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Tylerh1701's Theory of Acceptability in the Field of "Flipping"

Posted by tylerh1701, 16 October 2013 · 930 views

This blog post is basically just an expansion of a comment I left on Rozz' blog post about flipping. I've been on CAG for a while now and I've found my views on flipping have evolved a little bit. It's always interesting to see the spectrum of beliefs about flipping on this site. Some people see nothing at all wrong with it, others absolutely can't stand it.

Without further ado, here's my opinion on the whole "flipping" situation:

Basically, flipping is kind of a douchey thing to do when it's a deal that you know other CAGs would want, but not as bad if it's not on a good deal.

For example:

It is douchey if you bought 6 copies of RE Revelations from Gamefly during this sale just to resell them on ebay or Amazon. There's technically nothing wrong with that and that's why you're allowed to do it. First come first serve. But it's definitely a douchebag move since you know that deal is a big first-time price drop and you've now deprived 5 other gamers from taking part of the deal and enjoying the game because of your own greed. (Note that this example is hypothetical because Gamefly actually does a pretty good job of not selling to dealers and will usually limit orders or cancel orders of this size). Oh and keep in mind it is super mecha-douchy when you brag about taking advantage of the deal within that thread. Not only is it you rubbing it in the face of others who didn't get to take part of the deal, it's also sure to kick up a shitstorm and run the thread completely off the rails. Please save those kind of posts for specific flipping/bragging threads.

One exception to this rule is how YMMV the deal is. If you randomly see 3 copies of RE Revelations for $5 on the back of a shelf of your local gas station, go ahead and grab them and resell them. Who knows what the hell is actually going to happen to those games, and there's no way real way for many others to take part in that deal. You got lucky, reap your rewards.

It is not douchey if you bought 10 copies of Happy Feet 2 from GameStop a few weeks ago and flipped them in to Best Buy for a profit. Yeah, you're basically doing the same thing as in my first example, but this time you're not depriving anyone of a great deal, nor are you depriving them of getting their hands on a great game. You're more just taking advantage of a big corporation's mistake.

So yeah, basically I judge flipping on a case by case basis. I also subscribe to the "everybody's entitled to one" theory. So if you see a sale pop up you're entitled to buy one copy of that game if you'd like. Whether you own it already or not, plan to play it or flip it or whatever, you're entitled to one copy. Any more is greedy, but you can have one.

For an example of this, Best Buy had the Kirby Dream Collection on sale for $8 a while back. It traded in to Amazon for $19, which was a super easy flip since you can lock in the Amazon price. I already owned the game, but I still bought one with the intent to send it straight to Amazon. Which, according to my comfort level of flipping, was okay with me. I was up late Saturday night, I caught the sale right at the beginning, and I was entitled to one copy of Kirby Dream Collection from this sale, regardless of my plans with it.

Everyone here has a different morality compass when it comes to flipping, I'm sure there are CAGs who would love to crucify me for what I just admitted about that Kirby game. It seems that from "reselling any game is evil" to "I don't even need a job because I can live off of flipping", everyone falls somewhere in there. I'd say I lean closer to the former myself, but I'd be lying if I said I never bought a game just to resell/flip it, as is obvious from the Kirby example. However, I wouldn't be lying if I said I never bought 2 of the same game with the intent to flip.

Keep in mind this is just my opinion on flipping. These are my personal "unwritten rules". I'm sure everyone else subscribes to their own sets of beliefs when it comes to flipping.




This is a pretty reasonable set of standards.  I flip almost strictly to fund my video game habit so as not to spend from the family coffers.  Anymore my beloved wife doesn't even bat an eye when I walk in after work with a stack of games - she'll even give me a yay/nay on whether or not I should bother playing them based off the box art.  Once in a while (like the Amazon Great Vintage Trade-In Bonanza of 2012) I'll gladly go nuts because it's fun and I didn't feel like I was depriving anyone of those crappy copies of Doom 3 :xbox: from ebay (and there are still plenty if anyone feels slighted, don't you worry!) - I was getting a sea of packages every day.  It was great.  Plus, paid for Christmas in spades.

 

But generally I don't like putting too much effort or time in to it anymore since I'm kind of an adult - let the young folks have their time.

 

The other half of the flipping debate I think comes from people that want in on the flips, but can't manage to get to best buy or send off to amazon in a reasonable amount of time.  So they get outraged by people taking the scorched earth approach and milking it as much as possible in one day until the values tank.  That's kind of the nature of the beast though, it's a race similar to good small stock sales or glitches - if you can't be readily available you'll miss out.  People get so bent out of shape about it.

 

It does seem to me that the flip talk has settled down quite a bit - the flippers now have gotten used to posting 400 times a day so it's turned in to mostly idle chatter which is better than the alternative.

 

P.S. 'mecha-douchy'.  Good stuff.

Hmmm...I don't recall the Vintage Amazon Trade In Bonanza last year.  I must have missed that.  I didn't frequent trade in threads back then as much as I do now, so maybe that's why.

 

And I definitely agree with you, a lot of the people who bitch about flippers would do the exact same thing if they were a better position to flip.  But since they're not they try and take a higher moral ground about it.  

 

I agree that the flip talk has settled down as of late, which is nice.  

It was the greatest - for no apparent reason a ton of old xbox/gamecube/other games (dozens if not close to a hundred) had their tivs bumped to $30 and they stayed there for days. most of the game could be easily picked up at local stores or ebay for $5-$10. amazon (bless their hearts) honored it. truly glorious.

it's also the first time cheapyd contacted me because amazon contacted him because of the trade in thread and we got scolded, but that's another story.

It was the greatest - for no apparent reason a ton of old xbox/gamecube/other games (dozens if not close to a hundred) had their tivs bumped to $30 and they stayed there for days. most of the game could be easily picked up at local stores or ebay for $5-$10. amazon (bless their hearts) honored it. truly glorious.

it's also the first time cheapyd contacted me because amazon contacted him because of the trade in thread and we got scolded, but that's another story.

 

Haha I'd like to hear that story if you can share it.  Not sure what you guys could have been doing wrong...

well said sir. well said.

 

I agree with you stance here. especially the "bragging about it in the thread" part, those people can lick me were I poop. there is a bragging about deals section on this site.

Kaz's Theory of Acceptability in the Field of "Mugging"

 

Mugging is a pretty hot topic among some people, but it really only affects a small percent of people. It's ok when you just ask for the cash because you want it more and are willing to go the extra mile to get it, so you deserve it more. Now if you go further and take their wallet too? That is not ok because now they'll have to get a new driver's license, cancel credit cards, etc. Don't get me started on stabbing, that's where I draw the line! It's super not ok to stab someone during a mugging...unless they refuse "Just the cash, keep your wallet" plea, then stab away.

 

Obviously this is a joke.

 

Everyone has different morals. And for serious discussion I'd like to add "returning" a product without a receipt. Is it wrong to return a product elsewhere to get more money than the place you bought it on sale?

 

Or how about returning a product and keeping the pre-order bonuses?

 

Or how about abusing Gamestop's return policy on used games and beating the game fast then returning it for full price?

 

Where is the ("accepted") line, and when will it stop being pushed back?

 And for serious discussion I'd like to add "returning" a product without a receipt. Is it wrong to return a product elsewhere to get more money than the place you bought it on sale?

 

 

why is this even a question?

Everyone has different morals. And for serious discussion I'd like to add "returning" a product without a receipt. Is it wrong to return a product elsewhere to get more money than the place you bought it on sale?

 

Or how about returning a product and keeping the pre-order bonuses?

 

Or how about abusing Gamestop's return policy on used games and beating the game fast then returning it for full price?

 

Where is the ("accepted") line, and when will it stop being pushed back?

 

1. Douchey move.

2. Douchey move

3. Douchey move.

 

That's my opinion on all 3 of those situations.  I've never even contemplated doing any of them.  I think #1 is probably technically illegal, but I'm not sure.  #2, are people really that hard up for pre-order content?  A few skins or guns definitely aren't even worth driving to the gamestore an extra time.  As for #3, I'd assume that Gamestop keeps track of returns over time and would (hopefully) ban people who do this too much.

why is this even a question?

1. I've known people that do it and don't think it's wrong

2. I see people brag about it on CAG, in fact I've seen all 3 things I mentioned bragged about on CAG. Just wait for Black Friday, a lot of them pop up around then.

 

So that's why I brought it up, different people have different morals. How about trying to price match an item you know is out of stock at some other store? What about trying to get a store to honor a misprint?

 

The world is full of gray :)

So that's why I brought it up, different people have different morals. How about trying to price match an item you know is out of stock at some other store? What about trying to get a store to honor a misprint?

 

The world is full of gray :)

 

I've done the first one before.  Probably the 2nd one too, I don't remember.  I'd only ever do the 2nd one if the misprint was still a fairly logical price.  For example, I didn't try to take advantage of the $14 for one year of PS+ misprint because anyone with common sense knows it was supposed to be for the 3 month cards, not the year cards.  I don't like pretending I don't have common sense in order to get in on a deal.

 

But you're right.  The world is full of gray.

1. Is it wrong to return a product elsewhere to get more money than the place you bought it on sale?

 

2. Or how about returning a product and keeping the pre-order bonuses?

 

3. Or how about abusing Gamestop's return policy on used games and beating the game fast then returning it for full price?

 

Where is the ("accepted") line, and when will it stop being pushed back?

 

I see nothing wrong with any of these three scenarios. 

 

1. So many places -- like Best Buy -- claim to price match, but when you actually try to do so, they have some bullshit fine-print reason why they can't. Obviously, I see that to get the real "best buy" you need to do the extra legwork. Of course, ten people are going to jump on me about how they price matched and blah-blah-blah. Good for you, want a medal? I've tried time and again and got screwed, hence my view point.

 

2. Returning a product and keeping the pre-order bonuses -- specifically DLC? Sure, why not. I'm not going to get into the whole DLC scenario, but most companies are downright sickening with the DLC at this point. I'm not completely anti-DLC, but some of it is borderline overkill. I shouldn't have to buy Arkham City at five places just to get all the "exclusive" pre-order DLC.

 

3. Abusing Gamestop's return policy, you say? No such thing. A business that deals in gutted games, vile trade-in prices that rape the consumer, and the most horrendous customer service in recent memory? You can't "abuse" the abuser. 

 

At the end of the day, I rarely flip. Mostly because I seem to always miss out on the best deals...must be those flippers! Otherwise, believe me, I would. And, in all honesty, I bear no grudges on those who flip. If you can make extra money by doing so, go right ahead. In this case, we're talking video games, not hoarding rare Earth minerals or natural life-sustaining resources. Freaking video games for crissakes!

 

Flip them if you can find them and ignore the childish whining of "wah, life's not fair, other kid got the last bit of candy..."