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Forums - Gaming Discussion - How to combat scalpers

Scalpers/resellers are a huge problem everywhere you go, whether it be gaming consoles, special edition of something, concert tickets, etc. So I was thinking of ways to combat these pests. Since this place is about games, I will focus on gaming companies. Also focus on suggestions that can benefit both the company and the fans.

1. Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo can all utilize the subscription service or the gaming accounts to prioritize fans/gamers.

+ This is good for the company as well since it can lead to increase in their subscribers.
+ Scalpers exists to profit with minimal effort, they wouldn't go through the effort of spending extra money to a subscription service. 

- Has a chance of backlash because people are stupid and it can feel like pay2win for prioritizing subscribers or something stupid like that. 
- Scalpers can be gamers, and they may be in the service. (For this solution, maybe limit to one console per account?)

2. Sell the consoles at a higher price in the beginning. For example starts at $1000, to $800, to $600, until the original price point. It will be important for companies to announce the original price and that they will gradually drop in price, to avoid confusion.

+ People that really wants it first can buy them. *like people that buys from scalpers in the first place
+ Companies can also profit, especially in an important time because the first periods are when they typically sell at a loss.

- Has a chance of backlash because people are stupid and it can feel like they are getting scammed or act as anti-consumer, despite the company saying prices will decrease and these people would have bought it from scalpers anyways.
- The timing is difficult because the demand may be bigger or smaller than expected, last longer or shorter, unexpected supply shortages, game releases, controlling hype, etc. I think it's important to release games for both the previous console and the new one, but the visual quality is better or a tech-demo (like Astro's playroom or Wii sports) or something like that to give a reason to buy them first, while avoid ignoring fans that can't afford them at higher price and have to wait. The current-gen consoles are already doing so it shouldn't be too much of a worry. 

3. Hold a huge stock of consoles before announcing it or releasing it.

+ Obviously people would be able to get them with ease.
+ Scalpers exists when the product is high demand low supply, so if the supply is high, there wouldn't be any buyers for the scalpers.

- The console can flop hard so a pretty big risk for the company.
- Supply shortage might not even allow them to do that. Even if they could, it might take years to stash up enough supplies.

I'm not a law expert by no means, some ideas could be illegal in some countries or all. 

Last edited by Shatts - on 14 July 2022

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I'm still using a PS4 and Xbox One X to me I am not into those things yet? The library is not massive and the games I want are still being made for PS4. I can wait still as for games the collectors edition are a real problem definitely. Nintendo and Sony need to set a barrier for retail stores to not buy multiple copies of collector editions through bots online and the employees who hoard those collector editions should be fired I'm glad Shin Megami Tensei 5 collectors edition was 90$ brand new sealed on Ebay while at launch it was $120 or something that's what I call betting on the wrong horse like Atari VCS console launch in 2020. I look at Scalpers not having mass knowledge of gaming since they are not a hardcore player or understand a deep story. 13 sentinels was $15 on PS4 for a very long time It's now $60 on PS4 because it got ported on Switch I'm always 6 steps ahead of scalpers I don't break on Modern gaming. I don't care about a collectors edition of the next 2D sonic game since I care more about a World Record than some extra's some scalper took F them They'll see my name in Sonic leaderboards checking online I got the last laugh also more fire in their ass is my World Records is in Sonic Center and Speedrun.com moreso than the leaderboards.



Cute and honest Sega Saturn fan, also noone should buy Sega grrrr, Sega for life.

The first idea is decent enough, though having a subscription alone is not enough. Scalpers can use bots to create hundreds of accounts, subscribe for one month, buy the console and then resell it for massive profit. They'd have to make it so that people are subscribed for at least one year before they can order the console.

The second idea is literal suicide. First impressions matter, and the initial price point is part of that. Also, nothing would change from a consumer point of view. In the past, they paid premium in order to buy the console from scalpers, now they would be paying premium to buy it from the company.

The third idea is just way to risky from a financial point of view. I can't imagine any company taking such a massive initial loss without any guarantee that they'll make it back years later.



1. Not buying from them

I like your point 2, it's how the market was always supposed to be. If you have high demand and not enough supply you increase the prices /thread 

But gamers,  namely the core gamers the ones who buy console first, are a different breed of consumer, they seems to like emotions over logic. If a company release their consoles let's say 300 USD more expensive than the current average they won't just wait until the price decrease, they will cry and riot because HOW DARE YOU TO ASK MORE MONEY AND MAKING ME WAIT MORE

I mean, people are obsessed with day one purchases even in a era where AAA games are released with shit tons of bugs and need day-one, week-one, month-one patches to be playable in first place. They will pre order it knowing they will get scammed just to rage about being scammed later 

So if companies release unaffordable hardware they will get alienated because they won't be able to play more buggy games day one on the console launch (even if most of those games are cross gen)

Last edited by IcaroRibeiro - on 14 July 2022

or join them and scalp to fun your game purchases???

Supply vs Demand, if people willing to part with their money there isn't much you can do.



 

 

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Sometimes it's not even the scalpers that are using predatory practices.

Second hand stores are selling the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 for $1,100 AUD... Which is a big step up over the $750 retail price.

It's absolutely criminal... Ironically those are stores I refuse to support going forward out of principle.



--::{PC Gaming Master Race}::--

Pemalite said:

Sometimes it's not even the scalpers that are using predatory practices.

Second hand stores are selling the Xbox Series X and Playstation 5 for $1,100 AUD... Which is a big step up over the $750 retail price.

It's absolutely criminal... Ironically those are stores I refuse to support going forward out of principle.

I've seen Instagram channels where people whinge about these stores that there are no bargains but at the same time they have other videos where they found bargains in those stores and boast about flipping said items on eBay lol.

Which such because genuine people that struggle financially can't get genuine bargains no more/



 

 

Shatts said:

Scalpers/resellers are a huge problem everywhere you go, whether it be gaming consoles, special edition of something, concert tickets, etc. So I was thinking of ways to combat these pests. Since this place is about games, I will focus on gaming companies. Also focus on suggestions that can benefit both the company and the fans.

1. Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo can all utilize the subscription service or the gaming accounts to prioritize fans/gamers.

+ This is good for the company as well since it can lead to increase in their subscribers.

+ Scalpers exists to profit with minimal effort, they wouldn't go through the effort of spending extra money to a subscription service. 

- Has a chance of backlash because people are stupid and it can feel like pay2win for prioritizing subscribers or something stupid like that. 
- Scalpers can be gamers, and they may be in the service. (For this solution, maybe limit to one console per account?)

2. Sell the consoles at a higher price in the beginning. For example starts at $1000, to $800, to $600, until the original price point. It will be important for companies to announce the original price and that they will gradually drop in price, to avoid confusion.

+ People that really wants it first can buy them. *like people that buys from scalpers in the first place
+ Companies can also profit, especially in an important time because the first periods are when they typically sell at a loss.

- Has a chance of backlash because people are stupid and it can feel like they are getting scammed or act as anti-consumer, despite the company saying prices will decrease and these people would have bought it from scalpers anyways.
- The timing is difficult because the demand may be bigger or smaller than expected, last longer or shorter, unexpected supply shortages, game releases, controlling hype, etc. I think it's important to release games for both the previous console and the new one, but the visual quality is better or a tech-demo (like Astro's playroom or Wii sports) or something like that to give a reason to buy them first, while avoid ignoring fans that can't afford them at higher price and have to wait. The current-gen consoles are already doing so it shouldn't be too much of a worry. 

3. Hold a huge stock of consoles before announcing it or releasing it.

+ Obviously people would be able to get them with ease.
+ Scalpers exists when the product is high demand low supply, so if the supply is high, there wouldn't be any buyers for the scalpers.

- The console can flop hard so a pretty big risk for the company.
- Supply shortage might not even allow them to do that. Even if they could, it might take years to stash up enough supplies.

Umm, no.  This logic implies that not a single PS5 or XBox Series X was sold directly to a consumer, and that all PS5 and XSX sales passed through scalpers hands first.  The PS5 & XSX owners who did end up buying from a scalper do not make up the bulk of those userbases.  A majority of those people got to pay the MSRP price.  However, in your scenario, Sony and Microsoft should be forcing all of their early adopters to pay the scalper prices.  That is an awful idea, and I am sure that PS5's would be extremely easy to find in stores right now if Sony tried charging $1000 for them at retail.  Please check how the PS3 did at $599.  The reason console manufacturers take an early loss on the hardware is to bring in those customers who would otherwise wait for the price to drop, because they know they will make back the profit on software.  They want to attract more users, not less, into the userbase at that early stage.  

IcaroRibeiro said:

1. Not buying from them

I like your point 2, it's how the market was always supposed to be. If you have high demand and not enough supply you increase the prices /thread 

But gamers,  namely the core gamers the ones who buy console first, are a different breed of consumer, they seems to like emotions over logic. If a company release their consoles let's say 300 USD more expensive than the current average they won't just wait until the price decrease, they will cry and riot because HOW DARE YOU TO ASK MORE MONEY AND MAKING ME WAIT MORE

I mean, people are obsessed with day one purchases even in a era where AAA games are released with shit tons of bugs and need day-one, week-one, month-one patches to be playable in first place. They will pre order it knowing they will get scammed just to rage about being scammed later 

So if companies release unaffordable hardware they will get alienated because they won't be able to play more buggy games day one on the console launch (even if most of those games are cross gen)

Actually no, it's not out of a sense of entitlement that any consumer would be against a tactic known as "price gouging".  

price gouging

noun
an act or instance of charging customers too high a price for goods or services, especially when demand is high and supplies are limited


Don't pay over MSRP and let scalpers lose a few thousand.... pretty simple.



Mandalore76 said:
Shatts said:

Scalpers/resellers are a huge problem everywhere you go, whether it be gaming consoles, special edition of something, concert tickets, etc. So I was thinking of ways to combat these pests. Since this place is about games, I will focus on gaming companies. Also focus on suggestions that can benefit both the company and the fans.

1. Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo can all utilize the subscription service or the gaming accounts to prioritize fans/gamers.

+ This is good for the company as well since it can lead to increase in their subscribers.

+ Scalpers exists to profit with minimal effort, they wouldn't go through the effort of spending extra money to a subscription service. 

- Has a chance of backlash because people are stupid and it can feel like pay2win for prioritizing subscribers or something stupid like that. 
- Scalpers can be gamers, and they may be in the service. (For this solution, maybe limit to one console per account?)

2. Sell the consoles at a higher price in the beginning. For example starts at $1000, to $800, to $600, until the original price point. It will be important for companies to announce the original price and that they will gradually drop in price, to avoid confusion.

+ People that really wants it first can buy them. *like people that buys from scalpers in the first place
+ Companies can also profit, especially in an important time because the first periods are when they typically sell at a loss.

- Has a chance of backlash because people are stupid and it can feel like they are getting scammed or act as anti-consumer, despite the company saying prices will decrease and these people would have bought it from scalpers anyways.
- The timing is difficult because the demand may be bigger or smaller than expected, last longer or shorter, unexpected supply shortages, game releases, controlling hype, etc. I think it's important to release games for both the previous console and the new one, but the visual quality is better or a tech-demo (like Astro's playroom or Wii sports) or something like that to give a reason to buy them first, while avoid ignoring fans that can't afford them at higher price and have to wait. The current-gen consoles are already doing so it shouldn't be too much of a worry. 

3. Hold a huge stock of consoles before announcing it or releasing it.

+ Obviously people would be able to get them with ease.
+ Scalpers exists when the product is high demand low supply, so if the supply is high, there wouldn't be any buyers for the scalpers.

- The console can flop hard so a pretty big risk for the company.
- Supply shortage might not even allow them to do that. Even if they could, it might take years to stash up enough supplies.

Umm, no.  This logic implies that not a single PS5 or XBox Series X was sold directly to a consumer, and that all PS5 and XSX sales passed through scalpers hands first.  The PS5 & XSX owners who did end up buying from a scalper do not make up the bulk of those userbases.  A majority of those people got to pay the MSRP price.  However, in your scenario, Sony and Microsoft should be forcing all of their early adopters to pay the scalper prices.  That is an awful idea, and I am sure that PS5's would be extremely easy to find in stores right now if Sony tried charging $1000 for them at retail.  Please check how the PS3 did at $599.  The reason console manufacturers take an early loss on the hardware is to bring in those customers who would otherwise wait for the price to drop, because they know they will make back the profit on software.  They want to attract more users, not less, into the userbase at that early stage.  

IcaroRibeiro said:

1. Not buying from them

I like your point 2, it's how the market was always supposed to be. If you have high demand and not enough supply you increase the prices /thread 

But gamers,  namely the core gamers the ones who buy console first, are a different breed of consumer, they seems to like emotions over logic. If a company release their consoles let's say 300 USD more expensive than the current average they won't just wait until the price decrease, they will cry and riot because HOW DARE YOU TO ASK MORE MONEY AND MAKING ME WAIT MORE

I mean, people are obsessed with day one purchases even in a era where AAA games are released with shit tons of bugs and need day-one, week-one, month-one patches to be playable in first place. They will pre order it knowing they will get scammed just to rage about being scammed later 

So if companies release unaffordable hardware they will get alienated because they won't be able to play more buggy games day one on the console launch (even if most of those games are cross gen)

Actually no, it's not out of a sense of entitlement that any consumer would be against a tactic known as "price gouging".  

price gouging

noun
an act or instance of charging customers too high a price for goods or services, especially when demand is high and supplies are limited

Consoles are sold at loss, mostly. The prices aren't high, rather they are pretty low. Even when they are not sold at loss anymore it usually don't factorize how much was needed in P&D do develop the console in first place. 

Software is the one really overpriced... but let's not enter here 

Almost any technological product know for its depreciation over time are sold at higher prices and then decreases over time. Cars, computers, smartphones, TVs. Even games if you are not Nintendo. However early adopters in gaming are a much more passionated kind of customers and will not wait idle for the prices to drop

The market laws would generally ditate this price dynamics organically, but manufactures are enforcing low price policies to avoid public backslash. Instead of the console maker getting the extra money from however the market is willing pay, it's small retailers and scalpers who are getting.

As someone who DGAF for scalping and couldn't care less if I will only get a PS5 next month or in 2 years, this problem does not concern me a bit. If companies are comfortable losing money for scalpers, why would I even bother? 

What I don't get is why people rage about scalping when it's just the market dynamics playing their role, companies can't really do anything, people have the right to sell their properties for how much they want. Even enforcing official retailers is painful for them. Maybe if gamers don't receive consoles high price with so much outrage scalping wouldn't be a problem, it would be up to customers decided if paying 800 USD in a PS5 was worth or not, and if a company decided that the sales aren't good enough (like Xbone and PS3) they would then decrease the price. Does it look like a devious ploy? Not really for me.