Author Topic: Jedi Defender: Scalper Supported?  (Read 1696 times)

Jango Fettish

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Jedi Defender: Scalper Supported?
« on: April 9, 2003, 11:31 AM »
As ugly as it may sound, it's true.

Why is it that Jedi Defender has sought out the support of
Star Wars e-stores/retailers that are infact pretty notorious for price gouging? Is this not cardinal sin of collecting?

Case in point, I saw on the main page that Cloud City Collectibles had the new Boba Fett:Pit of Carkoon figure in stock and ready to ship. Naturally I was excited, and prepared to grab one.

Much to my dismay, after searching, Cloud City Collectibles is charging a HORRENDOUS $14.99, and that's for a figure on a card that is AT BEST a C-7!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thats 3 x retail price!

On top of that, they want $21.99 for an Ephant Mon that is being reshipped as we speak. $21.99 guys, thats more than FOUR TIMES his retail.

As a already well respected website, how can we justify supporting stores like Brians Toys and Cloud City Collectibles, when they are in fact both scalpers? I realize that to be in business is to make profit, but these stores pay less than retail per figure they buy. Hasbro direct account holders get discounts when they buy in bulk, which means as I said, they pay less than retail per piece.

Whats the justification in being supported by price gougers, that rarely have their stock on hand to begin with, aside from the fact that they may provide some free items every once in a while? Are you guys not aware of their shady practices, or do you just sacrifice pride for sponsorship, no mattwe who the provider?

Not even Rebelscum advertises for Brians Toys.
Sorry for the rant, but I am extremely dissappointed.

Offline MisterPL

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Re: Jedi Defender: Scalper Supported?
« Reply #1 on: April 9, 2003, 11:45 AM »
Welcome to Publishing 101.

This site doesn't pay for itself with love, it is supported in part or in whole by whatever advertising revenue it can collect. Radio, television, or any mass media outside of government supported public media requires advertisers.

If it will make you feel any better, look at it from Robin Hood's point of view: JediDefender and other sites are robbing from the rich to put up collecting sites where we don't HAVE to pay ridiculous amounts of cash for an Ephant Mon.

Personally I'd rather have JediDefender as an internet resource for figures than not. If their site is paid for with "dirty" money, at least it's going to a good cause... ME! (And other collectors, I suppose.  ;) )
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Offline Reconsgt

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Re: Jedi Defender: Scalper Supported?
« Reply #2 on: April 9, 2003, 12:42 PM »
I see those sites banners but I stay away from them. I like having Defender here so I don't mind that ad revenues keep it open.  I shop around or preferably trade or buy from members here or other places so I don't have to pay those prices.
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Offline Mikey D

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Re: Jedi Defender: Scalper Supported?
« Reply #3 on: April 9, 2003, 01:35 PM »
Nobody's forcing anyone to buy from them or any other store for that matter.  Its just a matter of paying the bills.  Will I buy from them?  No, because their prices are too high.  Will I stop coming to JD because they're sponsered by them? No.  I love the comradere (sp?) here, but I'm smart enough to know when I can get items cheaper.  
« Last Edit: April 9, 2003, 01:36 PM by Mikey D »
Common sense isn't so common

Offline Scott

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Re: Jedi Defender: Scalper Supported?
« Reply #4 on: April 9, 2003, 01:43 PM »
I am not going to bad mouth our sponsors let's just say that I don't support all of them financially either though.  We actually behind the scenes have had some pretty serious discussions as to who should be a sponsor and who shouldn't and even on staff we are split as to which ones should and shouldn't.  If Chris could pay all of the hosting fees and the like out of pocket I am sure he would but he can't so sponsorship is necessary.  We are also small enough (right now ;)) that some of the bigger guys out there won't think about sponsoring us or won't return our calls.

I for a long time have wanted Newforce Comics on board as a sponsor...they don't sponsor anyone anymore though.  

Other approaches I see though include a member donation drive where users actually pay the sites fees through some sort of membership drive not at all unlike the PBS telethons.  That is a nifty way to do it if you have the readership to do so...but it kind of is tacky too IMO.

About Brian's Toys...I agree with your assessment of their modern stuff Cory, but if you ask a group of collectors both modern and vintage about BT's and the reactions will be totally mixed.

Chris probably has more to say on this than I do but that is where I stand and what I know...suggestions for additional sponsors is welcome BTW

I also thought you were going to say we were aligned with SSG somehow Cory :P
« Last Edit: April 9, 2003, 01:45 PM by OCB »

Offline dustrho

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Re: Jedi Defender: Scalper Supported?
« Reply #5 on: April 9, 2003, 02:00 PM »
Mixed reactions will come from your inital post Cory, but you do make a valid point.  I have never bought from Brianstoys or Cloud City before, but these are two companies that have been in the business for a while now.  Their names are very well known, and some people like them & others don't.  The reason why they charge that much money is because people do pay those high prices on Star Wars items.  I wouldn't pay that much for a lot of their items, but if I were absolutely dying for an Ephant Mon then I might pay the $20 for it.  I just bought R2-B1 (Episode 1) off of eBay for $18, and I thought it was a steal, especially when the card was in a perfect C-10 condition.  Ephant Mon is definitely worth more than just its retail of $5.  If you go onto eBay you will see it sell on the average for about $15, so you have to take into account the figure's true value and how readily available it is.

In regards to the advertising and how we chose to use Brianstoys and Cloud City, that would have to be answered by Chris (the Admin of this site).  I was not involved in that portion of the site, so I really cannot comment about that.
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Offline Chris

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Re: Jedi Defender: Scalper Supported?
« Reply #6 on: April 9, 2003, 02:48 PM »
There are many costs of running JediDefender.com and those costs are payed by our advertisers. A buisness is around to make a profit and it is up to the individual if they want to purchase from a [certain] buisness. This site would not be around if it were not for stores like Brians Toys and Cloud City Collectibles. We do not charge for our services and in order to provide you with what you have come to enjoy, we need this sponsor support. You are not forced to purchase from any site listed on JediDefender.

We decide who we choose as sponsors in a meticulous fashion. We choose on a factors including customer service, credibility, and quality. I thank everyone for supporting our sponsors and understanding my views on the issue.

Offline Scott

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Re: Jedi Defender: Scalper Supported?
« Reply #7 on: April 9, 2003, 02:52 PM »
I'd also like to add we have dropped sponsors based on shoddy reports from our readership and are continually looking for new ways to go in this avenue.  I think some of your points are valid Cory, I'd like to hear some alternatives

Offline MisterPL

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Re: Jedi Defender: Scalper Supported?
« Reply #8 on: April 9, 2003, 03:18 PM »
Long ago and far away - on the Yakface boards - I remember some collectors regularly going off about the evils of eBay and how scalper-friendly the auction site was. They swore they'd never have anything to do with that despicable, toy mongering site.

Then I pointed out they were posting on a board with an eBay banner link running across the top of the page. I suggested they put their money where their mouth was and leave, since eBay was clearly sponsoring the site.

That thread didn't go well as I recall.

Bottom line: This is about toy collections, not concentration camps. If a sponsor were a known pedopile, I'd post elsewhere. Otherwise, I'll just make my business my own and shop smart, as always.
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Jango Fettish

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Re: Jedi Defender: Scalper Supported?
« Reply #9 on: April 9, 2003, 04:05 PM »
I don't have any other alternatives, other than to seek out e-tailers that haven't left a bad taste in the mouths of collectors.

Sponsors aren't going to stop me from coming here, I just wanted to see if anyone on the staff actually buys from them, or just advertise for the sake of running the site.

I think I got a little carried away to begin with, but it really just pissed me off that were sponsoring Brians Toys especially. What I find even more unbelievable is that Brian himself actually donates money to other sites.

Anyway, thanks for understanding and hopefully there is no ill feelings.

Offline Scott

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Re: Jedi Defender: Scalper Supported?
« Reply #10 on: April 9, 2003, 04:16 PM »
Cory, there in lies the problem, like I said we are not officially one of the big boys yet and cannot pick and choose our sponsors.  We forced the hand we are dealt so to speak and try our best to mix it right...both CC and BT are two of the best Vintage sites out there IMO.   Modern stuff I think KebCo has a very good rep as well so it really is a mix of things to keep the site viable and all content free which leads me to my next topic...

Starwars.com has recently ssemi announced that a pay website is in the works where you get exclusive content, behind the scenes access, expanded databank etc etc.  I am actually all for this idea actually.  The question is do you think if a sites community is strong enough a pay site would be make enough money to support the site?  I know one major Simpsons Site exists totally free of sponsors and has a membership drive each year

Jango Fettish

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Re: Jedi Defender: Scalper Supported?
« Reply #11 on: April 9, 2003, 07:09 PM »
Well, there are more honest e-tailers than Brians Toys the showcase that need just as much publicity.

But hey, let him charge $19.99 for a Carkoon Boba. And when he sends Chris an e mail, saying he can longer pay for his banner on JD due to the fact that he can't hold any business on account of being a price gouger that nobody will support, you can say I told ya so. KNow what I mean?

IMO, I would be too proud to have Brians Toys as a sponsor. This is on the borderline of selling out.

Offline aka DaBigKahuna

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Re: Jedi Defender: Scalper Supported?
« Reply #12 on: April 9, 2003, 08:08 PM »
I personally do not sell any retail figures as I have two boys.  Once I took them to see AOTC, my youngest naturally wanted a Yoda.  Nowhere to be found!  My point is this...scalping or gouging prices IMO stinks.  Even if the majority of the folks buying these figures are adults.  

I utilize the trade boards to hopefully trade for what I need, by the way I added a few things to my trade list.

In life, you are confronted with situations in which you may have to do things that you may not necessarily want to do.  Hopefully, you chose to fight the battles that violate your concious.

My point is this, the one thing everyone is given is this - FREE WILL.  
« Last Edit: April 9, 2003, 08:09 PM by FishEyedLouie »

Offline Morgbug

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Re: Jedi Defender: Scalper Supported?
« Reply #13 on: April 9, 2003, 11:44 PM »
Heh, start collecting McFarlane sportspicks if you really want to see what scalping is all about.  Ebay dictates price, even on that board.  Quite lovely, I must say, particularly since I can't always get to stores at 7 am.  Oh well, lots of contacts in the SW world to help me out.   ;)

I guess with respect to the sponsors, depends on how they obtain their figures.  If a store had someone out at store opening buying up figures to resell, yep, that's scalping.  If, on the other hand, they have product delivered to their door, they can sell it for whatever they please.  For every Ephant Mon they send out the door at $20, they probably take a loss on Jar Jar Senator.  

You've got the right idea Cory, no support, no business.  But I sure see why they have them as a sponsor, because the site costs money, so you takes what you gets.  And from what Scott says, for vintage, they're pretty good.  Not a bad thing to have redeeming qualities.  

Vintage.  *shudder*, now there's a road I don't want to go down...
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Offline JoshEEE

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Question about Ads on this site.
« Reply #14 on: August 5, 2003, 01:05 PM »
Every day I've been here this week, Bam.

Brian's Toys ads.

I'm sure they're paying a lot of money and helping to keep this site up and running, but it seems like they're getting extra heavy rotation this week or something.

This isn't to start a big debate about Brian's Toys being the scourge of the Star Wars collecting universe (although they are).

I'm just curious why they seem to be in such heavy rotation lately. Did they send a big check, or am I just unlucky to be hitting the site at the exact moment their lame ads come up?
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