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Author Topic: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?  (Read 7955 times)

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Offline Jabroniville

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Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« on: August 28, 2016, 12:38:47 AM »
I normally hang around the Transformers line, and this is a recurring problem there- does it happen here?

For the unaware, a "Toy Scalper" is someone who goes to toy stores, buying up the rarer stuff, then re-selling it (usually in their own store, or on eBay) at inflated prices to make a huge profit. They're VERY notorious among Transformers fans for invading Toys R Us as soon as the trucks unload, buying up EVERYTHING unique, and leaving only the numerous, common characters (Optimus Prime, Bumblebee) on the shelves. I notice that every single Combiner Wars character (who make up the big combiner figures) is 100% unseen on the shelves... but is mysteriously common in Collectible Shops, but at DOUBLE the original shelf price!

Scalpers see nothing wrong with this simple act of capitalism, but they're hated by many fans for essentially making it impossible for normal people and children to actually buy anything good. Kids are often left disappointed because only the same two or three figures are available at Toys R Us, and less-savvy parents are prone to just abandoning the hunt altogether because they don't know where else to go! There are actually huge forum arguments going back and forth on this, and some people have even resorted to taking pictures of scalpers as they go about their work!

This never seems to happen to MH & EAH stuff, as far as I can tell, though I'd imagine the San Diego Comic Con stuff may suffer from it. I HAVE noticed a handful of people selling boxed dolls from a couple of years ago for ridiculous prices at Comic Cons in my area, however- selling things only a couple years old for a hundred dollars or more! But in this case, those dolls were never rare!

There HAVE been rare-ish dolls in my neck of the woods- some things just came in limited numbers. Epic Winter has had a very small release (when compared with any MH stuff, or even the Dragon Games & Way Too Wonderland)... but nothing that scarce, and I never see them in collector shops.

Just curious. And wanting to vent a bit about scalpers making it hard to find ANY odd Transformers (looking at shelf after shelf of Optimus, Bumblebee and Motormaster is depressing and boring :)).

Offline girlnamedlance

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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2016, 02:24:26 AM »
I can't say I've noticed anything like that, outside of SDCC exclusives. Yeah the prices on those go crazy, but honestly that's to be expected considering the level of detail and exclusivity.

Anything with "crazy" prices is usually old or suitably rare, like International Haunted Spectra, Frightseers Catty, Maul Monsteristas, Save Frankie dolls, and some first-edition dolls like Cupid, Nefera, Ghoulia, and the werecats. Those can easily go $30+. (... I notice most of them on that list are Walmart exclusives lmao) Most of these availability issues are caused by stores or Mattel themselves, not through scalping.

Toot's Toys usually has a hefty markup on their dolls, but that's because they usually get things first and it's usually for those that Need It Right Now.
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Offline Breannamation

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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2016, 03:50:44 AM »
It used to be a big thing back with the older dolls like when they brought out Toralei (first example I can think of) but it stopped when the line got so big.
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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2016, 04:28:35 AM »
I saw a fair few people charging big prices for international dolls, like International Spectra (think of it like subtle eBay scalping; the price will  be fair but the shipping will be massive) and when the dolls first come out because they are relying on the 'MUST HAVE IT' factor. It's a big pet peeve for me when someone can easily pick up a harder-to-find-in-my-neck-of-the-woods doll and decide to charge an over-the-top finder's fee for it, hence I only ask to be reimbursed what I spent in buying, postage and packing materials when I doll-hunt. I got SO many orders for International Spectra back in the day, and I was able to immediately give people a quote off the top of my head because I knew exactly what I paid, what the postage would be and the packing needed.


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Offline ngcskate

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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2016, 04:35:38 AM »
Where I notice ridiculous mark ups on the dolls is sites like Kijiji and Craigslist, resale shops like Goodwill, or even flea markets and yard sales.  You'll find great dolls, missing clothes, accessories, body parts and they are trying to sell them at darn near retail because "they ARE monster high dolls you know".

Offline Morieris

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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2016, 07:11:32 AM »
I can't say i've seen any in a long time, but I also don't visit the second hand market that much.

There are some people i've seen try to sell some dolls for like 30$ when they're the 15$ EAH Sig rereleases I think but no one bites because we know better.

There's a big difference between I dunno, buying single pack Moanica in Canada and trying to charge a US person 30$ and actually selling a rare doll like Sig MH Cupid for 40$ - which is more or less what she goes for. Because there's actually a demand for her at that price and she's not made anymore.
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Offline Glowa

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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2016, 07:44:21 AM »
I'm sure there's some lvl of scalping everywhere, but I personally haven't seen outrageous stuff like what's happening in your Transformers hobby.
I do see, unfortunately, people on my FB MH/EAH sales groups trying to sell common dolls for NIB full retail prices thinking exactly what was mentioned before by ngcskate "they ARE monster high dolls you know". I just chuckle at them, as I scroll past the ads, knowing full well they'll never sell at the prices being asked. FB isn't the place to be asking those high prices anyway unless it's SDCC stuff.
I've even gone out of my way to help naive parents selling their children's collection just so they can get their money's worth and not get cheated/taken advantage of, but that's it. Most parents are trying to get as much money back as possible to afford family vacations or school supplies which I can completely understand as they really do need help putting an appropriate price on the vast amount of MH dolls out there. Some people just don't know their value.
However the other people who know full well they're ripping off people are the ones who disgust me. Good thing there aren't that many in our hobby that do this.

Offline dfotw

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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2016, 08:19:25 AM »
I have seen some terribly over-inflated prices for MH dolls on eBay (plus massive international shipping fees), but I try to steer clear of those since I know that with a bit of patience I can hope to find them here, sold by reasonable people for reasonable prices.
When I do get dolls to sell/trade, I try to charge retail + shipping exactly, even doing the peso/dollar exchange that same day to keep up with the fluctuating rates. Unfortunately, MH/EAH/Barbie/etc dolls are much pricier here than in the US (because they are fancy 'imported' items, so MtM Barbies retail for $28 and Dragon Games go for $33, for example), so I'm always afraid someone will think I'm trying to scalp them. But no, I promise, that is what dolls go for abroad! :cry:

Offline Lilithdrff

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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2016, 10:06:33 AM »
Admin Warning - Though the discussion is going well so far, we all know this can be a sensitive subject. So I'm warning it now. If it descends into an argument of any kind, this topic will be locked and warnings will be handed out. Keep it fun, keep it civil.

That said, scalpers are a way of life for any collectable item. Not surprising, and frankly, fairly normal as much as we love to hate the act.

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Offline galaxy

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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2016, 10:16:13 AM »
It was a thing back in the day... for example:
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Offline Wardah

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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2016, 10:58:02 AM »
They were and it was really bad. Thankfully (or unfortunately in my case since I collect them too) it seems most of them have moved on to the current "hot new toy", Shopkins.
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Offline dxgirly

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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2016, 12:16:29 PM »
It was REALLY prevalent when I first started collecting in 2011/2012, but pretty much doesn't happen anymore for the regular release dolls. I remember when I bought my very first MH doll, Skull Shores Ghoulia, she was literally the only MH doll on the shelf in any store within 30 minutes of my house. lol.
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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2016, 02:00:41 PM »
It was a thing back in the day... for example:
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Please say I'm not the only one who just drooled everywhere with all those MIB Neferas and fashion packs ...  :dropjaw:


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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2016, 02:16:16 PM »
Yeah, it definitely seems to have cooled down some over the past few years. I remember it being a real problem back when I first got into MH, lol.

also ooooh, all those MIB Neferas and Toraleis... *drool*

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Offline Morieris

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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2016, 02:22:27 PM »
Every thing either gets stocked to abundance or gets stocked so badly not even the scalpers can find them :P
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Offline Ameyal

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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2016, 03:04:32 PM »
If international shipping wasn't so outrageous, I would do something like that... stuff I have heard you guys getting the short staff is clearanced here(Neighthan, Haunted Spectra, Invisibilly, Invisibilly's 5 pack, GA Robecca, SU Kitty, WTW Briar and a looong etc) add a finders fee and I would be rich! spend that money in other dolls, or maybe trade for stuff that never made it here :/

I thankfully(?) was late to the MH craze, but I have heard they were being sold triple their price(or more) when their first hit it huge.

Offline Jabroniville

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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2016, 03:23:48 PM »
Oh yeah, I'm reminded of when I first saw MH, the Toys R Us in Times Square (NYC) was limiting people to only one Abbey. This was when they were new. I didn't realize it was so prevalent then. Was the hobby just bigger/more of a fad back then?

Offline TheFuzz

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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2016, 04:06:38 PM »
It used to be a HUGE problem, doubled over with bad distribution, back during the first couple years, but it seems to have calmed down quite a lot. I definitely see eBayers trying to sell things for stupid prices and we have the 'preorder' eBayers who charge a chunk more than they're worth, but overall I think the scalpers have moved on to other things. These days it's not unusual for collectors to HELP each other find rare/htf/exclusive dolls for affordable prices.

I feel you on the TFs tho. It doesn't help that the general shelf space in stores has been shrinking and they stop ordering new cases once the shelf is full of bees.

Offline Melissa

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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2016, 05:07:23 PM »
Black Friday deals seem to still be a target for scalpers but otherwise I've not noticed it in the last 2-3 years.

Offline mephisto

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Re: Are Toy Scalpers a thing with this fandom?
« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2016, 01:08:42 AM »
Black Friday deals seem to still be a target for scalpers but otherwise I've not noticed it in the last 2-3 years.

And with clearance....omg the scalping on clearance items is bad in PA.

I once went to Target to check out their after Christmas sales, and there were a ton of Bratz, EAH  and some MH on clearance.  I slowly went though the aisles looking for what I wanted, but by the time I looped back to the beginning to reassess some dolls and compare, everything was gone, and some tiny unseeming lady with a cart full of toys was staring between the shelves and her phone.  She was probably trying to see just how much she could overcharget on ebay.