I’m a fan of the Phantom City Creative IG page. It’s a company that creates dope artwork in the form of movie posters for old movies and television shows. Their work is so popular that many of the prints sell out pretty quickly. So when the company released prints for Batman: The Animated Series, I had to check them out. Unfortunately, what plagues the sneaker game also seems to affect every corner of the internet – bots and resellers.Look, I know people always give the canned response of “hey I can’t knock their hustle,” when it comes to resellers, but I’m in the “fuck that. Resell sucks” camp. What bothers me about the resell game is the disruption of not only the marketplace but the technology that is supposed to make things easy.
The Resell Tax
With our love and dependence on technology, we’ve unknowingly created specialty taxes for the goods we purchase online. Let’s say you want product X. The retail value is $100. Unfortunately, your product happens to be pretty popular, which means a group of individuals have one goal in mind – buy as much product as they can and resell it for a markup that would seem ridiculous if it wasn’t so commonplace now. That leaves you with three choices:
- Buy a bot to help you get what you want. Let’s say it’s $30 for the bot. Product X is now $130.
- You pay the resell price (yeah..to hell with that). Since resellers live by the law of supply and demand, Product X is now $220.
- You follow the system as the manufacturer wants, try to buy the product using their system and come up with nothing. You didn’t spend any money, but the experience taxed your loyalty to the company.
The Side Effects Of The Resell Tax
We now live in a world where online goods now come with the resell tax. Either you play the game and buy a bot, or pay the resell price. What trips me out about this, and also find it quite impressive is the arms race that happens between the reseller and the company selling product X. For the company, it’s an instant sell out of product, but it screws over the audience. Yeah, the company made their money, but if the actual consumer decides it’s not worth dealing with the secondary market, the company will lose what made them so valuable(their community). So they try to put systems in place to stop bots, but it seems resellers always one step ahead. The company might develop an online raffle system that works once, but the next time the resellers have figured out the system, and it’s business as usual.
I would love to study how the secondary market evolves and its effects on buying and selling of goods online. And as exciting as this would be, I still hate the resell game. It takes away from those who want products because they have a passion for it. And ultimately that’s what the internet was supposed to do, connect people/companies/etc. With their audience. Allowing a digital community to form around a similar passion. Not to pay some third party for access to goods because they highjacked the system to make a quick buck.