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Author Topic: State of the Forum: Scalping  (Read 3890 times)

Darth Cosmos

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State of the Forum: Scalping
« 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.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 12:17:54 PM by Darth Cosmos »
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ambasah

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2015, 01:13:42 PM »

it is a worthy discussion.

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Hellboy

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #2 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.
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Darth Cujo

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #3 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.
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Hellboy

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #4 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.
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brianakarobin

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #5 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.

brianakarobin

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #6 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. 

Darth Cujo

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #7 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.
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Darth Woo

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #8 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.

napseeker

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #9 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. 
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 03:54:48 PM by napseeker »
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fishfan

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #10 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.)
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KaleDayspring

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #11 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.
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jjreason

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #12 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.
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Darth Cosmos

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #13 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.
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Darth Cosmos

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #14 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.  ???
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