News Article

Wii U Resellers Captilise On Demand By Fleecing Consumers

Posted by Damien McFerran

Would you pay $1,550 for Nintendo's new console this Christmas?

Unless you count the Virtual Boy, pretty much every new Nintendo console has experienced incredible demand in the first month of its release. Millions of people want to upgrade but stock is usually limited - hardly surprising with brand new hardware. Sadly, this situation allows resellers to make a pretty penny, and that trend is set to continue with the Wii U.

Reports have emerged online that Wii U preorders are currently changing hands for as much as $750, and one particularly optimistic individual has even tried to flog a preorder for a staggering $1,550 - they were unsuccessful.

The actual retail price of the Wii U system in North America is $349.99 for the Deluxe edition and $299.99 for the basic set.

How do you feel about these flagrant attempts to take advantage of demand for the new console? Is it just the natural order of things and anyone daft enough to pay such a price deserves to get ripped off, or should these people be ashamed of themselves? Let us know in the comments section.

[via shacknews.com, arstechnica.com]

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User Comments (54)

Linkstrikesback

#3

Linkstrikesback said:

I don't agree with it, but I can absolutely see the appeal.

I could theoretically sell my preordered wii u and have enough to pay for all the christmas presents I am going to buy for other people, for example. And that idea is veryyy tempting.

kyuubikid213

#4

kyuubikid213 said:

I hope they fail. Chances are they will succeed. But hey, as long as people are getting the Wii U, I guess it's all good. :|

I've already got my Basic Preordered. I'm just waiting for November 18th.

kyuubikid213

#5

kyuubikid213 said:

I just checked eBay. Only one has a bid so far and it's going for $0.99. Others are selling for merely $100 and others think they can sell it for 3 times it's value.

Who's gonna try and cash in on the $0.99 or $100 Wii Us?

Spooky

#6

Spooky said:

I really don't like that people do this, I just think that if you want something so much pre-order! If not wait until you can get it even if it's frustrating. Besides as soon as it's sold on doesn't make the console pre-owned therefore not in warranty?

SuperKMx

#8

SuperKMx said:

As WhiteKnight says, supply and demand. Whilst there are idiots who can't say "no" to their children, this sort of thing will go on. Come December 1st, Wii U's will be changing hands in the UK for £600+ a pop as well.

Child wants console. Parent can't get it at retail. Parent is unable to say "no" to their child. Parent buys console from wherever they can, for whatever price. Because they didn't say "no" this time, it'll happen with the next console launch, too. And the one after that.

Kudos to the guy for taking advantage of it, I say.

MKCustodial

#10

MKCustodial said:

Took me almost a full year to get a Wii exactly because of that. I live in Brazil, where we usually pay more than 100% of the US price, but it was very hard to import a Wii early on. And I wanted to get a Wii U for my household for Christmas, but I guess I'll have to wait till February os something. I understand demand and all that, but I refuse to pay a penny above what the company that created the thing is asking for.

MAB

#12

MAB said:

Maybe we can buy-out every cigar in the entire world and sell them to these re-sellers at an 800% markup price ;)

rjejr

#14

rjejr said:

It's called "capitalism". Or in a high priced hotel "concierge" service. And who says Nintendo isn't fleecing consumers by selling it for $299?

In a world where Stubhub exits (when I grew up we called it scalping and it was very illegal) everything and anything goes.

fullyilly

#15

fullyilly said:

If the 3DS and Vita are anything to go by, the shops will have loads on release day and wont run out. Although this article has now spiked my interest in pre-ordering lol.

DestinyMan

#18

DestinyMan said:

Back when the Wii was flying out of stores and the drought was coming, my parents had to pay over $600 on the internet to get it. It obviously wasn't an easy choice. I'm just so grateful that I'll be getting a Wii U at the true price on launch day. No one should have to pay triple for an otherwise relatively cheap game console.

iphys

#19

iphys said:

I think these people are parasites and barely better than thieves. It's possible to make money by doing something that is actually useful for the world, but these people just want to take advantage of other people to get money they've done nothing to merit. If people didn't pay the inflated prices, the scalpers would return the systems to the stores for legitimate buyers to purchase them though, so it's the people that pay the inflated prices that are responsible for encouraging the behaviour — can't feel too sorry for them if they choose to throw their money away.

THENAMESNORM

#21

THENAMESNORM said:

I pre-ordered the Wii twice when it came out so I could make sure I got one on launch day, and I did.

The second pre-order wasn't available until a few days before xmas(3 weeks after release), and two of my friends wanted it - one wanted to play it and the other wanted to sell it on eBay for the going rate of around £450 at the time!! So i gave it to my mate who was going to play it and he simply gave me the £180 the machine cost.

I don't agree with selling on for vast profit at all and stopping someone who genuinly wants it from getting it, but as @linkstrikesback said, I can see the appeal. But being honest, what happened with the Wii got everyone talking about it and I'm sure helped contribute to the system selling out for long periods of time!

Every cloud.......

ultraraichu

#23

ultraraichu said:

I got mines pre-order but I feel sorry for the people who really wants the Wii U to play but cant because resellers brought out the store. Makes it harder when that person live in a small town or country with limited places that sells the Wii U.

Jono97

#24

Jono97 said:

:| What's so special about preordering the Wii U early? I mean.. people are so desperate for preorders before the console has even reached the verge of being in the shops. But as Reggie claimed, they are under control with the stock. :| Personally, I'd like a Wii U, but, my parents XD

Mahe

#25

Mahe said:

I wouldn't pay $299. The launch selection sucks and it has too few announced games after the launch window. Where is Wii Sports U?

Lunapplebloom

#26

Lunapplebloom said:

This kind of stuff happens all the time. A system comes out with a low number of units, people spring on the chance to sell it for a big profit. Personally, I'd like to see that money come in, but I can't bring myself to do it in this sort of way.

XCWarrior

#27

XCWarrior said:

I don't feel sorry for the idiots that will pay this much. If you have that kind of money to throw around, then go ahead.

I'm waiting until March, when Monster Hunter Tri comes out. There should not be supply issues by then.

The_Fox

#28

The_Fox said:

I probably shouldn't point out that I do this every time a new console comes out. I never make that kind of profit but there's easy money to be had.

Frapp

#29

Frapp said:

Unprincipled it is and the nastier side of capitalism. I have a very low opinion of people who commit what is essentially extortion.

Boo_Buster

#30

Boo_Buster said:

I'm so glad no moron bought that Wii U for nearly $1,600. Screw these people who do this, seriously. They are actually part of the reason there aren't as many systems as there could be. If any of you out there are thinking about buying one on ebay because you didn't pre-order one, PLEASE DO NOT GIVE THESE INCH BRAINED IDIOTS YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY!!!! Just wait until more are available and let those fools have to eat that 2nd Wii U. This goes for any product, not just in this case. Luckily I was able to get a Deluxe model at GameStop, but had I not been able to I would just wait. Patience is a virtue, and in this case will save you a ton of money and piss off a worthless human being :D

Ryno

#31

Ryno said:

I don't care either way. I don't begrudge people for making money.

"A fool and his money are soon parted."

AVahne

#32

AVahne said:

Hopefully Nintendo stops this from continuing by having large amounts of Wii U's available after launch.

WildMan

#33

WildMan said:

I could care less about it. That's just how supply and demand works. If someone wants to waste money and pay $1000 for a Wii U, then that's their problem..

Robo-goose

#34

Robo-goose said:

You know, I feel that it's a bit of both.
Gouging prices for something because you know it's in high demand is a scumbag move, and paying insane prices for entertainment just because you can't say no to your kid or because you just want it on launch that badly is also really low.
They cancel out each other, so I don't really have a problem with this.

Void

#35

Void said:

Pfft, thats nothing, a few days ago on eBay there was a guy asking for $8,999.
It did get taken down within a few hours of the time I saw it, but it did have 6 offers.

Haxonberik

#37

Haxonberik said:

Pre-ordered deluxe at Walmart, got a unnecesary Wii controller with it. Anyway, I hope these resellerd end with half a dozen Wii Us for themselves

StarDust4Ever

#39

StarDust4Ever said:

It's the return of the $700 Wii. Good thing I preordered the black bundle on day one. And I can say with 100% confidence that my console is not going om eBay.

FonistofCruxis

#40

FonistofCruxis said:

I don't agree with this. Its unfair that some people that actually wanted to buy a Wii U to play on or wanted to buy it for someone else to play on might not be able to get one because of jerks like these buying them just to resell them at ridiculous prices.

tanookisuit

#42

tanookisuit said:

My feelings on it are bitter because I couldn't get a preorder in as I'm in the process of moving when at the time it didn't look like it until early next year. I was walking in the door of TRU to drop some preorder cash down on a deluxe set to have the realtor stop me 5ft in the door. By the time I could get home, the online stuff was gone.

Seeing the prices on ebay and amazon is a mixture of disgust and fury really. I hope we see some lovely news stories come out launch day of these scammers on the craigslist side getting to a 'meet up' to get the crap kicked out of them and their system taken after the 'buyer' leaves them the retail price plus tax and gas on their twitching body on the ground. Serve em right if they got nothing too but I think it fair they get back what they put into it alone.

SomeBitTripFan

#43

SomeBitTripFan said:

This disgusts me. To make someone pay so much for something is unreasonable. It reminds me of when Best Buy was selling really nice computers for extremely cheap. People camped out at the store. M y mom left early in the morning to buy 2. The man in front of her bought out the rest of the stock and sold the computers for full price afterward.

The_Fox

#44

The_Fox said:

@tanookisuit
"I hope we see some lovely news stories come out launch day of these scammers on the craigslist side getting to a 'meet up' to get the crap kicked out of them and their system taken after the 'buyer' leaves them the retail price plus tax and gas on their twitching body on the ground."

Wow. What a fine gentleman you are, hoping for violent assault on people reselling systems. Bravo.

tanookisuit

#45

tanookisuit said:

Hey at least I'm honest about how I feel about the situation. Slime who pull these stunts should be punished and I did say they still deserved what they put into it. :)

Linkuini

#46

Linkuini said:

For my part, I'll gladly wait to get a system well after launch if it ups the chances of one of these types getting stuck with a console they never wanted and having to sell at a loss. If anybody's really thinking of caving for one of these ripoffs, there's your motivation not to.

LinktotheFuture

#48

LinktotheFuture said:

I think this is the reason the pre-orders sold out so quickly. I encourage people to stay strong and not pay more than retail.

EvisceratorX

#49

EvisceratorX said:

This is actually a great idea. :) I could sell of my preorder for a couple hundred more than I paid and then just buy one again after the demand dies down. I can wait. :)

the_shpydar

#50

the_shpydar said:

I see abolutely nothing wrong with this. No one is forcing the buyers to spend the money.

This is little different than buying marked-up concert or sporting event tickets through StubHub or elsewhere. I may have spent $900 on a pair of 2001 World Series tickets (face value = < $200), but no one made me do it. If someone wants to charge $750 for something that's a third of the price, and someone else MUST have that item day one, that's their choice.

@peoplecallingforbeatings You are horrible and despicable, and have no concept of reality.

shredmeister

#51

shredmeister said:

I'm going to hold off a bit on the Wii U. What will I miss out on? Another New Super Mario Bros. game? Nintendo Land? Not a big deal. Let the kids have their X-mas. I can wait.

I'm going to take a trip to the retro game store and buy myself some old (but still good) Gamecube games that nobody else seems to want.

Rerun

#52

Rerun said:

This is the world we live in. Supply and demand will always dictate prices. This just doesn't happen to consoles, it happens everywhere.
At least, Nintendo doesn't create the scenario. Other companies (like Nike) purposely create low supply and high demand which IMHO is worse. I've read articles where people seriously get hurt while trying to get Limited Edition sneakers at crazy prices. Sneakers that were manufactured in sweat shops at 1% of the retail price.

WeezyR1

#53

WeezyR1 said:

Doesn't matter what anyone thinks. It's the oldest rule of business, Supply And Demand. If demand is far greater than supply and people are willing to pay over retail to get the unit instead of waiting, then you would be a fool not to resell. The people who buy the units for far over retail instead of waiting are the ones that create the resell market. If people stopped over paying retail for any item, the resell market would not exist. Either get in early, over pay after, or wait until the item is available at retail. But whining won't get you anywhere. Remain bitter and do without, or deal with the way the world works.

WeezyR1

#54

WeezyR1 said:

And I would like to add that you better get your orders in for XBox One or PS4, or you'll be doing without. Or you can gladly pay me 200-400 over retail on ebay. Business is GREAT.

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