My only warhammer knowledge comes from being married to a 40k super fan. I’ve played Sigmar and still need to build my Seraphon army, but I’ve picked up a few things here and there about the series overall. And one of those things is the blood bath, not in the game, but in real life. I had thought the fight to get the Sisters of Battle box last year was rough, but little did I know what was to come.
Today was the release of the Indomitus set in America. We knew the battle was coming due to the reports rolling in from the UK, Canada, and third party sellers. Third party sellers sold out in ten minutes. One man bragged about buying one hundred of those sets. Canada sold out in under a minute. Here in the states, the site lagged just before launch and you prayed between refreshes. We managed to snag one by the emperor’s will, but many weren’t so lucky. Within minutes of the site stabilizing enough for orders, everything was gone.
This speaks to an issue plaguing the nerd world; scalpers. I worked at GameStop during the amiibo and NES classic days. It was not pretty. People would buy armfuls of them unless we put limits on them. Currently, Splash Mountain is going to retire the current cast of Song of the South characters in order to bring in Princess and the Frog characters. I watched a livestream of the Disney World annual pass preview and people were grabbing dozens of the plushies, collectible pins, and pop figures. The cast members were swarmed as people grabbed everything they could.
And why are people grabbing all of this stuff up? Why would you spend hundreds on identical items? What is a scalper? They buy a lot of these items, fighting to be first, so they can resell them for double, triple, or even more what they paid and make a profit. It’s a huge issue in collector communities. It makes it nearly impossible for others to get one for retail and artificially drives up the price. The Indomitus boxes are already selling for double on eBay. While in this case, there’s a scarcity of product due to Covid 19, that wasn’t the case with the Sisters of Battle. In the amiibo case, Nintendo was creating artificial scarcity by not shipping enough units. It was such an issue that someone in the UK actually stole a truck of Splatoon amiibo so they could resell them. They were caught, of course. Don’t steal trucks, kids.
So what can be done? Making too much of something means it’s more available but less collectible while not making enough (encourages scalping) means not everyone will get one, but ensures you will sell all units produced. Unfortunately, especially in these times, there’s just no easy answer. I would like to see these companies make more of products they know will sell and, if need be, place limits on amounts that can be purchased. Despite this view, I know there’s exceptions to everything and this might not be the best solution. So I now ask, what do you think is a good solution to the scalping problem? Did you manage to snag an Indomitus box? Let us know in the comments below what you think.