Since I'm already being controversial I might as well go whole hog and finally make the debate thread I've been curious about for a long time. I don't think there is a debate or discussion like this though it does touch on some other previous threads. Please read this post fully. A few caveats: I do not think scalpers==good I do not think flippers==good I do not think shopping services==bad However I do think our general communities public attitudes towards scalpers and flippers (scorn) and towards services (gratitude) are fascinating and something to be discussed and debated. Please no personal attacks! I know this is a very controversial subject and people get very upset regarding the topics at hand. For this discussion I want to define the terms first: A scalper for this debate is someone who specifically buys a doll or item with the sole intention of reselling said doll for a profit to a non-close friend/stranger, usually via an auction service so their connection to the community is unknown. A shopping service for this debate is specifically a non-close friend/stranger who charges a fee higher than the actual cost of the item to purchase something for you. Someone running a group order who charges their PayPal fees or bank transfer fees is not a shopping service. A flipper for this debate is specifically someone who buys a Limited Edition doll or item and immediately upon receiving it raises the price to sell it because of "market value" or "recouping their cost" or "bonding issues" or whatever nebulous wording they choose to use to explain the price increase on the doll they have not even had a week. A while ago I was eating dinner with friends and I mentioned how Y!J was full of the Tokyo Disney Yos. One of my companions expressed disgust at so many being for sale. I remarked that the majority were selling for close to original price. She then complained how those "scalpers" had taken places away from people who "wanted" to go to the event. I found this all a bit hypocritical since the person in question had taken commissions for said dolls and had charged as a commission fee more money than the dolls were currently selling for on Y!J and one could just as easily argue that she had taken the spot of someone who "wanted" the dolls. It got me thinking about our attitudes as a community. Some questions to think about (you don't need to answer these, they're more just a starting off point) Are shopping services considered positive because we know they are part of the community? If we know a scalper is part of the community does it change our feelings towards them? Is there really a difference between flipping and scalping? Is flipping better than scalping since the flipper is more obviously a member of the community? Does it matter that a scalper is selling to a buyer they may or may not know, while a shopping service is buying for a specific buyer? What is an acceptable "fee" or commission for a shopping service? Is a shopping service's time worth more than that of a scalper? Should points me taken into account when a Volks Japan shopping service sets its commission fee? (For those curious I believe it is something like for every taxed 1000 yen spent at Volks a person receives 1 point, every 15 points==1500 yen back, in essence it is about 5% back on all taxed purchases. I don't think any of the Korean companies offer such a generous point system and it does actually add up. If you are a FCS ordering system and you buy say 10 SD-13 boys over 3 months I think you're getting like a 9000 yen discount.) Do you personally feel one of the above categories is morally superior to the other and why? Do you personally feel one of the above categories is superior to the other and why? If a scalped doll is selling for less than a shopping service charged, does said service still have the moral high ground? Is someone who is taking away a chance for an item from someone at Japanese event different from someone taking away a chance for something you the respondent is able to apply for yourself? Can a service cross the line into scalping, and if so when/how? Please feel free to just use these as a starting point. I look forward to people's thoughts.