Thursday, December 26, 2013

Resale via auction, good or evil?

Recently, I read an article regarding the pros and cons of resale. In this document, two lawyers were claiming their own opinions.

There are some professional resellers in Japan. I guess the situation is the same in foreign countries. They buy some items which are sold for a limited time. A ticket for a sport event is a good example. In Japan, some licensed character goods whose amount are limited are also popular. They do not intend to use it by themselves, instead, they present it in an auction. Then, several persons who missed to get it declare to be willing to buy it. The price will rise. The resellers earn money from the auction.

Are the resellers good, or evil? My answer is that this kind of people are acceptable.

People who dislike resale point out some problems. According to them, the price of the item is raised inappropriately. But it means that the original seller has failed to set an adequate price for the item. The reseller has a role of modifier of the price.

Second, ordinary people cannot get the items because the reseller monopolize them in advance. In a result, only rich customers can acquire the items. Opposers deem it as unfair. However, if there are no resellers, those items are monopolized by enthusiasts who have time to buy them immediately after the beginning of the sale. For example, a famous game soft is sold at a game shop. Some people make a line in front of the store far before the time of opening. This phenomenon was observed at the launch of a new iPhone. As a result, ordinary businesspersons could not get one on the first day. They are busy at morning!

I admit the statement of opposers partially. Most resellers seem not to pay the tax for the profit. But this fact is hardly caught by the government. If reselling market gets massively bigger, the original social system would be no more working. For example, a lot of flight tickets are sold by resellers. Nowadays, persons who buy flight tickets with a list price are extremely rare. It is a little unpleasant.

I think that the biggest concern of the people who dislike resellers is a jealousy for them. Resellers look like free riders. Paying a higher cost than a list price is hardly acceptable for everyone. The fact that the excessive cost we paid is transferred to the reseller is far from satisfactory.

Nonetheless, reselling may be justified, at least in the economic point of view. Furthermore, all items should be sold by auction, essentially. An auction is a resort to optimize the market.

Actually, we can introduce such a system in our society with modern technology, if we hope so. But I think it is not realistic. One of the reasons is human emotion. And the other is that, we would get tired if there were no list prices.

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