View Full Version : Scalpers: Friends or Foe

04-29-2002, 04:21 PM
I posted this in another poll, and I thought I'd start a new thread, is anyone else thinking we need to stick it to the scalpers?

I think we all need to band together and start boycotting Ebay, and the dirty dealers at the toy shows who tripple the price of an easy to find figure. The only thing we are doing, as collectors, is making prices higher for each other, and creating a frenzy over toys that will be abundant and easily available in the next few weeks or even after the movie. We are the ones who create the scalpers, and hoarders who live at wal mart, toys r us, target, etc. Because we can't wait and are willing to shell out major $$$ because we have this "gotta have it, need it attitude". These guys/gals pray on us and new releases, and there no reason for it.

A good example is this weekend. I went to a comic/toy show and every where I looked dealers had the Episode II figs out. They were charging, 15-20 for yoda, I won't even say how much for a Dooku, 15 - 10 for the figures you could drive 3 blocks to target to pick up for 6 bucks. 50-60 for Tie Bomber, and Snow Speeders that are just starting to hit the shelves. And kids and adults were going nuts trying to finish off collections and paying whatever price, when they know they can get it cheaper down the road or later on clearance. Ya ever notice that all the toys hit a massive mark down? The AT-AT, the queens huge star ship, basic figures, play sets, 12" collection... Even if they do try to sell it off at a later date, there's a slim to zero chance you could ever get that initial high price again once the stuff is in ample supply. Would you pay 80 bucks for a snow speeder on line when you could go to wal-mart and get on clearance for 15? I know some people don't have a wal-mart, but sometimes you get it from their on line store or from a fellow collector who's not a scalper. Isn't that why we have that trade forum here?

I do understand the mentality of "Its out, I gotta get it NOW" but honestly think about it, and take a breather. The toys are new, some stores are slow to stock, and some stores intentionally hold back cases (due to the morning scalpers who clear the pegs right after they are stocked. I know one wal-mart has started to fight back against the scalpers who circle like sharks every morning.)
But just give it time, check the stores when your out and about, and odds are the missing figures will be there. They have been in the past.

If we start to boycott the scalpers and ebay - I know its hard sometime - but the laws of supply and demand will take back over, and the scalpers will start to leave figures on the pegs when we the collectors aren't biting on their outrageous prices. Then we, the collectors, will find more than enough at a lower price haning on store pegs. If they can't turn a 200% profit, they won't buy 13 to 15 of the "hot" figs.

We just need to slow down and not panic about getting figs 1st. A week wait or two for collecting isn't going to make or break a diarama, or office desk. If you're selling or planning on selling, yes, a week or two could kill your 200% profit margin, but hey, aren't we trying to get away from that?

Or am I just alone in this thinking?

04-29-2002, 04:42 PM
Like Tommy Lee Jones said in MIB: "A person is smart. People are dumb."

See, people think they'll having bragging rights and such and that if it's at a scalper's table, then it's not gonna be anywhere else.

You'll never be able to stop them all unfortunetly...and scalpers will always be. :frus: :dead:

04-29-2002, 05:13 PM
Yes I agree with you to a point, but scalpers aren't true collectors. The live in the moment and we all know that hasbro plays games and floods the market on things. I know I've slapped my head a few times when I cave and buy things that are marked up, and about 2 weeks later, I find it on the shelves...

We can't get rid of them all, but we can at least help lower scalper prices. Since they aren't true collectors, they hate having a lot of product around that doesn't move, and will take a loss if things aren't moving. Hence if we avoid them, don't cave, we can control the secondary market value of the stuff.

Yes, I agree, people ARE dumb, what good are bragging rights to friends, when they pay half as much as you tomorrow. But remember that if a scalper has it, its out there, and will continue to be out there. They don't get it from Hasbro directly, they don't fly over seas to get it, they find it at the same places you shop.

04-29-2002, 05:21 PM
Foe.All that can be reached should boycott ebay,shows,and eevn some e-retilers that are really scalpers.Some don't buy direct ,they buy from walmart,Target and tru.

04-29-2002, 05:27 PM
Glad to hear you think Foe too.

So any ideas as to how to get the word around?

04-29-2002, 05:32 PM
Boycotting Ebay as a whole isn't necissary, boycotting scalpers on Ebay is the thing, I have filled many holes in my POTJ colection from Ebay for decent prices. Not everyone on there is scalpers. While I would rather buy from retailers, an occassional Ebay purchase isn't bad. But this year nothing should be HTF, before long Dooku's will be dripping off the pegs just like Maul did. Heck, he was dripping off pegs at my local Wal-Mart a week ago. :D


Jar Jar Binks

04-29-2002, 05:36 PM
maybe I should have phrased boycott Ebay better. Yes you can get deals, but aren't we just fighting one another as collectors to feed the frenzy of the scalpers?

04-29-2002, 05:40 PM
Agreed Jar Jar.I would like it more if they were to find their way to sites like this instead of there.But hey it ain't a perfect world.

04-29-2002, 06:13 PM
I'm with ya all the way tjovonovich! I'd like to relate a scalper story that I've posted in another thread before, but that was somehow deleted: There's this guy whom I believe owns a shop in my area. I've seen him at just about every store that sells figures in a fifty mile radius; ususally with a cart full of stuff that I want but can't get because he's just cleared the shelves. This gentleman (and I use the term VERY loosely!) also makes the rounds of all the local conventions and toy shows. His booth at these shows is usually OVERFLOWING with all the stuff everyone has been looking for (even the stuff we didn't think had shipped yet!), and it's all priced between 3 and 4 times retail! At one particular con several years back I played witness to the most DISGUSTING case of figure scalping EVER! It was during the time when McFarlane's original Angela figure was the holy grail for collectors. The figure had just started shipping and EVERYONE was out looking for her. This guy just so happened to have the only one at the con at the time, which he had displayed loose on his table. Everyone that walked by stopped to ask him if it was for sale, and for how much. Everyone who made the standard offer was told the same thing: "She's my only one" "not for sale" "just my display" "personal collecton". That is until this kid, about 13 or 14, comes along who apparently REALLY wanted it! The poor kid stood there haggling with this guy for several minutes before his offer reached 90 BUCKS! Now of course, the figure didn't really mean that much to Mr. Scalper. He agreed to sell Angela to this kid at what, at the time, had to have been about 10 to 12 times retail! The worst part was after the kid walked away. As soon as the poor guy was out of sight, the scumbag reaches under his table, and proceeds to pull out at least a couple CASES FULL of Angela's, still packaged and in mint condition. Now, I can't speak for certain, but I'm sure that particular figure never shipped from the distributor in FULL cases, which makes me wonder how he managed this particular feat! He starts selling them left and right for less than the $90 (but still well over retail!) he'd sold the loose "display" to the poor sap kid for! Seems that all along he just wanted to see how much he could get for the one he'd opened before he started selling his MIMP figures! Guys like this ruin the fun for everybody!

04-29-2002, 06:42 PM
I don't sweat scalpers. I don't really care, since I don't collect figures carded. I can either find them in the store, or get them loose at a reasonable price later. I have bought marked up figures before, but usually only old ones. I also have a pre-set limit of what I will/won't pay for figures. Following that mantra, I have had no scalper problems. I sell stuff on ebay, not usually figures though. I think boycotting ebay as a whole is ridiculous. If you don't want to pay over x price, then don't bid over x price.

Trying to rid the collecting world of toy scalpers is a noble idea, much like the idea of ridding our government of corrupt officials. As long as there is greed in the world, they will be there.

04-29-2002, 08:54 PM
The bottom line is completists think they cant live without certain items. I started out as a completist but realized that I wasnt going to complete my collection 'at any price'.

I have 99% of the figures and proud to say ,never pay more than retail.
Sure there are a couple figs I couldnt get (not for lack of trying).
If i decide i want them, ill pay a little more for them, max 10-12 bucks (lets be honest, thats already double retail).

Some people are wackos remember, once they see it buy it no matter the price.

Some people in these forums are part of the problem. Army builders/diorama makers dont help this hobby. After hearing
some ridiculous tales of the amount of figures some people are grabbing its no wonder certain areas are 'picked clean' and certain figures are tough to get at retail.
It sickens me when i hear people have over 100 clone troopers when the movie isnt even out yet.
These people give star wars collecting a bad name, almost to the point of trekkie levels.

I dont want star wars branded that way .

Mind you, i like star trek but yet the first thing people say is 'you dont dress up like a klingon do you?'
I dont want star wars to turn into that. Some freaks dont understand moderation....

04-29-2002, 09:06 PM

Any Question?

plo koon 200
04-29-2002, 09:46 PM
I worry about the Jorg Sacul figure. We all know at noon Friday they will go for $400 then on Monday they will only be $200. Oh well. Thank goodness I live in Indiana and am going to C2.

04-29-2002, 09:55 PM
They're foes. Even if the figures aren't rare they do their best to represent them as rare. It is fun to buy figures cheap from them, when they don't move, though.

04-29-2002, 10:06 PM

04-29-2002, 10:58 PM
Is there even a queston here? They are obviously our mortal foes. Not to mention complete failures who are a sickness within our society. Eventually their efforts will ruin SW collecting, and when they do, they'll move on to other 'valuable' items such as Nascar collectable plates...

04-29-2002, 11:08 PM
Well I'm glad to hear and see there's a large group that feels they are foes.

Yea I'm interested to see how much that Celebration 2 figure goes for this weekend.

As for those people that build armys of 100+ figs. I just shake my head. If you've got the cash to blow, more power to ya, but I agree they do reflect bad on the rest of us.

As a kid I never would have thought about building an army. I remember fondly those old days when I'd walk into target with my folks and seeing rows and rows of star wars figs, nothing was ever exclusive, nothing was ever shorted in a box, and I remember writing to kenner as a kid looking for a jawa since I wanted one when I 1st seen them on the back of the cards, and wouldn't you know it, they sent me one, free. Anyways I'm drifting.

But I hear ya about the *ahem* for lack of a better term, the freak extremists who dress up and speak fluent wookie or huttese...I hope we are star wars fans are a little more refined and know the difference between fact and fiction. Its great to have an imagination and escape, but with some people that line is blurred.

Speaking of blurred I was at work late tonight and I started to check out a lot of the sponsers, and odds are I shouldn't poke fun, but hey no reason to be pc, and all that 1st amendment stuff ( you all know the bits ) - some of the sponsers on this site, are worse than some scalpers. I know its a capitolist market, but man, talk about turning a profit with some of those guys. I was shocked at some of the prices for some figs and items, that haven't been released yet, or just came out. But hey, to each their own I guess.

Has anyone ever tried to scalp a scalper?

04-29-2002, 11:08 PM

Oh...wait....what are we talking about again? .....I see... yeah, foe...

Seriously, I've never bought from scalpers, ever. I've gotten a few figs at Comic Book stores in years past, but I have never paid more than $10 for a figure.

eBay is not a bad thing. I've gotten some pretty sweet deals on there at times. The problem is buying from scalpers on ebay. People who have the starting bid at $20 for a Dooku, those are the people we hate.

Unfortunately though, there are people out there with disposable cash and that "gotta have it NOW" mentality. Plus, not all collectors live in the States and have a much harder time finding figures at times.

I think though that if at least, the majority of collectors realize the current situation and hold off on getting figures from scalpers, then we'll all be better off. But with the over abundance of AOTC figs, with the exception a few, i.e. Dooku, everyone will be able to get what the want for the most part.

04-29-2002, 11:27 PM
true, very true.

I guess I just personally have problems with the some of the people on ebay seems I deal or find only the scalpers.

well to everyone have a good night, I have to let my dog out and call it a night.

Talk to everyone tomorrow.

04-30-2002, 12:44 AM
One thing I've been wondering about is why people can get arrested for scalping tickets outside of a concert; but get away with it when it comes to toys, comics, trading cards, etc? Is there something I'm missing here?

I'm not trying to suggest that police raid conventions and arrest dealers, I'm just wondering why there is a difference.

Dark Knight
04-30-2002, 12:50 AM
Scalpers are the problem. Basically it our need/greed/ impatient to get the figure.

I disagree that E-bay is the problem. It up to you (the bidder) to set the price.If the seller opening bid is too high. Wait for the next auction. I don't sell on E-bay, but I do bid on SW items on E-bay.

The only item that I paid too much for was a FF Boba Fett $45.

The only problem w/ E-bay I have is the various shipping amounts. $6 to mail a moc figures via USPS. It figgin ridiculous!!

:( :) :evil:

04-30-2002, 02:35 AM
Actually tjovonovich, back in the days there were quite a few exclusives (Sears always had an exclusive going), but the difference was that there always seemed to be enough to go around. Probably because there were far fewer collectors back then; not to mention the fact that there were NO scalpers! Also, building armies would've been much easier back in the good old days since Kenner had a standing policy of shipping certain figures for the entire run of the line. Figures like the original 1978 Stormtrooper and the main characters were constantly being reoffered pretty much up until the end of the vintage line. A practice I wouldn't mind seeing Hasbro picking up! I for one always wanted to build an army of Stormtroopers. The only thing that stopped me was the fact that I relied on my mom for my toys (she'd was never too keen on buying me a single duplicate of a figure I already had!:cry: ). Having said that, I would like to say that I agree with you that some people tend to take army building to the extreme. I have about 15 POTF Stormtroopers, and 1 Commtech Trooper that I bought slowly over a period of a couple years. Those who keep buying and buying army builder figures (whether they leave a few on the pegs or not) make it really hard for the rest of us (thus my 1 Commtech Trooper! Man was he ever hard to find!). Same with diorama builders. Why does building a diorama seem to require someone purchasing 20/30/50+ of a given figure? Why not save a little money, and leave some figures for the rest of us by reusing some figures in various dioramas? No offense to those of you who do this, but give the rest of us a break. I think this type of practice also contributes to scalping. Judging by the number of Commtech Troopers some army/diorama builders claim to have purchased, I really don't think they were as rare as they seemed. At one point I recall seeing Commtech Stormtroopers going for $25 and up! I think we all know where I'm going with this.

04-30-2002, 02:37 AM
Originally posted by Dark Knight
The only problem w/ E-bay I have is the various shipping amounts. $6 to mail a moc figures via USPS. It figgin ridiculous!!

:( :) :evil:

I heard that! Most Star Wars figures weigh in at WAY under a pound, which means that feasibly they can be shippped for the price of a postage stamp!

04-30-2002, 02:49 AM
I want that Red Royal Guards and I want many. But the only way to get it is to pay at least $15 for one.
I can live without it at that price. So the most potent weapon towards scalper is simply the words "I can live witout it". Next time when you see a fig you want but at an exhorbitant price, just say "I can live without it" for a couple of times and those scalpers will die a horrible death LOL!! :crazed: or at least goes out of business :D

04-30-2002, 03:28 AM
The thing with army builders or diorama people is that doing that IS their hobby. In the movies you don't just see 1 storm trooper at a time, you see many. And myself, like many other dio people, like to have several dioramas on shelves at the same time. Henceforth, I need more than 5 Stormtroopers if I want to do a Death Star scene, Bespin scene, Endor scene, etc. Its just the way we collect. Some buy 2 of everything, one to keep carded and one to open. Others buy just 1 of individual characters, but many of army builders.

For more info on this, read

This thread (http://sirstevesguide.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=5237)

this thread (http://sirstevesguide.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4965)

Its all a matter of prefrence. If people buy hoards of different figures to sell for profit, that's one thing. But if you buy many multiples of different figures because that is why you collect, that's something else.

Uncle Owen
04-30-2002, 10:03 AM
Originally posted by tjovonovich

As for those people that build armys of 100+ figs. I just shake my head. If you've got the cash to blow, more power to ya, but I agree they do reflect bad on the rest of us.

As a kid I never would have thought about building an army. I remember fondly those old days when I'd walk into target with my folks and seeing rows and rows of star wars figs, nothing was ever exclusive, nothing was ever shorted in a box, and I remember writing to kenner as a kid looking for a jawa since I wanted one when I 1st seen them on the back of the cards, and wouldn't you know it, they sent me one, free. Anyways I'm drifting.

But I hear ya about the *ahem* for lack of a better term, the freak extremists who dress up and speak fluent wookie or huttese...I hope we are star wars fans are a little more refined and know the difference between fact and fiction. Its great to have an imagination and escape, but with some people that line is blurred.


As a kid I always wanted more than 1 Stormtrooper to play with....I HATED and I mean HATED the thought of shooting a stormtrooper and then having to pick him up again to re-use him against the rebels a second time....I loved leaving the bodies where they died....Only to have another Trooper round the corner a see his fallen friend and try to exact vengenace on the Rebel Scum:D

As far as dressing up and acting out battles...More power to them...If they want to explore their hobby in that way I have to problems at all with it....

And finally....I LOVE STAR WARS....I collect as much as I can...Have seen Each one in the theatre the day it was released..including Star Wars in 1977....But I also have had just about my entire collection paid for by other collectors....If I can buy 2 figures...Sell one and keep the other for free...I am one Happy Camper.....:greedy: It saves me HUGE amounts of cash...Sorry guys...But if someone Has to have something...I will provide it.

Owen Out!!!

04-30-2002, 11:25 AM
Yes, it is a two way street. Some one will always want something, some one will always have something, and some one will always want more for something than what they paid.

That I'll accept as a given. Its work, providing a service, but at the same time, how do you deterime the value of something at a fair price?

I have no problem with selling collections, even I hope the secondary market value holds on these figures. But then again, I check the toy mags for going rates, and even then some of them are outrageous for pieces. But I do plan on selling to another collecter at a fair value at a later date.

I just have a beef with the price wars that are going on. They are just wild and uncalled for. 20 bucks for an unreleased figure, 150 bucks for a pre-order, triple the cost of items just to get it first. Throw in the greed of clearning pegs, toy store employees that raid boxes right off the truck ( I used to work at TRU in college and I was part of the problem or pilliaging figures out of cases that I needed ) and then take them to the local comic shop and sell them at an inflated rate, and people who buy in bulk to make huge profits off collectors, and little kids.

Army builders, fine by me if they do it slowly over time, instead of all at once. If its your hobby so be it, if you have the cash for 50 stormies, congrats. I just hope they realize they aren't the only ones in need of figs.

Uncle Owen
04-30-2002, 02:46 PM
I agree... I would hope most fair collectors and troop builders would build over a period...I would have hate to seen 1 guy out of 10 buy All the Clone Troopers or such at Midnight... As I said in another post...I was at the Wal-Mart Midnight Sale and with the 5 of us it was VERY Orderly...We were helping each other and the like....:)

Owen Out!!

04-30-2002, 03:41 PM
The guy I mentioned in my earlier post, let's call him Super-Scalper, always sells his Star Wars figures for NO LESS than $20. Even the figures that have just started shipping, whether they are rare or not. He can get away with this because he somehow always manages to have the figures weeks before anyone else can find them in the store. That, and the fact that there are poor saps willing to spend that much for them! There is also an action figure store nearby (I have yet to determine whether this is Super-Scalpers store or not) that does the same thing. As soon as new figures start shipping (and it seems sometimes like weeks before they ship) this store will have them in abundance! I have never seen them offer new Star Wars figures for less than $20-25. They not only do this with Star Wars figures, but you can go to this store and, as long as you are willing to pay out the ear, you can have any and all of the just released figures from any line you collect. Drive 2 blocks down the street to the local TRU and Target, and their pegs are bare! In fact, those two stores nearest almost NEVER have any collectible action figures on their pegs! Coincidence? Not likely.

04-30-2002, 03:48 PM
sounds like the same person I know that lives at wal mart. The wal mark employees are so sick of this guy, they intentionally stock later, don't help him, and I think he's the reason they instituted a 2 figure limit on their grand appearance on the 23. To stop this guy from cleaning off the pegs.

He tries to sell to the comic shop I frequent and he's not that bad of guy when you're not talking business with him, but he spent 5,000+ on the 23. Whatever he could get his hands on he bought. And at the comic/toy show this weekend, there he was, selling the stuff for double or more. I think this is you Super Scalper....

04-30-2002, 04:49 PM
I must say that all of you sound like very nice people. That is a rare thing when discussing scalping. I think they are foes too, but they are a interesting bunch. We are people who are in the know. We may not know it all, but we know that Pesant Anakin ins't worth $10.00 and we know that Dooku will be around next week or month. So let the scalpers keep their figures and be stuck with them.

I've got a good scalper story. My dad collects Hot Wheels and has since he was a kid. Anyway, there is this guy who runs around my dad's town, buying Hot Wheels. Well he started talking to me once when I was looking at the Star Wars figurs and Starting Lineups. He asked me, so any of those worth anything. I said na, I just really like the movies. I wasn't going to give that guy any info becasue of what he was. Anyway, he went on tell complain about the Starting Lineups. He said he had a whole basement of those things, and they ain't worth crap. I was pleased that this guy had spent thousands of dollars on stuff that wasn't worth anything.

My point is that let these guys buy all the stuff up, and let them try and sell it on ebay. Each item is at least $0.30 to list so that adds up. This figures will be pumped out and they won't sell a one, and then they are stuck with it.

A fool and thier money is soon parted. This is a statement that I hold true to myself. If you want to be foolish then you will waste money. If you want to be foolish and not be educated in things you spend your money on, then you'll get burned. If you want to be foolish and not use patience then you will waste your money. I do not feel sorry for anyone who buys from a scalper. A scalpers main source of income comes from those who are foolish, impatient, and lazy. If you are none of these things, then a scalper should never bother you.

I also think scalping is a sickness, very similar to collecting. Once you made a couple of buck off of one figure you want to make more and more. It all boils down to the all mighty dollar. That is what makes the World go around, and we are just stuck in the middle. America is grand and I love Capitalism, becasue a society where everyone one with no effort or struggle seems very "Red" (if you know what I mean) to me.

04-30-2002, 05:30 PM
Everything you said is very true, and what you said about being patient is music to my ears. If we pass on the scalpers and wait for them to hit the stores, we are sticking it back to them. They are then left holding the bag.

Yea, I do hear ya about the hot wheels scalper story. I remember working at Toys R Us, and they were by far the worst. Always demanding, making us check the back, and destroying the displays. Even before we'd put out the new stock we'd check the area 1st to make sure the "regular sharks" weren't hanging around, or if there was some one looking through we'd talk with the customer 1st and get a feel for them. You can always tell a collector from a scalper, and if they were a collector, we'd restock then and give them a chance to get what they were after.

But I do agree collection and scalping can and is a sickness. I remeber how often I'd check the computer looking for shipments and what's coming in.