We Need to Talk About Scalping and Price Gouging

FragFrog

Well-known member
Oct 6, 2018
I've plenty of backup bottle of certain fragrances which may not be available anymore and of course they cost a lot more nowadays if you find them.
They are mostly fragrances I like and wear.

I probably know that I never would use up all of them - but I don't know if I would prefer the one over the other in future so it's good to have a big amount of juice of any of them.
Most of them are designers and were really widely available so I don't have the feeling that I've taken anything away from anyone.
Anyone could have bought them too before they were discontinued.

I think that's ok.
But if I want to sell some bottles, do I have to feel guilty if I ask for a higher price then I've paid?
 

Cheetah1919

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2016
I really don’t like it happening directly after release, but when it’s down the line and more random and individual, that doesn’t bother me as much. If I had something valuable and didn’t want it anymore, I guess I’d want to get whatever I could for it. But those that are somehow able to get a bunch of fragrances (or whatever) at the start because it’s known to be limited and not coming back, and then price hike them so high right away is what bothers me. Right wrong or in between, it’s just how I feel about it.

So for me, whatever anybody does or can do to keep mass amounts of these sought after perfumes out of the resellers hands, is good enough for me.
 

Alonewithcologne

Well-known member
Oct 12, 2017
I've plenty of backup bottle of certain fragrances which may not be available anymore and of course they cost a lot more nowadays if you find them.
They are mostly fragrances I like and wear.

I probably know that I never would use up all of them - but I don't know if I would prefer the one over the other in future so it's good to have a big amount of juice of any of them.
Most of them are designers and were really widely available so I don't have the feeling that I've taken anything away from anyone.
Anyone could have bought them too before they were discontinued.

I think that's ok.
But if I want to sell some bottles, do I have to feel guilty if I ask for a higher price then I've paid?

This is a very constructive strategy. Buying extra bottles of popular fragrances while they're being produced, especially if you end up selling a bottle or two at a price to undercut price gougers would help alleviate price hikes. More supply = lower prices.
 

oudaddict

Well-known member
Feb 2, 2017
Most people don't have a problem with people selling their old bottles at a higher value. The problem is when we see fragrances, for example, the day after release, and in the recent case of ALD Santal Galore even before the bottles were shipped, being sold for double or triple the amount. This is what we mean by scalping.
 

Diamondflame

Frag Bomber 1st Squadron
Basenotes Plus
Jun 28, 2009
Most people don't have a problem with people selling their old bottles at a higher value. The problem is when we see fragrances, for example, the day after release, and in the recent case of ALD Santal Galore even before the bottles were shipped, being sold for double or triple the amount. This is what we mean by scalping.

Indeed. It’s appalling and somewhat disrespectful to the perfumer who’s still shipping out the orders. I’ve seen such blatant flipping a lot in real estate launches but never thought I’d see the day it happen to perfumes.
 

oudaddict

Well-known member
Feb 2, 2017
It's possible those people had bought full sets at the pre-release, decided SG wasn't for them and were waiting until the official release to sell it.

Full unused bottles? Not when they are clearly stating, "Please allow two weeks for delivery" and all of a sudden they appear the day after release.
 

FragFrog

Well-known member
Oct 6, 2018
This is a very constructive strategy. Buying extra bottles of popular fragrances while they're being produced, especially if you end up selling a bottle or two at a price to undercut price gougers would help alleviate price hikes. More supply = lower prices.

I've never asked the highest price which was ever paid for them.

Most people don't have a problem with people selling their old bottles at a higher value. The problem is when we see fragrances, for example, the day after release, and in the recent case of ALD Santal Galore even before the bottles were shipped, being sold for double or triple the amount. This is what we mean by scalping.

I know what you mean.
That's the same with the guys who buy tickets for popular concerts or sports events which are immediately sold out and then sell them at double or triple the price.
 

notspendingamillion

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Sep 2, 2018
Im a "vote with my feet" guy. I will not buy from scalpers on principle. Theres always more frags.
I think they need to limit people to 2 bottles per shipping address. People can get around it, but at least they gotta work for it.
 

FragFrog

Well-known member
Oct 6, 2018
Im a "vote with my feet" guy. I will not buy from scalpers on principle. Theres always more frags.
I think they need to limit people to 2 bottles per shipping address. People can get around it, but at least they gotta work for it.

Why don't do these fragrance manufacturers who sell directly such a purchase bottle limit?
I remember that Aaron Terence Hughes did the same and he said he will delete every order when guys put more bottles into the basket.
 

FragSyndrome

Well-known member
Sep 14, 2016
Im a "vote with my feet" guy. I will not buy from scalpers on principle. Theres always more frags.
I think they need to limit people to 2 bottles per shipping address. People can get around it, but at least they gotta work for it.

If I may reinterpret this - you don’t buy fragrances that are marked up from msrp. Correct?
Because all I’m getting from this thread is that “markup = scalper”.

So to be clear - you don’t buy fragrances marked up from msrp. And in addiction to that - you slander those sellers as “scalpers”. Good for you.
 

LiveJazz

Funky fresh
Basenotes Plus
Mar 16, 2006
If I may reinterpret this - you don’t buy fragrances that are marked up from msrp. Correct?
Because all I’m getting from this thread is that “markup = scalper”.

So to be clear - you don’t buy fragrances marked up from msrp. And in addiction to that - you slander those sellers as “scalpers”. Good for you.

We have been over this.

Most people don't have a problem with people selling their old bottles at a higher value. The problem is when we see fragrances, for example, the day after release, and in the recent case of ALD Santal Galore even before the bottles were shipped, being sold for double or triple the amount. This is what we mean by scalping.
 

PEARL

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2011
I really don’t like it happening directly after release, but when it’s down the line and more random and individual, that doesn’t bother me as much.
Most people don't have a problem with people selling their old bottles at a higher value. The problem is when we see fragrances, for example, the day after release
It’s appalling and somewhat disrespectful to the perfumer who’s still shipping out the orders.
Full unused bottles? Not when they are clearly stating, "Please allow two weeks for delivery" and all of a sudden they appear the day after release.
If the issue is one of timing then how long does one have to wait to sell their new bottle for it not to be considered scalping? Who decides, enacts and enforces that rule?
In addition, if the issue is one of pricing with reselling those new, limited bottles then what profit margin is too much? Who decides, dictates and enforces that margin?

If basenotes as a platform has issue with it (do they?) they could possibly try to stipulate time and/or profit margin of newly released, limited bottles and moderate those particular sales posts that offend. However, all of those type listings I've seen have been on eBay.
 

LiveJazz

Funky fresh
Basenotes Plus
Mar 16, 2006
Hard to believe this is all because of Santal Galore. I was addressing this in a more general way since most people seem to be conflating markup with scalping.

It's not; there are many Santal Galores out there.

Most of the second half of this thread is about the difference between fair markup and scalping. There are real questions about how to define the two...as per the post above.

But, I think most people agree that the two things should not be conflated, as a general principle.
 

FragSyndrome

Well-known member
Sep 14, 2016
It's not; there are many Santal Galores out there.

Most of the second half of this thread is about the difference between fair markup and scalping, and I think most people agree that the two things should not be conflated.

‘Fair’ markup is very subjective. Why don’t we let the market decide what’s fair and what’s not based on what sells for what price? A potential buyer is not entitled to purchase a luxury good for the price they want.

There were people on the ALD thread that were shaming anyone for selling over msrp in general. So maybe to them, selling a bottle of Russian Oud for $500 is scalping? Their argument made it clear that they had no idea what scalping was and were just slandering people for selling at over msrp.
 

Cheetah1919

Well-known member
Mar 16, 2016
If the issue is one of timing then how long does one have to wait to sell their new bottle for it not to be considered scalping? Who decides, enacts and enforces that rule?
In addition, if the issue is one of pricing with reselling those new, limited bottles then what profit margin is too much? Who decides, dictates and enforces that margin?

If basenotes as a platform has issue with it (do they?) they could possibly try to stipulate time and/or profit margin of newly released, limited bottles and moderate those particular sales posts that offend. However, all of those type listings I've seen have been on eBay.

Like I said, my issue is right after release. It’s a matter of common sense on figuring out if they are being sold right away or not. I also don’t care if there’s someone to actually enforce anything or not, still doesn’t mean I can’t take issue with it.
 

LiveJazz

Funky fresh
Basenotes Plus
Mar 16, 2006
If the issue is one of timing then how long does one have to wait to sell their new bottle for it not to be considered scalping? Who decides, enacts and enforces that rule? In addition, if the issue is one of pricing with reselling those new, limited bottles then what profit margin is too much? Who decides, dictates and enforces that margin?

Like I said, my issue is right after release. It’s a matter of common sense on figuring out if they are being sold right away or not. I also don’t care if there’s someone to actually enforce anything or not, still doesn’t mean I can’t take issue with it.

This reminds me of the story of lawyers or politicians or whomever it was trying to define pornography.

After studying the issue at great length, from every possible angle, repeatedly and with the utmost detailed scrutiny...you know it when you see it.
 

notspendingamillion

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Sep 2, 2018
If I may reinterpret this - you don’t buy fragrances that are marked up from msrp. Correct?
Because all I’m getting from this thread is that “markup = scalper”.

So to be clear - you don’t buy fragrances marked up from msrp. And in addiction to that - you slander those sellers as “scalpers”. Good for you.

Come on, man. Im not pointing finger or calling people out. Thats what the whole "vote with your feet" thing is.
Honestly, when i was talking about scalpers the first things that came to mind were GI Joes. In the GI Joe collector community there has been a lot of limited releases right now. People are going out and buying them all and marking them up by 2 or 3 times value. I collect vintage, but those who collect new are in an uproar.
 

PEARL

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2011
Like I said, my issue is right after release. It’s a matter of common sense on figuring out if they are being sold right away or not. I also don’t care if there’s someone to actually enforce anything or not, still doesn’t mean I can’t take issue with it.
Of course we'll know it's a just released product being sold right away or not. Of course it doesn't mean you can't take issue, that goes without saying and my questions weren't intended to be dismissive of your perspective.
 

Diamond Joe

Well-known member
Feb 5, 2019
My issue is less scalping and more, stupidity; when people ask "ebay prices" for stuff here on Basenotes.

This should be obvious I feel like - and to most people here it is, but there are a few who dont get it; Basenotes is not ebay! You're not gonna lose 12% of your sale here! You're not gonna get scammed by someone here! Because you're dealing with people who are part of a community; you're dealing with fragheads - people who are patient and frugal and who know that, if they wait long enough, they'll be able to find what they're looking for at a fair price. People who are not going to pay extortion prices to get something RIGHT NOW like you might find on ebay.

If you want to get ebay prices for your stuff - sell your stuff on ebay!!!

If you want to sell it here, and avoid the fees and potential scammers - price it fairly. You're fellow fragheads know whats a fair price - for both parties - and whats not.

/rant
 

woodnotes55

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2016
My issue is less scalping and more, stupidity; when people ask "ebay prices" for stuff here on Basenotes.

This should be obvious I feel like - and to most people here it is, but there are a few who dont get it; Basenotes is not ebay! You're not gonna lose 12% of your sale here! You're not gonna get scammed by someone here! Because you're dealing with people who are part of a community; you're dealing with fragheads - people who are patient and frugal and who know that, if they wait long enough, they'll be able to find what they're looking for at a fair price. People who are not going to pay extortion prices to get something RIGHT NOW like you might find on ebay.

If you want to get ebay prices for your stuff - sell your stuff on ebay!!!

If you want to sell it here, and avoid the fees and potential scammers - price it fairly. You're fellow fragheads know whats a fair price - for both parties - and whats not.

/rant



Fully agree with you, and even for things that are not new releases or especially rare. Started off looking quite often and now very rarely even look in the sale forum. Maybe am looking for the wrong things, but they always seem to be about double what they are from other sources ranging from maybe 50% to 150% over an acceptable buying price.....
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
Basenotes is not ebay! You're not gonna lose 12% of your sale here! You're not gonna get scammed by someone here! Because you're dealing with people who are part of a community; you're dealing with fragheads - people who are patient and frugal and who know that, if they wait long enough, they'll be able to find what they're looking for at a fair price. People who are not going to pay extortion prices to get something RIGHT NOW like you might find on ebay.

If you want to get ebay prices for your stuff - sell your stuff on ebay!!!

If you want to sell it here, and avoid the fees and potential scammers - price it fairly. Your fellow fragheads know what's a fair price - for both parties - and what's not.

/rant

Fully agree with you, and even for things that are not new releases or especially rare. Started off looking quite often and now very rarely even look in the sale forum. Maybe am looking for the wrong things, but they always seem to be about double what they are from other sources ranging from maybe 50% to 150% over an acceptable buying price.....

Of course the flipside is that bargain hunters are unlikely to find "killer deals" in the Sale Forum. eBay has its share of sellers who have no idea what their items are worth to aficionados, which leads to drastic underpricing as well as drastic overpricing. That's not going to happen here. Nonetheless, nobody looking in the Sale listings is unaware of other marketplaces and their pricing. If you think you can charge a "Basenotes Premium" and people will pay it, good luck with that.

FWIW, my approach on eBay is simple: look at what everyone else is asking (and getting), and then list mine for less. If I can't sell it for less, I give it away. This is my hobby, not my business, and I have nothing to gain from having my personal overstock cycling on eBay, Basenotes, or anywhere else.
 

Castingshadows

Well-known member
Apr 14, 2020
I'm partly missing a point here I fear.

Is it that some of the smaller niche companies (like Areej le Doré) are having new limited releases snared en masse by someone who then marks them up right away?


It seems to mostly revolve around ALD release day. Russian adam puts out a heavily marketed limited fragrance usually with less than 300 bottles. In this case there was only around 120 or so maybe less on release day and they sold out instantly. The website crashed and immediately bottles were put up for over a $1000 on eBay which is the case each release for whatever Russian Adam chooses to be the limited centerpiece of the collection.

Then everyone else is arguing wether or not a member of this community is a scalper because they sold a bottle at a high markup and profited off something they loved in order to buy more releases and the argument is wether or not it’s scalping and wether any of us should sell at a markup on a limited release.

The general consensus is that you can sell a bottle that’s sold out and limited only if the conditions are right and only if the conditions met fall within the generalized morality of the fragrance community. It’s all a big grey area!
 

Ifti

Well-known member
Aug 5, 2016
Bidding on an item of interest. Vintage worth pH shower gel and talc. Prolly risky to use after 15-20 yrs and it would only be for novel interesting piece collecting. It went for around a 5er.
A few days later I see the very same item, reselling for £50 BIN! I dunno.
 

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