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Hobby Japan (magazine) fires employee defending scalpers


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I'm sure Macrossworld members know the frustration of acquiring DX chogokins due to scalpers. Scalpers/re-sellerrs have lately become a hot topic amongst Gunpla fans too. One would think this wouldn't be a problem with Gunpla as Bandai makes thousands of them. But, not so.

Well, it seems that a Hobby Japan employee made tweets and blog posts defending scalpers. Ofcourse, that caused a storm. Hobby Japan recently apologized for the posts by the employee and as of today, fired the guy.

Report by Hobby Watch (Google translate does an ok job): https://hobby.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/news/1339956.html

Or you can simply read the US report based on the Hobby Watch report: https://www.siliconera.com/hobby-japan-issues-apology-after-employee-defends-scalping-and-reselling-figures/

The firing (only in Japanese): http://hobbyjapan.co.jp/news_release/detail.html?id=6

 

 

 

Edited by Vifam7
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Excellent.  First I've ever heard of a company firing someone for supporting the practice, but hopefully not the last. These people should not be encouraged.

 

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Eh... Given how much the hobby industry relies on FOMO to generate artificial demand for products, I can't say I'm too sympathetic to what amounts to the advertising arm of the industry crying foul about a third party beating them at their own game.

That said, there's a world of difference between reselling your stuff for whatever price people are willing to pay and... scalping.

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Wow....HLJ really went out of their way in fighting "scalping"....perhaps if they actually sent an open letter to Bandai and asked them to cut the BS and make more product to undercut the breeding environment that encourages scalping.....nah!  Best to bring down the hammer on some schmuck on your team for posting his opinions.....that'll end scalping for sure!

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Not gonna lie, I initially thought this was HLJ as well, but reading it quickly shows that this was the mag, not the store we all know and like/love/hate.

-b.

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16 minutes ago, kajnrig said:

 Hobby Japan the magazine, not Hobby Link Japan the store.

Ah.....ok.....the root problem still remains unchanged and thus "Hobby Japan" still merely bullied it's own employee over this issue instead of growing a pair...sad because they definitely have a platform to try and change things

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1 hour ago, Kanedas Bike said:

Not gonna lie, I initially thought this was HLJ as well, but reading it quickly shows that this was the mag, not the store we all know and like/love/hate.

-b.

Same here B. Until I read it. Hehehe. :lol: 

Would be nice to add 'Magazine' on the subj title to differentiate it from the store. Since 'Hobby Japan' in general is somehow synonymous to the store for us buyers. ;)

 

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15 minutes ago, no3Ljm said:

Same here B. Until I read it. Hehehe. :lol: 

Would be nice to add 'Magazine' on the subj title to differentiate it from the store. Since 'Hobby Japan' in general is somehow synonymous to the store for us buyers. ;)

 

Cancel all preorders! lol

🤣

-b.

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2 minutes ago, Kanedas Bike said:

Cancel all preorders! lol

🤣

-b.

No! I still have an item in their Private Warehouse. Hahaha! :lol: 

 

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  • Vifam7 changed the title to Hobby Japan (magazine) fires employee defending scalpers

I've seen scalpers defended....even here.  I can't say I agree with that sentiment.

Watched a youtube vid on a Japanese fan trying to order something on pre-order night....forgot what it was, definitely Macross related.  He managed to score one, but he said he wished scalpers would die, lol!

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I don't understand why people buy from modern day scalpers or "flippers." It was always a bad deal to purchase sports tickets from scalpers back in the day. These days scalpers just have the Internet / ebay, purchase bots, and companies willing to sell multiples to scalpers and also limit that product. It comes down to the consumer. Don't buy from scalpers. Wait for the re-release. The only time I purchased from them these days is if something was limited like a Mondo poster. And Mondo isn't the same anymore because people got tired of that nonsense and competition came in the market.

Also, I would tend to avoid companies that don't limit purchases of collectibles to one per person. That Limited Run Games company lets people buy multiples to keep a copy sealed for investment purposes. They do a lot of pre-orders now. But still avoid those limited inventory drop companies that play to flippers.

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The answer to "why scalpers?" is, at its core, supply-&-demand. If people want it enough, they will pay for it.

One thing that has been brought up, especially in light of the pandemic, is Just-in-Time vs Just-in-Case manufacturing. Each has their pros and cons but given our current situation, most manufacturing adopted JIT but at the same time, we're seeing high demand, which is breeding a much more lucrative secondary market.

 

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16 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

Excellent.  First I've ever heard of a company firing someone for supporting the practice, but hopociety.efully not the last. These people should not be encouraged.

 

Yes, everyone with a different opinion should have their lives ruined. That makes for a healthy society.

And

How dumb is this writer? He had to know that would go over like a lead balloon.

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16 hours ago, Vifam7 said:

'm sure Macrossworld members know the frustration of acquiring DX chogokins due to scalpers. Scalpers/re-sellerrs have lately become a hot topic amongst Gunpla fans too. One would think this wouldn't be a problem with Gunpla as Bandai makes thousands of them. But, not so.

Well, it seems that a Hobby Japan employee made tweets and blog posts defending scalpers. Ofcourse, that caused a storm. Hobby Japan recently apologized for the posts by the employee and as of today, fired the guy.

Imagine being so incredibly dim that, as an editor of a popular hobby magazine, you go on your social media accounts and proceed to actively and vocally defend the people ripping off your magazine's readers thinking that that won't come back to bite you in the arse the instant someone reads your profile and figures out where you work.

F***ed around.  Found out.

Don't weep for the stupid, you'll be crying all day.

Spoiler

Or in this case, alternatively, "Don't weep for the stupid, save your tears for preorder day".

 

Edited by Seto Kaiba
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I would like to read the original post by the writer (I couldn't find it above). I wonder how much he was defending scalpers vs how much he was playing Devil's advocate. 

I don't necessarily trust the often hyperbolic interpretations of people trying to make headlines. It's entirely possible that what the writer wrote is not exactly what it's being presented as.

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13 hours ago, JetJockey said:

I don't understand why people buy from modern day scalpers or "flippers."

 

 

Agreed. Do you really really need that collectable item? I have never paid for anything from a scalper or anything heavily marked up. My money could be better spent on other important or worthwhile things like fine dining, vacations, or just keep it in my savings. Since I ended my two favorite hobbies, PC gaming and sci-fi collection, I've been saving a lot of money in my bank account and it feels great!

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1 hour ago, sqidd said:

I would like to read the original post by the writer (I couldn't find it above). I wonder how much he was defending scalpers vs how much he was playing Devil's advocate. 

I don't necessarily trust the often hyperbolic interpretations of people trying to make headlines. It's entirely possible that what the writer wrote is not exactly what it's being presented as.

This Youtuber puts up a couple of screenshots of the HJ editor's tweets

 

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Yes, scalping is really bad. But then, this is not only happening now. It's been a practice for ages. It's not only with toys and collectibles. It's basically applied to everything there is demand. It's how people make money. It's not going to change. 

The question at the end of the day is how bad you really want it? :unsure:

 

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3 hours ago, Vifam7 said:

This Youtuber puts up a couple of screenshots of the HJ editor's tweets

 

My Japanese is a little rusty.:lol:

Thanks for the link though.:hi:

Edited by sqidd
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14 hours ago, azrael said:

The answer to "why scalpers?" is, at its core, supply-&-demand. If people want it enough, they will pay for it.

This, in a nutshell. I don't like scalpers, and I wish more effort went into limiting the ability of scalpers with bots to get product (like the jerks who routinely slam servers to get 20 PS5s in under a second so they're all sold out before you can even get one in a cart), but at the end of the day they're just taking advantage of the supply/demand curve. On our end, all we can do is refuse to buy from scalpers (which really only works if everyone apps buying from them, but enough obviously still do). The better solution is to tweak the supply side of the equation. If Bandai /NECA/Fans Toys/etc would simply make more product more available there'd be no need to buy from scalpers.

Oh, I guess they could also raise prices, too. Higher price = less initial demand. That seems to be Fans Toys' MO lately.

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I saw the above referring to the ps5 problem and to be honest, I have to thank the scalpers. If they didn’t make it so difficult to get the new system I probably would still be stuck playing video games all day. I actually gave up completely on them and I really feel much happier.

 I’ve been guilty of buying some items from resellers at collectors shows here and there, but mostly for items I didn’t have the money to buy when they were originally released. I do have my limits on price and I will not go above and beyond for most items. I think the example right now has been the hg nightingale kit. It’s a damn hg kit. There’s only gonna be a temporary shortage. That kit is gonna get more rereleases just like every other main kit from Bandai that sells well, like the mg Barbados. Now you can find that kit at just about anywhere 

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Yeah first answer is for the companies to make enough supply and not just be happy that they sold out of a low amount of product yet that product didn't make it to real customers.

The second is for consumers not to purchase from scalpers / flippers. Let them get stuck with the inventory. Forcing them to sell at a lower price since no one will purchase from a scalper / flipper. Or the scalper / flipper will be forced to return the product. Which will then affect the retailer and producing company. Who will then make 1 item per customer rules to stop the middleman from creating an inventory. Or worse at times, all sales are final. Which affect the real customers but will get a person who really wants an item and not someone who just wants it to resell.

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23 hours ago, JetJockey said:

Yeah first answer is for the companies to make enough supply and not just be happy that they sold out of a low amount of product yet that product didn't make it to real customers.

The second is for consumers not to purchase from scalpers / flippers. Let them get stuck with the inventory. Forcing them to sell at a lower price since no one will purchase from a scalper / flipper. Or the scalper / flipper will be forced to return the product. Which will then affect the retailer and producing company. Who will then make 1 item per customer rules to stop the middleman from creating an inventory. Or worse at times, all sales are final. Which affect the real customers but will get a person who really wants an item and not someone who just wants it to resell.

"companies to make enough supply..."

The problem with this is this may not be possible quickly. We could go into supply chain, manufacturing, etc., but it just may not be possible. And even if they did, it will take time to make changes to supply chain and manufacturing. By the time they fix supply, demand may have waned. What I see is a failure to adequately anticipate supply chain and changes in manufacturing (again, see my comment about Just-in-Case vs. Just-in-Time manufacturing). Companies failed to anticipate how much things have changed in a year and how quickly things have pivoted. Yes, things changed quickly, but they could have used the "good times" to sort out supply chain and manufacturing woes to see less disruption during "bad times".

"The second is for consumers not to purchase from scalpers / flippers."

Easier said than done. When people want something which is in such short supply, they will go to lengths to get that product. We've been telling that to GPU buyers, yet 9 months in, people are still buying well above MSRP, from secondary markets, and likely being scalped.

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HJ mag editor created this storm in the wake of Gunpla fans exasperated by the inability to acquire the recent HGUC Nightingale. I'm pretty sure Bandai made plenty of that kit. But I think even Bandai has limits to how many they can produce. And even though overall supply is plentiful, how many a particular retailer gets or can get is limited. 

And the scalpers often get them ahead of the average buyer.  The HJ editor had the nerve to basically say - If you couldn't get it, you didn't try hard enough. If you really wanted it, get to the store first in the morning and lineup - I guess oblivious to the fact that, unlike scalpers, most people have a life - like going to school or work in the morning.

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4 hours ago, azrael said:

"companies to make enough supply..."

The problem with this is this may not be possible quickly. We could go into supply chain, manufacturing, etc., but it just may not be possible. And even if they did, it will take time to make changes to supply chain and manufacturing.

Yep, very much this. In the case of Bandai's hobby division specifically, which is the original context of this whole situation, not the collectible toys market that most people here are thinking of, they have a massive catalog of injection molds going all the way back to the late 70s, spread across a relatively small number of manufacturing facilities. They can't simply expand to new facilities in China, say, because they still need those limited-number molds to make the actual kits with. They could make new molds, but that would be incredibly expensive, maybe prohibitively so.

As much as I dislike that they don't regularly have this or that legacy kit in stock, I temper that frustration with the knowledge that to a certain degree, they simply CAN'T produce the variety of kits I want at the speed I want.

4 hours ago, azrael said:

"The second is for consumers not to purchase from scalpers / flippers."

Easier said than done. When people want something which is in such short supply, they will go to lengths to get that product. We've been telling that to GPU buyers, yet 9 months in, people are still buying well above MSRP, from secondary markets, and likely being scalped.

This as well. Tying it back to the hobby industry, if there's a kit that I really really want - like, say, early 1/100-scale kits of a subject that have largely been supplanted by newer, better-selling versions of it - that hasn't gotten a repop in a long time for whatever reason(s), or just is no longer in production at all, then I don't really have room to negotiate on price. I paid something like 2-3x "MSRP" for this, and I'm... well, I'm not "fine" with that, but I find it an easy enough pill to swallow.

2 hours ago, Vifam7 said:

HJ mag editor created this storm in the wake of Gunpla fans exasperated by the inability to acquire the recent HGUC Nightingale. I'm pretty sure Bandai made plenty of that kit. But I think even Bandai has limits to how many they can produce. And even though overall supply is plentiful, how many a particular retailer gets or can get is limited. 

I have zero doubt that they maximized production on the HGUC Nightingale, and that the demand is simply overwhelming.

They do engage in artificial scarcity regularly, though, which is why I see their (I think they own HJ??? maybe, maybe not) canning of an employee to be little more than, dare I say it, cynical virtue signaling.

2 hours ago, Vifam7 said:

And the scalpers often get them ahead of the average buyer.  The HJ editor had the nerve to basically say - If you couldn't get it, you didn't try hard enough. If you really wanted it, get to the store first in the morning and lineup - I guess oblivious to the fact that, unlike scalpers, most people have a life - like going to school or work in the morning.

I think this is one of the key issues that need figuring out. "Regular consumers" are having to compete against automated bots and the like, and there's only so much they can do; the onus now is on the manufacturers/resellers to try to detect and cut out scalpers... if they really want to cut them out at all, that is. To a certain extent, they're content with (and/or maybe even need) the existence of the scalping market. Scalpers driving up the price customers have to pay for products slowly trains customers to be comfortable paying more for arguably the same, which eases tensions for the manufacturer if/when they push up their own price, etc.

That's a pretty cynical and limited-view perspective, but... alas.

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Hobby Japan is an independent company. They are not directly affiliated with Bandai or any other toy manufacturer.  Frankly, there isn't really much HJ can do other than punish the employee.  They need to have a good relation with both the manufacturers and their readers. It's certainly better than looking the other way, doing nothing, or worse, actually defending the guy.

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On 7/27/2021 at 3:38 AM, Seto Kaiba said:

Imagine being so incredibly dim that, as an editor of a popular hobby magazine, you go on your social media accounts and proceed to actively and vocally defend the people ripping off your magazine's readers thinking that that won't come back to bite you in the arse the instant someone reads your profile and figures out where you work.

F***ed around.  Found out.

Don't weep for the stupid, you'll be crying all day.

  Hide contents

Or in this case, alternatively, "Don't weep for the stupid, save your tears for preorder day".

 

Yeah, this guy pretty much cut the rope that was his very lifeline when he tried to defend vermin.

Moral of this story: play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

 

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When I accidentally bought 2 extra sets of movie DX SSP for VF-1 and was selling it at cost here no one wanted to bite due to me residing in Singapore and that would make shipping cost too high to bear, in the end I sold them locally for a loss of $20 usd. 

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