News UK Parliament Members to Propose Bill to Ban Scalping

Heat_Fan89

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And a lot if not all of the retailer's websites that BOTS are making purchases from are not using any sort of anti-cheat such as Captcha. In order to make a purchase on Sony's website you first have to clear the Captcha. In the US every major website such as Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, Target etc doesn't use Anti-Bot software.
 
And a lot if not all of the retailer's websites that BOTS are making purchases from are not using any sort of anti-cheat such as Captcha. In order to make a purchase on Sony's website you first have to clear the Captcha. In the US every major website such as Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, Target etc don't employ Anti-Bot software.
I thought those safeguards were useless against the bots these days?
 

spongiemaster

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And a lot if not all of the retailer's websites that BOTS are making purchases from are not using any sort of anti-cheat such as Captcha. In order to make a purchase on Sony's website you first have to clear the Captcha. In the US every major website such as Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, Target etc doesn't use Anti-Bot software.
Best Buy does have anti bot processes in place. That's how I was able to land a 3070 from them on launch day without the help of any bot.
 

spongiemaster

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Markup on what?

I have some vintage electronics that would sell for more than the original purchase price.
Wouldn't be that complicated to limit this to products that have been released within the last year or something. This issue affects so few product categories that they could probably list all the ones it applies to in the law.
 

USAFRet

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Wouldn't be that complicated to limit this to products that have been released within the last year or something. This issue affects so few product categories that they could probably list all the ones it applies to in the law.
For the sufficiently motivated, there is always a workaround.

How does the UK govt apply a penalty tax to an entity that sells from <Not UK>.
 

anonymousdude

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Wouldn't be that complicated to limit this to products that have been released within the last year or something. This issue affects so few product categories that they could probably list all the ones it applies to in the law.
Unfortunately, it's not as easy as it sounds. Making a law too specific makes it easier to workaround in some ways. So for the sake of argument let's say the law specifically bans scalping of GPUs. Well it would be as easy as selling the GPU in a bundle and claiming the markup is on the other item. Say they said all PC components. Slap whatever part into a cheap pre-built and sell that. It just goes on and on. Taxes, penalties, fines, etc aren't going discourage the sufficiently motivated. There's too much easy money to be made.

I hate to state the obvious, but the only way you combat scalpers is with supply. What are you gonna do there? Force a company to stockpile product before launch?
 

Jim90

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Markup on what?

I have some vintage electronics that would sell for more than the original purchase price.
We're only talking about (relatively) newly released products. Getting an always-current, validated a list of item selling prices won't be a problem (link to manufacturers live pricing). Tie this to the release date and expected/average 3rd party mark-up, and you have all you need to determine if a seller is marking up excessively.

Quite simply, if you can browse and instantly identify scalping then you can put that down in code. The vast majority of scalping can very easily be tackled but that requires a willingness to work together.
 
Wouldn't be that complicated to limit this to products that have been released within the last year or something. This issue affects so few product categories that they could probably list all the ones it applies to in the law.
As most sales of scalped gpu’s are c2c and not b2c it would be near impossible to implement and the cost of policing and prosecution will be prohibitively high.
 

Chung Leong

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The law can be updated to allow retailers to sell a given product under a no-resale contract. Any attempt to resale it within the protection period would void the transaction, returning legal ownership to the originating retailer. The item in question then essentially becomes a stolen good. If you buy it then you're breaking the law. If an auction site does not take steps to remove such listings, it's breaking the law.
 

spongiemaster

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Unfortunately, it's not as easy as it sounds. Making a law too specific makes it easier to workaround in some ways. So for the sake of argument let's say the law specifically bans scalping of GPUs. Well it would be as easy as selling the GPU in a bundle and claiming the markup is on the other item. Say they said all PC components. Slap whatever part into a cheap pre-built and sell that. It just goes on and on. Taxes, penalties, fines, etc aren't going discourage the sufficiently motivated. There's too much easy money to be made.
Putting a sign on the side of the road telling people how fast they can drive isn't going stop people from speeding, most people that do speed, won't get caught, and so long as you are only slightly over, the police won't care. That doesn't mean you don't make the law and put the signs up, because they will still have an effect. There have reportedly been 50,000 Ampere cards sold on Ebay and StockX alone, since release. Anti-scalping laws wouldn't make that number zero, but it sure would lower it.
 

CerianK

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Hypothetical question: Suppose I were a wannabe scalper, but had trouble succeeding due to the volatility of price competition (i.e. will I be under-cut by a more generous scalper). If that volatility were eliminated, then what would prevent an even larger volume of product to be scalped at a lower, but guaranteed markup that flies under the radar of any law (padded by higher than normal shipping costs, of course)?

Are governments really capable of seeing far enough down the rabbit-hole to make a rational decision to enter it by mandate/fiat?
 
Hypothetical question: Suppose I were a wannabe scalper, but had trouble succeeding due to the volatility of price competition (i.e. will I be under-cut by a more generous scalper). If that volatility were eliminated, then what would prevent an even larger volume of product to be scalped at a lower, but guaranteed markup that flies under the radar of any law (padded by higher than normal shipping costs, of course)?

Are governments really capable of seeing far enough down the rabbit-hole to make a rational decision to enter it by mandate/fiat?
I don't think anything will stop you if you're low-key about it, but if anything, any law passed is likely there to use an excuse to legally press charges against someone.

It's like people don't really follow the speed limit, but as long as you're not being a jackwagon about it, a lot of cops will simply ignore you.
 

Math Geek

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it's simply supply and demand. there is no way to stop it no matter how much folks want to pretend "it's simple, websites just have to want to" and all the other such nonsense.

the problem is the demand, not the supply. so long as people are willing to pay the crazy prices, this will never end. making it illegal will have zero effect on the system. look at the illegal drug trade, countries have attached massive prison terms for sellers and buyers and even the death penalty in some places!!! has that stopped the market?? not at all. might stop a few people from getting involved, but there are plenty enough willing to buy/sell that it can't be stopped.

hell requiring someone to personally walk up to the factory and buy it in person won't stop scalping. i'll just pay someone $20 to walk up and buy it for me. repeat until i have as many as i want to sell. sure some more "common' folks may get one but in the end, the line to buy will still be filled with people buying for others keeping the "common" folks from getting too many of them. and don't pretend you can stop that either......

the only way to stop it is for people to stop buying them. no demand = no market and no reason for people to do it.

the rest is just people whining cause they can't get one. and all the various ideas people float are basically "here is a way i can get one, and then i don't care after that" yah it sucks, but reality usually does suck. stop feeding the beast and it will die. keep feeding it and it not only won't go away but will thrive and multiply. there's your "pretty simple fix"

edit: i would like to see some of the big sites like amazon, newegg and the others take the initiative and boot them off their own platforms. just to make em go a bit more underground. the average person might be a bit less likely to go into the dark corners of the web to get one. puts a bit more legitimacy on the buy for the average person when it comes from a respected top site, even if from a 3rd party scumbag scalper.
 
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spongiemaster

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Totally unenforceable. One of these "feel good" about what the govn't is doing things. Total boondoggle.
Sure it is. The onus of enforcement would fall on the website hosting the sale. If Ebay allowed people to auction off cocaine (which they would be collecting a sellers fee for), you don't think the gov't is going to go after them?
 

CerianK

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Sure it is. The onus of enforcement would fall on the website hosting the sale. If Ebay allowed people to auction off cocaine (which they would be collecting a sellers fee for), you don't think the gov't is going to go after them?
I see scalped AMD 5600X processors showing up in one of my local invitation-only auction groups on Facebook. Good luck getting FB to voluntarily root-out those mostly-hidden actors. That being said, they are not scalping as bad (~$100 markup) as the more visible ones on Amazon, Newegg, eBay, etc.
 
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CerianK

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If that's what happens, then mission accomplished. $100 is a whole lot better than the $1000+ markup on 3080's right now.
Blessings on me... right after I posted I checked one of the private auction groups and found someone selling a gently used AMD 3700X / 5700 XT water cooled PC for $1000 US... off to pick it up tonight. The GPU in that system is going for well over $800 right now... which is entirely crazy. Even if prices were back to normal, I estimate the value of that system to be a minimum of $1300.
 
Another perspective, in the UK we already have many laws that are just not enforced unless an extreme case because there are not the resources to enforce them. For example nearly every time I drive I see cars with illegal number plates and I have seen police cars completely ignore them. How many people were ever prosecuted for torrenting music or films, only the highest volume culprits where it may be financially beneficial to prosecute.
 

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