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is it ethical? (reselling tickets for hot items)


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Poll: Is it ethical? (501 member(s) have cast votes)

Is it ethical?

  1. Yes Godd business you waited they didn't (192 votes [37.28%])

    Percentage of vote: 37.28%

  2. No it isn't fair to others who waited and were behind you (265 votes [51.46%])

    Percentage of vote: 51.46%

  3. Not sure I'm on the fence (58 votes [11.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.26%

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#151 kbasketcr8r  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 24, 2007 - 9:54 am

Personally, I think it's beyond tacky to sell tickets. I think what BB should do is take people in 5 at a time (who have stood in line) and make them complete the purchase with the ticket they have in hand. Otherwise, the ticket goes to the next person in line. Makes me wonder what kind of upbringing a person had that they would sell a ticket, or even buy more than what they need with the intention to sell it for a profit on ebay.

#152 Guest_CS.Dean_*  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 24, 2007 - 9:57 am

I was first in line and I was there for ME ( I wanted the $229 laptop). Now I will admit in the past I sold one of the tickets but no on everything. I did see one outrageous thing happen about 20 or behind me. A woman got the last Desktop ticket. A man about 10 behind her gave her $100 for the ticket. I thought that was insane. He walked the line for hours trying to get others to sell him tickets for other stuff. I have in the past gave tickets to someone way in the back before as well. All the tickets that were sold thurs/Fri were done within 5 ft of 3 police officers. Its not against the law for capitalism to work.

#153 Hank Monk  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 24, 2007 - 11:29 am

This is why a stamp on the hand would be preferable to a piece of paper. A stamp on one hand w/ a number when there are 20 or so in line, then a different stamp other hand maybe at 50 or so. No stamp, "... NO SOUP FOR YOU ....". GO to end of line. This would prevent line jumpers, ticket sellers and let everyone know where they stand. But THAT would take planning.

#154 Just Me  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 25, 2007 - 12:37 pm

We were first in line at BB this year. Got all the things we were after and got some extra tickets. Gave some away and sold some. We got about $300. I'm happy with how it went and I will probably do it again next year

#155 MollyTrolly  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 25, 2007 - 12:56 pm

If I had extra tickets I would probably give them away, but then I probably wouldn't take tickets for items I wasn't planning on buying and let them get handed out to those in the line that are there for that item.

#156 sgklee  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 25, 2007 - 4:43 pm

"make them complete the purchase with the ticket they have in hand.":shock: "Make", being the important word here. Shall you equip the BB employees with guns or tazers to enforce your new purchase law? :eek: A stamp? Wouldn't a microchip tag under the skin make this enforcement so much easier? Oh yeah. They can scan you as you enter and give you special discounts if you are a senior citizen, or one of their target selling groups. Or they can call the police if you have been previously convicted of "merchandise ticket selling".:gdparanoid:

#157 kbasketcr8r  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 25, 2007 - 4:53 pm

"make them complete the purchase with the ticket they have in hand.":shock:

"Make", being the important word here. Shall you equip the BB employees with guns or tazers to enforce your new purchase law? :eek:

A stamp? Wouldn't a microchip tag under the skin make this enforcement so much easier? Oh yeah. They can scan you as you enter and give you special discounts if you are a senior citizen, or one of their target selling groups. Or they can call the police if you have been previously convicted of "merchandise ticket selling".:gdparanoid:


No need to be snarky. If they take a ticket, then they are walked into the store and they purchase the item. If they choose not to, then the ticket goes to the next person.

I think it is reprehensible and greedy to sell something like a doorbuster ticket. Karma, anyone?

#158 Lidstrom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 25, 2007 - 6:18 pm

I think it is reprehensible and greedy to sell something like a doorbuster ticket. Karma, anyone?


Some people see everything in life as competition and are determined to "win." I doubt anything we say here is going to change their minds.

The one thing I do wonder is who sets the price for these things. Are those of you selling the tickets merely responding to an offer for money, or are you deciding the price? Not that I feel either is truly legitimate, but I am a little curious.

#159 EddyOhio  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 27, 2007 - 5:33 am

It doesn't bother me to see someone in front of me sell their ticket (or buy the item and sell it on ebay), after all, they waited in line longer than I did so why should I complain. But, what does bother me is seeing a Best Buy off duty employee hold a spot in line for 5 of his buddies to join him half way thru the night (while 25 of us were there since Thanksgiving at noon) and then have all his buddies get avery single ticket that was passed out with no intention of buying anything. I saw them later inside the store (in the back) with a stack of tickets selling them. Again, if they had waited in line as long as the rest of us it wouldn't have been so cruel, but to do what they did was unbelievable. Did the police care, no! But, I did see the employee look as if he found out he might not have a job now. Someone must have told the manager. But, the damage was already done. I noticed that this year's police were very soft in their dealings with the line. Last year the place was swarming with security. This year was different.

#160 cletus66  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 27, 2007 - 9:37 pm

I really think the reselling of tickets and gettingickets just to sell thestuff on Ebay is wrong. But until Best Buy cracks down on it nothing will change. What I think needs to happen is anybody caught scalping a ticket needs to have all of their tickets taken away and be forced to go to the back of the line. I also think Best Buy needs to change their policy when it comes to the desktops and laptops an black friday. I think there should be a limit of one computer per person. Not one ticket for each computer available but one computer period. This will eliminate the people who are just there to get all the computer tickets just to make some money on Ebay and let those who legitimately need a new computer get one.

#161 lucyismycat  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 28, 2007 - 6:56 am

...I also think Best Buy needs to change their policy when it comes to the desktops and laptops an black friday. I think there should be a limit of one computer per person. Not one ticket for each computer available but one computer period. This will eliminate the people who are just there to get all the computer tickets just to make some money on Ebay and let those who legitimately need a new computer get one.


I could be wrong (and I know this is unpopular), but I think this is where BF is headed. Before long these stores are going to wise up and realize that if they can get at least one really wanted item into a lot of customers' hands, that's a lot more happy customers who will be more likely to buy other stuff. And I don't think they'll stop at computers...I think it will be one ticket, per person, period. So you'll either have to bring your entire family along, or start prioritizing. That would cut down on the ticket selling, and the eBay thing, and a lot more people would be happy because they were able to get at least one thing they wanted.

If I stand in line all night and don't get a ticket for something, I go to the next store. I don't buy anything at that store during that holiday period, and in the case of CC it's been 2 years since I set foot in one of their stores due to a particularly horrible ticket experience. I would think that the store would realize we'd be a better asset to them if I'm able to get even one thing on my list.

#162 mghtymth27  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 28, 2007 - 7:13 am

I have finally have to jump in. If someone walked up to me and offered $100-$200 for a piece of paper, I would sell it. I wouldn't go out of my way to get extra tickets to sell but I would not turn down that offer. I actually just missed (by one person) selling the right to buy a Wii for $640 last year to a person that was toward the back of the line. If I was one of the 6 people that was able to get one, I would've sold it in a heartbeat. None of the people in front of me took the man up on his offer. He had cash in hand. I know my kids wouldn't have minded if I came home with $640 istead of the Wii, actually they would've thought I was nuts if I didn't do the deal.

#163 EddyOhio  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 28, 2007 - 4:50 pm

I have finally have to jump in. If someone walked up to me and offered $100-$200 for a piece of paper, I would sell it. I wouldn't go out of my way to get extra tickets to sell but I would not turn down that offer. I actually just missed (by one person) selling the right to buy a Wii for $640 last year to a person that was toward the back of the line. If I was one of the 6 people that was able to get one, I would've sold it in a heartbeat. None of the people in front of me took the man up on his offer. He had cash in hand. I know my kids wouldn't have minded if I came home with $640 istead of the Wii, actually they would've thought I was nuts if I didn't do the deal.


I completely agree! Best Buy management was extremely careful this year about NOT discouraging people from getting whatever tickets they wanted and can't ask (and really don't care) if you want it for yourself or are you going to sell it on ebay.
The early bird catches the worm, that's just the way it is. Those that complain are those who aren't willing and desperate enough to wait longer than others in the front. I wasn't anywhere near the front this year and I still got what I wanted. Those that were there earlier (some were there as early as Wednesday) have the right (by law) to do with the products what they want. If they purchase it and want to sell it on ebay there's nothing wrong with that and there will never be a Best Buy policy against it. Lines were never like this until ebay came along. The stores are'nt loosing anything, the products are sold just the same.

But, I do not like it when people save places in line so there 10 friends came jump in the tent and only have to wait a few hours, and then they get the tickets. That is line jumping! Next year I will be printing out line position numbers with Best Buy's management approval to hand out these to the first 30 people. If someone says, "Can I have 5 of those papers to hold for my friends who will be here later?" I'll say nope. First come first served. Of course, I'll have to be there super early. Oh yea, I want to video the whole thing too so I can prove who's jumping the line.
I did this at ToysRUs one year with the managers blessing and it eliminated ALL the rift raff. It was great and everyone in line undertood and got along fine.

#164 Lidstrom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 29, 2007 - 5:52 am

Those that complain are those who aren't willing and desperate enough to wait longer than others in the front.


Not true. I've never waited in a line and not been able to get what I came for, but I still think some of this other stuff is wrong. It is a misconception that opposition to something is entirely because you got the short end of the stick. Sometimes it is because you have a different set of values.

#165 EddyOhio  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 29, 2007 - 11:09 am

Not true. I've never waited in a line and not been able to get what I came for, but I still think some of this other stuff is wrong. It is a misconception that opposition to something is entirely because you got the short end of the stick. Sometimes it is because you have a different set of values.


Forgive me. I should have stated "Most of the complainers..." instead of "All".
As far as values, I agree that some don't have the same set of values as we do. Some believe line jumping is wrong (such as myself) while others don't care.

And, how much a person values the doorbuster deals will affect how early they get there to get in line. If I value a certain item enough I will want to be one of the first in line.

Selling what belongs to you (if you aquired it legally) makes it perfectly okay to sell it if you want. It doesn't necessarily become a moral issue unless one is cheating in order to aquire the item. Line jumping is cheating.

#166 jeffNangie  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 29, 2007 - 12:55 pm

Selling what belongs to you (if you aquired it legally) makes it perfectly okay to sell it if you want. It doesn't necessarily become a moral issue unless one is cheating in order to aquire the item. Line jumping is cheating.


I agree completely! I bought 2 Wii consoles at the end of October (1 to keep and 1 to sell). I was able to sell it on ebay, but there were not any guarantees that I would be able to, so basically I took the risk by tying my money up for over a month in the hopes that there would be a demand for it. I didn't do anything that anyone else couldn't have done, if they chose to.

I invested my time and money and took a risk. How is this unethical?? :confused:

#167 nikkilugi  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 29, 2007 - 4:51 pm

Not true. I've never waited in a line and not been able to get what I came for, but I still think some of this other stuff is wrong. It is a misconception that opposition to something is entirely because you got the short end of the stick. Sometimes it is because you have a different set of values.


What is the difference in values between someone who purchases to sell on ebay vs someone who purchases for themselves? I am curious.

I have been reading this debate with some interest. I have sold on ebay in the past although I am not doing any selling right now. I don't understand how someone who is working to make some $$ is bad. Believe me it is work. You need to visit tons of stores at all hours. You need to have the capital to invest in products to sell. You need to have the time to list, pack and ship everything.

This country is a capitalistic society. Companies aren't in business to help people out of the goodness of their heart - they are in business to make money. It is about the bottom line - why fault someone for trying to make their own way on their own?

Also how is selling tickets any different than paying someone to stand in line for you? I contemplated that last year when the Wii came out. My dd was way to young for me to leave her for the night to camp out for a game system. I was going to pay someone to do the waiting for me. The kid needed the $$ and I had the $$ to pay. He was working by camping out in the cold.

#168 Lidstrom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2007 - 7:04 am

Selling what belongs to you (if you aquired it legally) makes it perfectly okay to sell it if you want. It doesn't necessarily become a moral issue unless one is cheating in order to aquire the item. Line jumping is cheating.


In this country, not claiming the income from selling that item is illegal and makes it a black market enterprise, though. I'm sure you would claim that income, right?

#169 Lidstrom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2007 - 7:10 am

What is the difference in values between someone who purchases to sell on ebay vs someone who purchases for themselves? I am curious.


One is purchasing to use an item. The other is purchasing as a 'business' opportunity. If I thought everybody who treated it as a 'business' opportunity actually handled the accounting like a business would, I might not have as much of a problem with it.

This country is a capitalistic society. Companies aren't in business to help people out of the goodness of their heart - they are in business to make money. It is about the bottom line - why fault someone for trying to make their own way on their own?


Because most of these people are trying to "make their own way" in the black market. A real business would claim the income. Are they?

Also how is selling tickets any different than paying someone to stand in line for you?


I wouldn't do either of those, so it may be hard for me to say what the differences are.

If I knew that somebody would have been next to get that ticket and it was something they might not otherwise be able to afford and was hoping to get it for their children (for example), I would not be so proud and greedy that I'd turn to them and say, "Early bird gets the worm!" and sell it to somebody else. Ultimately, we are all in this world together and some concern for others is not going to prevent you from living your life.

#170 EddyOhio  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2007 - 8:09 am

Do you or anyone else report what you sell at your garage sale or yard sale to the IRS? If not, that would also be considered the Black Market as stated. For you've used the item therefore reaping the price you paid and then making money back from its sale. Did the buyer pay sales tax on that purchase? We all can go bananas with the discussion of taxes and if we pay enough. The extreme waste of where some of my taxes goes... well we won't go there (too painful). Because sales tax has already been paid on an item, the IRS doesn't really go after second hand sales such as garage sales. Yes, Ebay is a different animal entirely and many of its members do report their PROFIT to the IRS. Only the profit is subject to tax. After all expenses are paid for the online business the profit reported is small but still helpful. Income tax should be done away with and replaced with a national sales tax or VAT, so that those with more income, and therefore more buying power, pay more of the share. MIT did a study on this and concluded it would spread the tax burden more fairly then our present day tax nightmare. Sorry, to get off topic. The TAX word brought it out.

#171 Lidstrom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2007 - 8:29 am

It doesn't matter what you think of the tax system in this nation. If somebody is going to put their actions under the "business" umbrella, they should act like a business. That, to me, means following all the rules that a real business would be subjected to. I don't agree with the current tax laws, but that doesn't mean I can say the things I do are "just business" while breaking the law. If Best Buy decided to just not properly account for the income from the items they sold, they could end up losing everything. It's not something a legitimate business finds to be optional. You can only really get away with claiming the profit on an item if you keep a receipt for the original expense of the item. If you aren't keeping that for a proper cost-basis, it won't make it through an IRS audit and they will consider the proceeds to be entirely reportable income. It has nothing to do with garage sales. I am specifically referring to people that claim they are engaging in business. Garage sales are not businesses, generally speaking. Do you honestly think any significant number of people are getting vouchers for BF items and quickly selling them at a garage sale? How many are buying BF items with the intention of selling them in a garage sale? Very few, if any. I question the veracity of the claim that most eBay members report their income. I personally know 5 people who routinely sell items via eBay and none of them report a penny of that income. They are black market all the way.

#172 sdhdmg  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2007 - 8:37 am

The defintion of ehtics. 1.) A System of moral principles. 2.) The rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human action or a particular group, culture etc. 3.) moral principles, as of an individual

#173 nikkilugi  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2007 - 9:13 am

Lindstrom - don't you think you are assuming a bit much by making the statements that ebay sellers aren't paying taxes?? Do you know that for a fact? Why not go to the discussion boards on ebay and take a look around. Many sellers are BIG advocates for paying taxes and running their businesses professionally. Do you walk into a brick and mortar place of business and assume they aren't paying taxes? Why do that to an online seller or an auction seller? As for the ticket sellers if they are making less than $600 they don't need to pay taxes on that money anyway. That is the cap on whether a company sends out an 1099. Lets remember many people buying items to sell are doing this so they can have the money or purchase items for their own families. This is their income. Why are we faulting them for making an income? If you don't like it then don't do it but don't knock the people who are. I drive a school bus during the school year but during the summer I am out of work and don't get paid. I have 3 kids which would cost a small fortune to send them to daycare so I can't afford to do that. I sell on ebay during the summer to help make $$ to pay our bills since I'm not bringing in a paycheck. I sell because I need the $$ and be able to still stay home with my kids.

#174 Lidstrom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2007 - 10:16 am

Lindstrom - don't you think you are assuming a bit much by making the statements that ebay sellers aren't paying taxes?? Do you know that for a fact? Why not go to the discussion boards on ebay and take a look around. Many sellers are BIG advocates for paying taxes and running their businesses professionally. Do you walk into a brick and mortar place of business and assume they aren't paying taxes? Why do that to an online seller or an auction seller?


I make that statement from personal experience and based on reports in the media.

As for the ticket sellers if they are making less than $600 they don't need to pay taxes on that money anyway. That is the cap on whether a company sends out an 1099.


I'll check on this. It is not my understanding that a 1099 must be issued for you to report the income. It just means it is easier for you to cheat without it. In most jurisdictions, once you begin selling products or services, you are considered to be a sole proprietor. I'm not aware of the exception from income taxes as long as everything you sell costs less than $600.

Lets remember many people buying items to sell are doing this so they can have the money or purchase items for their own families. This is their income. Why are we faulting them for making an income?


I am not saying they cannot make an income at all. I am saying that I don't find it to be a valid business.

If you don't like it then don't do it but don't knock the people who are.


How does that work? Are you saying we should apply that to everything in the world? I'm not saying people can't do it. I'm not saying it should be illegal. I'm not going to pretend that I think selling free vouchers is an ethical thing to do, but I wouldn't call in the government to do something about it either.

#175 jeffNangie  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2007 - 11:36 am


I'll check on this. It is not my understanding that a 1099 must be issued for you to report the income. It just means it is easier for you to cheat without it. In most jurisdictions, once you begin selling products or services, you are considered to be a sole proprietor. I'm not aware of the exception from income taxes as long as everything you sell costs less than $600.


As far as I know, if your income/profit from a business is less than $600, it isn't required to be reported. I might be wrong, because we just take all of our info to the accountant and let them figure it out, but that was true when I was filling out my 17 year old's taxes last year...

#176 jrudy01  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2007 - 11:45 am

I look at it this way....taxes and all that aside. I would rather pay someone to cut my lawn than spend 2 hours on a weekend doing it myself. So yes I don't have a problem with someone spending 3-4 hours in line to get a wii or some ticket to a big item just to turn around and sell it. That person's time is worth money. Would I pay extra for that...Not a chance. But do I think it's ok....sure, if it wasn't ok, people wouldn't pay the money they do. Just my opinion

#177 nikkilugi  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2007 - 3:02 pm

I make that statement from personal experience and based on reports in the media.


What personal experience if I may ask? I am very sure there are people who cheat on their taxes - ebay seller or Hollywood movie stars i.e. Wesley Snipes. The media take great pleasure in reporting a story to death making something not that important into a national disaster. Does the media have adequate research on this topic? Do they have the number of ebay sellers that do pay vs. the total number of sellers?

Why on earth isn't selling on ebay a valid business? Have you been on that site? There are people from all over selling all kinds of things that you can't just walk into a store and buy. Give me a VALID reason why this isn't a valid business?

#178 Lidstrom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2007 - 1:51 am

I never said eBay business was not valid. I said selling of vouchers is not a valid business, IMO. I also said there are many eBay sellers that are essentially black marketers. I'm not the only one that thinks so. The IRS does, as well.

http://arstechnica.c...70225-8919.html

#179 Lidstrom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2007 - 2:00 am

Isure, if it wasn't ok, people wouldn't pay the money they do. Just my opinion


Is anything that people are willing to pay for ok then, in your opinion? Does the fact that somebody is willing to pay for it make it a good thing to do without any other consideration?

#180 gim77  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2007 - 6:08 am

I never said eBay business was not valid. I said selling of vouchers is not a valid business, IMO. I also said there are many eBay sellers that are essentially black marketers. I'm not the only one that thinks so. The IRS does, as well.

http://arstechnica.c...70225-8919.html


The US proposal calls for this reporting to take place only when people sell more than several thousand dollars worth of merchandise in a year.

That came from the article. It is true that you do not have to report earnings of $600 or less from resale as well. The Government is cracking down on the peddlers who are powerselling goods and not reporting the thousands they make. The government is also fighting to tax online goods as well. If someone is buying a Wii to sell it on ebay for $200 profit they can do so, and the ethical card would come in if they KNEW that the person behind them was a parent who can't get their children the gift, but coming from experience every line ive stood in on thanksgivings and black friday's, I always here people asking if they could sell that on Ebay and make money. So giving up your spot in line or ticket may be giving it to a ebayer or reseller.

The word ethical in business is not black and white. Is it unethical for Wal-Mart to charge $700 for a bundled wii? If you were in their shoes would you do it?, and remember that the shareholders are breathing down your neck. Like another person stated, it's a capatilistic society. These people are working five times as hard as any of us, standing in the cold for 3 days straight just to make $200. Questioning how the person will use their purchase or how the person may be "stealing" the gift away from your family is pretty selfish to me.




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