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Thread: Buying things specifically to sell for a profit.

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    Default Buying things specifically to sell for a profit.

    For those that missed it, there was an interesting and somewhat heated debate about this in another thread. Here's the post that started it off.

    http://www.thedarktower.org/palaver/...l=1#post763147

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryant Burnette View Post
    Personally, I feel like the people who buy extra copies of these things with the express purpose of flipping them are scumbag pieces of shit. No offense.
    Honestly, I agree to a point. I don't know that I'd go so far as to call the people that do it "scumbag pieces of shit" but the practice does annoy me a little. Especially the problems that it can create.

    Mostly I'm thinking about 1996 when the Tickle-me-Elmo first came out. My wife and I picked up one for our daughter in September simply because she liked Elmo. By the time November and December rolled around people were literally fighting each other in the store aisles over them. Half of them didn't even want them to give to a child but to list them in a newspaper ad for $100. IIRC the same thing happened with "Teacher Barbie"

    Anyone remember the Beanie Baby craze? When McDonald's started putting them in happy meals I witnessed people buying the happy meals and then simply throwing the food out. All so they could make a few bucks.

    I worked at a toy store for a couple of years when the Star Wars action figures were first re-released and we constantly had people coming into the store hovering over us so they could grab the figures the second we took them out of the box. I know of one manger that actually got in trouble because he was holding a bunch of the McFarlane sports figures back so he could buy them himself and sell them to his buddies.

    So I understand the though process behind the practice and the risk/reward factor. And maybe it's a little bit of jealousy of never being the one that was in the right place at the right time to take advantage of doing something like this (I'm always a day late and a dollar short in finding out what the hot new thing is) but it is a bit annoying to want to buy something simply because you want/like it and find out it's sold-out because everyone is selling it on eBay for 3 times the original price. Especially when it's a toy or doll meant for children.
    Hearts are tough, she said, most times hearts don't break, and I'm sure that's right . . . but what about then? What about who we were then? What about hearts in Atlantis?

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    In the former Soviet Union it was a crime; misdemeanor or felony, depending on the profit made. Curiously, it was called "speculation" (спекуляция). Theoretically, the practice of "speculation" may lead to it becoming impossible for people to buy anything at all at its adequate price.

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    The less said about the former soviet union and communism the better imo

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    The USA was, and continues to be, built on capitalism. Good luck to anyone who makes a profit on anything, especially in hard economic times.

    "You pays yer money, and takes yer chance."
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    I see no problem with it. I've sold doubles of items in the past and bought items from people who were selling their 2nd copy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Rabbit Trick View Post
    The USA was, and continues to be, built on capitalism. Good luck to anyone who makes a profit on anything, especially in hard economic times.

    "You pays yer money, and takes yer chance."
    Exactly. Hence my referring to Soviet attempts to control economy, a negative example that serves as reductio ad absurdum. Another approach to control is bringing in the moral aspect into an intrinsically a-moral field (enterprise).

    Ask not what bears can do for you, but what you can do for bears. (razz)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    In the former Soviet Union it was a crime; misdemeanor or felony, depending on the profit made. Curiously, it was called "speculation" (спекуляция). Theoretically, the practice of "speculation" may lead to it becoming impossible for people to buy anything at all at its adequate price.
    As far as I know, it's still illegal to stand in front of a venue and sell tickets to the concert/sporting event for more than face value. Yet it perfectly legal to scalp them online.
    Hearts are tough, she said, most times hearts don't break, and I'm sure that's right . . . but what about then? What about who we were then? What about hearts in Atlantis?

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    What would happen to the market if all you could do is buy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwritecode View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    In the former Soviet Union it was a crime; misdemeanor or felony, depending on the profit made. Curiously, it was called "speculation" (спекуляция). Theoretically, the practice of "speculation" may lead to it becoming impossible for people to buy anything at all at its adequate price.
    As far as I know, it's still illegal to stand in front of a venue and sell tickets to the concert/sporting event for more than face value. Yet it perfectly legal to scalp them online.
    Yes. These inconsistencies apparently are attempts to compromise between total control and total dog-eat-dog chaos. For example, when Mr. Rabbit Trick says, "especially in hard economic times", he seems to mean "especially in not-quite-so-hard economic times", because in really hard times selling bread and other staples would be regulated in all (modern) systems. I believe that this would be done by means of direct control rather than appeals to moral, since in really hard times the former stop working.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Rabbit Trick View Post
    The USA was, and continues to be, built on capitalism. Good luck to anyone who makes a profit on anything, especially in hard economic times.

    "You pays yer money, and takes yer chance."
    Exactly. Hence my referring to Soviet attempts to control economy, a negative example that serves as reductio ad absurdum. Another approach to control is bringing in the moral aspect into an intrinsically a-moral field (enterprise).
    Oh, it is amoral, alright.

  11. #11
    Owner Randall Flagg has a reputation beyond repute Randall Flagg has a reputation beyond repute Randall Flagg has a reputation beyond repute Randall Flagg has a reputation beyond repute Randall Flagg has a reputation beyond repute Randall Flagg has a reputation beyond repute Randall Flagg has a reputation beyond repute Randall Flagg has a reputation beyond repute Randall Flagg has a reputation beyond repute Randall Flagg has a reputation beyond repute Randall Flagg has a reputation beyond repute Randall Flagg's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwritecode View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bryant Burnette View Post
    Personally, I feel like the people who buy extra copies of these things with the express purpose of flipping them are scumbag pieces of shit. No offense.


    Mostly I'm thinking about 1996 when the Tickle-me-Elmo first came out. My wife and I picked up one for our daughter in September simply because she liked Elmo. By the time November and December rolled around people were literally fighting each other in the store aisles over them. Half of them didn't even want them to give to a child but to list them in a newspaper ad for $100. IIRC the same thing happened with "Teacher Barbie"
    I remember buying and selling Cabbage Patch Kids circa 1986. I had an inside source and made hundreds-perhaps thousands of dollars, and made numerous family members ecstatic at Christmas.
    I had an inside source for TME's, I made hundreds of dollars profit.
    Furbies were really hot a few years ago (1998?). I had an inside source and bought dozens at list cost and sold them for triple the price. Might have made $1K+ profit, plus had several for gifts.

    When Power Rangers first went insane, my son HAD to HAD to have some of the pieces (large turtle Zord).
    I did not have an inside source. I found someone in San Francisco with several had to have pieces. I drove over there-50 miles, and paid some guy hundreds of dollars for the two or three items I bought. I paid quadruple list price. My son was over the top thrilled at Christmas. He is now a 23 year old college grad, and still has the pieces in his room. He cherishes them
    Best money I ever spent. Thanks to the person who sold them to me at an insane profit.


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    Nothing wrong with that!

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    I edited my comment.

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    I dont know - I'm on the fence about this - its hard for me as one of the youngest King collectors to get some of his rarer stuff (s/l Christine, s/l cujo) because the prices are absolutely insane. Back when they were sold for 60 bucks a piece (like the gunslinger even) whoever bought them then made a HELL of a deal. I don't blame people for selling them at the prices they go for but as a buyer I'm on the other side where I certainly do mind simply because I LOVE King and would love to have a complete collection.
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    The Lettered Firestarter originally cost $300. Nowadays it is around $12,000 to $15,000. Years ago, it was worth even more. Why is this?

    The Lettered Danse Macabre has a lower limitation and is MUCH harder to get than the Lettered Firestarter. There are two Lettered Firestarter on ABE right now, but you will not find a Lettered Danse Macabre anywhere.
    I have PS - Skeleton Crew Signed/Lettered for Sale, Trade or Swap. Layaway possible
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Rabbit Trick View Post
    The Lettered Firestarter originally cost $300. Nowadays it is around $12,000 to $15,000. Years ago, it was worth even more. Why is this?

    The Lettered Danse Macabre has a lower limitation and is MUCH harder to get than the Lettered Firestarter. There are two Lettered Firestarter on ABE right now, but you will not find a Lettered Danse Macabre anywhere.
    15 copies for private distribution could be why. King probably has 2 or 3 himself and the other dozen are VHTF.

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    As far as the person that sells the items later doesn't complain about the price of the market when making purchases, I'm perfectly okay with that. I don't remember here, but I met A LOT of sellers that buy and sell stuff making great profit about it and then complain like hysterical school girls when an item they couldn't buy before it's sold out and they had to pay twice the value of them in the 2nd market.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ari_Racing View Post
    As far as the person that sells the items later doesn't complain about the price of the market when making purchases, I'm perfectly okay with that. I don't remember here, but I met A LOT of sellers that buy and sell stuff making great profit about it and then complain like hysterical school girls when an item they couldn't buy before it's sold out and they had to pay twice the value of them in the 2nd market.
    well said
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    I'm sure the people that are buying this stuff at triple the retail value would 10 times out of 10 rather pay the retail value instead. I'm sure the kid they are buying for would be just as happy either way. But when people flip stuff for personal profit, it just lowers the chances of that happening.

    There's a slight wrongness to it IMO because simply put, you're taking advantage of people. It's like saying to someone "Sure you could have bought this at the store for X amount but I got it first. So if you want it you now have to pay me X times 3 to get it."

    There are plenty of people out there willing take advantage of others and/or be taken advantage of so more power to them. I don't have to like or agree with it though.
    Hearts are tough, she said, most times hearts don't break, and I'm sure that's right . . . but what about then? What about who we were then? What about hearts in Atlantis?

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    Whats the difference between a company making a profit and a indvidual? I think its crazy how much you have to pay for cable these days..LOL!

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    Quote Originally Posted by killbourne View Post
    Whats the difference between a company making a profit and a indvidual? I think its crazy how much you have to pay for cable these days..LOL!
    I don't like that much either but some things are unavoidable. I hate how much I have to spend on gas and tolls but I have to get to work.

    Although I guess it depends on the company too. There a lot of companies out there that make tons of profits. But who am I to say they make too much? I can always choose to not purchase anything from them if I don't like how much they charge for their products.
    Hearts are tough, she said, most times hearts don't break, and I'm sure that's right . . . but what about then? What about who we were then? What about hearts in Atlantis?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwritecode View Post
    I'm sure the people that are buying this stuff at triple the retail value would 10 times out of 10 rather pay the retail value instead. .
    I would rather have it for free. That just is not a real expectation.

  23. #23
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    I don't have any problem with paying the "going price" for anything, and I don't mind paying for tolls, gas or cable either. ACTUALLY:

    I wish my tax bill was $20 million each year!!!!
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    Food, rent/mortgage, gas, utilities-etc. are must buy items. Prices for these things directly impact quality of life. S/L books (and the most popular Christmas toys as RF pointed out) are a luxury item. I'm firmly opposed to driving up the costs of things people must buy to avoid starvation, get protection from the elements, or get to work (especially if you have a long LA commute).

    However, for an item you do not really need but chose to buy (S.K. books, limited blu-rays, Shelby mustang-etc.) let the free market reign. It sucks if you are the victim of a crashing publisher's website or have to work so can't login to get the latest CD or Sub Press S/L. This forum is a good place to see if another helpful collector might sell you an extra copy they purchased at issue price (how I got Doctor Sleep S/L). Many members here are lifetime subscribers to the smaller publishing houses and have been collecting for decades so have the knowledge and contacts to find rarer items. If all else fails, and if the Ebay or Abe price outweighs your wallet or desire to have the book - then do not buy it.

    In no instance do I begrudge someone's ability to buy several copies of a S/L book at issue price with the intent to resell for a profit. If I could buy 3 copies of every S/L book and sell 2 to make my personal copy free - I'd do it. Buying multiple copies is a risk as the resale value is unknown and subject to quality of the book (uncertain) and the strength of the collecting market (which can be flooded with similar like minded resellers). It takes a certain level of experience, luck and judgment to pull off and if you take the risk (as I chose not to with The Shining S/L) you deserve the reward.

  25. #25
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    I Read the first post and understand what you are all talking about, but bottom line is, as to the thread title, it is the definition of "business" under any political structure. I was an Authorized sales agent for AT&T. I bought Telephone systems from them "specifically" to make a profit and at a deep discount. What is confusing the issue, I believe for most is that folks are adding in "Personal reasons/emotions". Sorry, but under a capitalistic system, that simply does not factor in IMHO (and pretty much in fact). Just my two cents.

    FWIW, I happen to be a big Eric Clapton fan. To me EC tickets scalpers are "scum bags", but hey, that's how they make their living. Whether it's EC, Aerosmith or The Stones they don't care.


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