9 Dec 2008

World of Reseller-craft

The long-awaited second expansion to World of Warcraft, "Wrath of the Lich King", arrived last month. Being caught in the Cambridge bubble, I wasn't quite exposed to the mass media hype and bandwagon made out of the fact that several thousand elves and gnomes descended on Oxford Street HMV. But, being a self-respecting Warcraft-lover, I picked up my copy of Wottulk at the local GAME store, but sadly not collector's edition. Wasn't quite on time to put up a pre-order reservation it seems.

As a side-note, I was told by the clerk there that only 4 of their projected 10-20 CE copies arrived on the day, the rest being stolen off the back of a van. I have no qualms about losing out on a pre-order out of First Come First Serve lottery basis, but I truly felt sorry for those customers who'd be turning up to here their honest copy had been stolen, and was probably halfway to the locations listed below...

Amazon and the like had naturally sold out of pre-ordered collector's edition copies within the first hour of listing. That was to be expected. What rather annoyed me was to see a certain message arrive in my GMail on arriving home with WotLK in hand that afternoon...
"Greetings Dobblesworth,
We here at Amazon are a bunch of spineless b******s, and are pleased to announce that we are allowing the lucrative practise of first-day reselling to continue on our proud website. As a result, we have noticed that these companies on our second-hand reseller listings have put up your desired product for three times the initial value, in complete and unopened packaging.
Have a nice day."

eBay was similar, but I believe in those initial weeks the resellers were being more rational and asking for £20-60 rather than some of the £150+ I saw on Amazon. I think now the only CE's left up there are determined powersellers looking for the $$$ rather than the "awww thanks for a random collector's edition box for my birthday dad, but I play Everquest" kids perhaps.

So yes, that is the rant for the day: eBay/Amazon resellers of pristine unused highly-sort-after items should be scourged from this land. You make no friends when you stride out to make a quick 200% profit off a WoW nerd's desire to stride around with a soundtrack album, a shinier box, and a little Frost Whelp pet.

Commentary on the game itself to follow.

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