Why Does Everyone Get So Salty about People Reselling Items for a Profit?

I've noticed throughout the years that everyone on here gets extremely angry and salty whenever someone resells items for a profit, regardless of what item it is. Whether it be a item won from a competition (you won this Pizza Hut voucher and want to resell it? HOW DARE YOU!!) or sold at higher than RRP (you want to sell a PS5 that is no longer available worldwide at more than RRP? HOW DARE YOU!?). Why do you get salty and what are your thoughts on this topic?

Capitalism dictates that we have the right to buy and sell and the market dictates what the value is. The buyer is happy to pay the price and the seller is happy to sell for that price. The items in question are nowhere near "necessities".

My question is, what's the problem with buying low and selling high? Let's not talk in terms of legality as there are dozens of countries where scalping is completely legal. In fact it is legal in Australia besides ticket scalping, which is a law I vehemently disagree with and goes completely against capitalism. It should be on the onus of the seller to run adequate verification measures, but they give zero shits as it does not affect their bottom line (sold out is sold out).

Put differently, what's the difference if you decide you don't want the item anymore? If you buy one, you don't want one anymore, would you sell that item at RRP? Or it's market value? And why is this not scalping? Why is there an arbitrary rule that you must sell something at the price you bought it for? That is not capitalism and goes heavily against our freedoms.

Also, lets not use the high quantity or bot arguments, since even if you buy one legitimately and want to sell it for the market price you are shunned by the community.

I'd like to hear your arguments as to why you feel you are on such a moral high ground compared to people who sell non-necessities in a free market.


  • +187 votes

    …because people shouldn't deprive someone else for their own personal gain. We should all strive to benefit everyone equally. We should all first and foremost strive for the collective wellbeing.

    To profit is to plunder. To share is to receive.

    Together, we will fight against the machine. Down with the status quo.

    • Fight the good fight comrade.

    • Ah tshow the footsoldier of capitalism

      • Please. I am not the foot soldier. I'm more like the guy that polishes the cannons before battle.

        Stable work hours and we get dental.

        (I also moonlight for the communist if they're offering casual + after hours loading.)

    • You should live in a socialist country then!

      Also, if you work for a 'for profit' business, you should quit your job :)

      • +16 votes

        Socialist country, capitalist country… it's all the same dude. You have to open your mind and think of a world without borders. We're all just brothers and sisters seperated by war and famine.

        • That's idealistic, the reality is the western world is built on capitalism.

          • +17 votes

            @SelfMade: The western world is built on imperialism.

            The three biggest western nations by land mass were assumed by Europeans that marginalised the native population through use of force.

            We can put all that behind us. It's time for healing. It's time we only express good vibes.

            • @tshow: The thing is in reality socialism / communism just doesn't work. People don't give or provide equally. Some work harder than others, some are lazy, some have higher intelligence whilst some are fools.

              Capitalism works, it's not perfect but better than the other models out there.

        • And separated by those who can or cannot spell separate.

        • Did u type this in a rainbow combie with lots of smoke pouring out the windows????

        • I'm happy with borders thanks very much. We are not brothers and sisters and you can keep your wars and famines.

    • But no-one is depriving anyone of anything … ?

      It's up to you if you want to transact or not. You don't lose anything by not transacting.

      You just don't gain the way others do when they transact - and that's because they are more nimble in the world of transactions and that's not their fault for spending the extra time and effort or being able to do so by sacrificing whatever it is that causes you not to be able to do the same.

      Like OP says - these items are not necessities. Not getting them puts you in exactly the same position you were in before. You can't say lack of gain equals to deprivation.

    • Greed is sensible, it's perfectly rational to want nice things for yourself. It's envy that's an ugly base emotion, because you want to see something nice taken away from others.

      • Er - generally speaking when I'm envious of something someone has, it's just because I would like to have one too, not that I want THEIRS or want them to lose it and me get one. And you just said wanting things is 'sensible and perfectly rational', ergo my envy is too. They're flipsides of the same coin. The only time I would want someone not to have something so that I can have it is if it's a zero sum game, because there's only one or few existent - like say a person hah or a famous painting. But most things aren't like that. I want a new TV, and I couldn't care less if everyone else magically has one when I get mine.

        What I think you're really saying or implying is that wanting things is great if you can get them, but bad if you can't because that leads to negative emotion. But I don't think people can be morally blamed for the negative emotion that results from them missing out on what others get

      • There are no "nice" or "ugly" emotions, they are just emotions. It's how you react to the emotion that determines whether you feel "good" or "bad".

    • Although this should be the way, you know damn straight the world was built on the exact opposite.

    • u communist brah?

      • That's so post-hoc labelism, brother.

        I spiritually identify as a societal co-op for positivity.

    • It was funny when you got a few votes, but this many votes is scary. 😂

    • Great answer mate.

    • reason why this site exist is cause people are selfless and post deals for people to share.

      If one person buys it all and sell at profit, no one will post as they never get the deal and this site dies, don't want that do you OP, so selfish

      I can guarantee a site like this will fail in china cause of people like OP never posts and buys it all every time.

  • +32 votes

    I think it's like those people who've been members for five years and haven't posted even one single bargain in that whole time.

      • +24 votes

        Why? You seem like a die-hard supporter of capitalism. Who cares what it is, capitalism doesn't discriminate

        • I'm not a die hard supporter of capitalism, and there's no need to point out irrelevant incorrect assumptions about the person bringing up a topic - that's not an argument or logic, unfortunately.

          It's also incorrect to say capitalism doesn't discriminate. Capitalism can work together with rules and some form of control. Capitalism doesn't mean "completely uncontrolled" contrary to belief nor is everything black and white.

          You can approach it through listing necessities. But then again you can strawman attack anything if you want. In the OP I point out that products such as PS5 are nowhere near necessities.

          You can talk about necessities but you're actually preaching to the choir here.. it's not even the point I'm making

          • +9 votes

            @takutox: and your question has been answered multiple times.

            'A scalper, in the context of market supply-demand theory, also refers to a person who buys large quantities of in-demand items, such as new electronics or event tickets, at regular price, hoping that the items sell out. The scalper then resells the items at a higher price.'

            someone who bought one with the intent to use and realises he doesn't want it anymore is not a scalper. I don't know what you mean by shunned by the community. Scalpers are getting shunned. Besides, if you don't want it anymore you can just return it to the store. That's what I'd do. No one really here cares whether it's a necessity or not, it's just a dick act tbh. I reckon plenty of people on OzBargain had the opportunity to buy one, I know whenever a PS5 post came out, it was never OOS for me and we knew what they were going for but we didn't do it.

        • Seems like the communists are pretty good capitalists.

  • It's pretty simple, scalping is rent seeking behaviour, they add costs without providing any benefits. As a whole it's awful for the economy, as it devours capital while providing no growth, especially if it's left unchecked and moves from non-necessities to necessities, like it has in markets with less restrictions.

    My question for you is, would it be ok to scalp essentials too? Would you have a moral problem if I bought up all the milk in Australia direct from the farmers creating an artificial shortage, and sold it 20x above cost just because capitalism allows for it?

    The farmers don't care because I'll pay them above market prices, the supermarkets don't care because they'll still be getting their cut as people won't stop buying milk, so what would be the problem?

    • There's a big difference between essentials and non-essential entertainment items. It is a logical fallacy / strawman attack to try to apply the same logic to a completely different category of items.

      • If you're specifically talking about non-essentials, then your point about the initial sellers being happy is faulty to begin with.

        If the market price for item x is $100, then why would the initial seller sell it for $80 and let a scalper profit, when they could sell it at market price and gain the $20 themselves?

        Or in the case of freebies like the dominos/pizza hut offers, the scalpers give them fake email addresses and details when the entire point is to harvest data, and the people interacting legitimately are left angry towards dominos/pizza hut for the experience.

        • Sony and Microsoft are more than happy to sell at $750 RRP and have a standard price, for a variety of reasons.

          How does having fake details have anything to do with the item in question? Nowhere did anyone say fake details were used. I saw people legitimately getting angry at people selling ONE coupon, this is what I've noticed as a very common theme across all my time in ozbargain. It really doesn't matter if you sell one and if it was legitimately gotten or if you got three legitimately. People still get angry without knowing the circumstances. I want to understand why. Talking about fake details being used and accusations does not add weight to your argument since it has nothing to do with what we are arguing.

          • @takutox: Yeah, and have you seen the utter backlash against companies like Nvidea with the RTX 3000 launch for how badly it was scalped?

            Companies are often happy their products are sold, but consumers hate that they weren't able to get the product they wanted/had to pay extra for it, so consumers take it out on the company not the scalpers. That's bad for business if there's any kind of competition.

            Because that's how scalpers work, and you specifically mentioned them? They don't use their real details, and there were plenty of people using bots on the dominos/pizza hut competition, hell back in my uni days I would have made one myself.

            I think there is often misplaced anger at people who bought something legitimately and then resell it later, because that's the visible face of reselling, like people screaming at a checkout chick at Woolies because milk went up 10c.

            I think you're trying to differentiate between those two groups (legitimate people and scalpers), intentions matter more than actions here.

            • @Jolakot: Most companies sell at the highest price they possibly can (without losing money by tempting fewer buyers).

              For the Nvidia launch, Nvidia did not do this. Instead it appears they picked lower prices as a strategic move against their 2 main competitors:

              1. AMD
                Nvidia want their 3000 series cards to seem so good that some people don't bother waiting to see what AMD's new offerings will be in a few weeks time

              2. New consoles
                Many people where very impressed with the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S specs and saying they'd buy one of these consoles rather than a new PC (and of course both new consoles are AMD too)

              Nvidia knew of course that they wouldn't have nearly enough stock at the low RRP they chose, but they knew foolish people would blame retailers and 3rd parties for this, at least partially, instead of Nvidia.

              Nvidia doesn't get the huge per-card profit margins they got on the RTX 2000 series cards, but at least they stopped some people buying AMD card or a console this year.

      • 100% this

    • So what about the limited amount of Gold or Bitcoin driving prices up ?

      Is that also awful for the economy as it devours capital while providing no growth ?

      10 years ago when hurricanes killed the banana industry, banana prices went up. Cafes and restaurants increased their prices of banana milkshakes etc.

      15 years ago when earthquakes killed ram production due to robot calibration issues ram prices doubled.

      It's standard supply / demand / popularity market and I don't see why there should be any complaints in any way. Prices are set at what people are willing to pay and if they weren't the respective industries would go bankrupt.

      Am I allowed to make money off the price increase of Gold / Bitcoin / Bananas / Ram but not off Concert Tickets ?

    • You're speaking too wide and theoretical, let's talk about the benefit of buying from a scalper

      An item RRP $100

      Person A (Scalper): found a deal at $50, bought the item and then resell at $70

      Person B (sheep): not technologically aware enough to find this deal at $50, want to buy the item but not willing to pay $100, so decided to bought from the scalper for $70

      If there was no scalper, person B would end up not spending anything, so there would be only a singular flow of money between A and the retailer.

      With scalper there's now two flows of money A to retailer, B to A, so at the very least there is an increase in liquidity of money flow

      Now let's say that A is in NSW and B is in VIC, a postman would be required to transport the parcel. Now the presence of multiple scalpers allow for Auspost to hire an extra employee.

      Since this person now have a job, they don't take money from Centrelink anymore.

      Etc. Etc.

      Maybe when you sum everything together, it's inefficient, but the presence of scalpers at the very least stimulate the local economy

      And with regards to non-essential and essential goods, think about Centrelink. In Australia, we gave people the benefits of the doubt and support them with money in needs, so we shouldn't scalp on essential items to stay in line with this principle.

      However, if you are in other countries, then it's not really morally wrong for a person to scalp on essential items since that's the environment that they live in

      At the end of the day, just keep in mind, that's everyone is immoral. Society is an equilibrium, so if someone gains something, someone else loses, e.g. stockmarket.

      So when you go to the supermarket and see someone driving a fancy cars, do you think that they are ..s.O..es, or do you just go meh?

      If you go meh, then there's no reason for you to be angry at scalper, otw that's just double standards

  • +52 votes

    Capitalism dictates that we have the right to buy and sell and the market dictates what the value is.

    Capitalism is not some inherent law of nature. Would you still make this argument if someone bought all the Oxygen on earth and kept it in canisters within their bunker? (Thought experiment obviously, it's impractical to literally secure all the oxygen)

    Now, I don't care if you buy a Playstation, decide you don't want it any more and then sell it. But if you buy a Playstation for the sole purpose of hoarding until they're sold out and re-sell for profit, you're a dick. It's legal to be a dick, and it's legal for me to call you one. It's also legal for us to collectively decide to implement laws prohibiting deliberate dickishness (see: scalping).

    • Again, let's not use the essential vs non essential strawman. In the OP I point out these items are nowhere near necessities.

      Also for your second point, why can't the person sell it at market value? ($1200+), if the person decides they don't want it anymore, do they have to sell it at the price they bought it at? Does that make them a dick? What if they spent a lot of effort and energy securing the preorder? This is why I say don't bring up the quantity or purposefully scalping argument, people are shunned whether they bought one and took off work or if they bought 10.

      There would be a shortage with only 2 million PS5s regardless of if there were zero "purposeful" scalpers. It's just the way it is, manufacturing takes time. If you think them selling it at higher than they bought it at is being a "dick" then are you able to justify that position?

      • +16 votes

        Right, if you do this with life essentials, you're a murderer. If you do it with luxuries, you're just a dick.

        Anyway, essential is hard to define.

        Shelter? You can survive without shelter in moderate weather.
        Social interaction? Some people are fine without it (for a while)
        Internet? Not physically linked to metabolism, but required for the modern economy and jobs.

      • +13 votes

        Also for your second point, why can't the person sell it at market value? ($1200+), if the person decides they don't want it anymore, do they have to sell it at the price they bought it at? Does that make them a dick?

        It's the intent that makes a dick.

        If you decide to hoard a scarce object for personal gain, you're a dick. Simples.

        • A hypothetical here - what if the intent was not to hoard it, but that they simply don't want the item anymore? Would you still be angry if they listed it at $1200+? (Which is it's actual market value now). Let's say they receive a gift of the same item and now need to sell one.

          In that case intent was not to resell, but the market value for the next 6 months is definitely not the RRP? What price should that person sell at? WHY should they sell it at RRP given the worldwide market value is much higher than RRP?

          • +2 votes

            @takutox: Sell at market rate, sure. I think the buyer is dumb for paying more than sticker price (partially because inflated prices reward the dicks for being dicks, partially because they'll keep making Playstations).

            But hey, it's legal to be dumb too.

            • @abb: As someone who has purchased in high demand items.. why is the buyer dumb? Where else can they get the item?

              "Wait one year" is not really a good argument. The time you get the item does matter.

              • +2 votes


                Where else can they get the item?

                Remember your original line of argument - it's not an essential item.

                Taken to the limit, if no-one ever paid above sticker price, there would be no market for hoarders to profit from. The profiteers exist only because people pay them.

                You're free to use your money to pay a convenience premium, but I'm pretty sure you'll be able to buy most mass-produced unlimited-edition widgets at RRP within a few months of release.

          • @takutox: if you buy one for personal use and see the price go up after launch and decide to sell it at $1200 i don't think thats an issue.

            but the issue would be if you pre-order 10 for the explicit purpose of reselling for profit, now 10 people who actually wanted the product miss out.

            • @redfox1200:

              now 10 people who actually wanted the product miss out.

              They only miss out if he doesn't sell them, otherwise the same amount of people would enjoy it, just the ones willing to spend more money.

              • @ozhunter: yes, but not the same people, it could be 10 low income families that are trying to buy a ps5 for their family for christmas vs 10 singles on 100k a year that can afford the $1200

                • @redfox1200: True, but maybe other low income families couldn't afford the $750 asking price in the first place.

                  In general, having more money allows you to have more things.

                  I get the arguments against it. I wouldn't like to pay for something above the normal(msrp) because someone else wants to make a profit, but I also understand why the OP is wandering why people get salty about "non-essential items.

            • @redfox1200: So the people with less money are more deserving of the non essential item?

              • @takutox: no, just legitimate customers are more deserving. so if people with more money were at the front of the queue then theres no problem. but what happens when there is 100 in stock, and you are number 10 in line, but the guy in front of you buys all the remaining units, so that he can go resell them for more, it's just a dick move.

                Personally if i wanted a ps5 i would have made sure i ordered one when the pre-orders opened, or else i would be happy to wait until more stock is released.

                if i personally had bought one, and all of a sudden could resell it for $1200, i would probably resell it, then wait for more stock in a month or 2 to buy another one. but i wouldn't purposely buy for the intention of reselling for profit.

                • @redfox1200: Lol. So the only difference here is some arbitrary thing you're thinking in your head, but the actions still show that you are selling for profit. There is zero difference because you made someone pay double the price and you're $500 richer.

                  That is just silly my man. Yeah, I think your intent in this case is clearly to profit. You yourself are saying you would sell it because of the profit.

                  If you really believed in what you were saying you'd sell at RRP cos you stole a spot for nothing. You're no better than any scalper in this case.

                  • @takutox: not really, as if the resale value was $600 then i wouldn't sell the unit and i would use it as i intended when purchased

                      • @takutox: you: buys 10 with the intent to profit and remove supply for genuine customers
                        me: buys one to use for myself, but someone wants it more than me,so i sell at market rate

                        you:a dick

                        me: opportunistic

                        • @redfox1200: you: ad hominem attack with no basis

                          you: says they will sells PS5 for $1200 but hates scalpers

                          you: mental gymnastics to make it seem like you're not a scalper if you did that

                          .. lul

                          • @takutox: i didn't say i hate scalpers, i don't think you understand my argument.

                            if you scalp for a job to make profit for yourself as a living then its a dick move

                            if you only buy 1 not with the intention of reselling for profit but for using it to play games, and someone offers you $1200, why wouldn't you take it? i agree it's still scalping, but its not on the level of bots buying 10's or 100's to do the same thing.

                            without the bots buying the 10's or 100's then everyone who wanted one for 750 could get one for 750

                          • @takutox: You're really not following the pretty clear difference are you? While his personal intentions might not matter in the scheme of the resulting transactions if you assume the transactions are the same, they do matter because in reality the behaviour of someone with the initial intention to profit is very different i.e. buying more than they could possibly personally use from the get-go, like the 10 v 1 in his example.

                            Society allowing or encouraging abuse of market forces willy-nilly will lead to general inflation of the price of goods and it would profit only these middle-men who really provide little value in the chain. It's the same reason people hate middle-management - you don't deserve to make a profit if you aren't seen to be adding any significant value.