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Where is all the stock?

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15 minutes ago, Thrindal said:

new releases every 9 months or so.

Sounds about right from what i read. We know FFG will accelerate new products for the new factions. But I'm sure product scarcity will still be a problem for all factions.

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6 hours ago, rasproteus said:

There's a word for this: profiteering.

You might as well argue that buying food from a food pantry at half price and selling it for normal retail is simply allocating those resources more efficiently.  It misses the point: there's a reason that the goods are priced where they are, and it's not because the food pantry doesn't understand Econ 101.

Marking up plastic miniature spaceships is not morally equivalent to jacking up the price of bread.  One is a luxury good, the other is a basic essential.

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On 8/1/2020 at 1:24 PM, flatpackhamster said:

Hayek defined a 'free market' as one with low barriers to entry, not one where anyone could do anything.  Markets start out with low barriers to entry and those barriers then rise over time.  Keeping the barriers low keeps prices low and helps consumers.

Scalpers - profiteers - raise barriers to entry for the game.  They increase the cost of playing.  That's an active hindrance.  Fewer people will play because they'll look at the prices and go "I'm not paying THAT for one plastic spaceship". 

It would not be beyond reason to suggest that profiteering actively reduces the pool of players and affects FFG's ability to sell future products.

 

Ok, so it sounds like the “harm” we’re discussing is potentially limiting the pool of newer players and thereby causing FFG to struggle in the future.

To start with, I strongly doubt that increased prices on a handful of expansions is likely to drive away new players - core sets are still required, after all, and there are a great many expansion packs that *are* still available at lower prices.  To say that scarcity of arqs and mc30s is keeping people from entering the hobby seems dubious in light of that, since most people are going to try the game out with a starter set before getting anything else.

But even if I granted that access to things like the arq was a real barrier to entry, I don’t see how the “scalpers” are reducing the pool of players.  Again, to turn to my hypothetical numbers - there are MORE interested players than available product.  The “scalpers” don’t change that.  No matter what, only 20 out of those 100 people would be able to play the game, because there isn’t enough product to go around.  Middlemen purchasers don’t change that.

Further, by ensuring that those who are willing to pay a higher price are the ones who end up with the limited product, you increase the likelihood of the new players actually sticking with the hobby and continuing to purchase future product.  Not only do they have the greater initial enthusiasm, they are also committing more financially, so they are less likely to abandon the hobby than someone who made a smaller investment.  “Scalping,” in this case, would actually help the longevity of the hobby.

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On 8/1/2020 at 1:34 PM, CDAT said:

In the scenario that you put out there is not what I would call harm (but harm here may be difficult to describe as it is different for each) they are however not adding anything to the commuinity, but where scalpers harm the community is when they buy up all the stock to sell at an increased price and use that to artificially adjust the price. Using your example of 20 items for sale, and 100 people wanting it, but now we will say that there are 120 items for sale but still the same 100 who want it. The scalpers buy up all 120, then list only 20 for sale at X-times the cost. So here they are harming the community as there should be enough product for all who want it, at the price the company set but to make more they (the scalpers) are making more difficult and expensive to get into the game, this in turn has fewer people get into the game so the overall health of the game is less, and makes it more likely the game will fail.

This sounds like an exceedingly unlikely scenario, because it requires that the "scalpers" target a product where supply EXCEEDS demand and tries to create artificial scarcity.  And I'm willing to say that it would be a shady move to do that.  Do we have any evidence that is the scenario here?  Because I find it unlikely that someone would look at a expansion where people AREN'T buying all of the available stock and say "man, I bet if I invest a ton of money and jack up the prices, people will pay way more, even though there's not enough people to buy the current stock at its existing price." 

 

But I'll certainly agree that this scenario would be shady.

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On 8/1/2020 at 8:30 PM, Rune Taq said:

Who ever buys them first.  Why do they Have to be over priced.  There is no need for you or me or a store or eBay or anyone to decide who gets them.  I find the ship first, I order it, I get it.  Doesn't need to be over priced.

"First come, first served" is no fairer than "whoever is willing to pay more gets it."  Here's why:

1) If I get there first, I could decide that I want to buy 3-4 arquitens... which means 3-4 other people then won't be able to get ANY, not even at an inflated price (these are scarce goods, remember).  If I were someone who wanted to get into the game, I would find it MORE discouraging to find that the ships I wanted were unavailable at ANY price, rather than available, but at a higher cost.  At least I'd have more options, there.  In fact, I suspect that one of the reasons there are so few arquitens available right now is that many active players purchased SEVERAL, which means they have reduced the supply for everyone else.

2) "First come, first serve" still privileges those with more money, because they can more easily afford to spend time searching for the product online.  People with cushy jobs tend to have more flexible work hours, the opportunity to web surf while working, etc.  The guy who works retail is hustling on-site at the store all day, and has to be there on time until his shift ends.

3) Just because someone is willing to pay more doesn't mean it excludes people with less money, nor does it mean people with more money will automatically pay it.  I've passed up plenty of Armada sales because they weren't good enough.  I may have wanted an extra pack, sure, but I didn't want it badly enough to buy it at only 15% off.  Similarly, someone with less money may only have $10 today, but he can always save up over several weeks or months and pay that higher cost.  He can decide for himself if it's worth it to him. 

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The problem, Scipio, is that the scalpers ARE NOT making the market more efficient - they are, as pointed out elsewhere, profiteering.

Supply and demand economics where prices are flexible and respond to changes are only efficient if the producer of the good makes more money as prices go up. In the case of 100 units of demand and only 20 units of supply, FFG (the supplier) are not making more money from the "scalper", so they have no incentive to increase production. The supplier has baked in assumptions about production and profit - some fixed costs, then production costs, and an assumed demand over time at certain prices. 

Regardless of the "actual" price the scalpers are getting (on the margins), the supplier is charging the regular price. If the supplier went with a floating price, where demand and supply fight it out to achieve efficiency and production ramps up to meet supply, many people would be priced out of the market, the market could become unstable and less predictable, and suddenly we are swamped with Arquitens.

 

In the event that people are really desperate for ARQs I have two sitting in a box I never use, and I have four MC30s, when the most I could profitably use is 2. I'm just too lazy to try and sell them secondhand - it's not a good use of my time. And ultimately, scalpers will find the same thing - they can't possibly be making a living on the price difference between MSRP and what someone is willing to pay on eBay or alternative. A friend of mine once tried to "arbitrage" the Warhammer market - he would buy up whole armies on eBay, then break them down into their component parts and sell off units and miniatures separately at a higher price. It worked for a bit, and he made a profit, but worked out he was paying himself less than a tenth of minimum wage. Scalping will be, at best, a hobby.

So perhaps describing them as "profiteering" is also extreme - plastic ships are not an essential good, required for fighting wars in a time of national crisis. Instead, they are just jerks trying to make a bit of cash out of a world where some people have more money than sense.

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2 hours ago, scipio83 said:

"First come, first served" is no fairer than "whoever is willing to pay more gets it."  Here's why:

1) If I get there first, I could decide that I want to buy 3-4 arquitens... which means 3-4 other people then won't be able to get ANY, not even at an inflated price (these are scarce goods, remember).  If I were someone who wanted to get into the game, I would find it MORE discouraging to find that the ships I wanted were unavailable at ANY price, rather than available, but at a higher cost.  At least I'd have more options, there.  In fact, I suspect that one of the reasons there are so few arquitens available right now is that many active players purchased SEVERAL, which means they have reduced the supply for everyone else.

2) "First come, first serve" still privileges those with more money, because they can more easily afford to spend time searching for the product online.  People with cushy jobs tend to have more flexible work hours, the opportunity to web surf while working, etc.  The guy who works retail is hustling on-site at the store all day, and has to be there on time until his shift ends.

3) Just because someone is willing to pay more doesn't mean it excludes people with less money, nor does it mean people with more money will automatically pay it.  I've passed up plenty of Armada sales because they weren't good enough.  I may have wanted an extra pack, sure, but I didn't want it badly enough to buy it at only 15% off.  Similarly, someone with less money may only have $10 today, but he can always save up over several weeks or months and pay that higher cost.  He can decide for himself if it's worth it to him. 

Agree to disagree.

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On 8/3/2020 at 5:16 PM, FastWalker said:

Sounds about right from what i read. We know FFG will accelerate new products for the new factions. But I'm sure product scarcity will still be a problem for all factions.

Hope they learn from their mistakes, the latest X-wing card pack Hotshots and Aces could've easily got 3x the prints it did and still sold out. Hopefully they won't be as conservative with prints for the new Armada, or underestimate how popular the card pack will be. 

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Posted (edited)

As a fan of the game since it released, I learned with Armada espcially, when it comes to FFG, if you want something, buy it when it is released.  I STILL have no access to (affordably) buy the Chimera, Perfundity, or Hammerheads.  They came out at a time where I was holding off on extra spending, and now they are out of stock everywhere.  I didn't even have a Home One (never really liked how it looked) until last week when I saw one at the local game shop, so I quick grabbed it.

Edited by AegisGrimm

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For my local game store the switch in distributors has been problematic. It became a chore to even get an order in let alone the chore it became to get the stock sent. He said I am more or less on my own for this new stuff. 

The only place that has pre-order so far expects it to be paid ahead. I am reticent to spend the kind of coin we are talking about here that far ahead. I wonder how much that sort of thing is fouling up the quantities that should be Tele and how much it messed with things in the past.

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In the UK, many stores have pre-orders up and running. Real stores are doing 10% off RRP and the online-mainly stores are doing nearer 25% off. Cheapest listed is £206 including postage for one of each of the starters, squadron packs, and the card pack.

Whether they will have any issues with actually obtaining the stock is unknown, but they are eagerly promoting them.

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17 hours ago, Thrindal said:

While it says only one in stock it says "More on the Way" so Hammerheads getting a healthy restock soon?

TnxFoP5.png

I think I looked at this yesterday. Those are from the UK. But, yeah, hopefully it means a more global restock soon. 

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Why does it seem (at least in IL, USA) that Starhawks are sold out everywhere, but Onagers aren't?

I would have figured if it was just a case of depletion of that first big run of a new wave, they'd both be unavailable.

My battle of Jakku depends on this!

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3 hours ago, SithLrd88 said:

Why does it seem (at least in IL, USA) that Starhawks are sold out everywhere, but Onagers aren't?

I would have figured if it was just a case of depletion of that first big run of a new wave, they'd both be unavailable.

My battle of Jakku depends on this!

Onagers have had a restock in the last 3 months or so. Starhawks haven't - any left are from the initial release.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, SithLrd88 said:

Why does it seem (at least in IL, USA) that Starhawks are sold out everywhere, but Onagers aren't?

I would have figured if it was just a case of depletion of that first big run of a new wave, they'd both be unavailable.

My battle of Jakku depends on this!

If this helps you somehow there are plenty available in German stores.

Edited by Gräfin Zeppelin

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My FLGS just received a restock of Arquitens... unfortunately, the greedy bastards jacked the price to $40!

I admit that it doesn't effect me because I already own 5 Arqs, and I have 2 more still in the boxes for a rainy day.

I've seen price gouging like this on eBay and the Amazon Marketplace, but I've never seen such shameless profiteering from a brick-&-mortar board game shop before. Shameful!

The worst thing is that my not-so-customer-friendly LGS is the only store in my area to receive Imperial Light Cruiser restocks -- at least so far. So they've got the market cornered. Perhaps other stores will be restocked soon and players can buy Arqs from them instead.

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I'm pleased to report that my non-so-friendly LGS' Arq profiteering scam doesn't appear to have worked because they're still in-stock.

Admittedly, I can't be certain how many Imperial Light Cruiser expansions they've sold because the stock listing just shows "10+", same as when they received the Arq restock a week and a half ago. I suppose it's possible that they received 50 Arqs and have sold dozens at $40 each. But IME the store usually receives products in batches of 12, so I wouldn't be surprised if they haven't sold any of them because customers know that they're being ripped off -- even though eBay profiteers can charge over $100!

Regardless, I think Armada players are being smart by not caving and buying the $40 Arqs, and wait and see if the LGS reduces the prices. It would set a terrible anti-consumer precedent for customers to pay $40 for a small ship Armada expansion and suddenly that becomes the new price point. That could be terrible for everyone because it could potentially spread to other regions and next thing you know the global market is charging $40 for small ship expansions and $100+ for large ship expansions. That would suck!

We definitely need more Armada products on the shelves all over the place to satisfy consumer demand and counter profiteering.

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