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Author Topic: D800 Price Gouging  (Read 7876 times)

lfeagan

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D800 Price Gouging
« on: May 03, 2012, 12:46:19 AM »

While browsing eBay today I decided to see how many people had purchased D800Es for the purpose of selling them at an inflated price (scalping). While I have no issue with an individual buyer doing this (what they do with their camera after they buy it is their choice), it seems like a Nikon dealer from San Jose has decided to jump into this lucrative market as well. In total this seller has 4x D800 and 5x D800E listed (when I looked earlier today). The seller is asking 30% more than Nikon's MSRP ($4k and $4.5k).

http://www.ebay.com/sch/deffu/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p3686

I find this sort of behavior on the part of a dealer rather distasteful. I was wondering if anyone knows about Nikon's contract with authorized retailers, Internet-sales, and pricing. Even though Nikon isn't full of saints, I don't suppose they condone of a dealer scalping. If all dealers were to engage in this sort of behavior, the supply equation could be altered significantly keeping prices artificially high nearly indefinitely. In the long run, this would impact Nikon's image vis-a-vis their retailers behavior.
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Lance

Nikon: D700, D800E, PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED, PC-E 45mm f/2.8D ED, PC-E 85mm f/2.8D, 50mm f/1.4G, 14-24 f/2.8G ED, 24-70 f/2.8G ED, 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II, 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
Fuji: X-Pro 1, 14mm f/2.8, 18mm f/2.0, 35mm f/1.4

Thomas Krüger

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Re: D800 Price Gouging
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2012, 01:49:06 AM »

On Amazon.de somebody (probably from Nigeria) is offering the D800 for 2498 Euro, that's 400 Euro below the Amazon price.
http://www.amazon.de/gp/offer-listing/B00763MHB4/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new
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ckimmerle

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Re: D800 Price Gouging
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2012, 10:43:12 AM »

It's simple supply and demand. This camera has almost unprecedented popularity (everyone thinks it magically makes all images better because it's 36mp) so dealers can charge what they want. If someone wants it badly enough, and there are people who do, they will pay the higher price.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: D800 Price Gouging
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2012, 11:35:13 AM »

... Even though Nikon isn't full of saints, I don't suppose they condone of a dealer scalping. If all dealers were to engage in this sort of behavior, the supply equation could be altered significantly keeping prices artificially high nearly indefinitely. In the long run, this would impact Nikon's image vis-a-vis their retailers behavior.

If I were Nikon and noticed "indefinitely" higher prices, I would charge my dealers higher prices too.

If I were the government, I would step in and provide affordable financing to those in dire need of the latest and greatest gizmo.

If I were UN, I would add it to the list of basic human rights, as the right to immediately participate in the latest break-throughs in humanity's technological advancements.

Colorado David

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Re: D800 Price Gouging
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2012, 12:13:09 PM »

I don't really think there is such a thing as scalping.  The value of something is what a willing buyer and a willing seller agree on.  No one forces someone to buy at those prices.

lfeagan

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Re: D800 Price Gouging
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2012, 02:09:27 PM »

The value of something is what a willing buyer and a willing seller agree on.

An item's value is not equal to what a single buyer is willing to pay. As a util good, the value is equal to the economic output it enables the possessor to achieve. If the perceived value of an item is high, then a seller can demand a high price. Additionally, the willingness of a single buyer to pay an exorbitant price does not instantly convey a similar value to all such goods. One needn't search far for evidence of this.

I am not trying to be rude here. Just trying to point out that value is more complex than what a single buyer and seller agree on for the price.
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Lance

Nikon: D700, D800E, PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED, PC-E 45mm f/2.8D ED, PC-E 85mm f/2.8D, 50mm f/1.4G, 14-24 f/2.8G ED, 24-70 f/2.8G ED, 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II, 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: D800 Price Gouging
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2012, 02:34:54 PM »

... what a single buyer and seller agree on for the price.

And who is talking about "single buyer"!?

If you are referring to Colorado David, he most likely used the term "willing buyer" as a generic term for demand. And it is absolutely clear that there is way more than a "single buyer" interested in D800. And it is further absolutely clear that "the perceived value of D800 is high", thus enabling higher demand and price.

BJL

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D800 not available as soon and as cheap as some people wish
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2012, 02:59:05 PM »

Unless you can persuade me that Nikon or this camera dealer have put some people in a position where they
(a) need, rather than want this camera, and
(b) need it now rather than in a month or two, when they will be able to get it from a wait-listed order,
then I really do not get your point.

Also, the idea that the value of an item like this is measured purely by "the economic output it enables the possessor to achieve" is amazingly unrealistic.  Is this an abstract theoretical dogma that some economists preach, along with the bizarre idea that economic activity can be modeled by assuming that most economic decisions are made on a purely rational basis? By that measure, a pure amateur like me is entitled to become the possessor of any new camera for free, while, given the return that this camera likely will deliver to some skilled professional users, Nikon is severely underpricing it to them.
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lfeagan

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Re: D800 Price Gouging
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2012, 05:21:51 PM »

@BJL: A rational buyer compares their perceived value with the seller's asking price. If the value far exceeds the price, then the decision to buy is quite obvious. If value is far less than the price, then clearly you should not buy. If value ~= price, then there is a tough decision to be made. Purchasing for any other reason is foolish.

Photography, even for enjoyment, has a measurable value. If you did nothing you enjoyed with your life, other aspects would suffer. If you only did things for pleasure and never earned any income, you would have an income shortage. There is a balancing point in hobby photography where the enjoyment enables us to continue in other necessary facets of life. Enabling this balance has a monetary value. Even though the act of participating in hobby photography has no direct economic output, indirectly it enables us to earn income in other areas for extended periods of time.

Also, I believe point b is assuming that wait-listed orders will become available at some point in time for a particular price. I was never under the impression that a pre-order in any way contractually obligated them to sell you a device at any price at any time.

Lastly, you seem to misunderstand value. Value is what you obtain from an item you possess. Price is what a seller charges you to obtain that value. If, as an amateur, you choose to obtain little value from an item, that is your choice. The price a seller demands does not necessarily change in response to your achieving little value from the item. In the software world, this sort of value vs price discussion becomes all the more interesting as after the development work has completed the per-unit cost is nearly zero--all the cost was upfront in the development work. The development cost difference from the basic to the pro version is insignificant and yet the price to the buyer may be doubled. This is because the functionality in the pro version may significantly improve the value of the software. Hardware, such as a camera, obviously has a non-trivial cost to produce each unit sold, which must be recouped.
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Lance

Nikon: D700, D800E, PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED, PC-E 45mm f/2.8D ED, PC-E 85mm f/2.8D, 50mm f/1.4G, 14-24 f/2.8G ED, 24-70 f/2.8G ED, 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II, 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
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BJL

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A rational buyer compares their perceived value with the seller's asking price. If the value far exceeds the price, then the decision to buy is quite obvious. If value is far less than the price, then clearly you should not buy. If value ~= price, then there is a tough decision to be made.
Exactly! So the people who make a rational choice to pay these prices (above MSRP) in order to get a D800(E) quickly are judging that value to them is at least the asking price. Or more specifically, that the added value of getting it now rather than getting it later at a somewhat lower price justifies paying the higher price.

What is the problem, and what has any of this process of some people _choosing_ to buy a D800 at this price in order to get it sooner got to do with accusations of "gouging"?
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ckimmerle

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Exactly! So the people who make a rational choice to pay these prices (above MSRP) in order to get a D800(E) quickly are judging that value to them is at least the asking price.


+1
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lfeagan

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Re: D800 Price Gouging
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2012, 11:28:44 PM »

@BJL: Like I said in my first post, I have no problem with the prices. My question was whether anyone familiar with Nikon's dealer contracts could comment on maximum price limitations set on dealers.

The only sentence in my post that even remotely looks like it is seeking a response was:
Quote
I was wondering if anyone knows about Nikon's contract with authorized retailers, Internet-sales, and pricing.

It would be nice if someone with knowledge of these contracts would respond rather than folks who believe that I am looking for insight into economic forces, which I am not. Feel free to not respond if you are not familiar with the current Nikon dealer agreement.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2012, 11:31:26 PM by lfeagan »
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Lance

Nikon: D700, D800E, PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED, PC-E 45mm f/2.8D ED, PC-E 85mm f/2.8D, 50mm f/1.4G, 14-24 f/2.8G ED, 24-70 f/2.8G ED, 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II, 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
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EinstStein

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Re: D800 Price Gouging
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2012, 04:01:22 PM »

Get used to it, Ifeagan, this forum and many internet forums are the place full of philosophers, politicians, psychologists, ..., and some photographers. You could get irrelevant comments and critics before you get what your need.
This is a good place for people watching, enjoy while you are waiting for your answer.

   
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BJL

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Re: D800 Price Gouging
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2012, 05:55:46 PM »

@BJL: Like I said in my first post, I have no problem with the prices.
Your subject line uses the word "gouging", which is surely a criticism, and your subsequent arguments about value and such make no distinction betwen the actions of a private seller and that of a single dealer, bearing mind that there are many others, so no dealer is anywhere close to a monopoly, which is the only situation where I would consider gouging to be an issue.

By the way: as far as I know, US laws do not allow a company like Nikon to impose prices on retailers: a maximum price, just like a minimum price, is viewed as illegal price fixing. I am not sure about that though.
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Fine_Art

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Re: D800 Price Gouging
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2012, 03:02:36 AM »

Get used to it, Ifeagan, this forum and many internet forums are the place full of philosophers, politicians, psychologists, ..., and some photographers. You could get irrelevant comments and critics before you get what your need.
This is a good place for people watching, enjoy while you are waiting for your answer.

   

LOL.

Meanwhile I wait for the cloud to move from in front of the supermoon....

;-)
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: D800 Price Gouging
« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2012, 12:13:17 PM »

... this forum and many internet forums are the place full of philosophers, politicians, psychologists, ..., and some photographers...

And you fit in... where?

If photographer, where can we see it?

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: D800 Price Gouging
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2012, 12:28:47 PM »

... folks who believe that I am looking for insight into economic forces, which I am not...

That's only too unfortunate, as it looks like you do need it.

Look, if the only thing you needed was an answer to your one-sentence question, then next time make your post a one-sentence question, instead of a moralizing rant.

Wayne Fox

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Re: D800 Price Gouging
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2012, 02:54:14 PM »

@BJL: Like I said in my first post, I have no problem with the prices. My question was whether anyone familiar with Nikon's dealer contracts could comment on maximum price limitations set on dealers.

The only sentence in my post that even remotely looks like it is seeking a response was:
It would be nice if someone with knowledge of these contracts would respond rather than folks who believe that I am looking for insight into economic forces, which I am not. Feel free to not respond if you are not familiar with the current Nikon dealer agreement.
As an authorized Nikon dealer in the US, I can tell you that while Nikon recently instituted a minimum price point a dealer can sell at, there are no restrictions in the agreement as to how much you can charge.

so the decision is the dealers ... if they want to make a few extra bucks at perhaps the expense of reputation and customer loyalty they are free to do so.  Unfortunately with all the internet based companies now, many don't focus much on customer service and loyalty as they assume there are plenty of other customers out there.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 04:12:58 PM by Wayne Fox »
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lfeagan

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Re: D800 Price Gouging
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2012, 01:22:52 AM »

Hi Wayne,

Thanks for your response.
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Lance

Nikon: D700, D800E, PC-E 24mm f/3.5D ED, PC-E 45mm f/2.8D ED, PC-E 85mm f/2.8D, 50mm f/1.4G, 14-24 f/2.8G ED, 24-70 f/2.8G ED, 70-200 f/2.8G ED VR II, 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
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