Why We F#%King HATE Console Scalpers

Everyone is incredibly excited about the announcement of the Super NES Classic Edition. The reboot of the beloved Nintendo console will allow a brand new generation of gamers to enjoy the classics. It will also allow those who remember the original to enjoy some of their favorite and most nostalgic games all over again. Not only will it come pre-loaded with 21 games, and have two (yes two!) controllers in the box, it's including the never before released Star Fox 2 as well!

Basically the Super NES Classic Edition has everything that new and old consumers alike want right now. Unfortunately, consumers aren't the only ones who already want this console. As with anything else new and exciting, the Super NES Classic Edition is bound to bring out the scalpers as well. A quick run-down of the anger-inducing and all too familiar practice is this. A single individual will buy anywhere from a couple to a handful to a large amount of consoles and then will resell them at a higher price. The point is that one individual holds the key to supply and demand, rather than the original corporation. They can mark up the price of the item because there is more demand than supply. The reason for this is of course because they themselves bought a bunch of the console, making it more difficult for others to get their hands on one.


Why would people pay the added cost you may wonder? Well look at it this way. The Nintendo Switch has been out for quite some time, and yet there's still an incredibly high demand for them and not as much supply. Some people are turning to services like eBay and Amazon to get theirs, since they can't get it from the stores around them. Either they have a child they really love or they themselves don't want to wait the time period it'll take for legitimate suppliers to restock. For them, the added cost is merely a convenience/timeliness tax. I see it this way. Fidgets spinners are selling literally everywhere, including gas stations, for around $8-10. I found that to be way too expensive for my blood. So I waited to give them a try until I could find them for two dollars online. Not everyone wants to wait that long. Some were willing to pay the $10 at the gas station. It's the same for those that buy from scalpers. They suck up their dignity and pay the exorbitant price to have it sooner than those who wait.

This is a seriously big issue with seemingly simple fixes. Rather than allow people to buy as many as they want of something (especially when it's a new product), limit them to a certain number. Cell phone retailers have something similar in effect with new iPhones. While people line up for hours to get the new phone, they are usually only allowed to buy one. This could easily be put into effect with new consoles. Rather than allow Jill Pill to buy 29 Super NES Classic Editions, only allow her to buy one or two. Even if she wants to buy one for her own children and her niece and nephew, two is plenty. This will allow Joe Schmo to buy one at regular price for his children as well, rather than having to buy a triply priced one from Jill down the line.


Many people are for this type of system, but look at it from the opposite direction for a moment. If we limited people to x amount of consoles, it could affect special situations. Say a director for a Children's Hospital wants to stock a dozen of their hospitals with Super NES Classic Edition systems so the children have something new to play. Or they want to buy the same amount for one hospital, so that they can loan them to the children's specific room. This director would not be able to buy the number of consoles they needed to satisfy the number of tiny humans they'd like to.

That, of course, would be a sad situation. But unfortunately we can't make rules for the exceptions, we have to make them for the majority. The best way to stop scalpers from happening is to either stop buying from them (which harder to control), or limit the amount of purchases made in the beginning. Limit people to one console at a time, keep photos of known scalpers available to all your employees. And online retailers can limit one per account, or one per IP address. As simple as this solution sounds, it's still up to the retailers to enact it, which is out of our hands as consumers.

What do you think? Should we limit console purchases to prevent scalpers? Should we allow people to buy as many as they want? Have you bought anything from a scalper before? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!

April Marie
April Marie

Contributing Writer
Date: 06/29/2017

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