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Keep in mind, your anger is perhaps misdirected... The action figure companies make limited numbers of some figures and tons and tons of other figures, for just this reason.
They could end scalping in 2 seconds by simply producing more of what is desireable, this would ruin the scalper's business.
The toy companies don't do that on purpose, they actually want a few figures to go up in value, so they are completely complicit in the whole thing. Yes, because at this point the toy is gone from the market. Then it is just supply and demand of whatever sets are left over to be sold, if demand is there, prices will rise, if it isn't, they won't.
Look at most of the Atlantis sets for example, even retired for nearly a year, most of them have yet to reach RRP.
Even in Star Wars, a few sets have not reached RRP 2 years after retiring. Home One is a perfect example. People can ask anything they want, it takes a willing buyer and a willing seller to establish market price.
There are a number of sets I haven't bought because of the price, and a few I just clicked on "buy now" and pretended to ignore the price. :)
What sets are you looking for that you're having trouble finding? Someone here might hook you up.
Back on topic, I've never really seen this happen with LEGO, except for in the recent case of Minecraft, so we are in concordance on that essentially being a non-factor to the topic at hand.
Hot Wheels has done the same thing for years, old girlfriend of mine was into HW back in the late 90s, had a wall full of them, I remember going to Walmart and helping her dig through bins of them to try and find "the one" she was missing.
Yea, I'll do strange things for love. :)
I would also agree that LEGO does not do this. While they do sell a few things by case assortment, the assortment is known up front and is an even spread of the sets. For example, the new Racers that are $9.99 each, come in cases "A" and "B", 2 types in each case, even numbers of each. Otherwise, almost everything is sold by the case of identical items.
The only way someone doesn't get an item for AT WORSE the retailer suggested price, is if they just plain wait FAR too long - which calls into question just how bad they actually wanted it to begin with.
Anyone holding out for clearance is taking a risk that they won't get the item. Let's just drop this whole straw-man about the theoretical kid who may or may not come in after the mass buyer. You can't have a productive discussion dealing in a never-ending array of hypothetical situation.
On eBay, Bricklink, and Amazon, there are sets listed at well above the prices that those same sets are auctioning for, or for that matter, that other sellers are listing their items for. I assume that if you want to get your item to move, you price it accordingly. Alternatively you sit there and wait for the inventory of people who are lower-priced to be exhausted, but then your cash and space gets tied up for longer, so there's an implicit cost to that.
Bulk buying items that are hard to find just so that you can whack up the price for an immediate turn around still seems utterly wrong to me, particularly some items (friends advent calendar I'm looking at you) that should be the definition of happiness and good will to all men, but minecraft would be similar. Its just not very nice.
I'll buy a set and sell the minifigures I don't want and keep the vehicle or sell the vehicle and keep the minifigs and I'm glad others do the same.
I do disagree with shelf clearing and buying up large quantities of sets just because the sets are discounted.
We thought it was similar to going online buying all the tickets before anybody else has the chance and then selling for a inflated profit.
I assume that's why Lego has a limit on the quantity you can order for certain sets.
Most people know what's right and wrong, we don't have to explain it. Unfortunately greed and a quick profit are going to corrupt.
The trick, of course... is that not everyone agrees with what is "right and wrong".
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of course. :) But trying to debate it here is pointless, we might as well debate religion and politices, to equally pointless effect. :)
I didn't consider all those other reason, and it's quite different. To me it's not the goods, or the properties of the goods, it's the intent. Buying when stock is limited, and for specific reason to resell at inflated profits.
* the ticket bought was sold out in three minutes, but widely available on ebay. Original price $130, $400 on eBay.
As we're talking about ticket scalping, I'm thinking to myself, really . . . I should buy concert ticket and resell on ebay, think of all the lego I could buy with that profit. :)
I agree that in that example, just leave the ticket sales to the vendor, which is why there are anti-scalping laws that vary from place to place.
[kidding... Hoping that would be obvious but.]
In general, Ninjago spinners are only available for a limited time, compared to most other Lego stock. In addition, the big value of the Green Ninja spinner is before the event (Christmas), which is the expiration date for many parents.
It is still obviously not a perfect example, but the spinners are a good case of people buying them when they have barely hit the market because of the short term availability, expected high demand of the Green Ninja by the market, and for buyers, there was a very clear event date for the value of these (kids wanting them for Christmas). The value doesn't completely diminish after Christmas, but there is definitely more demand for an item like this before the event.
(Of course, the spinners are also a case, though, where a company anticipated demand and really does seem to have put out a ton of product. The Nya spinner was far harder for me to locate. That was in my store, and then out. )
On sales and clearances, I know if I don't leap I will miss. I know if I don't do my research I will miss. I know if I try to play chicken with the Target sales, I will miss. I don't make out on every discount out there, but really I've had plenty of deals over the years for my kids for bdays, Christmas and gifts.
But actually, while you'll never get TLG to admit it, I think that is intentional, it is the action figure and Hot Wheels stratagy, make most of your product commen and have that one rare set from each "release" that everyone wants and no one can find.
Lloyd ZX is clearly the one from the current line, however some of that might be demand. Amazon has restocked it every few days in the past two weeks. I've been keeping track, they have stocked over 5,000 of them by my count since October 1st. They sold them all out within a day or two of restocking 500-800 of them every time.
So there is clearly a ton of demand. Amazon also lowered their buy limit from 5 to 2, so resellers can't just clean them out. Last week, they restocked 800 of them, buy limit of 2. Sold out in less than 48 hours.
That is a ton of demand for a little green figure.
That being said, these were going for $20-30 back in August, today you can find them all day long on eBay for $15 shipped.
So I think the supply has started to catch up to demand, if you want one, $15 shipped is not really a crazy price to pay, all things considered.
As for EOL items, resellers provide us an option to obtain these items at a certain price point. Ultimately it is us (man in the mirror) that decides whether to exercise that option (price point).
There are a few EOL items, which I would love to add to my collection but out of my current budget but at least I know they are available, if I decide to pull a trigger on them.
There are a lot of things in life for which EOL means EOL :-) with no option of ever turning back...
1. Something goes EOL, a reseller buys up the stock at half price when it is in clearance, sits on it for a while and then sells it at more than RRP, maybe tripling their money after a year.
2. Something not EOLing goes on clearance at a store to make more room for other items, perhaps the place has overstocked. Reseller buys up the stuff and sells it at a profit, but less than RRP.
Is either scenario above more acceptable than the other? Either way the reseller has committed the "heinous" crime of taking up the store's offer to buy clearanced product. The store doesn't care who buys it in that scenario. Someone who missed out on that bargain wasn't entitled to it. There are some on this forum who feel aggrieved they missed out if someone swoops in, but chances are there were others who'd gotten what they wanted before this person arrived unless they were first in the queue at opening time. There are many more people buying up Lego than just the active members of this forum. If you missed out on the latest non-advertised Tesco clearance, chances are, most of the stock was clearedout by others who were in the right place at the right time. There is no entitlement when it comes to a sale - first come, first served is always the case and that purchaser can do what they like with their purchases. When those items are resold later you'll either pay the price they're asking or you won't. There ar some sets i've missed that I just accept are gone because that reseller who is providing me with the opportunity to buy a long EOLed set is asking for more than i'm prepared to pay for it. Someone else will buy it at that price or the seller will have to drop it.
More power to them, but I have yet to see an economic model that actually works without it.
Walmart has a profit margin of 5.8%, so does that make them "good", for making so little money on each sale?
If a mom and pop hardware store makes 50% margins, does that make them "evil"?
As you pointed out, a lot of the gruff is from people who didn't get the sale or clearance item themselves, and if they missed it because little Timmy bought it, they don't mind, but if someone out for profits got it, then that is just not acceptable.
People are funny creatures, making illogical decisions like that. :)
I'm sure I've been guilty of it from time to time as well, at some point in my life.