Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Markup Morality?

Now I'll say at the start I didn't buy the recent limited edition Imperial Space Marine. It was a nice model and I considered it but in the end gave it a miss as I felt it was a tad too much money for its practical effect.

Others bought it by the bucketful and it was soon sold out in the UK (by lunchtime I think).
It was inevitable that these highly sought after models would find their way onto the second hand market fairly quickly. What did take me by surprise was the reactions to it. At first I was indignant at the £100 price tags that were attached to eBay sales but I then reasoned that no one was forcing me to buy it and so I made my peace.
The Facebook sales groups were another story. I don't think I've seen such vitriol poured out over a sale thread before. I've had an epic sales thread butchered by complaints before but not to the point of people being insulting or wildly aggressive but several threads have gone that way in the last few days.

Why? It seems to stem from peoples belief that others would be duped into overpaying and they're being "the good guy". Alternatively it could be people angry that it's too much for them or that they hadn't made that kind of profit themselves. The more recent reason I heard was that it was "morally wrong" to sell for such a high price. This seemed an interesting concept and I assume its based on the presumption that multiple copies were bought for the express reason of markup. 

The question remains, is it actually morally wrong? The morality of the issue only comes into play if others have lost out to such sales. In the days before 't'internet' you would have probably been in a queue or at least buying from the same place as people in your area, and in this case you could see the faces of people you're depriving of a model as they reach for the empty space. Today its not so clear cut and the internet merely presumes sales.

This is too much detail tho and the issue is far more muddy. Who is "right"? Depends on your point of view. Should you be annoyed/angry about it? Entirely up to you (personally I feel there are far bigger problems in the world). Should you post and troll and disrupt others sales posts? An emphatic No. And here's why.

No one is forcing you to buy their overpriced model. Yes its possibly annoying but any GW player looking at sales in a group will already know its true cost. If the high price means it doesn't sell it will come down in price. Simple market economics. 

I've heard the argument that marking up limited edition models drives up GW prices. This is utter twaddle. GW doesn't give a bean about the 2nd hand market. If they did, they'd be pumping out older models like nobodies business and would make a mint. Yes it may drive up 2nd hand prices... but then again... isn't that the whole point of "Limited Edition"? Its limited. 

As I said I don't have the model nor do I intend on buying one. Would I buy one if I saw it at my local shop for its original price? Maybe, but in the end its too much effort for me. The world has too many people being asshats. It needs more people being tolerant of others views. Don't give in to the rage. Close the thread and move on. Nothing to see here. 

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