17 December 2007

Only Some Manifesto Thumping Marxist Could Think This Is a Bad Thing . . .

. . . or someone who really wanted to get a Wii this weekend and were thwarted in their attempt. Over at Kotaku they compile the listings of Wii consoles by hour on Sunday, and there seems to be a massive spike of Wiis on eBay directly corresponding to the flood of Wiis made available by retailers on Sunday.

The commentariat (for the most part) over at Kotaku decry the greed of the eBay sellers while they also sneer at the folks willing to pay the steep price.

Screw that, I think capitalism kicks ass, the purer, the more uncut, the better. I think the folks who bought the units speculatively in hopes of getting a quick $100-$150 profit per console purchased may find it harder than they hoped. Nintendo claims a production of 60,000 Wiis a week, and I'm guessing that they are sending a huge chunk of the Wiis they make to the US market during the holiday season. The retailers held back a few weeks of Wiis so that they could have enough in each store to run an ad for the Wii this week. Most likely about 120,000 Wiis or so sold on Sunday, so the 15000 or so that ended up on eBay represent 12-15% of the total number sold. The eBayers are hoping that the other 100,000 or so didn't soak up the rest of the demand, but even though the Wii is a 'hot' item at the moment, I doubt it's that hot. A lot of folks will be willing to wait to mid January or February to get their hands and one, and find some other propitiation for their sweet little offspring during the Winter Solstice Festival of Consumerism (aka Christmas).

I bet there will be thousands of Wiis still available on eBay as of this Friday, December 21st. Some sellers will just give up and give it to somebody they know, others who bought multiple units in hopes of big profits will take them back to the retailer and lose nothing but their time, others will hold out, hoping that the Wii will remain undersupplied compared to demand for quite sometime, and hope that people didn't go for the auction out of fear of missing Christmas delivery.

But however you slice it, the eBay phenomenon and the ability for private parties to act as more effecient middle men on a national scale has been a great thing for people looking for goods, and has been great for the economy, only a commie would think otherwise (or an exasperrated parent who waited in at Target for hours and still wasn't able to pick up a Wii this Sunday).

1 comment:

Pastor_Jeff said...

Consumerist linked to an interesting article by a guy who's basically a phone and game reseller. You can imagine the profits and the hate mail this guy's gotten.

He's been really smart about it -- he doesn't camp out at stores, but he gets to know the managers and finds out when stock comes in.

I say more power to him. If people are dumb enough to pay $X for an iPhone and then even more to be an early adopter, who's getting hurt? He's not cheating, lying or stealing -- just using knowledge to his advantage for profit.

I can understand the frustration of not being able to get a Wii, but it's only an electronic toy. It's not like the guy's hoarding medicine or actually hurting people.