the term scalping needs to be more clearly defined and my definition may be different than most here.  I would consider scalping to be removing product from the regular product distribution module, thus being the retailers who have contracts with Hasbro via distributors like Diamond, directly or otherwise.  By buying in bulk you are affecting the supply of product that is available to collectors through regular retail venues. After that point the pricing is all controlled buy collectors who decide how much they are willing to pay.  So profit margins are irrelevant to whether or not the act is scalping.  The real harm of scalping is reducing the supply of product available to the collector at the retail level.  Having said that there are examples of smaller vendors actually scalping product.  For example BBTS.com a short while ago had pre-orders up for Disney Elite statues which are Disney Store exclusives.  I emailed Disney to enquire about how this could be and was replied with thanks for my concern and it would be forwarded to the anti-piracy department which actually deals with concerns such as this.  In this case BBTS is actually scalping product ... reselling a product they do not have a legitimate license to sell in the initial market.  And of course the nature of the collectible market being what it is, scalping should only refer to current product.

The discrepancy between my view and what appears to be the popular one here, at least by the majority of the members who have participated in this thread, seems to be the difference between scalping and gouging.  I would claim that it appears that a lot of forum members are actually OK with scalping provided its done at fair and reasonable price and are not OK with price gouging which is done by most scalpers.  This may be uncomfortable for members to hear or believe about themselves but I see it as a truth.  Scalping is scalping.  I know many collectors who could care less about buying from scalpers at toy shows as long they are not holding product "hostage" forever at ridiculous prices.  They buy from the best deal any scalper can give them and are OK with the fact that they are buying from scalpers. Of course we all have the right to make this decision ourselves.

Others would overlook scalping based on other factors such as their relationship with that person, providing otherwise unobtainable material such convention exclusives or foreign obtained product ( although with shipping rates getting more competitive this is becoming less of a factor and a US shipping address pretty much negates this).  There are a few debatable/questionable reasons for supporting a scalper.

Some collectors would define scalping as I do as frown upon all scalping regardless of the pricing/profit margins/gas/overhead or whatever other incurred costs and would rather the product be left to be obtained in the regular retail market.  Its black or white to me.  I deal in absolutes.  Scalping is scalping regardless of how much I like the person or what they done for me in the past, I am judging the act not the person.  Most scalpers are just trying to make a buck like everyone else in the world, they just wont get mine.

So for myself, the question of whether someone is a scalper or not comes down to how they acquire the product they are reselling.  If its unknown I am going to make an education guess base as best I can and this is what I think Darth Cosmos did and I certainly can understand how he came to the initial conclusion he did.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: KaleDayspring on December 08, 2015, 12:41:41 AM
You know as Obi Wan said -  Only Sith deal in Absolutes.

Now back to your comments about scapling, The Death Star, I read through your points and while I would define scalping more on the line on what you call gouging, there is some merit. Yes, we can choose to deal with a scalper or we can wait or try elsewhere. The problem being that we are defined economically by demand. Look at the price of Oil. We have a glut of Oil in the market, driving down costs. This affects agriculture and industry. Stock market takes a beating and so does our dollar.

Right now there is a demand for Star Wars Toys, especially things like Phasma and Kylo, which have become extremely hot commodities. Unfortunately we are not getting the stock like we think we should be, thus driving up the want for it. And if someone wishes to make money off of this want, that is part of economics. Again, it is your choice to buy or to wait.

Recently I went on a small town tour with my family (found a Malakili and a Giran) and I was looking at the prices of TFA stuff. Most small towns were a dollar or 2 over. Is that scalping? Well it's more than big cities but they don't have the supply and they have a demand. Factor in the cost of transport and time and those 2 bucks don't mean much if you can get the figure that you want. Or you can wait until next time you go to the city and hope they are there.

Again, your decision. In a fair world all the stock we want would be available and priced the same. We don't live in a fair world.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Wedge1021 on December 08, 2015, 01:48:08 AM
In response to The Death Star:

Different definitions of a term is obviously something that can cause misunderstanding. For "gouging", I think most if not all of us would agree with you there - that's not something anyone will defend, ie. exorbitant prices due to high demand. Unfortunately that's one of the downsides of a free market. On the collecting forums that I frequent, when people complain about "scalpers", they most often are referring to people who are reselling at these over-inflated prices. And by that I mean at least 2x the current retail price (I include small-business and independent stores in my definition of retail here, not just big box stores).

It's even possible that many of us will agree with your definition of what "scalping" is, though I'd like to hear a little further from you on this once you read this so I can be sure. If "gouging" is a separate definition which relates more to the price that is being asked, then for me, and I think many collectors, "scalping" refers more to 2 other things:
1. whether the item is readily available within the general retail environment (ie, not something that is out of circulation and now only available in the secondary market); and
2. the source that the reseller is getting their items from.

I think #1 is pretty much a no-brainer, and you've stated it yourself as well. It's #2 where people may be diverging with their opinions. I think most collectors will agree, if the source is the "Buy 1 Get 1 Half Off" sale at the local TRU and they clean out every single in-demand item there just to resell even at MSRP, then yes, that's what we'd call scalping. But if the source is from a distributor/wholesaler - which is NOT retail and not typically a source available to the general public - then that is most definitely not scalping. I think this is where many were in disagreement with Cosmos. Distributors are free to take orders from any retailer that has an account with them. They are not obliged to sell only to the Walmarts, Targets and Toys"R"Us' of the world. Comic shops, independent toy stores, and small-time dealers often get their products this way (sometimes it's the only way that makes sense, even though it also has its problems as any comic store owner will tell you). Diamond Distributors is the big one in our little corner of the universe. Entertainment Earth is another one, which also happens to operate a retail outlet via their website.

As noted in the other thread (which maybe you didn't see yet), a wholesale/distributor-type source is where Ambasah stated he gets the few new items he sells at shows. Even after being presented with this fact, Cosmos still clung to the position that this was scalping - that buying from a wholesaler still removes these figures from regular retail circulation. What many people do not realize is that mass market retailers like WM, TRU, etc get their orders directly from Hasbro, and order their numbers far in advance. They rarely, if ever, re-order things like action figure waves that have such a short lifespan at retail. They make massive orders for the best discount possible, and Hasbro sends their allotment to that retailer's warehousing and distribution system. It may take a while for Hasbro to manufacture and deliver the full order (like the with all the current TFA stuff), which can cause an apparent shortage, but it will all arrive eventually. The big-box chains get "first dibs" with Hasbro. Once they've been allotted their orders, whatever is left is parcelled out to the distributors and smaller retailers. Buying from one of these distributors has zero effect on mass retail because they've already received all the allotment they're going to order. In fact, it's this business model that can actually make a single retailer into a so-called scalper - Walmart may decide to buy the entire run of a particular wave, all the other outlets get shut out, and Hasbro could not care less because they've already got their money.

By the way, I do not and will never consider it scalping when 1 collector buys an extra item either for a friend or fellow forum member that he knows is looking for that item, passing it along for cost (whether he adds a small fee for incidental fees is completely between the 2 parties and no one else's business). This can include ordering a few extra US-exclusive items along with one's own, or picking up a convention exclusive while at a show. I have done this and been on the receiving end of these favours more times than I can count. Indeed, it is part of the whole point of a collecting forum - we help each other out to get what we need for our collections. This is often unfortunately necessary due to the HORRIBLE distribution of products, both by Hasbro and in Canada general (and also in parts of the US I hear). Even if there was zero scalping, it would STILL be necessary in some cases just because certain stores or even regions just do not get new stock in. Call it "necessary re-distribution" if we need a term for it. My Walmart in particular is notorious for this. Their action figure aisle has looked identically bare for the past few weeks (months?), and it's almost Christmas! Sometimes I think the store just does not want to sell things to anyone. Anyways, that is a topic for another thread!

Also, full disclosure: I've met Ambasah at several shows, and he even bought up whatever was left of my carded Clone Wars collection at the end of the one show that I had a table in myself. A lot of his stuff is older figures from collections that he buys up from people like this. I would say 80% of this stuff he prices at possibly below "market value", better than many other dealers, as he gives some great deals especially if you buy multiple items.

So, with all that said - what do you think? Are we closer to each other in our definitions? Is there somewhere that we still differ? I am truly interested to know. I'm often fascinated by the business behind our hobby and have read and listened to a lot of information over the years on how it works. I'm always interested to research more if you know of different information than what I've gathered.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: Thirdfloor on December 08, 2015, 07:19:10 AM
I am sure if everybody thought another lesser know or newer member was using the forum for scalping then it would most likely be deemed acceptable to call this person out. 

By stating this claim you are implying that a well-known or older member is using this forum for scalping.  Which member(s) are you referring to and are you able to show any proof (i.e. links to other threads on this forum) to support your claim?

I live in Muskoka and only have ONE retail outlet any closer than a 40 min drive down the highway and they generally only get in one case at a time.  I don't need any scalpers to clean out the product from my store all in need is one single collector/kid/parent to get to the store before me and I am out of retail options.  I have had several members on this site purchase figures from their local stores in bigger cities and then go out of their way to mail me figures.  Do you consider this scalping because they removed product from the store that wasn't intended for their own personal collection?  Do I have to live in the GTA to qualify as a legitimate collector that deserves to get these figures?

Snowtroopers.ca has been an amazing site for many years now without any issues and all of the members that have been here for that period can appreciate that which is why so many of us are supportive of the decision to remove Cosmo from the site.  It's one thing to present an opposing opinion to the majority but when you are replied to by so many showing proof that you could be mistaken it's better to take heed to qualified advice rather than dig your heels into the sand and bury yourself.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: ambasah on December 08, 2015, 07:56:17 AM
I am just sorry that anyone had to be banned.

This is supposed to be "fun". I do the shows because it is fun for me. I get to meet other collectors who share my love of star wars. Of course the extra money doesn't hurt.

I also respect differing opinions (what a boring world it would be otherwise) and think everyone for the most part was very respectful in providing their perspective.



Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: sinkie on December 08, 2015, 09:08:29 AM
Wow! I am so glad my computer was down for the last few days! The tone of this debate felt like something copy/pasted directly from rebelscum's forums! Dissent and disagreement is one thing this forum has dealt with so incredibly well in the past that to see it threatened by a new member with either an obvious axe to grind or a need for attention is sad. People tried damn hard from what I have read to explain why the issue was far from black and white with detailed explanations and examples.  The longer it went on the more obvious it got that nothing anyone offered up was going to appease him in even the slightest.  Sadly, someone with that attitude as a way of introducing themselves really doesn't fit in this amazing, friendly, welcoming, open minded community. It is, like someone knocking on your door, asking to be let in and after being welcomed telling you that the way you run your house is wrong and insane and if you don't listen to their criticism you yourself are an idiot. Who wouldn't show this guy the door he just came through?
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: The_Art_of_Sith on December 08, 2015, 09:08:48 AM
Wedge, you nail it.  Great definitions, insight is perfect. 

All the members here are helping each other.  The cosmo guy was trouble, maybe he had "The force awakens" anxiety, but its obvious he stirred up trouble on every thread.  Good job "admin" for removing this member. 
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: JediPatrick on December 08, 2015, 11:37:20 AM
Wedge, you nail it.  Great definitions, insight is perfect.

I second that!  :)` Too bad Cosmos didn't take the time to make the effort to understand this and simply decided to go on a futile war and started accusing everyone of scalping. Poor lad.
Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: dagobahmaster on December 08, 2015, 01:03:48 PM
"By stating this claim you are implying that a well-known or older member is using this forum for scalping.  Which member(s) are you referring to and are you able to show any proof (i.e. links to other threads on this forum) to support your claim?"

While reading most of these post I can see that we will not all have the same definition of scalping. I will tread carefully and say what I have to say in the most civil way Possible. I will try to answer your question the best way I can without using any names but most will know who I am referring too?

If a person is selling Disney store products at a toy show is it scalping? I will say yes as these products are only for sale in Disney Stores. They are not made available to other retailer so if you have these items you are taking them out of the normal retail chain. We can claim to have "sources" but if someone is getting these thought wholesale or other distributors they need a business license as far as I know. (if I am wrong please correct me) I think most members here will agree that Disney elite are not available this way Or else we could all do it which would benefit us all.

I work in the retail world and cant go into what company I work for but we watch very closely how our products are being sold and merchandised. We have a wholesale division that sells to other business who have a license agreement with us and we have our own stores. (very much like most other large company's) We also have a division that searches Online and anywhere else you can think of (flea markets, etc) to see if anyone is selling our items. Now we don't catch everyone but if we do you will receive a cease and desist letter. If you don't stop after this it becomes a legal matter. This practice is scalping our products for more than they where bought for.

Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: ambasah on December 08, 2015, 02:15:49 PM
I got the disney diecast (4 of them) in a trade.

I was going to sell them at the show.

There are lots of different ways to get merchandise.

I was going to list them for $50 and "negotiate" down to $40. I think Canadian retail was $30 each before taxes?

What I traded (a koto statue) was valued at $150.

Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: jjreason on December 08, 2015, 04:55:51 PM
I think I posted earlier about the crux of the issue being in regards to discrepancies in our personal definitions of scalping. For my own purposes, I see scalping along the lines of "gouging", as was so well described above.

If someone purchases all of an item at retail for redistribution among friends/contacts/associates at the retail price, but someone else loses out - this isn't scalping to me. That's having contacts & working within a community to make sure you don't miss anything - especially for those of us with limited opportunities to shop in person at retail stores (the whole ordering online issue is a separate but similar issue - if I buy them all for myself & to share with you guys at my cost - this isn't scalping, at least to me).

Referring again to one of my previous posts, I said the community here has policed itself when it comes to listings that are perceived as scalping. Typically what I will see is a "This thread has been reported by a member of the community" email message, complete with a link. I can then see the reason for reporting - in many previous cases this has been one word "scalping". I'll click the link to check it out.

Of interest, I would say about half the time (in maybe 12-15 instances over my almost that many years using the site, so it doesn't happen often), I will contact the seller & advise them of the B,S&T rules which prohibit using our site from selling at a price higher than "retail plus legitimate costs" (and yes, I just made that up right now), and ask them to remove it or lower the price. I've never had an argument. In the other half of the cases, I see no problem with the listing & advise the reporter that I'm leaving it alone.

I bring up & describe this process to you guys just so know there is a process and a bit about how it works. If you see listings you don't like, please don't hesitate to advise us. I'm guessing it won't happen very often, based on the past.

Title: Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
Post by: brianakarobin on December 13, 2015, 08:16:35 AM
"By stating this claim you are implying that a well-known or older member is using this forum for scalping.  Which member(s) are you referring to and are you able to show any proof (i.e. links to other threads on this forum) to support your claim?"

While reading most of these post I can see that we will not all have the same definition of scalping. I will tread carefully and say what I have to say in the most civil way Possible. I will try to answer your question the best way I can without using any names but most will know who I am referring too?

OK, I'm a bit confused here.  This post you are quoting was quoting a post from The Death Star.  You are answering the question as if it was posed to you.  Are you and The Death Star the same person?

I work in the retail world and cant go into what company I work for but we watch very closely how our products are being sold and merchandised. We have a wholesale division that sells to other business who have a license agreement with us and we have our own stores. (very much like most other large company's) We also have a division that searches Online and anywhere else you can think of (flea markets, etc) to see if anyone is selling our items. Now we don't catch everyone but if we do you will receive a cease and desist letter. If you don't stop after this it becomes a legal matter. This practice is scalping our products for more than they where bought for.
I would be interested to see if your companies strategy works.  I don't believe there is anything illegal with reselling items.  Now, when you jack up the price (whether you want to call that scalping or gouging is up to you), that's a different story.  But what you describe is one major way the retail industry works - basically, you buy from one person and sell to another.  Whether the person you buy from is the manufacturer, a distributor, or another retailer doesn't matter - it is all legal.  However, while I think there may be laws around price inflation after buying retail products, I don't think the same is true about buying wholesale.  Anyone know for sure?

On this site, we frown on people buying up all the local retail product and then selling it at inflated prices, which most would be happy to call scalping.  But, if you buy several of one figure to trade with other snowtroopers, or sell to them at cost (+/- a very minor mark-up for gas, etc.) to snow troopers who can't get them, etc. - that is pretty much the whole purpose of this forum.  If we can't do that, then we may as well all log out and never come back here.

Anyway, I think everything that needs to be said has been said very well by others, and thank you to them. 

And thank you to JJ for banning Darth Cosmos - that guy was really being an a$$ in his comments, and clearly didn't want to have a discussion (which would have been fine - discussing controversial things is not an issue), but just wanted to bash as much as he could before the inevitable ban.  Its sad that he had to try to stir up so much trouble on a forum that has had very little of that kind of foolishness.  :shakehead: