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  1. #61
    I have more respect for those e-tailers (although not much more). Being a smaller venue they are being charged more from Hasbro (smaller orders and all) and that has to be passed on to the consumer (although, I'm sure they are tacking on more than necessary to cover their ends). It's the sellers that use the purchasing power of a big chain (Target, TRU) that are really getting over. Since those retailers (Target, TRU) buy in such large bulk, their costs are significantly less than a smaller online store. So in essence walking in at 8am and cleaning out the pegs saves them a lot more money than another online store that has to get their product directly from Hasbro. I find that to be a little underhanded in the grander scheme of things in addition to screwing over local collectors.

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  3. #62
    Member gunslingercbr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigD350Z
    They're making money people!!!! Here's an exercise for those of you that say they aren't making any money and don't take into account gas and what not. Show me an Ebay auction for a 25th figure that finished where the final selling price plus shipping was $6.25 or less. This would be how much the figure cost plus shipping to most places. I don't care if it's two bucks a fig, they're making money and no they aren't morons. If you lost money going to work would you keep going? It's a no lose situation. As mentioned before, if they don't sell, they'll just take them back and lose no cash. Currently these guys are succeeding because the goal for them is to eliminate the consumer retail market and force the market to Ebay where due to the lack of supply will drive prices up for those that have to have them. Don't buy these things off of Ebay and I assure you, within a few months we'll have more than we know what to do with.

    nobody is saying they aren't making any money, the argument is ultimately they aren't making much money, and definitely not enough to warrant the time and effort it takes to scalp. there is plenty to dispute in your claim, so lets start slowly with one point which you seem to think is a great argument for you but actually works against you -- returning toys they don't sell. if you buy a toy for $6, list it for $1, and if it doesn't sell return it for $6, you've lost $1 on that figure. hardly the no cash lost that you claim. that has to be accounted for.

    here's a simple exercise for you. scalpers make the rounds to the same stores everyday. being generous (nobody would dispute this with gas prices that this would be the gas expense for a fifteen mile trek to numerous stores everyday), let's say they expend $50 a week in gas. that's $200 a month right off the top of their profit.

    let's also account for the time. as said, if you know anything about scalpers, you know they go EVERYDAY to numerous stores (the only way to accrue enough figures to sell which would make your argument feasible), which accounts for roughly 2-3 hours a day, generously. that has to be acounted for.

    now let's talk Joes. these guys aren't being released that quickly, so even if they grab every new figure from 5 stores they go to (generally 1 case per store), that is 25 figures a week (we are talking about the new figures, not the repacks -- no wave has had 8 new figures). and, generously again, let's say they manage to get every new figure from their 5 stores (unlikely), that is only 100 Joes per month. and we'll even assume they sell them all.

    online, new figures end up selling for between $10 to $15 per figure (I'll even triple your "profit" per figure, and not settle for the $2 per figure they make that you use -- though this only happens for a short period of time -- we'll say they manage to sell all 100 for $12). that's $1200 when it only cost the $600. hooray, just like you, they THINK they have made money -- $600 profit. but the scalper isn't very smart.

    but subtract roughly $1.50 per figure for listing and final selling fees for 100 figures sold (which is disasterous for your own argument of only making $2 profit per figure -- plenty of factors you are forgetting in your claim, just like the scalper). that's $150. now their month profit is down to $450. subtract the $200 gas per month as the expense to obtain the figures, and you are down to $250 profit per month.

    now, if they are spending only 2 hours a day searching for figures, 7 days a week, as they are (I've seen it, and I am confident the scalper behavior in my area isn't significantly different than scalper behavior worldwide, you have them spending 14 hours a week, 56 hours a month, searching for toys that nets them only $250 a month, which comes out to $4.46 an hour. I don't know how much money you make, but to me, that's not making money. if you have any sense, you would spend that amount of time on a activity far more constructively that will net you a for more lucrative job -- paperboys make more. kids make more a month in less hours mowing lawns. at the 30 to 40 year old range scalpers are, their jobs should net them between $30 and $40 and hour if they put the time in for education and training that they do into scalping.

    sure, they may make an extra buck on shipping, but that is offset by the fact that they aren't finding and selling 100 Joes a month (and if they scalp all lines, they are probably lucky to get 100 new items a month total to scalp -- making these totals and percentages applicable to all their scalping, not just Joes).

    sure, I have presented numbers that support my argument, but I have done so pretty stringently and generous to your argument (even tripling the earnings per figure sold from $2 to $6). this is a reasonable assumption of what scalpers expend and make. if you can concoct a equally reasonable scenario in which the scalpers are finding thousands of toys a month to scalp, and sell them all (the volume it would take to actually make REAL money, not just $4 an hour for 56 hours a month -- heck you can't do it to double their earnings to even get to $9 an hour, barely slightly higher than minimal wage here in CA), we are all ears. I don't think you can and be realistic.

    like I said, when they are only making that little money, the motivation to do so isn't strictly money (they think they are because they are lazy and ignorant, business wise). the motivation is the control they feel by being the source of toys for collectors (because these people are generally lazy and ignorant, they don't have real good jobs otherwise and being the toy source is the only control they generally have in their life). like I said, these guys dress like minimum wage earners, and drive cars of a minimum wage salary, and if there is one fact in life, people spend what they can afford (actually they spend more, which makes the argument for them even worse, because they are possibly overspending to just look like like poverty). I'm not degrading anyone who makes minimum wage, but I am degrading anyone who earns minimum wage that spends that much time a month on an activity that actually earns them less than minimum wage but thinks they are actually "making money" as you do.

    but you are welcome to present your argument, and I will consider it without bias. I would like to convinced otherwise that these guys are engaged in some lucrative activity and only chose to drive beaten old cars and dress like slobs.
    Last edited by gunslingercbr; 01-13-2008 at 11:15 AM.

  4. #63
    If you make a dollar, did you make money? By misconstruing what "making money" is you can make your argument. At what dollar mark are they "making money"? $100 a day, $1000 a day??? I also didn't say this had to be these guys only job. Maybe it's a little supplemental income. If they did it for having power over the toy community so nobody else could get them, then why do they sell them??? That would be the ultimate control to hoard them and have all of them for themselves. It's simple. There's a hot commodity, they go buy it first and make money. Did the people who sat in line for 3 days to buy a PS3 do it so they could hold that power over all the other gamers' heads??? Or to make cash???

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  6. #64
    If these guys aren't making decent money then why are they doing it? They aren't collectors.

  7. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Zombie F-Body
    I have more respect for those e-tailers (although not much more). Being a smaller venue they are being charged more from Hasbro (smaller orders and all) and that has to be passed on to the consumer (although, I'm sure they are tacking on more than necessary to cover their ends). It's the sellers that use the purchasing power of a big chain (Target, TRU) that are really getting over. Since those retailers (Target, TRU) buy in such large bulk, their costs are significantly less than a smaller online store. So in essence walking in at 8am and cleaning out the pegs saves them a lot more money than another online store that has to get their product directly from Hasbro. I find that to be a little underhanded in the grander scheme of things in addition to screwing over local collectors.
    All direct accounts of Hasbro pay the same sheet cost.
    Last edited by TYPE*S*TOYS; 01-13-2008 at 11:54 AM.
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  8. #66
    Member stad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zombie F-Body
    I have more respect for those e-tailers (although not much more). Being a smaller venue they are being charged more from Hasbro (smaller orders and all) and that has to be passed on to the consumer (although, I'm sure they are tacking on more than necessary to cover their ends). It's the sellers that use the purchasing power of a big chain (Target, TRU) that are really getting over. Since those retailers (Target, TRU) buy in such large bulk, their costs are significantly less than a smaller online store. So in essence walking in at 8am and cleaning out the pegs saves them a lot more money than another online store that has to get their product directly from Hasbro. I find that to be a little underhanded in the grander scheme of things in addition to screwing over local collectors.
    I find no logic in this whatsoever. Sure, the e-tailers may be paying more, but I still don't see how the "scalper" is making out buying them at Target, TRU, etc. Walking in at 8 AM and cleaning out the pegs does not, in any way, save them a lot more money than an online store that has to get their product directly from Hasbro. That makes no sense at all! If you go and clean out the pegs at the store, you are still paying retail prices, which are NOT cheaper than an e-tailer buying direct from Hasbro.

    GunslingerCBR has the best and probably most accurate post in this entire thread.
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  9. #67

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  10. #68
    I didn't know how Hasbro handles smaller orders, pardon my ignorance. I do know that my LCS pays more than retail from some vendors because he buys in smaller quantity. That's why he gets all his Mcfarlane stuff from the local TRU because it's cheaper for him that way. He also told me that Hasbro will be charging him $11.99 a figure for the new Hulk Marvel Legends BAF wave which means he'll charge customers $14.99 a figure. If the Hulk figures still price the same as the S-M3 and F4 waves did at retail it would actually save him a buck or two to haunt the local stores rather than go through Hasbro. I know now that Hasbro will no doubt be charging Target and TRU the same, but with economies of scale, if he is shaving a buck or two off a figure that others won't be able to, he makes out better in the long run. That's all I'm saying.
    Last edited by Zombie F-Body; 01-13-2008 at 04:25 PM.

  11. #69
    Member gunslingercbr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigD350Z
    If you make a dollar, did you make money? By misconstruing what "making money" is you can make your argument. At what dollar mark are they "making money"? $100 a day, $1000 a day??? I also didn't say this had to be these guys only job. Maybe it's a little supplemental income. If they did it for having power over the toy community so nobody else could get them, then why do they sell them??? That would be the ultimate control to hoard them and have all of them for themselves. It's simple. There's a hot commodity, they go buy it first and make money. Did the people who sat in line for 3 days to buy a PS3 do it so they could hold that power over all the other gamers' heads??? Or to make cash???
    if you make a dollar when you could have made $8, did you really make money or did you lose money? that is a factor in making money -- the act isn't an absolute. that would be like saying that even though you bought the figure for $10 and only sold it for $5, you made $5. no, you actually lost $5. you can't just look at the income in a vacuum. that is why accounting accounts for both assets (which earnings are a part of) and liabilities (where expenses are a part). that is how you judge making money.

    so if you are supplementing your income with an endeavor that pays you less than minimum wage, that is foolish and you aren't really "making money," you are losing money, because you can get a part time job that will pay you more at the lowest it can pay you. this is a business discussion at its essence, and in business that is losing money. which brings us to the motivation.

    the idea isn't that scalpers buy them so nobody can get them. if that was the case, they wouldn't be scalpers, they would be hoarders, because a scalper, by definition, is about reselling. it is that they buy them so that those who want them have to then in turn buy them from the scalper at a higher price. huge difference between the two. not sure where that confusion is.
    Last edited by gunslingercbr; 01-13-2008 at 05:08 PM.

  12. #70
    Member stad's Avatar
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    Zombie F-Body,
    Oh, I see. Generally, local comic shops are not buying from Hasbro, they are usually getting it from Diamond, which supplies many or most comic shops now. If they are getting Joes, or most other Hasbro stuff thru them, they probably are not getting much of a discount at all from MSRP which is probably higher than Wal-Mart and maybe even Target, TRU, K-Mart, etc. Yeah, what I said about pricing for e-tailers that are getting their stuff from direct accounts definitely does not apply to most comic shops.
    Last edited by stad; 01-13-2008 at 04:57 PM.
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