Vintage: Is it possible to be a scalper of vintage toys?

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Darth Sebulba:
Oh yeah, another thing about these scalpers... to most collectors, one is plenty, especially on the truly rare items (VC Jawa 12 back, DT Luke etc.) To a Scalper, it doesn't matter if they already have 1 or 30 of an item. If they can get it cheap and resell it for a profit, they will.

So, Vintage Scalpers DO exist, from a certain point-of-view.
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What you describe using the VC Jawa as an example is identical to what secondary market dealers do in all areas of collecting, from antiques to old paintings. Someone who finds a Mickey Mantle rookie card in a barn somewhere and then sells it for a massive profit is not a scalper. The fact that he might already have this card in his possession matters not a bit.

This has already been discussed, but it's worth mentioning again: A scalper is someone who manipulates the primary market (Walmart, the ticket office at a ballpark, etc.) so that he can diminish supply and sell for a profit on the secondary market (the flea market, Ebay).

At this point in time, the vintage SW hobby operates exclusively on the secondary market, where there are no set "retail" prices. By necessity, prices are determined via supply and demand.

By contrast, one can walk into Walmart and purchase a currently-available figure for its retail price regardless of supply and demand. This is what allows true scalpers to step in and start fouling things up.

In any case, the term "scalper" is being mis-used when it's applied to vintage sellers. If you think selling for profit is distasteful, then invent a new term to refer to dealers who engage in practices you're not happy about. Call them "profiteers" or something.

ron
 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ronsalvatore:
Someone who finds a Mickey Mantle rookie card in a barn somewhere and then sells it for a massive profit is not a scalper. The fact that he might already have this card in his possession matters not a bit.
ron
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Oh yes that is. Someone that would find that and keep it for their own collection would be a true collector. One who would pick it up just to sale after finding it (instead of keeping it) would be a scalper, profiteer, dealer, greedy person, selfish person or whatever word or term you wish to use to describe an individual who would do such a thing. Who cares which word one choses, the idea of someone doing this is what is the true argument, not some term that became the most popular for the problem.

Anyways, guys. I think that this thread has stayed calm and has not got out of hand like many of the other forums. With that I would like to thank all of those that have been involved in this and kept it at a mature level with no personal attacks. Everyone will have their views, but man I sure have enjoyed reading all the way through this one. You guys have kept this calm and collective. Please dont think that I am picking on anyone here, I am just giving my two cents just like everyone else here.

[This message has been edited by Chewbacca99 (edited 06-28-2001).]
 
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True collectors sell stuff that they have extras of in order to finance their own collections all of the time. My grandfather collects toy tractors (I swear to God - his collection is valued at well over half a million dollars).
He combs garage sales and flea markets, as well as estate sales and so on - I have never known him to not buy a valuable toy out of altruism. If it's valualble, he buys it, and eventually sells it in order to buy a tractor that he wants. If that's scalping, then every one here is guilty of some form of scalping or another, I'll bet. I'm sure that most people here have sold off a few of their things to finance a different toy that they need/want more. That is simply shrewd collecting, and nothing else. MAnipulating supply is one thing (as do current scalpers) but you cannot manipulate the supply of toys that are no longer in production. In fact, it's impossible to do so.
 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chewbacca99:

Oh yes that is. Someone that would find that and keep it for their own collection would be a true collector. One who would pick it up just to sale after finding it (instead of keeping it) would be a scalper, profiteer, dealer, greedy person, selfish person or whatever word or term you wish to use to describe an individual who would do such a thing.
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I guess I am a profiteer, dealer, greedy person, selfish and a scalper then. If I found something of value that I didn't want for myself, I would sell it at the current market value in order to get something that I do want. I wouldn't expect anything less from my fellow vintage collectors either.



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Dan W. Flarida
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chewbacca99:

Oh yes that is. Someone that would find that and keep it for their own collection would be a true collector. One who would pick it up just to sale after finding it (instead of keeping it) would be a scalper, profiteer, dealer, greedy person, selfish person or whatever word or term you wish to use to describe an individual who would do such a thing. Who cares which word one choses, the idea of someone doing this is what is the true argument, not some term that became the most popular for the problem.
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You just agreed with me and disagreed with me in the same paragraph.

I never said that a dealer had to be a "true collector." But there is a huge difference between a dealer and a scalper (though we won't go over the distinctions again).

You're certainly free to feel however you wish about people selling for profit. No one is telling you what to think regarding that subject. But I have to take issue with you on the idea that the accusations we hurl at people don't matter, so long as the people in question have done *anything* that, in Chewbacca99's eyes, is inappropriate. You don't get to call someone a scalper just because you feel like it.

Who cares what word one chooses? I think a lot of people do. Considering that the term "scalper" has become, at least to some, about the worst insult one could throw at someone within the hobby, I think it's quite important that we're careful about who we apply it to.

Anyway, like I said, you're free to be against capitalistic practices within the vintage hobby. I just think you're way off base in applying the "scalper" designation so broadly.

Furthermore, I think you should, as a matter of principle, quit buying from (and selling to) dealers, as well as anyone who is not a "true collector," from here on out.
ron

[This message has been edited by ronsalvatore (edited 06-28-2001).]
 
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We need to understand the word scalping more effectively here. Scalping pertains to items that are currently shipping and available in retail. It does not apply to collectibles that have been out of the market for 20 years.

To apply a "scalping" topic to vintage discussion is utterly ridiculous. In plain English, one cannot walk in to a Wal Mart and buy a 21 back Fett for $5.86 and turn around and resell it on eBay for $20. Vintage items are no longer being produced and are in limited and ever diminishing quantities (to an ever increasing demand). Prices for vintage reflect that demand for the most part (and yes, there are a few greedy and unscrupulous dealers...but they aren't called scalpers...they're called greedy and unscrupulous dealers).

Folks, there are quite a few knowledgeable and intelligent vintage collectors who frequent this forum. This place is a tremendous resource, especially for those jumping into vintage for the first time. Let's think before we post and understand the vintage market a bit better before we begin throwing inaccuracies.

By the way, can anyone scalp me a 21 back Fett for 20 bucks?


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I plan on selling several carded figures soon. Because I've had many of them for several years, I'll undoubtedly be selling them for more than I paid.

I guess I'm a "scalper, profiteer, dealer, greedy person, selfish person or whatever word or term you wish to use to describe an individual who would do such a thing."

R. Jason Coulston
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I really, REALLY wish I never started this topic. It has raised lots of interesting points about who gets to define terms, but it's also beaten a dead horse into a semantic pulp.

One point that has been raised (albeit again and again), is that the vintage market is far from immune from unethical people.

In many ways, a vintage dealer who takes advantage of someone's ignorance to make a profit is worse than a new figure "scalper." They rip of both the supplier and the consumer. If someone walks into a store with a carded double telescoping Luke and the dealer tells them it's worth $5, buys it, and then sells it for a fortune, then that person is clearly a low-life. This kind of rip-off artistry goes on in the antiques market all the time, so it's no surprise to find it in our hobby as well.

As for the many collectors who frequent this forum who also make a profit on the vintage market, I've never heard ANY stories of Ron, Dan, etc. ripping people off. In fact, I've seen then keep people from getting ripped off by telling us all about the nature of the vintage market. How many times has someone posted a "is this for real?" message only to find out from one of the more experienced collectors that the item is a fake? Lots.

Whatever else we disagree about (and clearly many have strong feelings about the use of a word that has been perverted since its inception), I'm sure we can agree that there is a vast difference between someone who makes a profit off buying and selling vintage toys honestly, and someone who makes their money by cheating people on both ends of the deal.

Incidentally, the Toyfare ad from which our own RocketFett got his Rocket Fett is all about the fine line between making money and ripping someone off. Apparently, the dealer bought a bunch of Rocket Fetts for far less than what he should have paid. The amazing thing is that, after the guy found out he hadn't been treated fairly, the dealer paid the guy a fair price. Maybe RF can post a link to the ad.
Anyway, please let this topic die.
Thanks.
 
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I agree with everyone that has posted here. Everyone can sale and buy without getting the term "scalper" slapped at them. I would buy from you all here and I would sale to all of you here and we can all be free from that term. However, someone not involved in that transaction would then be the one that might toss in that word again. Its at our best interest to not get hot about it. Everyone has their little version of what a scalper is and everyone is right. The word scalper has turned into a word that can really offend someone. The vintage community is highly respected and should not have to deal with this issue. Since we are still all getting along great, maybe we can just call it a day and continue on with out collecting habits and enjoy what we have. Thanks
 
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I'm not sure why it happened or who did it, but I really didn't see any reason for this thread being closed. We are having a civil debate about a topic that does pertain to vintage collectors and the misconceptions of collecting styles. If everyone has said their piece on this topic, the thread will die by itself. If not, I'd hate to restrict a fellow collectors ability to voice their opinion on the subject.



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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by darthsmithers:
I really, REALLY wish I never started this topic. It has raised lots of interesting points about who gets to define terms, but it's also beaten a dead horse into a semantic pulp. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think it's been an interesting debate, and it's obviously a hot-button topic. So you shouldn't feel bad for bringing it up.

There seems to be a slight misconception among some that this has become some huge, knock-down-drag-out argument. On the contrary, I think it's been quite civil. Disagreements aren't bad things so long as people keep their heads.

ron
 
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