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If E-bay Didn't Exist Do You Think Scalpers Wouldn't Exist


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The reason I ask this question is because scalping has become such a big phenomen now.

 

Me myself is not a scalper, but when ever I go to any store just to buy some GI joe the first words to come out of a cashiers mouth is you are going to put these on e-bay right. I tell them, no I'm not I'm just a collector.

 

So do you guys think that when e-bay got big and when computers got cheaper and when people got faster internet connections did this paved the way for more scaplers.

 

Toys are not the only victims to scalpers they will prey on anything. Look what happens whenever a new video game console is released such as the PS4 and the X-box 360. Most of the people who wait in line to purchase these things on day one are just there to put the thing up on e-bay anyways.

 

But I do know that in America there is nothing wrong w/ making a profit but making a 100% - 200% is just being too greedy. Thats capitalism for sure. Supply and Demand.

 

Yellow Stalkers $200.00+ and Snake-Eyes w/ Black Timber $100.00+ and even Flint (as lame as this figure is w/ those horrible Duke arms) is also starting to climb up in price. Oh and don't let them have it graded by AFA either if it is then double those prices. This 25th anni. line must be a sclapers dream come true.

 

In my opinoin a profit breakdown should be like this:

 

Lets say I buy a item at $6.00 and I want too profit from this item. I would then sell it at a price of half of which I bought it for. So half of $6.00 is $3.00 and then I would take the $3.00 and add it to the $6.00 which equals $9.00. So I would sell it for $9.00+ that would be my profit margin.

 

But not in a scalpers case they will inflate prices sky high and then people get bid happy and cause these infalted prices. Now when e-bay becomes flooded w/ GI Joe auctions you would think that a scalper would have to make some adjustments to his prices right. Nope it doesn't stop them, they will not back down from anything and it doesn't matter how many auctions there are.

 

So I thinks that if e-bay didn't exist a scalper would not be born. Or maybe we will always have scalpers but they will have to scalp locally and then maybe open up a shop in the flea market somewhere in town.

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You make some very good points. If eBay didn't exist, I think that there would still be scalpers. I have a comic book shop nearby that sells Marvel Legends, GI Joe, etc. He has everything marked anywhere from $15-$60 (depending on the figure).

 

If in the rare instance I sell something on eBay, I always list things at .01, and I don't put a reserve on it. I let the bidders dictate how much that figure is worth to them. Sometimes I lose money or make money.

 

I never understood the whole grading of figures. Basically you are paying for someone's opinion on that figure. Just tell me if there are any flaws with the figure, I don't see why it should increase the price so much.

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I have a hard time believing someone at a retail store outright asked you if you were a scalper. Maybe it just seems like a really silly thing to say to/ask someone. They're just there to sell items; who really cares who's buying them? The only time anyone has ever said anything about buying figures was when I was at a Walmart and bought the exclusive Masterpiece Starscream figure. The cashier just mentioned that she was surprised they still made figures of old characters like that, and wondered why it was so expensive (it was $50.) I just explained that it was more of a collectable than an actual child's toy, with a bit more articulation and detail and whatnot, which made it more expensive.

 

Sure, auction-style listings aren't really the same as setting an inflated buy it now price, but the idea is still the same. It's up to the bidders as far as what they want to pay, but at the same time it means that you took the figure out of the store meaning that someone else who could have gotten it at shelf price now can't. Obviously, there's got to be a line somewhere. If someone eventually decides to sell a couple figures just because they don't have room or don't want the figures anymore, and they sell for a higher price because it's a rarer figure, or it's not easy to find in stores anymore, does that make them a bad person, or a scalper? No, I wouldn't think so. As far as I'm concerned, scalping is buying the store out/buying several of a figure for the sole intention of doing nothing but making a profit. Someone who tries to make a few bucks off of someone else's hobbies is kind of lame, but it just comes down to how much people are willing to spend, I guess.

 

Usually, I personally buy just one of each figure, and keep them sealed. If I really like the way the figure looks, I'll buy a second one to open (which, with the 25th anni. Joes seems to happen fairly frequently) but never more. Hell, I have a hard enough time just finding one or two of each figure, let alone multiples...Plus, it seems like most people are wisening up. A lot of the figures unloaded on ebay are ridiculously common. I see lots of starting prices and BINs set at like, $9.99 for a 25th Joe, at like $7 shipping, and for a figure that you can walk into nearly any store and pick up for the $7 or whatever. So a lot of those auctions just kind of fall off, and nothing comes of them, unless you've got something that's extemely hard to come buy, like a rare variant, or an exclusive, or a really short-packed figure or something.

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I believe it. A couple years back I had a cashier at KB Toys ask me if I was going to sell the Crimson Sabotage Exclusives on Ebay.

 

 

I have a hard time believing someone at a retail store outright asked you if you were a scalper. Maybe it just seems like a really silly thing to say to/ask someone. They're just there to sell items; who really cares who's buying them? The only time anyone has ever said anything about buying figures was when I was at a Walmart and bought the exclusive Masterpiece Starscream figure. The cashier just mentioned that she was surprised they still made figures of old characters like that, and wondered why it was so expensive (it was $50.) I just explained that it was more of a collectable than an actual child's toy, with a bit more articulation and detail and whatnot, which made it more expensive.

 

Sure, auction-style listings aren't really the same as setting an inflated buy it now price, but the idea is still the same. It's up to the bidders as far as what they want to pay, but at the same time it means that you took the figure out of the store meaning that someone else who could have gotten it at shelf price now can't. Obviously, there's got to be a line somewhere. If someone eventually decides to sell a couple figures just because they don't have room or don't want the figures anymore, and they sell for a higher price because it's a rarer figure, or it's not easy to find in stores anymore, does that make them a bad person, or a scalper? No, I wouldn't think so. As far as I'm concerned, scalping is buying the store out/buying several of a figure for the sole intention of doing nothing but making a profit. Someone who tries to make a few bucks off of someone else's hobbies is kind of lame, but it just comes down to how much people are willing to spend, I guess.

 

Usually, I personally buy just one of each figure, and keep them sealed. If I really like the way the figure looks, I'll buy a second one to open (which, with the 25th anni. Joes seems to happen fairly frequently) but never more. Hell, I have a hard enough time just finding one or two of each figure, let alone multiples...Plus, it seems like most people are wisening up. A lot of the figures unloaded on ebay are ridiculously common. I see lots of starting prices and BINs set at like, $9.99 for a 25th Joe, at like $7 shipping, and for a figure that you can walk into nearly any store and pick up for the $7 or whatever. So a lot of those auctions just kind of fall off, and nothing comes of them, unless you've got something that's extemely hard to come buy, like a rare variant, or an exclusive, or a really short-packed figure or something.

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So I thinks that if e-bay didn't exist a scalper would not be born. Or maybe we will always have scalpers but they will have to scalp locally and then maybe open up a shop in the flea market somewhere in town.

 

I think they'll just do this....flea markets and comic/collectable/toy shows.

 

Is scalping really that bad in your area? Is stuff showing up on Ebay? This may not be the case in all areas, but I am finding out around Indy is that we just have a crap load of collectors. I'm plain just being beat - that's all. Word is from the SW geeks here that a lot of them are switching to Joes.....and we all know hardcore those folks can be. @lol@

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I think eBay has most definitely catapaulted the acts of "scalping" or "hoarding" (for profit) especially in the action figure collecting community. The term scalping has been around for a long time, but the phenomenon of it (you speak of) particularly in OUR field of interests, has risen to all new levels, thanks to the likes of eBay. Selling sh@# you already own and wanting to get rid of was the general idea behind eBay, but going out and buying up sh@# you don't have and don't even WANT for yourself just to earn a profit by exploiting the interests of others? Well......it can be argued as being enterprising and shrewd and whatnot, but as a collector ONLY and not a buyer/seller, I can be harsh on the issue, feeling a little "victimized" (at times) by it. ;)

 

We have a right to BUY what we want and in the quantities we want......when it's OUR money we're buying it with. How can anyone stop that?

 

I think it's annoying as hell though, and hurts the hobby more than helps it. I mean seriously, the benefits of the scalping phenomenon go MOSTLY towards the "scalpers" profiting from it, and it only benefits the minority of buyers (with tons of expendable cash) that aren't as seriously affected by the high prices they now have to pay for something they want to collect, that they can't find at retail.

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Seems like a lot of people here don't recall the early-to-mid-90s, pre-eBay.

 

A scalper back then, and they did exist and were far, far worse then today, could wipe out an entire geographic region in a couple of weeks. Hitting every store, every hot-item, and collecting them up. Back then, there were just fewer of them.

 

What eventually happened was you either had to buy from the scalper's swap-meet booth or comic/toy/junk store or go without.

 

A scalper back then could completely control an entire market/region - most notably Kenner POTF2 figures, (of which I STILL see trying to be sold at those old scalper prices by these same guys over a decade later at local shows).

 

So eBay didn't make the scalper, it just made it more wide-spread.

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Seems like a lot of people here don't recall the early-to-mid-90s, pre-eBay.

 

A scalper back then, and they did exist and were far, far worse then today, could wipe out an entire geographic region in a couple of weeks. Hitting every store, every hot-item, and collecting them up. Back then, there were just fewer of them.

 

What eventually happened was you either had to buy from the scalper's swap-meet booth or comic/toy/junk store or go without.

 

A scalper back then could completely control an entire market/region - most notably Kenner POTF2 figures, (of which I STILL see trying to be sold at those old scalper prices by these same guys over a decade later at local shows).

 

So eBay didn't make the scalper, it just made it more wide-spread.

 

I would actually say that the advent of ebay had to change on the market. With it, "scalpers" now have a wider audience to sell to, but don't forget, we now have a wider selection of sellers to choose from.

 

And I will gladly scalp any item to anyone I do not know. :) Because "It's the american way" (profiteering that is!)

 

-Kevin

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I would actually say that the advent of ebay had to change on the market. With it, "scalpers" now have a wider audience to sell to, but don't forget, we now have a wider selection of sellers to choose from.

Amen.

 

There's no need to have traffic with scalpers at all because of the tools and venues we have at our disposal these days.

As much as a scalper can buy out goods in a given area, a collector can simply buy from another area or retailer and completely bypass the scalper.

What the scalper preys upon is the ignorant and impatient collector, but with forums and news sites like TNI, anyone collecting can be informed with just a bit of effort on their part. Scalpers work off of a perception that once they "corner their market" they have the advantage, but that's simply not true because no-one scalper can corner the global market available to everyone.

Heck, I'd guess that a good 10% of the people that view these forms daily are in fact scalpers looking for area reports and tips on stuff to scoop up.

 

The thing that makes me mock scalpers everywhere is that they have to put in ENORMOUS amounts of effort to get their wares, but if they added up the numbers they would actually come out ahead just renting retail space and selling legitmately. They could get a retailer license and order the stuff in wholesale themselves.

This is why scalping equates with idiocy--the more information diseminates the harder their "job" becomes. With the internet, there is no reason why any collector need resort to buying from a scalper ever again.

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I've also had cashiers ask me if I was going to sell them.......not ebay specifically but "Do you sell these or something?" Then I say no "I'm a collector."

 

 

I tell ya what if ebay wasn't around 3/4 of my collection wouldn't exist either.

 

I think its a necessary evil and its part of the hobby......its going to be around whether you like it or not.....

 

Plus, people feed them.......if you pay 200 bucks for a figure then they are going to want 200 bucks for it.

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I have a hard time believing someone at a retail store outright asked you if you were a scalper. Maybe it just seems like a really silly thing to say to/ask someone. They're just there to sell items; who really cares who's buying them?

because employees are people who have interests as well, not impersonal entities like a store. when I worked retail in my younger days I struck conversations with customers. regardless of the topic of conversation, by your logic I shouldn't have done so because I was just there to sell items, and it is unbelievable that I would. if you work toys, at some point you would become knowledgeable of the practices of scalping, and if bored it isn't unfathomable that you would possibly strike such a conversation up. I'm not sure why that seems unbelievable to you.

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I have had cashiers ask me if I was a scalper too. They even used the word scalper. They know what scalpers are because most of the time the scalper go to check out and brag to the cashier about how much money they are going to make by scalping what they are buying.

 

I have seen it happen as a customer and a cashier myself.

 

This is how I have always felt about E-Bay and scalping. It's fine to sell old toys at higher prices like stuff from the 80's. When it comes to new toys I think there should be a limit to how much more than retail you can charge. The older they get the more you can charge.

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What happens to people who try to scalp concert tickets or tickets to sporting events?

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I have a hard time believing someone at a retail store outright asked you if you were a scalper. Maybe it just seems like a really silly thing to say to/ask someone. They're just there to sell items; who really cares who's buying them?

because employees are people who have interests as well, not impersonal entities like a store. when I worked retail in my younger days I struck conversations with customers. regardless of the topic of conversation, by your logic I shouldn't have done so because I was just there to sell items, and it is unbelievable that I would. if you work toys, at some point you would become knowledgeable of the practices of scalping, and if bored it isn't unfathomable that you would possibly strike such a conversation up. I'm not sure why that seems unbelievable to you.

 

Why are you so antagonistic toward me? This is the second time you've felt you've had to prove me wrong about something...For one, it's pretty ballsy to ask someone if they're intending to scalp items, and it's entirely different from talking to someone about their hobby. Hell, I work at Target and I'm a collector, and I talk with other workers and customers too. I'm just saying it takes balls to essentially ask someone if they're just buying something at other's expense, and to make a profit.

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I have a hard time believing someone at a retail store outright asked you if you were a scalper. Maybe it just seems like a really silly thing to say to/ask someone. They're just there to sell items; who really cares who's buying them?

because employees are people who have interests as well, not impersonal entities like a store. when I worked retail in my younger days I struck conversations with customers. regardless of the topic of conversation, by your logic I shouldn't have done so because I was just there to sell items, and it is unbelievable that I would. if you work toys, at some point you would become knowledgeable of the practices of scalping, and if bored it isn't unfathomable that you would possibly strike such a conversation up. I'm not sure why that seems unbelievable to you.

 

Why are you so antagonistic toward me? This is the second time you've felt you've had to prove me wrong about something...For one, it's pretty ballsy to ask someone if they're intending to scalp items, and it's entirely different from talking to someone about their hobby. Hell, I work at Target and I'm a collector, and I talk with other workers and customers too. I'm just saying it takes balls to essentially ask someone if they're just buying something at other's expense, and to make a profit.

I don't think he has anything against you it's just you made it sound like you did not belive that anyone would ever ask someone if they are a scalper and he was explaining that it is possible.

 

Like I said a few posts up. I have been called a scalper by a cashier and I have witnessed it myself with others. It does happen.

 

I don't think it is appropriate for cashiers to nose into a customers business myself. I worked in a grocery store for a long time and I never felt that I had to ask a custome if they were going to toilet paper a house just because they bought a 24 roll pack of tp. For all I knew they had seven people in there house and just dod not want to run out for awhile. The same goes for asking why someone is buying a toy. Cashiers should butt out and just ring it up. I would not really say asking is ballsy but maybe more rude than anything else.

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I tell ya what if ebay wasn't around 3/4 of my collection wouldn't exist either.

 

I think its a necessary evil and its part of the hobby......its going to be around whether you like it or not.....

 

Plus, people feed them.......if you pay 200 bucks for a figure then they are going to want 200 bucks for it.

 

I agree with these statements 100%...especially the part about ebay being a factor in most of my collection.

 

I wouldn't have the majority of the vintage stuff I have, if not for ebay. :)

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What happens to people who try to scalp concert tickets or tickets to sporting events?

 

 

Depending on the local laws/by-laws, they can be arrested and charged under anti-scalping ordinances. It depends on the city though, because some cities have ordinances in place and some do not.

There is a legal precedent ( I was told this by a lawyer, no joke) in those cases for other kinds of scalping, but I cannot recall anyone ever lodging a complaint and seeing pressed charges followed through. The reason is because its apparently considered to be such a petty amount of gain that its not worth pursuing in court.

 

BTW, nice to see you posting again, VH. You've been missed in the forums.

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What happens to people who try to scalp concert tickets or tickets to sporting events?

 

 

Depending on the local laws/by-laws, they can be arrested and charged under anti-scalping ordinances. It depends on the city though, because some cities have ordinances in place and some do not.

There is a legal precedent ( I was told this by a lawyer, no joke) in those cases for other kinds of scalping, but I cannot recall anyone ever lodging a complaint and seeing pressed charges followed through. The reason is because its apparently considered to be such a petty amount of gain that its not worth pursuing in court.

 

 

I kinda thought there was some form of law and possible penalties to face, for those that get caught "scalping" tickets for such events, but wasn't sure to what degree or serious enforcement against it, there REALLY is?

 

I guess the point I was getting around to, was that "scalping" (in general) already has a negative connotation associated with it, as a "bad" practice, despite the feelings of those that do it (obviously)and those that feel they've benefited from it, by obtaining (for an inflated price) what the scalpers have hoarded up in order to even be able to charge that HIGH a price to begin with, and yet the buyer still feels they've been given a good service....."had it not been for them" etc..etc.. @hmmm@

 

I'm not advocating such "laws" be inacted against scalpers of toys and such ;) but I still think it's a harmful phenomenon to the hobby....overall. Buying antique, RARE, foreign or limited items at such rates is one thing, but to buy NEW toys that are only "rare" or "limited" due to the practice of a scalper cleaning out the aisles of them? That's still pretty crappy dealings.

 

BTW, nice to see you posting again, VH. You've been missed in the forums.

 

 

:) Thanks Ken!

 

I'm hoping to be able to stick around on a more permanent basis again......soon.

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I'm not advocating such "laws" be inacted against scalpers of toys and such but I still think it's a harmful phenomenon to the hobby....overall. Buying antique, RARE, foreign or limited items at such rates is one thing, but to buy NEW toys that are only "rare" or "limited" due to the practice of a scalper cleaning out the aisles of them? That's still pretty crappy dealings.

 

Yep, that is the single issue that really irks most people--these are "monopolized" black-marketed ( essentially) items being re-sold directly from other retailers.

If the "scalpers" took stuff that was 10 years old and older and marked that up, then there would be little complaint against them (and the buggers would have no customers either, LOL).

Of course they are just preying on impatient people and hoping that someone else doesn't undercut them with a better supply.

 

I'm going to make a blanket generalized statement and say that many of the scalpers out there probably do not even collect themselves anymore, ( and probably do not declare the extra income to the taxman) and they've lost any sense of enjoyment out of the hobby, other than it being a commodity. What a joyless endeavour that must be.

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