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Everyone saying buying toys at retail and selling them for too much isn't price gouging


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Initial post: Nov 29, 2011 5:59:37 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2011 6:01:13 AM PST
Ice King says:
Ok, it's not price gouging. It doesn't fit the exact definition so if that makes you feel better about doing something sleazy then fine.

Since money seems to be your only concern, I wonder how many of you would participate in price gouging in an emergency if the opportunity arose.
I'm sure most of you would find some way to rationalize that as well.
"If people didn't want to pay me $100 for a gallon of water they should have thought of that when water was more abundant"

"It's my food, I can do what I want with it"

or my favorite that I'm sure would still be around,
"It's supply and demand"

Sure, toys aren't important to survival but I'm willing to bet most of the scalpers are only using that as a lame excuse and would do the exact same thing with items that are important to survival.

Posted on Nov 29, 2011 8:16:15 AM PST
sixonehalf says:
I disagree. Businesses are in the business for profit. Period. If you owned stock in one of these businesses and found out that your stock value was going down because that business had decided to be what some of you call "ethical" and offer goods at significantly less than what buyers would pay, then you'd probably be up-in-arms over that, too. They have a duty to their shareholders. Now, that's business ethics. And while there are some people who would (and do) do what you suggest, and much more, there are plenty who would not and do care about people. And as a business owner they have an ethical duty to care about their employees and their shareholders and to increase profits. That's exactly what they are supposed to do. Theoretically, what you are saying is that if you owned stock in one of these companies that sells their goods at Christmas for a significantly higher price than the rest of the year because (key point) people are willing to buy those items at that time for those prices then you'd return or donate any dividends you received or sell the stock (because it's a "bad" company who isn't "fair" to people) and return or donate the profit you made by selling the stock.

Is this what you teach your children? That when you don't immediately get what you want you should throw a tantrum and scream, "It's not fair!" It's not, not fair. It's lousy; it's a bummer; it s*cks." But it's not unfair. It's very fair. If people would stop buying these items at these prices then the sellers would stop raising the prices so drastically. If it weren't working (i.e. the buyers weren't buying) then they wouldn't be selling at those prices.

These are luxury items, not needs. We were probably the last family I know that still had an old TV until getting a flat screen two years ago. Are we upgrading in size this year like many are as prices go down? No. Would we like to? Sure, if we really could afford it. We can always get a larger TV another year. And we won't be standing in line at midnight to do it.

The only reason sellers can sell at high prices and open at midnight on Thanksgiving is that people are willing to shop in that madness and pay those prices. In regards to actual gouging, there is no unreasonable pressure that we have not created ourselves. Stop making Christmas all about the gifts. (That's not a religious comment, by the way.) Its about experiences, too. You can buy these items at other times of the year. My husband "got" an iPhone for his birthday last month, but he'll actually buy it after the first of the year. We could discuss at what age a child can understand a "certificate" for an item at a later date, but certainly by the time they are pre-teens and teenagers they can understand this concept. Frankly, it's a good lesson for them to learn, and being able to accept delayed gratification will serve them well in the long run, and much better than any toy they can receive today will do.

Posted on Nov 29, 2011 9:45:06 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2011 9:51:32 AM PST
Jose Ortiz says:
Buying up a stores inventory on a certain hot selling item to create a shortage and jack up the price so anyone that wants that item would have to come to you to buy it is iffy at best and it usually would not create a shortage of that item.

How would they know the store can not get any more of that item in a few days and sell them at the regular price?

What is the problem of a seller selling an item at a inflated price as long as somebody else is selling the same thing at a reasonable price.

Are there really that many hot selling toys on Amazon and there is only one seller selling that item and at a jacked up price?

What about the small group of people that don't mind paying a higher price for an item if they can shop from home?

I'm one of those people that fit the mold of walking into a B&M store and buying the inventory of certain items and relisting it on Amazon at so called jacked up prices. You can go ahead and call me names, I can handle it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2011 10:11:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2011 10:23:56 AM PST
Ice King says:
"Is this what you teach your children? That when you don't immediately get what you want you should throw a tantrum and scream, "It's not fair!" It's not, not fair. It's lousy; it's a bummer; it s*cks."

No, I teach them the difference between right and wrong. There might be nothing illegal about it and it might even fit in with some sociopathic capitalist view of the world, but that doesn't make it right.

I don't think you people will ever get this part, it's not about anyone being mad that money is being made. It's the slimeballs who are unecessarily inserting themselves into the shopping process that we have a problem with.

Places like Walmart serve a purpose by purchasing all the items they sell in bulk and giving everyone a place to purchase them for a better price than if they bought directly from the manufacturer (mostly). They're providing a service that the average person can't do on their own.

Greedypigtoys, the Amazon retailer, simply goes to the same places anyone else could go and buys the same items anyone else could buy, then goes home and lists it on Amazon, another place people could have bought that item if that lowlife didn't rush out to get his or her greedy hooves on it so they can make an undeserved profit. Nothing they do is anything the average person can't do.

And the only whining I see is from the people who support this practice. Something anyone with even a shred of decency could see is wrong.

Posted on Nov 29, 2011 10:25:11 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 29, 2011 10:58:32 AM PST]

Posted on Nov 29, 2011 1:55:54 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2011 1:59:40 PM PST
Bob Stein says:
Re-sellers provide a valuable service for many people. There are many shoppers who wait till the last minute to do their toy shopping. These shoppers want the best toys for their kids. Unfortunately, popular items sell out by the time they have the opportunity to purchase them. Because they care about their kids, and because they can afford it, these last minute shoppers happily pay the premium to re-sellers for making hard to find toys available for purchase. It's win win, because the people that want the toy the most can get it. To all the re-sellers out there, thank you for making it possible to buy hard to find toys without fighting the crowds and brawling with self entitled whiners. I am happy to pay the premium for this luxury. To all the cry baby complainers, if you want the toy below market value then buy the toy early before the re-sellers.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2011 6:02:28 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 23, 2012 5:10:44 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2011 6:37:52 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 29, 2011 6:54:13 PM PST
Bob Stein says:
"what makes you think you're entitled to decide who deserves something more than someone else"

That's a very good question and I think you've hit the essence of the problem. Does someone who has the time (unemployed) to scour the net for the hottest toys deserve them more than someone who does not have the time (employed) and is willing to pay a premium for the hottest toys?

The bottom line is that the availability of certain goods will sometimes be limited. People with the most resources get the limited goods. In this case, time and foresight to buy toys early is a resource that not everyone is able to produce but is necessary if you want the toys at a fair price. Also, money is a resource that not everyone has but is necessary if you want rare items this late in the season. Resources are limited, merchandise is limited, not everyone will get everything they want.

If the re-sellers did not sacrifice their time and invest in buying toys, people who are willing to pay a premium for the best toys but who do not have time or foresight to buy toys 6 months early would be out of luck. In this scenario, only people who have the most time and foresight to shop early would get the items. I don't see how that would be fair.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2011 8:32:38 PM PST
Many people fail to grasp these concepts because they're so selfish. They're so upset about the high price of the newest fad that it seems they lose touch with reality.

Anybody who thinks that Walmart exists in order to "provide a service" to the community has serious issues.

Posted on Nov 30, 2011 5:11:10 AM PST
sixonehalf says:
"No, I teach them the difference between right and wrong. There might be nothing illegal about it and it might even fit in with some sociopathic capitalist view of the world, but that doesn't make it right."

Capitalists are sociopathic? By all means, go live in a communist or socialist society and see how many luxury items like video games you'll have.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2011 5:13:56 AM PST
sixonehalf says:
Good point, Markus. If the guy really cared about people and living the values he purports to have then he wouldn't shop at stores like Wal-mart in the first place!

Posted on Nov 30, 2011 8:45:35 AM PST
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Posted on Nov 30, 2011 4:49:38 PM PST
It is truly amazing that:

1) People start the same argument with the same irrelevant topics or circular arguments in different places
2) People engage in name calling, but are unable to defend the terms they use in context of their argument
3) So many people have degrees in psychiatry that they can make a psychiatric diagnoses of people and/or businesses they have never personally interacted with.

Posted on Nov 30, 2011 9:24:39 PM PST
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Posted on Dec 1, 2011 2:58:30 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2011 2:59:17 AM PST
Santino says:
Here is how the real world actually works. I don't mean how you wish it would, but how it actually works:

1: Some emergency happens which makes the local population panic
2: Some people have more supplies than they need so they decide to sell some off
3: Seller #1 decides a fair price for water is $2/gallon
4: Buyer #1 has tons and tons of money, and buys ALL of the water and keeps it
5: Everyone else dies

or

4: Buyer #1 has tons and tons of money, and buys ALL of the water
5: Buyer #1 becomes Seller #2, and sells his water for $5/gallon
6: Buyer #2 enters the picture, and buys all the water
7: Buyer #2 becomes Seller #3, and sells the same water for $50/gallon
8: Only the rich survive

The problem with thinking prices should remain fixed no matter if it is feast or famine, is that there is no incentive to not hoard supplies, as money becomes useless. There must be some way for a seller to maintain enough supply so that future buyers have a chance to obtain the resource.

Think about it. A hurricane wipes out your town. You somehow find a market still open for business. You see a shelf of beef jerky. What do you do?

YOU BUY ALL THE BEEF JERKY FOR YOURSELF. Don't lie, you know you will.

Should the shop owner charge you the same non-hurricane price and let you take the only resource left, screwing the rest of your town?

Hell no, the shop owner says "Sorry buddy, those bags are $20 now. It will cost you $2000 for all that jerky." Now you can't walk off with the entire inventory, and the next person with $20 has a chance to buy some food.

Comparing toy prices at Christmas to the economics of an actual disaster though, is asinine. I'm sorry your Potty Time Elmo costs too much now. Buy it after Christmas if you are this outraged.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 5:57:37 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2011 6:00:29 AM PST
phil says:
bob stein... let me shed a little light on your post.
"popular items sell out by the time they have the opportunity to purchase them" - because the toy scalpers bought them all
"making hard to find toys available for purchase" - because the toy scalpers bought them all
"buy hard to find toys" - they are only hard to find because the toy scalpers bought them all
"without fighting the crowds" no need to bother with fighting the crowds, the toy won't be available... wait for it...... because the toy scalpers bought them all!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 9:18:01 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2011 9:26:35 AM PST
Bob Stein says:
I disagree. If I pay someone $50 to brave Walmart on Thursday at 11pm on Thanksgiving to buy a rare toy, I will get that toy instead of someone who goes to Walmart on Friday to find the toy. If I pay a $50 premium to a re-seller, it's the same thing. Scalpers simply allow people who want the toy at a premium to get the toy instead of someone who wants the toys at a low price.

Simply put, without scalpers, people who are willing to pay a premium but are not willing to scour the net 6 months early or ruin their Thanksgiving for the latest toy would be out of luck. That's not fair. If I want to pay a $1000 premium for a toy because I am too lazy or I refuse to lose time with family to get the toy for less, why should someone like you tell me that I can't? If I want to pay someone $1000 because s/he lost time scouring the net or ruined their Thanksgiving for my lazy a**, why not? If someone works hard and makes sacrifices to secure a popular product, loses out on family time, etc, who are you to determine how much his/her loss of time is worth?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 10:03:02 AM PST
Bob Stein says:
Nice post. Unfortunately, it won't convince these people.

People refuse to accept a basic concept: you can't always get what you want. There is an overwhelming sense of entitlement in society. People think everyone deserves everything they want. That may be, but the fact is that not everyone will get everything they want. People should learn to deal with it.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 12:35:55 PM PST
phil says:
bob... you continue to post BS
"If I pay someone $50 to brave Walmart on Thursday at 11pm on Thanksgiving to buy a rare toy" the toy is NOT rare... it's just that the toy scalpers bought them all! they are not collectibles, one of a kind, no longer made etc

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 12:54:02 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2011 12:58:49 PM PST
Bob Stein says:
You're wrong. If the scalpers don't buy them, only the people that go to Walmart early will buy them. There are not enough toys to meet demand for everyone. Why is that so hard to understand?

Without scalpers, some people won't get the toy because they didn't go to Walmart early enough.
With scalpers, some people won't get the toy because they won't pay a premium for the toy from people who went to Walmart earlier than they did.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2011 1:03:52 PM PST
blaincorrous says:
*sigh* Price gouging for water or food or gas in an actual emergecy... that would be illegal. I appreciate that your principles require you perform a flying tackle on anyone who does something with the focus of making money. Unfortunately, you're trying to abstract this into a matter of good and evil, in which case... well... I'm not quite sure what you wish to accomplish here. Should we round up these people right now because they are just waiting to commit a crime, based on your "read" of their character? Is that what you're getting at?

Posted on Dec 3, 2011 3:27:08 PM PST
B. Verzola says:
Wow. Just wow. This morning I thought I was a person who found a cool toy that other people were paying a lot for, so I bought a bunch to make some extra Christmas money. Now I find out I am the lowest of the low, a total scumbag, a sleezy lowlife, slime, unethical, sociopath, greedy, scalper, a CRIMINAL for crissakes... Who knew I was so evil? I thought I was just a working single mom, trying to do a little better.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2011 4:31:16 PM PST
Don't forget- you should also be shot!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2011 5:15:05 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 3, 2011 5:15:41 PM PST
Ice King says:
No, you're an American hero and a great mother teaching her kids fine moral lessons. I'm sure they'll turn out just fine with you as a role model. I don't know why people are giving such a great honorable person as yourself a hard time. Also, up is down and black is white.

Posted on Dec 3, 2011 7:59:11 PM PST
B. Verzola says:
Just as I'm sure your judgement of me, knowing one sentence about me, makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. You sure hit me hard with that subtle sarcasm of yours! And just so you know, I knew you were going to attack me before I posted. You're just that predictable. My turn.

The time you spend on these forums whining, ranting and moaning about "people like me" you could have been out there buying the stuff you want. Or did I have an unfair advantage over you buying it this morning? You do realize that some people finish their Christmas shopping before Black Friday, right? I suppose that's unfair as well.

Oh, and one question (the rest are rhetorical): do you make more than minimum wage (assuming you have a job; I'm not wasting my time going back to look at your posts)? Because if you do, by your own standards, you are being unfair to the millions who make less than you. Oh wait, that's different right, because that evil corporation is willing to pay you more than you're "worth". Way to stick it to them. That's way more honorable than reselling a few toys.

Get a grip. Grow up. And stop acting like the world revolves around you; and everyone who doesn't act exactly as you want them to is evil and somehow doing something wrong to you. Hard as this is to conceive of, as evident by your multitude of posts on the subject, the world simply doesn't work the way you think it should. And you do not define right and wrong. I'm sorry that makes you so angry. You might consider a couple years meditation with the monks in the Himalayas.

One last note: Toys R Us just bumped up their price on the very same items by 25% today, in the midst of a huge sale on other items, while other retailers maintained the old price. Your morals are a little fuzzy; is that okay or unfair?
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