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t3knomanser's Fustian Deposits

Supplied Demand

How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy

run the fuck away

Mad science gone horribly, horribly wrong(or right).

Supplied Demand

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johnny cash
Nothing brings the whinging "when it's convenient for me" commies out of the wood-work like a video game system launch or the new "Tickle Me Elmo". I've been tracking some Wii related forums, looking for info on when to look (online- you think I'm going to a store after Black Friday? Fat chance!) for Wii's, etc. What really surprises and depresses me is the number of people that are so offended by scalpers/flippers.

The business model is simple- you, a few friends, some bums you give twenty bucks to, wait in line and grab the hot new game system in large numbers (as large as you can get). You contribute to making an already scarce item scarcer, and drive the eBay prices up as dumbasses that can't wait to buy the latest system will shell out 100% over retail (if not more!) to get it. Big money to be had, and there's lots of people that are upset with this.

Forums start raking these scalpers over the coals, spitting venom at the very idea- it even got to the point where someone was claiming that selling property at a profit was immoral. THe ongoing claim is that scalpers are victimizing poor parents that just want to get their kids the toys they want for Christmas. It's unfair (of course, nothing prevents them from doing what the scalpers do, or getting one before the scalpers). "Sick". "Depraved". These are the words that are thrown around, amid accusations of "hoarding".

Grow the fuck up people. People who can't fucking wait a few months for the latest toy are the reason these scalpers exist. Don't blame the folks that are capitalizing on a market need- blame the folks that can't fucking wait. Blame the folks that are willing to shell out big bucks for a toy. They're the immature scum that need to grow up. They're not victims- or if they are, only of their own idiotic predilection for confusing a "want" with a "need". And they're the ones ruining it for everyone else, pissing in the pool so to speak.
  • THANK YOU! I agree 100%.
  • Everything is worth what it's buyer will give for it.
  • I agree completely, only something at the back of my head is tingling that scalping, at least is sporting event tickets, is illegal.
    • I may be mistaken, but a ticket carries with it a contract. Unlike a console (a physical item conveying things like "The Right of First Sale"), a ticket is permission to participate in an event- an agreement between the host of the show and the guest.

      People who sell tickets have an active interest in preventing scalping, and it's all in their own interest. Unlike sales of physical goods, tickets are for an event at a specific time- if all the seats aren't sold by then, they're not maximizing their profit streams. Without control over the ticket sales (scalped tickets are effectively empty seats unless the scalper sells them), they can't control seating. This is ignoring the fact that somebody's turning a buck on their property without their permission. Unlike physical goods, the supply of tickets for an event is fixed and finite- more Wiis can be produced, but they can't invent new seats for the KFed concert.

      With physical products, there's a collection of rights- rights which include the manufacturer being unable to tell you what you are allowed to do with their product (they can inform you of applicable laws and provide safety guidelines, but they can't, for example, tell you that you're not allowed to rent it out- this is how Video Rental places exist). Any fix to the "problem" of console scalping creates worse problems than it fixes- at least from the supply side.
    • they can't invent new seats for the KFed concert.

      They can't give 'em away, either. Woof!
      • Apparently he wanted a helecopter to give him a ride to the Sony HQ. So some white trash are buying his albums!
    • I really didn't know enough of the law to make a decent arguement. And what you said makes sense, so it's most likely right.
    • one of the companys, either Nintendo or Sony (pretty sure it was Sony) stated in no uncertain terms that they would be taking legal action against Ebayers though... at least before the holiday season. effed up.
  • I think the fact that scalpers "contribute to making an already scarce item scarcer" quite succinctly explains why people take offense at scalping. Scalping is similar to monopolistic practices in the way it limits access to a good or service and drives up the price. I wouldn't be surprised if at least some of the revulsion comes from the thought of what would happen if scalpers were able to co-opt available sales venues for a product. I know. It's a luxury good. And you may argue that the fear of such a scenario is irrational. However, consider how critical an open channel between the buyer and the seller is for a free market economy. It doesn't surprise me a whit that any artificial barrier to that channel (mis-regulation, corporate shelf stuffing, artificial scarcity, etc.) would royally piss someone off.

    Let me put it another way. Why do people oppose the growing threat to network neutrality? It's because the network providers want to charge for both transport (a legitimate good of the network providers) and service (a tax, if you will, on other providers). Scalpers perform a similar activity, though to a much smaller extent. As long as scalpers make a small percentage of buyers, they're just a nuisance. However, once scalpers are buy up a significant percentage of goods...

    (sigh) I guess what I'm trying to say is, why are you surprised? There's nothing like a threat (reasonable or not) to anger someone. The nature of the scalper threat (difficult to analyze) is just the kind to really piss people off. If their anger annoys you, educate them. Don't annoy them. Rational thought is the evolutionarily new kid on the block. We humans aren't very good at it yet. So why piss them off even further? Anger has this nasty habit of inhibiting rational thought.
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