Scalped! An Interview with the Enemy

by Jay Cochran
January 08, 2010
More often than toy-collectors would like, we find ourselves staring at row after row of lame characters on the pegs. And though we like to blame poor distribution and uninteresting character-choices, we can also add scalpers to that black list. They are a twisting thorn in our collective sides, it's bad enough that there will only be one Raven for every 10 cases of DCUC, but there is always a scalper somewhere willing to make you suffer even more. But is this pain justified? Can it be justified, much like war?

Head over to ar-tic-u-lat-ed to check out their interview where probe the brains of two successful scalpers, doing what they do best for different reasons and then head back to our FORUMS and share your thoughts on the issue with your fellow collectors.



Comments...

Last 10 comments - ( Read All Posts )
Viper Hunter - 2010-02-08 @ 11:00 pm

Part of this whole controversy is about people creating a villain I think.

True, but exploitation is one of those things that can be argued against or for, to where it's only seperated by those that supply a need and those that create a need, and in the case of people who look to make a buck off of toy collectors by exploiting their need for toys, but having a self created monoply on just how and WHERE they can get their "fix"....that's "creating" the need and something I can't just shrug off as no big deal. It's hardly anything life threatening or worth throwing a hissy-fit over (let alone threatend violence against someone over ) but it is a still a nuisance in the community of collectors.

cjflan32 - 2010-02-08 @ 10:01 pm

Question for you guys (I don't know if it has been talked about already I had to skim through the 7 pages bc my kids are crazy) but do you consider buying to use as trade bait for something you want scalping?

Case in point I nabbed an unmasked Batman Beyond DCUC a while back and then turned around and traded it for a fig I had been looking for. Am I then a scalper or just someone who helped create a mutually beneficial trade?

You used it to make a trade. I do that quite a bit myself....go out and find something a friend is having trouble finding for themselves (due to heavy scalping activity in their region) and if I find it, we either work out a trade, of finding something I need, or just send a payment.

Scalpers are an entirely different monster here, and it's been made clear exactly why MOST of has have some disdain for this practice. We collectors that like to help out other collectors and make trades or go in search of a particular item (JUST ONE) are not the same as people who deliberately remove popular items from the shelves, in order to re-sell them at a marked up cost or to place on eBay to take advantage of collectors with more cash than sense and will bid on these items even at 4 times their retail price.

It's like b!tching about the price of gas. We have no control and will have to pay the price if we really need the gas, and even though TOYS are not a necessity and can be avoided, that doesn't dismiss the actions of the people that exploit the obsessive bunch for their money. Anyway, we can b!tch all we want, and we have every right to, but it won't change anything, but who cares? At least the scalpers don't get a free and clear from EVERYONE to keep doing what their doing, no harm no foul. Why encourage such an annoyance?

If my attitude about scalping p!sses off some scalpers here...f@#k'em! They don't have my blessing...BIG DEAL! I'm not about to just shrug it off and kiss their azz about it, because I can't do anything about it.

VH while I don't completely agree with you I think you made a great point that some anti-scalping people aren't capable of articulating.

But I also agree with some theories here that scalpers are not that many in number and are really just turning into an excuse for collectors that get beaten to the punch by other collectors and even parents. Yeah, sure there are obviously enough out there to cause a problem but you also have to compete against other collectors too.

Thanks cjflan32. I think the thing that's most annoying (for me) in all of this hobby/collecting past time, is that it's bad enough when we can't find the items we're looking for in the places that offer us the most cost efficient means (retail) but it adds to that frustration when we're not just "beat to the punch" by other collectors and actual children, (at least THOSE folks are sharing our interest in the toy itself) but knowing we're striking out so much because somebody is deliberately buying them all up ASAP even before they hit the shelves, and they have no mutual love of the toyline but seek to exploit those of us that do, for a profit? ARRRRRRRRRGH! @grumpy@ That makes thee ol' blood boil!

Then we're pretty much FORCED to pay double for it online or to support the very individual who just cut us off from benefiting the retail price, to come to them instead.

It's like the difference of being struck out by a great pitcher or being struck out by a bad pitcher that paid off the umpire.

Well like I said I disagree but you made the argument well enough. For my part I wouldn't sell crack to crackheads because it could kill someone but toys, well if you're addicted to toys I think you need a reality check. So if I see gold (and gold is a rare thing) I'm gonna snag it.

But with that said I've run into more collectors that I've beaten to the toy aisle than scalpers. Could be because of where I live, who knows. Part of this whole controversy is about people creating a villain I think.

Viper Hunter - 2010-02-08 @ 7:15 pm

Question for you guys (I don't know if it has been talked about already I had to skim through the 7 pages bc my kids are crazy) but do you consider buying to use as trade bait for something you want scalping?

Case in point I nabbed an unmasked Batman Beyond DCUC a while back and then turned around and traded it for a fig I had been looking for. Am I then a scalper or just someone who helped create a mutually beneficial trade?

You used it to make a trade. I do that quite a bit myself....go out and find something a friend is having trouble finding for themselves (due to heavy scalping activity in their region) and if I find it, we either work out a trade, of finding something I need, or just send a payment.

Scalpers are an entirely different monster here, and it's been made clear exactly why MOST of has have some disdain for this practice. We collectors that like to help out other collectors and make trades or go in search of a particular item (JUST ONE) are not the same as people who deliberately remove popular items from the shelves, in order to re-sell them at a marked up cost or to place on eBay to take advantage of collectors with more cash than sense and will bid on these items even at 4 times their retail price.

It's like b!tching about the price of gas. We have no control and will have to pay the price if we really need the gas, and even though TOYS are not a necessity and can be avoided, that doesn't dismiss the actions of the people that exploit the obsessive bunch for their money. Anyway, we can b!tch all we want, and we have every right to, but it won't change anything, but who cares? At least the scalpers don't get a free and clear from EVERYONE to keep doing what their doing, no harm no foul. Why encourage such an annoyance?

If my attitude about scalping p!sses off some scalpers here...f@#k'em! They don't have my blessing...BIG DEAL! I'm not about to just shrug it off and kiss their azz about it, because I can't do anything about it.

VH while I don't completely agree with you I think you made a great point that some anti-scalping people aren't capable of articulating.

But I also agree with some theories here that scalpers are not that many in number and are really just turning into an excuse for collectors that get beaten to the punch by other collectors and even parents. Yeah, sure there are obviously enough out there to cause a problem but you also have to compete against other collectors too.

Thanks cjflan32. I think the thing that's most annoying (for me) in all of this hobby/collecting past time, is that it's bad enough when we can't find the items we're looking for in the places that offer us the most cost efficient means (retail) but it adds to that frustration when we're not just "beat to the punch" by other collectors and actual children, (at least THOSE folks are sharing our interest in the toy itself) but knowing we're striking out so much because somebody is deliberately buying them all up ASAP even before they hit the shelves, and they have no mutual love of the toyline but seek to exploit those of us that do, for a profit? ARRRRRRRRRGH! @grumpy@ That makes thee ol' blood boil!

Then we're pretty much FORCED to pay double for it online or to support the very individual who just cut us off from benefiting the retail price, to come to them instead.

It's like the difference of being struck out by a great pitcher or being struck out by a bad pitcher that paid off the umpire.

cjflan32 - 2010-02-08 @ 4:14 pm

Question for you guys (I don't know if it has been talked about already I had to skim through the 7 pages bc my kids are crazy) but do you consider buying to use as trade bait for something you want scalping?

Case in point I nabbed an unmasked Batman Beyond DCUC a while back and then turned around and traded it for a fig I had been looking for. Am I then a scalper or just someone who helped create a mutually beneficial trade?

You used it to make a trade. I do that quite a bit myself....go out and find something a friend is having trouble finding for themselves (due to heavy scalping activity in their region) and if I find it, we either work out a trade, of finding something I need, or just send a payment.

Scalpers are an entirely different monster here, and it's been made clear exactly why MOST of has have some disdain for this practice. We collectors that like to help out other collectors and make trades or go in search of a particular item (JUST ONE) are not the same as people who deliberately remove popular items from the shelves, in order to re-sell them at a marked up cost or to place on eBay to take advantage of collectors with more cash than sense and will bid on these items even at 4 times their retail price.

It's like b!tching about the price of gas. We have no control and will have to pay the price if we really need the gas, and even though TOYS are not a necessity and can be avoided, that doesn't dismiss the actions of the people that exploit the obsessive bunch for their money. Anyway, we can b!tch all we want, and we have every right to, but it won't change anything, but who cares? At least the scalpers don't get a free and clear from EVERYONE to keep doing what their doing, no harm no foul. Why encourage such an annoyance?

If my attitude about scalping p!sses off some scalpers here...f@#k'em! They don't have my blessing...BIG DEAL! I'm not about to just shrug it off and kiss their azz about it, because I can't do anything about it.

VH while I don't completely agree with you I think you made a great point that some anti-scalping people aren't capable of articulating.

But I also agree with some theories here that scalpers are not that many in number and are really just turning into an excuse for collectors that get beaten to the punch by other collectors and even parents. Yeah, sure there are obviously enough out there to cause a problem but you also have to compete against other collectors too.

Viper Hunter - 2010-02-08 @ 3:23 am

Question for you guys (I don't know if it has been talked about already I had to skim through the 7 pages bc my kids are crazy) but do you consider buying to use as trade bait for something you want scalping?

Case in point I nabbed an unmasked Batman Beyond DCUC a while back and then turned around and traded it for a fig I had been looking for. Am I then a scalper or just someone who helped create a mutually beneficial trade?

You used it to make a trade. I do that quite a bit myself....go out and find something a friend is having trouble finding for themselves (due to heavy scalping activity in their region) and if I find it, we either work out a trade, of finding something I need, or just send a payment.

Scalpers are an entirely different monster here, and it's been made clear exactly why MOST of has have some disdain for this practice. We collectors that like to help out other collectors and make trades or go in search of a particular item (JUST ONE) are not the same as people who deliberately remove popular items from the shelves, in order to re-sell them at a marked up cost or to place on eBay to take advantage of collectors with more cash than sense and will bid on these items even at 4 times their retail price.

It's like b!tching about the price of gas. We have no control and will have to pay the price if we really need the gas, and even though TOYS are not a necessity and can be avoided, that doesn't dismiss the actions of the people that exploit the obsessive bunch for their money. Anyway, we can b!tch all we want, and we have every right to, but it won't change anything, but who cares? At least the scalpers don't get a free and clear from EVERYONE to keep doing what their doing, no harm no foul. Why encourage such an annoyance?

If my attitude about scalping p!sses off some scalpers here...f@#k'em! They don't have my blessing...BIG DEAL! I'm not about to just shrug it off and kiss their azz about it, because I can't do anything about it.

cjflan32 - 2010-02-07 @ 11:15 pm

I have kind of enjoyed reading this topic. I am really amused by the people that are so passionately against scalpers. In reality there are very few toys that are going to bring re-sellers a heafty enough profit to warrent the action once you figure the time spent , ebay fees, paypal fees, and the time and cost to ship items. The items that will bring them major profit are the items toy companies tell the collector are going to be sought after such as a chase figure or "limited edition". I'll admit it, I bought a Doom-bot for $6.99 in the Marvel Legends line and sold him for around $85.00. Only reason being is that Toy Biz told us they will be extremely rare and collectable and it had really no effect on a kid not having a doom-bot. Any other collector that buys a "chase figure" will tell themselves at some point, "this is going to be worth a lot of money." Would I do it to a $7.00 GI Joe guy and hope to sell him for $12.99 with a Buy-it-Now and clear approximately $.32. NO WAY!!!

The funniest thing in this thread though is hearing people say, "I better not run into a scalper or he'll be sorry." My guess is he won't be as sorry as you once you hit somebody in a store for no reason. My guess is you will get a choice between jail and a black eye from the scalper that turns out to be a Karate nerd to.

Great post. I believe you were referring to Flounderr a.k.a. the dude who feels the need to tell us who he is in every post. He posted and once he got ripped to shreds never came back to this topic. The others were like "hey I was only being metaphorical." EIther way they make no sense.

Now I see your point about making a profit. I live in RI and by the time newly released figures reach New England it's a little too late to be scalping. However, if I lived in a place where new figures hit first I would probably make the rounds once or twice a week. That's where the profit comes from, people who can't wait and have a "want want want now now now" mentality.

I've said it many times and I'll say it again: We created the scalper "problem", now no one wants to do anything about it.

MrBear - 2010-02-07 @ 10:53 pm

I have kind of enjoyed reading this topic. I am really amused by the people that are so passionately against scalpers. In reality there are very few toys that are going to bring re-sellers a heafty enough profit to warrent the action once you figure the time spent , ebay fees, paypal fees, and the time and cost to ship items. The items that will bring them major profit are the items toy companies tell the collector are going to be sought after such as a chase figure or "limited edition". I'll admit it, I bought a Doom-bot for $6.99 in the Marvel Legends line and sold him for around $85.00. Only reason being is that Toy Biz told us they will be extremely rare and collectable and it had really no effect on a kid not having a doom-bot. Any other collector that buys a "chase figure" will tell themselves at some point, "this is going to be worth a lot of money." Would I do it to a $7.00 GI Joe guy and hope to sell him for $12.99 with a Buy-it-Now and clear approximately $.32. NO WAY!!!

The funniest thing in this thread though is hearing people say, "I better not run into a scalper or he'll be sorry." My guess is he won't be as sorry as you once you hit somebody in a store for no reason. My guess is you will get a choice between jail and a black eye from the scalper that turns out to be a Karate nerd to.

jjlecaros - 2010-02-07 @ 8:59 pm

i agree with arrow. "scalping" has become an excuse and scapegoat for people not finding stuff......i always said blame curcumstances not scalpers.....i know people that hunt like once a month and complain they dont find anything. i tell them, you expect the stores to hold stuff till the one day a month u go hunting? well i have work and kids, ok well then blame circumstances not scalpers. some people think they deserve stuff on silver platter and they should get when they want...and if they dont they #@$#@ and moan....how about you put a bit more effort into it and things will work out trust me

ARROW - 2010-02-07 @ 8:52 pm
Question for you guys (I don't know if it has been talked about already I had to skim through the 7 pages bc my kids are crazy) but do you consider buying to use as trade bait for something you want scalping?

Case in point I nabbed an unmasked Batman Beyond DCUC a while back and then turned around and traded it for a fig I had been looking for. I am I then a scalper or just someone who helped create a mutually beneficial trade?

Why should it be considered scalping?? Two people got what they were looking for, in a straight trade ( I assume).

The common notion is that scalping is bad in a opportunistic way, that the scalper is seeking to profit far out of proportion to what he is offering.

A straight mutually beneficial trade is NOT scalping, because both parties agree to what is considered an equitable trade.

But, you know what? Someone out there would see that ANY kind of denying them purchasing a figure is "scalping". Simply missing out on finding a toy means that "a scalper got it first". The "prescience" of toy collectors is incredible, isn't it?

IMO, the term scalper has become the catch-all epithet and boogey-man for anyone who is not getting ( what they think are) their due toy-joys.

nevermore - 2010-02-07 @ 8:01 pm

What do you expect he is a 9er fan! @smilepunch@

Question for you guys (I don't know if it has been talked about already I had to skim through the 7 pages bc my kids are crazy) but do you consider buying to use as trade bait for something you want scalping?

Case in point I nabbed an unmasked Batman Beyond DCUC a while back and then turned around and traded it for a fig I had been looking for. Am I then a scalper or just someone who helped create a mutually beneficial trade?

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