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Author Topic: State of the Forum: Scalping  (Read 4276 times)

JediPatrick

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #30 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:
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"C'est lorsque nous croyons savoir quelque chose qu'il faut justement réfléchir un peu plus profondément." / "The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand."

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Darth Woo

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #31 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)

Darth Chadus

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2015, 05:49:40 PM »

Thanks Jim, glad I don't have to read that anymore.  It was getting tiresome....
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jjreason

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #33 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.

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Darth Woo

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #34 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!

cmkjmacd

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #35 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
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 08:39:09 PM by cmkjmacd »
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DarthDerek

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #36 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
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jediburrick

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #37 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
« Last Edit: December 07, 2015, 09:48:36 PM by jediburrick »
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jjreason

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #38 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.
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Canadian Jedi

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #39 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
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Eradicator

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #40 on: December 07, 2015, 11:22:07 PM »

Thanks for ending this person's tirade. The Snowtroopers community doesn't need people like this.
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jjreason

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #41 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:
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The Death Star

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #42 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.
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KaleDayspring

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #43 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.
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Wedge1021

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Re: State of the Forum: Scalping
« Reply #44 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.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 02:23:18 AM by Wedge1021 »
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