Expect huge amounts of derp and rage, punctuated by /tg/ extracting humor from it.
"I am like any other man. All I do is supply a demand."
- – Al Capone
"It's... it's not my fault, Megatron! This greed is built into my personality component!"
- – Swindle, the conman from Transformers
When That Guy uses EBAY. Suffer not the scalper to live.
What is a Scalper?
A scalper is someone who buys an in-demand item (such as miniatures) to resell it at a vastly inflated price. These scumbags make themselves an unwanted middleman in an attempt to make profit. Their modus operandi is simple, yet irritatingly effective:
- A scalper sees that a product is going to be so highly demanded that the supply chain won't be able to deal with the demand fast enough.
- He then preorders/buys as many copies of said product as possible, reducing the stock available and making other customers frustrated with their inability to buy the product.
- After scarcity hits and customers start looking elsewhere, he then sells his massive stock of said product. With a massive increase of the initial price.
- If everything goes well, he'll sell enough copies of the product to get a substantial profit.
Needless to say, this is an increasingly problematic situation, especially with the advent of online stores that allow you to just order in bulk and sell it very easily. This is worsened by the fact many companies partake in very limited releases (either in copies produced or in time available) to generate a sense of urgency, and thus make people want to buy it as fast as possible, benefiting a lot to the scalper's strategy. After all, both the company and the retailers sell just as many copies, so this doesn't affect them that much in the long run. Though it can backfire on the scalper if the product doesn't sell as well as he hoped, leaving him with a massive stock and quite a lot of money lost. It can also happen that many countries and companies are starting to regulate this phenomenon, although how much they can/should intervene is a matter of controversy.
How does this relate to /tg/?
A number of 40k items have been "graced" by scalpers, causing much RAGE among fa/tg/uys. Some of the "best" examples include:
- The Sister of Battle Army Set: The infamous SoB box set is for now the biggest case of GW woefully (or intentionally) missing the level of demand one of their products really had. Since this was the release of the plastic Sisters of Battle people had been asking for for so long, and the box itself was a pretty good value for what it had, this box set sold fast. As in, sold out before the thing was in stores fast.
- Warhammer Conquest (collectible): As many issues were considerably cheaper than their value in regular boxes, scalpers went and hoarded the best valued ones to try and sell later. In particular the first issue was extremely sought after, since it gave you three intercessors and three paints for a couple of euros/dollars/pounds. Since 8th edition was relatively new at the time, people went for those new Primaris units like crazy.
- Both the 8E and 9E starter sets for 40k got scalped heavily during their initial time in the spotlight. This was done because both are/were in high demand and there were unique models in them that some fa/tg/uys would want on their lonesome. 9E got hit especially hard due to a certain plague of Nurgle making sets limited when they first hit store shelves. Needless to say it sold out extremely fast.
Practice self control and wait till you find the item you want at a reasonable price (usually after the demand dies down). The main reason scalpers exist is because fa/tg/uys (and gamers in general, both tabletop and vidya) often lack self-control and are blinded by hype for the latest release. It's also worth getting in contact with whatever company is pulling off an artificially limited release to try and communicate your discomfort with their practices. (and to learn the law of supply and demand to stop whining)