DO NOT BID MORE THAN RETAIL WHEN BUYING A VIDEO GAME SYSTEM!I will try to make this as simple and easy to understand as possible. DO NOT BUY A NINTENDO WII, SONY PLAYSTATION 3, OR TICKLE ME ELMO at any auction site for more than what its worth!
I think we should have learned something from this year's fiasco with these items, as we did last year with the Xbox 360. It's a simple matter of economics-- supply and demand.
A simple story:
A scalper is a person who buys tickets to a hot event at the cost of admission, then inflates the price once the tickets become sold out. Why is scalping illegal in many states and just plain immoral? Because people who actually have interest in GOING to the event are getting ripped off by those who just want to earn a buck or two. A percentage of tickets is being bought by people who only intend to resell them, thus making the supply go down and the demand go up. So what happens when 90% of the tickets are being bought by scalpers? The market inflates! The ticket offices realize that their tickets are going for more, so they inflate the prices along with the scalpers! What would happen if suddenly nobody bought from the scalpers? We'll get to that later.
Another simple story:
Some poor sucker bought five Tickle me Elmos on eBay for $90 apiece, planning to resell them because he thought the demand would only grow near Christmas. What happened? He was dead wrong! TMX Elmos were still out of stock in stores, and yet the price on eBay dropped! Why? Because people simply stopped bidding on them! Now you can buy TMX on eBay for retail, and sometimes even find them in stock at stores! The demand went down! Guess who that sleazy poor sucker was? It was me! Did I get what I deserved? YES! Guess who gets TMX Elmos for Christmas? MY NIECES AND NEPHEWS! WOOHOO!
The demand is so big because???:
Why do you think the demand for the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii are so huge? Because the market is huge and there aren't enough! The question is... why is the market so huge? Because there is a massive demand that neither company can meet? FALSE! The market is huge because its not only the gamers who want them, its the scalpers who are waiting in line, buying them up, and selling them for a killing on auction sites. I admit, if I saw a retail PS3 that I knew I could sell for at least double what I bought it for, I would be extremely tempted to scalp it off. Every day people like you and me wouldn't hesitate to turn into a scalper for that! It's an investment!
So what's the problem?
The problem is that there is an inflated market because everyday non-gamers are getting into the fray and becoming part of the market NOT because they enjoy playing video games, but because people who DO like to play video games are paying a premium to buy the systems! What would happen if us gamers didn't pay the premium???
WE CAN FIGHT THE INFLATION AND LOWER THE DEMAND!Like I said, it would be extremely tempting to buy a PS3 at retail and scalp it for $400-$1000 profit. However, would it be so hard NOT to bid on one for so much over retail? No way! As I said above, "What would happen if us gamers didn't pay the premium?" The answer is simple. We would take the scalpers out of the mix and the demand at retailers would go down, making the supply go up, enabling ACTUAL GAMERS to get their hands on the system they'll actually play. So how do we do it?
DO NOT BID MORE THAN RETAIL WHEN BUYING A SYSTEM! Once the scalpers realize that they won't make any money from scalping the systems, they will stop crowding the stores, the lines, and bogging down retailer's websites to get them. That part of the market will drop out and leave the market open to actual gamers. Remember when I said that a $600 profit would turn anybody and everybody into a scalper? Guess what, anybody and everybody who knows about eBay, the PS3 and the Wii WILL buy the system to scalp it. Let's get "anybody and everybody" out of the inflation mix by not paying the ridiculous inflation. Again...
DO NOT BID MORE THAN RETAIL WHEN BUYING A SYSTEM!
Thank you for reading, and if you are a gamer, I hope you follow this advice and get the system of your choice. If you are a scalper, I hope you end up like me and have to give all your nieces and nephews Wiis and PS3s for Christmas.