@ERW, obviously commerce is working. If someone is paying the premium, they are a willing customer inherently to do so. If you don't like paying above-MSRP... be quicker on the pre-order next time, don't insult people who are providing a service of time, effort, and floating money, to provide hot products for later availability. If they weren't doing it and you had missed the initial pre-orders, your options would be nothing and nothing. At least with resales, a small amount of units are available for those who are wanting to pay the price later on who either didn't know they would want it at the time and purposefully didn't order, or who simply missed the pre-orders at all. Amazon does the exact same thing, y'know: you don't think they pay MSRP and are shipping your products to you for charity, right?
The main problem is that a large percentage of people pre-ordering the console do so only to resell it at twice the price. Consoles that might have been purchased for first-owner use are simply taken off the market by these scammers. Sadly, people will pay the absurdly inflated prices, at least to a degree. But I'd like nothing more than to see those jokers stuck with their inventory with no choice but to eventually sell at a loss. But that'll only happen if Nintendo gets them in stock at launch.
Mike, do you think before posting? Don't answer, that's rhetorical. Nintendo has stated they are making around 1 million units a month, with prelaunch being about the same. There are around 50 sold units on ebay. Let's do some math....
50 divided by 1 million = 0.00005% (that's five hundred-thousandths of a percent). Now, let's be REALLY generous and say every reseller bought $4000 worth of units, because y'know in this economy everyone has four grand lying around to leave in limbo. So, we'll call it 500 units now since each one runs about $400 after taxes/shipping. Now let's be REALLY generous and say there are ten times the number of total resellers, as well, and see what your "large percentage of people pre-ordering the console do so only to resell it" comes out to.... calculating... OH WOW five thousandths of a percent! (0.005%).
So... in what Bizarro-world is that a large percentage? Really? How are they scammers, either? They're providing, as I said above your post, a service, just as any merchant is. Anyone purchasing from them is deciding it's worth the cash for themselves. Most resellers are likely purchasing a handful of units to sell to pay for their own, for money on the side.
Moral issue aside, your argument is absurd, as I have shown. Finally, no one will lose money by having to "eventually sell at a loss" as you naively and cruelly wish for to harm others. Every pre-order vendor has liberal return policies for unopened/unused units. W*mart allows for 90 days, for example. B*stb*y allows for 30+ depending on your reward zone level. T*rget, at least 30. So, if their consoles don't sell in the launch window, they can simply return them for no loss at all.
Goodbye to you and your pathetic, rude, and anti-capitalist argument.
I'm afraid I come down more on Mike's side in this debate. I'm not a big fan of resellers buying up items to create a shortage so they can then profit from that shortage by charging an exorbitant price. I'm hoping Nintendo comes out with a more than adequate supply so the resellers don't make any money off of the Wii U. I think the likelihood is high that Nintendo has learned from their past mistakes and will be flooding the market with Wii U's this holiday season.
The liberal return policies of stores that resellers exploit ends up costing the stores money (and ultimately the store's customers) as they essentially end up loaning the reseller the consoles for a month or more and get no reward when/if the console is returned. Customers who would have bought those consoles along with games and accessories are turned away as the consoles are unavailable while the reseller tries to profit from them. Only when the market no longer exists are the consoles returned to the store at which time it's harder for the stores to sell them. In the meantime the store has had to turn customers away. Essentially the resellers are asking the stores to lend them the consoles interest free for the entire length of the return period as they try to make a profit and if they can't make a profit then they return them to the stores.
There's capitalism, and then there's greed. I'm pretty confident that those asking $1000 for a Wii U are not really "providing a service" to people. Ask $400 for a $350 unit and you can make that argument. Ask $1000, and it's all about greed and not capitalism.
All the console manufacturers could end this easily. DO NOT warranty the console unless it was bought by the end user from an authorized retailer. I guess these resellers could pony up and get cash receipts, but that would cut down on the vast majority that put these on Credit Cards. In other words, do not allow returns with only a gift receipt.
At least the stores themselves aren't doing this mark up. Everytime I see a Mustang Boss or GT500, the dealer has added $10,000 to the price (adj market charges). Extortion by the authorized retailer is the biggest CRAP move!
The easiest solution is for manufacturers to flood the market with consoles. Just have a more than adequate supply available and the resellers are out of luck. Charging a 10% restocking fee on console purchases would also discourage most of the resellers. Now there's no financial risk for them. If there's no market for the consoles they just return them and get their money back. Let them face the prospect of losing $30-$35 on each console they snatch up and the problem would likely disappear.
@Donald A Shinn, I'm not sure if you're serious or trolling, but I'll assume you're the former... for now. I already addressed the claim that anyone could be causing a shortage but for the manufacturer with my demonstration scenario above. The return policies are offered by the retailers; taking advantage of something offered to someone is not morally wrong in any way, shape, or form, so long as it is done so willingly. Finally, your little "there's capitalism, and then there's greed" notion is amusing at best. If you're not greedy, why are you taking a paycheck? Clearly, you're being greedy for charging as much as you can for your time in the form of a salary or hourly wage. You should practice what you preach and take the minimum wage allowed by your state.
P.S. $400 for a 350 unit wouldn't even cover fees. You do realize between eb*y and p*ypal you're talking 11-12% in fees (or around 45 dollars), and then you have to pay for overnight shipping + supplies ($40-60) as part of the service (which is fulfilling buyers' impatience, as they could get it at MSRP by simply waiting).
For the sake of discussion, I'd like to pose a scenario and ask a question.
One is looking for a Wii U, but they are sold out everywhere. No local stores have them anywhere, in store, or online, something that is likely to happen this holiday season. I understand some people are not willing to pay a penny over retail, but let's say for this scenario one is willing to pay over and above the retail price, and one has no other choice in the matter.
What price point are you willing to pay for the Basic (retails at $299.99 + tax), or Deluxe (retails at $349.99 + tax) in the above scenario? $350 for Basic, $400 for Deluxe? More than that? This is not meant to be an insult to those who do not want to pay more than retail. I'm just saying if you had no other choice, what would you consider to be a "fair" price?
I'm a strict retail guy myself. If I can't get it for retail, then I'll wait until I can. "Fair" price to me is the retail price. Anything over that and you're rewarding those who are trying to game the system. If I absolutely had to have one I'd check the local resources (newspapers, local forums, Craigslist, etc,) to find the cheapest local source and then go pick it up. I would hate to pay more than $50 over the list price though even then.
You're already seeing people asking for $1000 and more for systems they don't even have yet. It's just a little nuts to me. I strongly suspect plenty of systems will be available on the 18th and again on the 23rd. If I can't get a system on the 18th or 23rd, then the money will go to something else and Nintendo and the third party software sellers will have to wait for my business until sometime next year. It's not like there aren't other temptations out there for me to spend the money on. I want a Wii U, but if the supply isn't there, I'll spend the money I've got saved for the Wii U on something else and get around to getting a Wii U when they've got an adequate supply.
The problem with that scenario is the only reason they would be sold out everywhere is because of these sleazy resellers trying to make money off someone elses product. Anything over retail is too much. Amazon needs to stop letting new sellers sell these. You should have to have at least 5 years selling history to even think about listing a new console at or before release date.
Mike, Do you really believe the only reason the retailers are sold out of these preorders is because of "these sleazy resellers" and their hoarding of all the supply? I'm not trying to say you're wrong, but time will ultimately tell.
For the Wii, the supply/demand curve was out of whack for a few years. There was reselling activity by some, but the end users saw the benefits of owning one and were willing to pay the higher than retail price to have it in hand.
For the Xbox 360, the supply/demand curve was also out of whack for Christmas, 2005. Reselling activity abounded, but the end users also saw the benefits of owning one and were willing to pay retail and above retail.
On the contrary with the PS3, the supply/demand curve quickly came back a few weeks after release. There was a lot of reselling activity again, but one could argue the reason they sold out is due to the amount of people who bought to resell. The overall demand cooled more quickly because the end user did not see a good benefit to owning one at the time for the price, and as a result, were not willing to pay much higher or more than retail price.
My point is, you have to ultimately have demand at the end user for these items. Because whether these items are sold to end users or resellers up front, these units will ultimately go to people who will open the box and play the games on them (end user). While I don't deny that some presold Wii U's went to those who will resell them, most of the time when you see a sellout like this, it's not the demand of resellers as much as there is that end user demand.
The resellers of things like game consoles are pretty similar to the futures speculators and commodity brokers only they face less financial risk since they can just return the products if market demand isn't there and they won't lose any money. I don't like the futures speculators and commodity brokers. Much of the reason we're paying $3.79 for a gallon of gas is due to them, but at least they do face some potential financial risk from their speculating. The game console speculators face no real risk and that's why I think a 10% restocking fee (maybe 20%) on new unopened console returns makes sense. If they guess wrong then they take a hit. Now there's no real incentive for them not to grab every preorder and console they can get their hands on. Inject a bit of risk for the resellers and lets see what happens.
I don't think there are that many real consumers who buy a console and then return it unopened a week or more later. That's only done by resellers. If someone buys a console and then doesn't want it they'll return it quickly. If a retailer allowed free returns for 24 hours, but after 24 hours imposed a cash penalty for returning the console then that would accomodate the mistaken buyer and still restrict resellers. If there's a big shortage then the resellers could still profit, but it should keep the more casual speculators out of the market.
I can see your point in theory. In my mind though, implementing a restocking fee for unopened items opens the door for a lot of hassle and PR problems for the retailers and consumers.
I have to think some end users (those who intend to buy and keep) of this item will return it unopened for a variety of reasons. They changed their mind and wanted the basic or deluxe model instead, or made an impulse buy and regretted soon after that they couldn't really afford it. Maybe they will buy it as a Christmas gift for someone, then find out later the intended recipient already has one. Or they change their mind and decide to get a less expensive gift for that recipient. The recipient dies, etc...
These are just a few things that could happen. But when that intended end user goes back to the store to return the item, you'd better believe they are going to expect a no hassle return.
Generally speaking, I think the retailers are trying to within reason, make returns easier and less hassle for the sake of the consumer. How many of us have had a return that was a real hassle? It has happened to a lot of us (including me) despite the best of intentions with the retailer. To target a specific item to implement a restocking fee, even though it's unopened, and not apply it to every other item returned that is unopened, is asking for a bad guest experience, and bad PR that I have to believe a retailer is not willing to risk.
i had applied and opened up a credit line with amazon to pre-order one of these just to get on and see that there was no pre-order and people were price gouging them already... $600?? guess ill just wait till spring..
GoldenTiger is obviously a seller that has greed burned into his soul, waiting to gouge the public. Go get em. Maybe, if you're lucky, you can get some twelve year old's hard-earned college fund. Maybe on your way home, you can trip on some old lady's sidewalk and sue her for all she's worth. Because if you can get away with it, it's all right!......right?
What happened to relationships and transactions governed by morality? How did our society get to a point where selfishness and pettiness out-weigh charity for our fellow men? Most likely the Wii U is going to be Christmas presents for most people. Did the sellers here forget what Chistmas is? Even if you have no religious beliefs, we are all still endowed with with a guiding light that allows us to discern right from wrong. I could careless about what you call "business"! Taking advantage of people is taking advantage of people. Our world is engulfed in grey. We need to adjust our sights- things are still black and white. As Tommy Boy stated, "Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed... I will. I got spare time. But for now, for your customer's sake, for your daughter's sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality product from me."
Wether you believe in Heaven or Hell is a discussion for a different time, but if there is a chance that Hell exists, is $300 worth a trip to this place?! My argument isn't about what the buyer will pay, or what the seller can sell the Wii U for, but what is right or wrong. I don't care wether there is a restocking fee or not. Go ahead and stick it to the retailers, because obviously integrity is not in your vocabulary.
Did I say that, no! I did say that if there is a chance, why risk it? What do you feel good about? What helps you sleep at night? Let me ask you a question. What is worse, stealing a pencil or stealing a corvette? Law and society dictates that stealing a car is worse, but what lies in your heart? Only in your heart can you know. To me stealing is stealing. There is no grey, only black and white. If you think profiting double for a product, by doing nothing but sitting on your butt, then you have no moral compass. It is shady. Get a job, work for an honest days wages!
There are always going to be greedy individuals who will try to game the system. If there's a limited supply of anything they'll buy it up and then sell it to the highest bidder. It happens with medicine, food (bacon recently after warnigns of a bacon shortage,) sneakers, and gaming consoles. The morality of the situation is subject to the interpretation of the people involved. The issue I have with those who play this game with game consoles is that they face no real risk. (At least not in this life.) As long as demand exists they're out there snatching up consoles and reselling them. When the market cools they simply return any unsold units and leave the retailers with their surplus stock. (And truthfully by then the retailers will have plenty of their own unsold units and don't need any more unsold stock from the resellers.) Retailers really get hammered under this practice. I think a restocking fee on unopened new consoles makes a lot of sense. If Amazon did that then it would solve their problems with Nintendo and let those of us who would like to buy a console from Amazon do so without competing with the resellers.
Say Amazon had a 20% restocking fee on new unopened gaming consoles, then the resellers would take their business elsewhere and Amazon wouldn't have to worry about the flood of returned consoles that eats into their profits. Any consoles that were returned would come back with cash attached to offset any costs associated with processing/handling the returns. They'd make money on consoles sold and also on consoles returned. Malfunctioning consoles would become Nintendo's issue under warranty.
I think the point people are missing here is that the Wii U is not a necessity that people need to survive, it is a VIDEO GAME SYSTEM. If sellers were doing this in essentials like water or gasoline that would be a different story. These resellers are being hounded like their terrorists or something, but they're not. They're smart business people making a lot of money off people wealthy enough (or just stupid enough) to pay a premium price off a high demand item that they don't really even need.
No one is seriously calling them terrorists, only jokingly, but it should be obviously they are behaving badly. They are going out of their way to acquire one or more of the systems solely for the purpose of taking advantage of desperate people who feel that they need to buy it (e.g. what parents would want to disappoint their child for Christmas). Some of the resellers have already listed units, even though they don't have one currently and might not even receive theirs during the launch period.
Not terrorists, just dishonest. I know several women that purposely get pregnant with several different children, by different fathers. They do this for no other reasons than to collect child support and money from the government. Does this make them "smart business people"?
While I was in college, I worked landscaping to pay for school. My boss payed us salary and worked us long hours. One day, after feeling cheated, I figured out how many hours I had worked and how much I was getting payed. Our boss was paying us less than minimum wage! When my boss turned 52, he retired, and built a huge house in Hawaii. Does this make him a "smart business person"? Taking someone's hard-earned money and not earning it- is and always will be stealing.
You need to come with better analogies. What your boss did what flat-out illegal. And women that actually do terrible things like that are the scum of the earth who profit off the misery of others including all those children. To compare those to people selling video games is just silly. Again, no one is forcing these buyers to purchase a Wii U for these prices. It's called supply and demand and it's a natural part of capitalism.
My anologies were perfect. You sir are obviously governed but what is legal and illegal. My point is dishonesty comes in many shapes and colors. Most people's moral compass is guided by more than what laws of the land dictate. Just because you don't agree, doesn't make the anologies bad. That is exactly what I meant when I asked, "What's worse stealing a corvette or a pencil?" What you call "scum of the earth" is up for inturpretation. I feel that these sellers are in the same category as unwed mothers looking for a hand-out. How could there be a better analogy? Both are taking people's hard earned money without actually earning it themselves. Does it make you feel good to take some desperate mom's money, right before Christmas, because little Jimmy is begging for a sold out Wii u? Taking what shouldn't be coming to you is wrong. Obviously my rants will not fall upon your deaf ears. Dishonest people will ALWAYS justify their actions by making them seem minor in their own minds. What's the difference between this and phone scams? The only difference is one is legal and the other is illegal. Both are taking money right out of people's pocket. If people cared more about their neighbor than themselves, there would be no poor among us and the economy wouldn't have flopped. Do you know what caused the housing crisis? People(sellers) were looking at houses as investments and a quick way to make money, instead of homes- a place to raise families. My only point was and is- dishonesty is dishonesty. It comes in many forms. Should I have my son pre-order a whole bunch of PS4s and sell them at double cost, instead of applying for a job at the local grocery store? Obviously you and I walk completely different paths. You can keep walking the shaded one, next to the murky water. I will continue my own. But I assure that my kids will be taught and live the golden rule- Do unto others as you would have done unto you.