Author Topic: Not to start a Scalper Topic, but.....  (Read 2057 times)

Offline Jesse James

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Not to start a Scalper Topic, but.....
« on: March 12, 2004, 03:25 PM »
I posted this over at Rebelscum, as that's where this whole thing took place (In the customs section) but I was appauled to see someone blurt out how proud they are to scalp things.

No misunderstandings, this person simply scalps and is proud of it...

Wanna read the thread?  It's all  RIGHT HERE for your viewing pleasure.  I actually got into a debate with this woman about selling custom figures, and stealing other people's work like custom cards and selling them in particular.  

I did a little snooping of this person's Ebay auctions though, and found that she scalps brand new Saga figures as well...  

I called her on it, and she as much admitted that she buys up stuff to make a profit off it.

Some of my particular favorite quotes of hers in her lame arguments include:

Jedimasteraimster Wrote:

 
Quote
The reason why you see the saga figures on Ebay right now is because they are hot off the shelves and I can make money off them. I have probably 1000 carded figures from POTF, POTJ, EP1, SAGA and vintage. I collect them because they are there, but that doesn't mean I think they are any good. I see people scuplt much better figures with their own 2 hands. Hasbro is purely out for profit and not to please us collectors. That is the "real" shame of this hobby.

& Jedimasteraimster Wrote:

 
Quote
Nor, do I like people calling me unscrupulous because I engage in activites that 100,000+ others engage in, such as making profit off a hobby. Hell, people paint, cross stitch, and do tons of things and sell them on Ebay for profit.

Like I said...  Far be it from me to start a scalper thread here...  I'm often as tired of them as you are, but when I see a scalper proudly discussing his/her actions on a collecting forum, I flat out chuckle about it...  Then I let everyone know who is out there gloating about what they do.

What a charmer that person is!    :)
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Offline MisterPL

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Re: Not to start a Scalper Topic, but.....
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2004, 07:28 PM »
I know one guy who pays for his own collection by buying two or three "popular" figures and selling them for a premium. From his point of view, it's just smart business. He's always got buyers willing to pay the premium and his collection hasn't cost him a cent.

He insists he only takes what he needs to support his hobby, and he doesn't consider himself a "scalper" because he opens his figures. He's not a speculator, not an investor, just a collector who - as far as he's concerned - has found a "clever" way to let the hobby pay for itself.

My personal philosophy on scalping is this: In a perfect world, Hasbro would just keep satisfying collector demand as well as what the scalpers are hoarding. I'd be patient and say, "Scalp all you want; they'll make more."

In the absense of this perfect world, I see the biggest problem being collectors themselves who are either too impatient or too wealthy to wait. No one can dictate to these people how much or when they spend their cash, even though they are the lifeblood of the scalping opportunist and therefore the other half of the scalping problem.

So how do you cut out that opportunistic middle man? Is there a way to making scalping harder while making collecting easier on everyone?

If Hasbro priced their product using a "skimming" strategy, these "Me first!" collectors would be paying $20 per figure just to be the first one on the block to possess Figure X. A month later, twice as much product would be released at $10 each. After yet another month, figures would be released in even larger quantities at $5 each.

This way, the manufacturer makes the profit, not the scalpers. Collectors with the means and the inclination to spend more to get a figure early still can, and those who are on tighter budgets can wait patiently for the biggest wave of the lowest priced figures.
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Offline JediMAC

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Re: Not to start a Scalper Topic, but.....
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2004, 07:43 PM »
Just a way of life in this hobby really (unfortunately)...  It ain't goin' anywhere, so I just tend to ignore it for the most part.  There's always the issue of some figures winding up being VHTF at retail, or just people's total lack of patience when it comes to the new stuff.  To which I suggest making friends and trading partners with people here in the forums who would be happy to help you out with stuff, and also showing a little more patience when new stuff gets released.

Sometimes it just takes a while before you can actually find yourself some on your local pegs - several months even.  It's tough to wait that long , I know, especially when others are all excited over finding the latest new thing(s) themselves.  But if you don't want to pay a premium (however small or large), ya' just got to grit your teeth and bare it.

I also think that sometimes when someone shows up on the boards like the lady Jesse's pointed out, and starts yapping about scalping stuff in such a bragadocious manner to a bunch of Star Wars collectors, that they're actually just some total imposter faking the whole thing just to watch everyone get totally riled up over their topic.  I've definitely seen that happen on several occasions in the past, so beware of "phony scalpers"!   :P
« Last Edit: March 12, 2004, 07:44 PM by JediMAC »

Offline jokabofe

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Re: Not to start a Scalper Topic, but.....
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2004, 08:47 PM »
you know what, jesse? i don't have the time (or the patience) to read that entire thread, but i'm this close to posting a response, because if i'm not mistaken, it was me who "tattled" on her to ebay for using a card that i made. i've "tattled" on several people who have stolen cards that i made and put them up on ebay. i just really don't have the energy to get involved in that crap right now...  ::)

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Not to start a Scalper Topic, but.....
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2004, 09:17 PM »
OOOOoooo Dave, you HAVE to man.  

I don't expect you to read that thread, but check out her first post (Bitchin' about who "tattled on her" for using their card on her figure), and all that jazz...  If that was your card, and she's calling YOU the "idiot" that tattled on her, then you have to say something.

If you guys want a synopsis, here goes...

She came in bitchin' about the Sith Infiltrator on Ebay getting pulled or taken down.  

She said she got a carded figure she made pulled because it was someone else's card (and the person recognized while browsing Ebay) and they told Ebay.  She can't post more customs, so she's bitchin'.

I said "Selling customs is detrimental to customizers in general because it causes increases in bootlegging, knock-offs, and faking vintage stuff".  

Then I said "I see you have a ton of stuff you're scalping on Ebay" (In less harsh words).

She's mad at me over this stuff, but it's true
AAAANNNNNNDDDDD
She admitted to both actions.  She admitted to the carded custom she tried passing off as her own, and she admits she goes to stores (retail stores) buys up figures and sells them for profit.

Like I said, I'm not one to bring up scalping guys...  It's there, and it's not going anywhere.  I accept that.

BUT...

I do NOT like seeing these ******** come into a site like Scum and basically GLOAT about what they do.  Do they not deserve some less than civil feedback given to them?  I think so, and I really hope you all would too.

I know you guys don't want to get involved too heavily, but if you dislike scalping and scalpers...  And I bet you ALL do...  I would take the opportunity to voice that opinion.  People like her, when they out themselves like this, shouoldn't be allowed to think THEIR actions are any better than the individual who insists on "having it first".  That they do not shoulder some blame.

I accept scalpers are there as much as you guys do, but I'd never have even mentioned them if she weren't showing other unscrupulous activity like selling another customizer's work like she tried.

I agree with you MisterPL that the buyers are 50% of the problem or more.  But that doesn't mean we shouldn't tear into a scalper when one presents itself on a message forum.

She asked for it, and she deserves it at this stage.  She just happened to make the wrong remarks in a thread I posted initially.

She's getting a lot of crap from me, and nobody's really jumped in (Darth Ball did though, haha...  I thought he'd take interest in it) as of right now, but I think it's time to get a point across to at least one individual.  

I wouldn't even want this person in my community if they were helpful in some way.  What she does is wrong to me, quite simply.
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Offline jokabofe

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Re: Not to start a Scalper Topic, but.....
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2004, 09:33 PM »
OOOOoooo Dave, you HAVE to man.  

I don't expect you to read that thread, but check out her first post (Bitchin' about who "tattled on her" for using their card on her figure), and all that jazz...  If that was your card, and she's calling YOU the "idiot" that tattled on her, then you have to say something.

not quite sure if it was or not. i know that i had contacted ebay on several occasions - at least 4 that i can recall off the top of my head - and pointed them to the custom section of artoosnews.com (r.i.p.) that had a bunch of custom cards that i created. but i really don't feel like getting involved. of course, it being friday, and me being off from work tomorrow (it's a miracle... trust me) means i'm going out tonight. so, depending on where we go, and how much i have to drink, you never what's gonna happen around 4am est  ;D

edit: okay, looks like i couldn't wait quite that long after thinking about it a little more  ;D - but i have a feeling i'm gonna regret getting started in this thread  ::)
« Last Edit: March 12, 2004, 10:00 PM by jokabofe »

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Not to start a Scalper Topic, but.....
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2004, 12:02 AM »
hah, don't worry Dave...  It seems to have gone well.

She's kissing your ass in an attempt to sway you against me...  She's been trying this with other people too.  Tried dropping names of people I actually know semi-well in an attempt to drag them into this in her defense.

Poor soul...

You posted quite eloquently, and I agree with you mostly...

She doesn't want me involved in the "private" conversation she's trying to have with you on the side now...  May post anyway.  It's my right and I think she's being a hypocrite on quite a few things, like:

-First she said she used a card of someone else's and wasn't "nice" about her feelings about the person who reported her for using their card...  Now she's trying to say her and this person are friends and that they talk on the forums, and that all is forgotten.

-For the scalping thing, she keeps trying to drag other Ebay sellers into the debate who order direct from Hasbro, and say that I'm degrading them when I degrade her, yet she doesn't see that I'm taking shots at her because she buys from Wal-Mart and sells her stuff then.

-She is resorting to insults now too...  I wish JoshEEE or some decent Mod were around tonight and would lay into her.

I've found I'm often left to defend myself from insults though by the mods...  It'd just be nice if one would step in in this case and point out that I haven't called her ANYTHING but what she's already admitted to.    

-She continually posts that she has "support" but as of now nobody's shown up to support her.  I've gotten a couple PM's about it...  I like to think you guys support my view on this as well, as a simple matter of "her actions", and "My opinion on her actions".

She's a scalper, she's admitted as much (won't admit to the title though) and feels she does nothing wrong.  I'd hope you guys would see the flaw in that logic as I do.

And in short, this chick's whack...  Yo.   :P
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Offline JediMAC

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Re: Not to start a Scalper Topic, but.....
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2004, 12:43 AM »
Go get her Dave!  Kick her ass, man!   8)

Wait, did I just call you an ass man?   :o

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Not to start a Scalper Topic, but.....
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2004, 01:24 AM »
Eh, Dave's gone...  

Ya know what?  Now people are DEFENDING her in a thread in teh Saga part at Scum.

WTF?  Defending a scalper's behavior?  I never thought I'd see the day.

GNT and some guy named TickTock are leading the charge...

I don't get this though.  I agree, dislike the buyer and fault them as much as the seller, but at what point did we determine the SELLER has NO FAULT in the situation?

I'm just saddened to see collecting at this level...  WHo cares if someone makes money off it!?  All is ok...  Good for them!  

What the **** happened to helping people out and being an asset to a collecting community rather than a hinderence?

Christ this is so stupid...  I'm so amazed anyone would feel this way.  It's sad to see the hobby so deep in the *******.
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Offline inadvertent imitation

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Re: Not to start a Scalper Topic, but.....
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2004, 03:08 AM »
I thought scalpers had moved onto other lines by now. When Star Wars is huge, Hasbro has more than enough figures out there. When it's not hot, nobody but the collectors are buying.

Whatever. The whole selling customs thing is what bugs me. Too many unscrupulous ******** selling the stuff.
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Not to start a Scalper Topic, but.....
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2004, 05:16 PM »
That is my point on Selling them too HMI.

One guy sees a profit froms elling his one-offs, then starts making repro weaons...  Then knock-offs, or repro cards for vintage trying to dupe somebody, and then making bootleg prototypes like Missle Firing Fetts.

I remember one day, you never saw that figure, then another day 90 of them appear...  Odd that there were that many unpainted Rocket Firing Fetts suddenly to flood the market, ya know?

That's my gripe against selling customs in a nutshell.  It's like the argument that marijuana use leads to more harmful drugs.  Custom sales leads to more unscrupulous sales of "customs" and passing things off as the real deal if you can.
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Offline jokabofe

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Re: Not to start a Scalper Topic, but.....
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2004, 05:36 PM »
damn, jesse... you type too much  :P

but seriously, i said my piece, and that's pretty much all i have to say about it. i'm not really going to get involved anymore with that thread. like i said, i don't really have the time or energy to argue with anyone, especially on the internet. reminds me of a funny, yet wrong, picture i saw once...

Offline MisterPL

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Re: Not to start a Scalper Topic, but.....
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2004, 11:27 AM »
There are too many grey areas in this kind of discussion to get a definitive answer.

Clearly original art belongs to whomever possesses it. However, unless its copyright has been assigned - in writing - to the owner, the artist retains such rights.

Therefore, if someone were to BUY artwork without also obtaining the copyright to sell reproductions of it, they would be in violation of U.S. copyright law.

However, in a case like this, where certain concepts are controlled by Lucasfilm, things get a little complicated.

I can draw a picture of Darth Vader and sell it, no problem. I created the art, it's mine to sell. However, I can't copy the art and sell it because, even though I hold the copyright to the original art, I don't hold the copyright to the character.

I would imagine the same would hold true for anyone selling a disc of Star Wars art. The logos, actors' likenesses and such do NOT belong to any Star Wars fan, they belong to Lucasfilm, Hasbro, and the respective performers.

One could argue that custom figures are "art." They are one-of-a-kind pieces that are not mass-produced. As Jesse pointed out, plenty of customizers go from being artists to bootleggers. That's where the problems begin. Once you've made more than one, you're getting into some deep poodoo you might not be able to afford getting out of, right or wrong.

In the case of the Sith Infiltrator auction (a DAMNED fine piece, by the way), I suspect it was stopped because Lucasfilm already has licensees in place who pay for the rights to make such a product, even if they choose not to do so. LFL is protecting not only their rights as licensees, but the Star Wars brand overall. They can't have just anyone watering down the Star Wars trademark. They've got the entire EU for that.  :P
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Offline speedermike

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Re: Not to start a Scalper Topic, but.....
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2004, 12:05 PM »
I've talked with Jedi Aimster or whatever her name is too.  I saw some custom carded figures of hers (for SALE) that used art from the Star Wars insider.  I'm a professional illustrator and I did work for the insider a few years back.  Luckily, she didn't use any of my pieces, but I knew the people who's illustartions she did use, and I let them know.  Needless to say, they asked her to take them down from her site.

The crazy thing about it was that she couldn't see what was wrong with profiting off other people's work.  It just didn't sink in with her that she didn't "own" what she was selling.
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Offline jokabofe

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Re: Not to start a Scalper Topic, but.....
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2004, 07:14 PM »
The crazy thing about it was that she couldn't see what was wrong with profiting off other people's work.  It just didn't sink in with her that she didn't "own" what she was selling.

that was pretty much the basis for my arguement. personally, i think making customs just to sell them is wrong. and that's pretty much what she is/was doing. look at her website, there are just pictures of figures that she carded, and is asking anywhere from $35 - $50 for!! and i mean, these aren't even "customs" in the truest sense of the word. so she know how to use a printer and some glue... she should ask $50 for that?

but the worst ones are the ones where she has other people's work. even though she says that they are "borrowed" designs, that still doesn't make it okay in my book.