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Subject: Tholian Web gougers rss

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Stephen Thorpe
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I've been trying to get hold of copies of the D'Kora Ferengi Ship so that I can run a Ferengi fleet in an OP.

As a result I was checking EBay USA to see how much they were going for, but that's not what this post is about.

I was literally amazed at the number of Tholian Wed OP prize packs already up on there.

Don't get me wrong if you had a really early Tholian Web OP and came away with one of the ships and have decided to recoup the cost of some of your organised play expenses by selling it I have no problem. Congratulations and Carry On.

It is quite obvious though that a number of stores/individuals are just re-selling immediately making no effort to promote the game or grow the fan base.

One seller is even blatant enough to be selling the whole Tholian Web OP pack in one sale rather than breaking it down.

You then do get the problem that sometimes this is the only way some players can get these due to there being no shop in their area.

To my mind a better way for this to be dealt with would be for a two-tier system where Retailers apply for OP kits originally and then at a certain point if no retailer in a particular area is running the OP registered games clubs could apply for a pack.

Oh well rant over. Need to get pack looking for reasonably priced D'Koras.
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Val Cassotta
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Alternatively:

1 - Release the whole OP as a campaign set, ships, terrain and a snazzy little rule book. Sold after the OP ends.

2 - At least release the individual ships (with the same cards) as a wave a few months after the OP ends. (and maybe release the Resources with the rules as a separate all in one kit - sans ships)


This still gives the winners of the OPs time to enjoy their 'exclusive' ship up to half a year before anyone else.

But it also allows people who are nowhere near a game shop (and the completionists) to have a chance to get some of the unique ships without having to resort to paying $70+ for a single ship (potentially from a shop that never bothered to host an event to begin with).
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Erin OConnor
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At least your not trying to collect the Marvel Dice Masters too...

oh...
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John S.
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I can't really fault someone too much for wanting to profit from someone else's "ooh ooh shiny! Gotta have it NOW" impulse. It's what your Ferengi would do, after all! Prices are extreme because this ship is just hitting the market.

Once people calm down and realize that the ship and its practically non-existent upgrades are little more than a novelty item, the price will plummet. (I personally consider the Red Alert participation prize to be much more desirable than the prize ship.) By the end of June I bet anyone will be hard-pressed to get $30 for a Tholian ship.

I don't consider a "rare limited edition" that only costs as much as 2 unlimited common ships to be unfair or gouging at all. It's the people selling the common release wave ships for $25 plus shipping that make me shake my head.
 
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Val Cassotta
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The OP2 and 4 prizes that still regularly go for $60+ rankle a little.

I managed to win every other OP ship (I love that our store has off events with the leftover ships as prizes) other than the only one I wanted to get (OP 4) but I just can't bring myself to spend $60-80 for it
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I was hoping the Tholian we ships wouldn't be an absurd price on eBay but oh well with no organized play events anywhere near me, they got me. arrrh

With the 2 month delay between releases I've picked up a few ships and resources on eBay, most expensive was my recent Sutherland acquisition (also came with 4 flagship sets and two of the Earth templates/tokens so not a bad thing to have more of) but I don't care, it was worth it.

It looks so nice after a complete repaint with my other ships..... Painting those darn windows does take a lot of patience though.




No way I'm spending what they're asking for a Ch'Tang though. gulp
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Shaun C
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MaximumDT wrote:
I was hoping the Tholian we ships wouldn't be an absurd price on eBay but oh well with no organized play events anywhere near me, they got me. arrrh

With the 2 month delay between releases I've picked up a few ships and resources on eBay, most expensive was my recent Sutherland acquisition (also came with 4 flagship sets and two of the Earth templates/tokens so not a bad thing to have more of) but I don't care, it was worth it.

It looks so nice after a complete repaint with my other ships..... Painting those darn windows does take a lot of patience though.




No way I'm spending what they're asking for a Ch'Tang though. gulp


TEACH ME HOW TO PAINT LIKE THAT!

Seriously, those are some of the best painted Attack Wing miniatures I have seen. My hat is off to you sir.
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Kevin Roberson
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Yeah I was calling stores around to see who might be running it, the owner of one store blatantly said he didn't run events but sold the prizes and offered me the Tholian Kit.

Action City, Federal Way, WA if anyone knows how to bust em.
 
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The Bat
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Turbowombat wrote:
Yeah I was calling stores around to see who might be running it, the owner of one store blatantly said he didn't run events but sold the prizes and offered me the Tholian Kit.

Action City, Federal Way, WA if anyone knows how to bust em.


Personally I have no problem with a store selling product they had to purchase themselves. Once you buy it, it should be yours to do what you want to with. A decent store with a skilled game promoter will make a store a lot more money then simply tossing the stuff on eBay, but if that's what a store wants to do, who am I to tell them what they can do with stuff they buy. That being said if you feel the need to "bust em" they have a link to report stores on their website.
 
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batman15 wrote:
Personally I have no problem with a store selling product they had to purchase themselves. Once you buy it, it should be yours to do what you want to with. A decent store with a skilled game promoter will make a store a lot more money then simply tossing the stuff on eBay, but if that's what a store wants to do, who am I to tell them what they can do with stuff they buy. That being said if you feel the need to "bust em" they have a link to report stores on their website.


You may not have a problem with it, but WizKids does.
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Rob Tsuk
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batman15 wrote:

Personally I have no problem with a store selling product they had to purchase themselves. Once you buy it, it should be yours to do what you want to with.


I have a problem with people agreeing to follow a set of rules and then not following them, which is what is happening with stores re-selling the OP kits.
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Dan Wilson
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rtsuk wrote:
batman15 wrote:

Personally I have no problem with a store selling product they had to purchase themselves. Once you buy it, it should be yours to do what you want to with.


I have a problem with people agreeing to follow a set of rules and then not following them, which is what is happening with stores re-selling the OP kits.

As does the law.
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The Jigsaw Man
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rtsuk wrote:
batman15 wrote:

Personally I have no problem with a store selling product they had to purchase themselves. Once you buy it, it should be yours to do what you want to with.


I have a problem with people agreeing to follow a set of rules and then not following them, which is what is happening with stores re-selling the OP kits.


I know of a nearby store that ordered a second kit, and sold it, at cost, to the TO, because he wanted to be able to run a set of four Tholian ships. Said TO is still going to run the tournament, so no-one will be deprived of anything.

While this certainly violates the letter of the rules, do you feel that it is Bad Form? I'm unsure myself.
 
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Daniel van de Laar
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JgzMan wrote:
I know of a nearby store that ordered a second kit, and sold it, at cost, to the TO, because he wanted to be able to run a set of four Tholian ships. Said TO is still going to run the tournament, so no-one will be deprived of anything.

While this certainly violates the letter of the rules, do you feel that it is Bad Form? I'm unsure myself.


That stinks as far as I am concerned. I don't mind the TO getting one of the three prize ships as recompense for organizing the tournament - but getting a second kit, and keeping all the prizes so that you can put together a build that would take anyone else at least four tournaments (and more likely six to ten) to build, is not right.

DANVAN
 
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Danvan wrote:
JgzMan wrote:
I know of a nearby store that ordered a second kit, and sold it, at cost, to the TO, because he wanted to be able to run a set of four Tholian ships. Said TO is still going to run the tournament, so no-one will be deprived of anything.

While this certainly violates the letter of the rules, do you feel that it is Bad Form? I'm unsure myself.


That stinks as far as I am concerned. I don't mind the TO getting one of the three prize ships as recompense for organizing the tournament - but getting a second kit, and keeping all the prizes so that you can put together a build that would take anyone else at least four tournaments (and more likely six to ten) to build, is not right.

DANVAN


To me, that example is a grey area. Had the venue simply said "We agree to get enough kits to cover 20 participation prizes and feel that the TO deserves 4 of the Tholian ships as recompense. However, due to the cost of doing this, we require that the TO find a way for the venue to recoup 1/2 the cost of the kits." I'd be fine with that as technically, there is no wrong doing. The venue isn't selling the kit contents, just giving them away to the TO. And the venue has every right to charge any fees they deem necessary for them to not take a loss on the cost of the kits.

But a kit that orders the kits and sells the contents without running at least one event where the ships are given away as prizes, is wrong. All venues sign an agreement with Wizkids saying that they will not sell OP prizes. The boxes have tape across them that say "Not for resale". If its a single infraction, I'd be ok with letting it slide as mistakes can be made. But repeat offenses should have consequences; in this case WK no longer allowing the venue to buy the OP kits.
 
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Kevin Roberson
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batman15 wrote:

Personally I have no problem with a store selling product they had to purchase themselves. Once you buy it, it should be yours to do what you want to with. A decent store with a skilled game promoter will make a store a lot more money then simply tossing the stuff on eBay, but if that's what a store wants to do, who am I to tell them what they can do with stuff they buy. That being said if you feel the need to "bust em" they have a link to report stores on their website.


Retail 101:
A store buying something from a distributor is not the same as a person buying from a retailer (or a distributor). Distributors make their money by undercutting the retail value selling to the store in exchange for the store's agreement to sell the product to customers. In some cases, aspects of the sale are fixed, such as the max price, as a condition of distribution. This is because the distributor's entire reason for supporting this model is to collateralize the cost of mass market penetration. This model allows the distributor to get the product in front of people across the world on their terms without advertising. Otherwise, they would just sell it themselves online.

If a retailer purchases a product from a distributor then acts like they bought it themselves retail (IE they are the End User and can do with it as they please) they have defeated this model and robbed the distributor of the difference in value that they estimated to be greater than or equal to the retail markup. They are in essence telling the distributor "you should have just sold this online, because we're not going to help you, you are giving us products at cost for no reason whatsoever." Wizkids should absolutely be informed of stores that do this so they can act accordingly with their own best interest and stop distributing through them.

All the above completely ignores the fact that, in the case of OP Kits, buying them involves a legally binding contract to distribute via the tournament system and not retail sale. So even if the above two paragraphs weren't true, the store would still be in violation of contract with its distributors and not deserving our business.
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Scott Kelly
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First, I have a problem calling it "price gouging" because obviously people are paying the prices and you don't have to have it. To be honest, the ship sucks and, like someone else said, it's going to end up a $30-40 ship.

Is it dishonest based on the agreement I'm sure they have for obtaining the OP kits? Yes. If Wizkids ever pulls a WOTC and decides to go after these shops hard, then the shop is going to have their entire business harmed. It might even be to the point where they can't acquire any Wizkids products even for general distribution.

It reminds me of a situation of a shop in Charleston, SC...Green Dragon, the only one left unfortunately. They were discussing the Blind Buy boxes. Apparently whoever organizes the events (not the shop owner) is using the Blind Buy boxes NOT for the tournaments, but to benefit him and his buddies to make sure they can get all the ships. They have already alloted all of the store's allotment among their friends. If you aren't part of his buddy group, you can't get the Blind Buy ships from this method. As a result, I'm not paying to play in their tournaments.
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rtsuk wrote:
batman15 wrote:

Personally I have no problem with a store selling product they had to purchase themselves. Once you buy it, it should be yours to do what you want to with.


I have a problem with people agreeing to follow a set of rules and then not following them, which is what is happening with stores re-selling the OP kits.


Then you are free to contact the appropriate people and report it.



Turbowombat wrote:
batman15 wrote:

Personally I have no problem with a store selling product they had to purchase themselves. Once you buy it, it should be yours to do what you want to with. A decent store with a skilled game promoter will make a store a lot more money then simply tossing the stuff on eBay, but if that's what a store wants to do, who am I to tell them what they can do with stuff they buy. That being said if you feel the need to "bust em" they have a link to report stores on their website.


Retail 101:
A store buying something from a distributor is not the same as a person buying from a retailer (or a distributor). Distributors make their money by undercutting the retail value selling to the store in exchange for the store's agreement to sell the product to customers. In some cases, aspects of the sale are fixed, such as the max price, as a condition of distribution. This is because the distributor's entire reason for supporting this model is to collateralize the cost of mass market penetration. This model allows the distributor to get the product in front of people across the world on their terms without advertising. Otherwise, they would just sell it themselves online.

If a retailer purchases a product from a distributor then acts like they bought it themselves retail (IE they are the End User and can do with it as they please) they have defeated this model and robbed the distributor of the difference in value that they estimated to be greater than or equal to the retail markup. They are in essence telling the distributor "you should have just sold this online, because we're not going to help you, you are giving us products at cost for no reason whatsoever." Wizkids should absolutely be informed of stores that do this so they can act accordingly with their own best interest and stop distributing through them.

All the above completely ignores the fact that, in the case of OP Kits, buying them involves a legally binding contract to distribute via the tournament system and not retail sale. So even if the above two paragraphs weren't true, the store would still be in violation of contract with its distributors and not deserving our business.


Thanks for the civics lesson, doesn't change the fact that I don't care in the slightest what venues do with the kits they get. Especially considering the outrageous prices Wizkids charges venues for these kits, and that they often times screw venues over by not providing them with the kits promised, long after the venue has made the required purchases to be able to get the kit in the first place.
 
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Rob Tsuk
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batman15 wrote:
rtsuk wrote:

I have a problem with people agreeing to follow a set of rules and then not following them, which is what is happening with stores re-selling the OP kits.


Then you are free to contact the appropriate people and report it.



Excellent. I didn't feel quite right moving forward without your permission.
 
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batman15 wrote:
Thanks for the civics lesson, doesn't change the fact that I don't care in the slightest what venues do with the kits they get. Especially considering the outrageous prices Wizkids charges venues for these kits, and that they often times screw venues over by not providing them with the kits promised, long after the venue has made the required purchases to be able to get the kit in the first place.


Thanks for the lesson in ignorance.
 
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batman15 wrote:

Thanks for the civics lesson, doesn't change the fact that I don't care in the slightest what venues do with the kits they get. Especially considering the outrageous prices Wizkids charges venues for these kits, and that they often times screw venues over by not providing them with the kits promised, long after the venue has made the required purchases to be able to get the kit in the first place.


The problem with the online sales, though, is that it screws over the stores who follow the rules and discourages the OP tournaments.

"How the hell would it discourage the OP tournaments or screw over other stores?" you might ask. Well, let me explain.

I've heard from my local shop that they don't make money on the OP (and sometimes takes a loss). I've heard the same many times on this forum. The stores rely on the OP to generate interest and foot traffic so that people will buy figures (that they could otherwise buy cheaper online). With many of the prizes being pumped directly to eBay, people have less incentive to attend the OP event (especially if they feel that they don't have a good chance at winning). With less incentive to visit the local store, gamers have less of a reason to patronize it.

Locally, fewer tournaments are being run and, consequently, less interest in the game is being generated. This diminishes the return on the time and money investment that the local stores are making.



The solution is honestly on WizKids, though. You don't expect people to stop buying up all of the kids toys to sell at 10x price every Christmas and you can't expect people to stop buying OP kits just to sell them online. I don't know what they're going to do to discourage this, though. Maybe the answer is in the blind-buy tournament packs, pumping out so many ships that only the truly hardcore will feel the need to buy all of them.

 
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Stephen Thorpe
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beforemath wrote:

The solution is honestly on WizKids, though. You don't expect people to stop buying up all of the kids toys to sell at 10x price every Christmas and you can't expect people to stop buying OP kits just to sell them online. I don't know what they're going to do to discourage this, though. Maybe the answer is in the blind-buy tournament packs, pumping out so many ships that only the truly hardcore will feel the need to buy all of them.



I agree the solution is on Wizkids and they already have the ability to prevent this from happening - Enforce their contract and apply sanctions.

You require a bricks and mortar store to purchase an OP pack and I would wager that a large proportion of the product sold in the shops that apply comes from Wizkids (Heroclix, Yu-Gi-Oh, Mageknight, etc).

If Wizkids were known to ban the supply of their products from stores that were breaching their contracts regarding OP packs then the financial penalties involved should prevent most stores from doing this.

A penalty that's not enforced is no penalty at all!
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beforemath wrote:
batman15 wrote:

Thanks for the civics lesson, doesn't change the fact that I don't care in the slightest what venues do with the kits they get. Especially considering the outrageous prices Wizkids charges venues for these kits, and that they often times screw venues over by not providing them with the kits promised, long after the venue has made the required purchases to be able to get the kit in the first place.


The problem with the online sales, though, is that it screws over the stores who follow the rules and discourages the OP tournaments.

"How the hell would it discourage the OP tournaments or screw over other stores?" you might ask. Well, let me explain.

I've heard from my local shop that they don't make money on the OP (and sometimes takes a loss). I've heard the same many times on this forum. The stores rely on the OP to generate interest and foot traffic so that people will buy figures (that they could otherwise buy cheaper online). With many of the prizes being pumped directly to eBay, people have less incentive to attend the OP event (especially if they feel that they don't have a good chance at winning). With less incentive to visit the local store, gamers have less of a reason to patronize it.

Locally, fewer tournaments are being run and, consequently, less interest in the game is being generated. This diminishes the return on the time and money investment that the local stores are making.



The solution is honestly on WizKids, though. You don't expect people to stop buying up all of the kids toys to sell at 10x price every Christmas and you can't expect people to stop buying OP kits just to sell them online. I don't know what they're going to do to discourage this, though. Maybe the answer is in the blind-buy tournament packs, pumping out so many ships that only the truly hardcore will feel the need to buy all of them.



You give a lot of great reasons why it would be more beneficial for a store to run tournaments over selling on eBay, I even mentioned it in my original post that running tournaments will eventually net more for a venue then making a quick buck selling them on eBay. But that's the store's decision to make, not mine. As to your point about selling on EBay driving people away from tournaments, I say hogwash. You really think given the opportunity, someone is going to choose to pay $50-$100 on eBay for the prize ship and participation prizes over going down to the local venue and dropping $5 to play and get the participation prizes free and have a chance of getting a prize ship for free as well? I know of no one who wouldn't play in that situation.
 
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SteRT wrote:
beforemath wrote:

The solution is honestly on WizKids, though. You don't expect people to stop buying up all of the kids toys to sell at 10x price every Christmas and you can't expect people to stop buying OP kits just to sell them online. I don't know what they're going to do to discourage this, though. Maybe the answer is in the blind-buy tournament packs, pumping out so many ships that only the truly hardcore will feel the need to buy all of them.



I agree the solution is on Wizkids and they already have the ability to prevent this from happening - Enforce their contract and apply sanctions.

You require a bricks and mortar store to purchase an OP pack and I would wager that a large proportion of the product sold in the shops that apply comes from Wizkids (Heroclix, Yu-Gi-Oh, Mageknight, etc).

If Wizkids were known to ban the supply of their products from stores that were breaching their contracts regarding OP packs then the financial penalties involved should prevent most stores from doing this.

A penalty that's not enforced is no penalty at all!


For the most part Wizkids doesn't care to track down and sanction venues. One it takes time and resources they claim not to have, and two, sanctioning venues means those venues no longer give Wizkids their money, and Wizkids really wants their money. At the end of the day, as long as Wizkids gets the product sold, they really don't care. Online stores like Troll and Toad, etc. have been selling Heroclix prize support for years and Wizkids hasn't done anything about it. Why? They buy a ton of product from Wizkids.
 
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