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Subject: Shops selling rare games way above rrp, good business or unethical? rss

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Steve G
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I noticed today that a large retailer was selling copies of Gloomhaven at a price way above RRP. The price was pretty much inline with what you'd expect to pay for the game right now, as lack of avaliability has driven up prices, but it felt so wrong to me that a large retail store had stock that they were selling so far over RRP.

I totally understand consumers reselling their copies of games and while some will buy more (kickstarter) copies than they need with the intention of reselling for profit, I dont have a problem with that practice. That said, it feels very different to see a large retailer with stock of a rare game that they are selling at a massively inflated price.

It feels unethical to me, but maybe I am being unfair/ naive, so was curious to see what others think.

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Boaty McBoatface
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Both and neither.

If they deliberately buy up games to create a shortage (I have seen this with some remainder items (not games) that is unethical. If they juyst have old stock it's not unethical.

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maf man
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board game stores don't have any control of supply and with games like gloomhaven that supply is very limited. MSRP tries to be a type of standard but that really only applies to products that has a steady stream of supply.
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Pablito A
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Market value is ethical.
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Katie Dunn
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I don't see a problem with it as long as they are not misrepresenting anything. After all, they're not just selling Gloomhaven, they're selling the chance to have Glommhaven right now as opposed to several months from now. The market has shown that's worth a lot to some people. As long as they aren't billing hard-to-find but only between-print-run games as permanently OOP or something similar let them make a little extra profit. It's hard enough for small businesses anyway.
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K S
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Re: Shops selling rare games way above rrp, good business or unethical?
Temporary shortage of a boardgame is not akin to water during a drought; I don't see what ethics has to do with pricing. Especially when, as you say, they're just charging the going rate.
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Mike Jones
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mafman6 wrote:
board game stores don't have any control of supply and with games like gloomhaven that supply is very limited. MSRP tries to be a type of standard but that really only applies to products that has a steady stream of supply.


It is after all 'suggested'.

I was in a games store in New York a few years ago almost all their games were above MSRP.

I bought two games from my FLGS that were above MSRP, because she ended up paying a lot to get them in as imports.
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Thanee
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Kinverbgc wrote:
It feels unethical to me, but maybe I am being unfair/ naive, so was curious to see what others think.


So, you would prefer them to offer the game for the regular price, so someone else can buy all their copies and offer them for a massively inflated price instead?

If people pay the price, it's what the game is worth (to them) at the moment, and it would be silly to sell them for less.

Bye
Thanee
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Francisco Gutierrez
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My flgs used to price magic cards "nicely". The idea was that if they sold them cheaper, they would get more business and more gamers would get access to rarer cards.

All that happened was that people would buy the underpriced cards and then resell them.

It came down to "being nice" vs "making the money themselves"
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Jason Garman
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There's no ethical problem with a store selling rare or effectively out-of-stock games for more than the MSRP. The MSRP is only a suggestion, and it only makes sense to use MSRP as a baseline when the manufacturer can supply enough units to reasonably meet the demand at that price.

With supply and demand as far out of sync as they are with Gloomhaven, someone is going to make some profit moving copies around to the people who are willing to pay the most for them. Frankly, I'd prefer to have the publisher or game stores get the extra profit, so they can use the profits to keep making or distributing great games.
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George Louie
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This question comes up all the time...

I think its wrong, but that's the way the market works.. I'm not as adverse to it with a brick and mortar FLGS doing it, as with larger online retailers..

I've seen CoolStuffInc show an item as out of stock on their website, but their Amazon.com storefront can have multiple copies of the same game for $100 over retail.

I sent them an email about it, and they told me that the stuff on Amazon comes from an alternate supply source. my issue is that there is nothing keeping them from buying their own stock and setting it aside for their Amazon storefront to sell at inflated prices and calling that an alternate supply source..

I know it makes no difference if its a OLGS, or a brick and mortar FLGS, but it just seems worse to me when the OLGS does it..
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Jason Daly
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Thanee wrote:
So, you would prefer them to offer the game for the regular price, so someone else can buy all their copies and offer them for a massively inflated price instead?


At first I had mixed feelings about this, but you nailed it right there.
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Steve G
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I guess its fair game then. It seemed a bit of a grey area to me, but I guess not. whistle
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Mike Jones
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Kinverbgc wrote:
I guess its fair game then. It seemed a bit of a grey area to me, but I guess not. whistle


As some one that said it's alright. I will give you that it is 'grey area'
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James C
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Get off my lawn wrote:
Market value is ethical.


Agree.
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Nicholas Krause
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Does it stink for you? Yes. Does it make perfect sense for the shop owner? Absolutely. That owner probably has an ebay or amazon sellers account and as that products hanging out in his shop has it listed online for the going rate. If he can make 160 bucks on a game instead of 40 why shouldn't that owner do so? Chances are they make less money than you. Chances are they're struggling to stay afloat. It only makes good sense for them to make the most money that they can. That being said, if you truly think you deserve to buy it at MSRP, (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price, then make an appeal to the owner. Let them know that you've been a good an loyal customer for x many years spending lots of money in their shop and if would mean a lot to you if you could pick that game up at MSRP or if not MSRP at least close to it. If all of those things are true then chances are the shop owner will do just that. If after your appeal they still won't then maybe you should rethink your relationship with that store. If your business isn't valuable then feel free to buy online. What goes around comes around. That being said, if you aren't a loyal customer, if you don't spend a a lot of money there over the course of a given year, then he almost obligated to his business to not give it to you for MSRP. After all there's being nice and there's being an idiot.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Get off my lawn wrote:
Market value is ethical.
True, but how you create it may well not be.

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Michael Drog
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SuperGLS wrote:
Get off my lawn wrote:
Market value is ethical.


Agree.


Boo capitalism...oh wait.. unless I can take advantage of it.
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Chris Robbins
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I have games I've probably forgotten and games I know I have but I don't know where. If something else comes up, I just pay what it takes, or go hunting for something old in my attic.

In a starving world, a can of beans may have a significant markup.

If you don't like the price (for a toy, after all) don't buy it.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Of course there is a flip side to this (as happened with book shops) undercutting the RRP. They whined about the fact bulk buyers could sell books for less then the book shops were buying them wholesale.

At this time no one has the inclination to do that. Not respecting RRP (or it's American equivalent) may come back to bite you.
 
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Boaty McBoatface
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bltzlfsk wrote:
I have games I've probably forgotten and games I know I have but I don't know where. If something else comes up, I just pay what it takes, or go hunting for something old in my attic.

In a starving world, a can of beans may have a significant markup.

If you don't like the price (for a toy, after all) don't buy it.
Some of do not, and also wont give trade to people who do this.
 
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Mike Jones
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bltzlfsk wrote:
I have games I've probably forgotten and games I know I have but I don't know where. If something else comes up, I just pay what it takes, or go hunting for something old in my attic.

In a starving world, a can of beans may have a significant markup.

If you don't like the price (for a toy, after all) don't buy it.


I'd have more of a problem with it, if it was a can of beans instead of a luxury item.
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Russ Williams
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Kinverbgc wrote:
I totally understand consumers reselling their copies of games and while some will buy more (kickstarter) copies than they need with the intention of reselling for profit, I dont have a problem with that practice. That said, it feels very different to see a large retailer with stock of a rare game that they are selling at a massively inflated price.

It feels unethical to me, but maybe I am being unfair/ naive, so was curious to see what others think.

I'm curious why you think it's unethical for a game store to do it, but not unethical for an individual person to do it.
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George Louie
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slatersteven wrote:
Both and neither.

If they deliberately buy up games to create a shortage (I have seen this with some remainder items (not games) that is unethical. If they juyst have old stock it's not unethical.



What I've seen is OLGS advertising that they only have 5 in stock, then when the stock goes down to 1, they magically get a new shipment in and have 5 more in stock...

While its quite possible the OLGS are getting shipments in blocks of 5 per week, or 5 every 3 days, and those align perfectly with the stores sell rate.. I think its more likely that they're holding back stock and advertising lower stock amounts to keep perceived supply low and demand high..

While I don't think that the supply vs demand pricing is unethical, especially for luxury or recreational goods, I think deceptive business practices are, whether that's controlling the perceived availability, or not being honest in how your inventory is being managed (see my other post.)

I guess what makes me uneasy is the lack of transparency in the business practices.

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jhonny seven
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while I despise these price hikes as well, these shops will not see a dime from me, however there are plenty of people who are willing to pay these prices so it will just continue. I may not like it but I cant necessarily blame them either.
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