Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Running Away with our $$
A serious collector would have encountered a scalper in action or lived through the consequences of scalping behaviour, whether knowingly or unwittingly. Such situations are prevalent in places where accessibility to shops are hindered by long distances, or at places with imperfect information on stock prices and availability.
The word scalping means differently to different people so let us define it:
1. "To engage in the reselling of something, such as tickets, at a price higher than the established value"; or
2. "To buy and sell securities or commodities for small quick profits".
IMHO: Therefore the "intention" is key to defining a scalping act. It is easier using examples to further explain below:
Buying many of the same items, one each for your car club members is not scalping (even if it deprives others). Buying many of the same items not because you like them but because it is cheap and you are likely to resell them later for a profit is scalping
Buying a few of the same models because you are a collector and you want one mint, one for display and one for future investment (with no immediate plans for sale), even when there is only five items remaining on the shelf is not scalping. Buying up what is left to restrict market supply so that prices maintain or increase is scalping
Buying with the intention for keeps but changed your mind within days and to put it for sale/trade is fine but buying it because a running "Power Seller" ebay account is waiting for new inventory items is not. Business entities should buy from the suppliers or distributors, not compete with consumers at the stores
If all else fails using common sense will do cause it's plain to see actually!
What You Can Do
A Successful Getaway?
There is no simple solution and is quite unlikely we can exclude scalpers from ghosting, shadowing diecast forums for the best deals in town. Some will conduct "insider" trading due to their connections with employees in departmental stores. Unfortunately for us, the scalping of products will continue. These people form another group in our society with different beliefs how one should go about making money. Dealing with this unpopular behaviour remains part and parcel of a collector's life.
It is advocated never to buy from the scalpers if you know their game, no matter how badly you wanted the item at hand. Feeding them will only send the wrong message that such acts are condoned by the hapless collectors. Collectors should band together and form their trusted cliques to look out for and help each other and together we can combat these uninvited folks of the hobby