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For all of us who collect MH dolls or Ever After dolls you know that scalping is a big issue. A lot of people have blamed Mattel for allowing the scalping problem to continue, however I wanted to let you all know what I've learned in my research and wanderings on this issue.

I worked for Mattel at one of their Mattel warehouse stores and can honestly tell you that they TRY to help deal with the scalpers. First of all it is in the employee contract [that I had to sign] that you as an employee cannot buy toys to re-sell them. True we can get them for ourselves but never have I seen someone buy more than 1 type of any doll, we are usually just collectors ourselves. Also we have a rule on some MH doll series [mostly the new dolls] stating you can only buy 1 per customer per day and the total cap on all other toys in the store is 12 [which is still a lot but most of those have been out of AGES and we have backstock of them]. We cannot help if people come in day after day to buy them etc. Also, Mattel cannot control the limitations per doll on dolls in other stores [walmart, target, etc].

There are however issues with the SDCC distribution. On mattycollector.com you can pre-order the SDCC exclusives for pick-up at the con. They do sell out so there is some sort of set amount set aside for online sale [assuming your fast enough to fill out the order info before it gets taken out of your cart.] but I'm not sure if there is a limit on how many you can order at a time seeing as I've never done this. Also, from what I have heard you can buy 6-9 dolls at a time at the SDCC booth itself, which I think is ridiculous; honestly the most people should be able to buy is 2 at a time in my opinion since there are only 5000 of them made. Mattel has however, attempted a little to deal with dealer room scalpers. [Dealer room scalpers being exhibitors who use their early access to get in line before you even get in the doors and buy the dolls to sell in their booths for outrageous prices.] Both Hasbro and Mattel are either stopping sales to exhibitors or restricting them for the first half hour. That does not mean they can't get in line ahead of you while your waiting for the doors to open though.

What do you think? Do you think Mattel can do more? Should they?

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You have a point on the limit on SDCC's, it would be nice if they up'ed the amount, but they generally try to keep amount exclusives all about the same each year. I do agree that there is a production issue regardless on dolls. 

I also didn't think about people getting them for their friends... that is s valid point to. 


Triumvirate said:

Lowering the purchase limit is not a perfect solution, it just makes things more difficult for scalpers. That's good, but in turn that also makes the situation more difficult for collectors who are not scalpers but would like to purchase more than one or two of something. There should be some way to control scalping that doesn't also hurt legitimate collectors. SDCC probably should lower the purchase limit, but if they do I likely won't be able to get the exclusives anymore. My friend gets them for me when they attend SDCC and if the limit was two they'd only be able to get their own and not one for me as well. 

I have to agree that supply is the main issue. The point of collecting is to GET the items not want for something you know you'll never have. I don't mind the company making special dolls for company members where they only made like 20 for important people but when you release something like it's meant to be a doll for everyone and then make it for barely anyone don't be surprised if you have some hurt people. So far it just feels like Mattel is thinking more about their pockets than their customers in regards to the scalpers issue and that's kinda just sad. They get new collectors all the time so wy limit and shut everything down like they do? It just makes everything difficult for actual collectors and things more convenient for scalpers, especially when they know that in a few months Mattel will stop stocking this particular line and collectors will be FORCED to go to scalpers to get what they're looking for.

Mattel does make less of certain dolls, especially the boys seeing as only one will come in a box and only one box in maybe 10 will have a boy at all. Although I have noticed they seem to be making more of each doll [if only a little] in comparison to first ones they came out with. However, like all toy lines they WANT to make only a certain number for "collector" purposes to help retain their value.

I do get rather put off with so many new doll series and the fact that once a new line is release they all about stop making the previous line making people have to choose which one they want because they [or at least me] can't afford to buy all the ones they want because of the output. 

SDCC exclusives annoy me, but I understand having them. It saddens me know that I will probably never get one but every toy line has some sort of impossible exclusive... plus there is always a chance they will make a different release of them like they did with Scarah. 

Before anyone blames Mattel for the scalper thing, you have to understand that once the product is shipped from mattel to a warehouse (amazon, TRU, target, walmart etc) it is out of their control and the dolls being sold are sold under those stores. Those stores are not going to stop someone from buying 12 of an item because their policy doesn't prohibit that. Stores have numbers they need to reach everyday, for example I work at Toyrs r Us no one is going to stop anyone from buying anything at our store especially if we have numbers that need to be met. Our problem is our numbers, not trying to stop someone from buying alot of ONE item in a store of THOUSANDS of items. If you really wanted to stop scalpers you could find out your stores truck schedule and work your doll shopping in around that. There's nothing any of us can do at a store-level to stop scalpers. SDCC is a whole different situation I am not really familiar with so I will not speak on it. I think it's kinda lame to be upset about not being able to get an item, if you really wanted it you would do the leg work. If it's  such a big deal to you to get ahold of something you'd do what I do, wake up early and get to the stores when everything is fresh on the shelves. People do it all the time, thats what you can do to stop scalpers. If you go to a store mid day and are wondering why you can't find what you're looking it's probably because well it's mid day. Lol

I find this amusing because when I contacted Mattel concerning the scapler problem, they told me they can't control the way people sell their collections. I even showed them examples and explained that these aren't people selling off their colletions but they shrugged it off saying they cannot control it. Even at the retailer level. They said it was up to the retailer. They also told me that Webarella and any Comic exclusives are not controlled by Mattel, they are ordered and made exclusively by Mattycollector. Mattel said they had no control on that matter either.

I can officially say that is Bull.... but Mattel contacts have never been the most informed people unfortunately. Most of the time I find that Mattel contacts know very little about their own selected products. 

Although this is also the same company that does not run their own online store. Mattelshop.com is actually created and run by a sub company, but it is Mattel the provides the number of products produced, shipped, and released. Same with figuring out how many of what doll gets put together in boxes. 


SunStrker said:

I find this amusing because when I contacted Mattel concerning the scapler problem, they told me they can't control the way people sell their collections. I even showed them examples and explained that these aren't people selling off their colletions but they shrugged it off saying they cannot control it. Even at the retailer level. They said it was up to the retailer. They also told me that Webarella and any Comic exclusives are not controlled by Mattel, they are ordered and made exclusively by Mattycollector. Mattel said they had no control on that matter either.

I think one of the keys to avoiding the problem is in obtaining proper information.  I know it's possible to find out what each shipment contains although I don't know how people get that information.  If Mattel (or the retailers) made that information as accessible as the names of the products, I think we may be less prey to scalpers.  I paid $40+ on eBay for a Scaris Deuce in fear I might not find him in stores and then discovered that I could've purchased him 10 times over at $12.99.  It would've been great to know what my chances might be of finding him before I made a purchase.  It's hard to predict how well an item might sell but at least a guess would be an educated guess with accurate information.  I think it would be great to know how many copies of a specific item are made, how many go to which country at what time and what the estimated delivery would be.  In our information age, I see that as a feasible possibility.

I don't think we'll ever stop scalping but it would be great to obtain information on cost fluctuations in order to not fall victim to scalpers.  For example, is it more expensive to purchase an exclusive item as a pre-order or 1 month after the release date?  How long are items manufactured?  I'd really like to get a Slo Mo figure but I'd be happy to wait 3 months if it means the difference between $60 and $12 as long as I knew what to expect in terms of availability.

I don't blame Mattel for anything.  They're a corporation and every corporation has shortcomings.  It's in their interest to make money and if manufacturing more products means they'll get more money, then I'm sure they'll do it.

yes they should be doing more!!! how about upping the number of dolls they put out, in particular the boy dolls seeing that they are harder to find!? if they want to cut back on scalpers then put the dolls out in the stores when they say they will and make it so EVERYONE can get them!? do I need to mention slo moe?! who we all have seen scalpers try to sell but have yet to find in stores, with the exception of said Canada. and I don't consider that as being out in stores if the items are only found in one or two countries. I think when the availability for these dolls goes up then the scalpers will have a harder time selling things at 10x the price because everywhere else would be much less. people wouldn't have to turn to them to get the dolls when they can just go to the store and get it. which is what we want to be able to do, mattel can say a lot of stuff but I think there efforts are a bunch of BS.

waiting it out for slo moe is a great idea for those that have the time to. but I will be moving out of the country in 2 months, and seeing that I have already been waiting months already. my chances are very slim at this point I will be able to even lay eyes on him lead alone get him. of course I blame mattel for not having him out by now, and for the scalper problem. seeing that they have done nothing to help the problem, instead they release him in limited numbers and in only a few places. so they have in fact created the availability problem that the scalpers have been able to use to line there pockets. 

I refuse to pay more then store price for this doll, so at this point I will likely never be able to get him. I will try with the other dolls who may come out later on, but until mattel makes all there dolls available in all countries I know that might not happen as well. 
 
Gillman said:

I think one of the keys to avoiding the problem is in obtaining proper information.  I know it's possible to find out what each shipment contains although I don't know how people get that information.  If Mattel (or the retailers) made that information as accessible as the names of the products, I think we may be less prey to scalpers.  I paid $40+ on eBay for a Scaris Deuce in fear I might not find him in stores and then discovered that I could've purchased him 10 times over at $12.99.  It would've been great to know what my chances might be of finding him before I made a purchase.  It's hard to predict how well an item might sell but at least a guess would be an educated guess with accurate information.  I think it would be great to know how many copies of a specific item are made, how many go to which country at what time and what the estimated delivery would be.  In our information age, I see that as a feasible possibility.

I don't think we'll ever stop scalping but it would be great to obtain information on cost fluctuations in order to not fall victim to scalpers.  For example, is it more expensive to purchase an exclusive item as a pre-order or 1 month after the release date?  How long are items manufactured?  I'd really like to get a Slo Mo figure but I'd be happy to wait 3 months if it means the difference between $60 and $12 as long as I knew what to expect in terms of availability.

I don't blame Mattel for anything.  They're a corporation and every corporation has shortcomings.  It's in their interest to make money and if manufacturing more products means they'll get more money, then I'm sure they'll do it.

I commend Mattel for taking these actions, however I think they could be doing more.  In my opinion they should increase the number of dolls produced based on public demand.  For example if there are tons of a certain type of doll being reported as not selling (I'm sure with sophisticated inventory systems their distributors can send that information to them), but certain ones are flying off the shelves i.e. Picnic Casket or Viperine then produce more of those ones people want to meet the public's demand.  It also makes sense from a business standpoint because they make more money as opposed to making large quantities of everything, including dolls not everyone may want, and then the dolls end up sitting on the shelves and retailers won't purchasing new MH inventory because they are waiting for their current stock to run out.  I think more people would be happier that way.  Also produce more boys and maybe consider re-releases of old in demand dolls so that new collectors can get them for reasonable prices.  Mattel is losing a lot of money to ebay and scalpers.

Another thing they could try is to let people pre-order new items from retailers, so they can see what is in demand and what isn't and make the proper amount of dolls according to the orders they receive.  It will also help them gauge which ones may be more popular than others.

I think that it is not only Mattel's responsibility to end scalping, but ours as well.  Scalping would not happen if everyone refused to buy overpriced goods.  If we all said no and walked away the scalper would be forced to lower their prices.  The people that purchase such goods are also responsible for it continuing.  I love doll collecting and I love Monster High.  I understand the feeling and urges one gets when you see that awesome doll that you MUST have.  But dolls are a want and not a need (I define need as something necessary for survival such as food, air, water, etc.) in my opinion.  Let me tell you that I wanted the Picnic Casket SO badly it was all I've thought about for days.  I drove two hours yesterday to check stock at both of my close TRUs and there was nothing.  I don't have a TRU in my town.  I've watched online every second I was able to.  I looked everywhere.  I found a shop that was trying to sell them for over twice their regular price.  I told him no.  I wished I could have had them and I could have just paid for them, but I don't believe in scalping, so I told the shop owner he was a cheat and dishonest and I walked away.  There were four Picnic Caskets in stock at one of the TRUs today and I drove another two hours today to get mine and I got it on sale for $23.  I understand that it may be hard, but scalping can't happen without consumers and I think that both Mattel and us have to do our parts.  Reasonable inflation is not the same as scalping.  If I was not going to get the Picnic Casket at a reasonable price then I was never going to get it at all.  If you are patient and keep looking you will get what you are looking for one day at a fair price.  :)

scalpers are total pain it means whenever I want a doll its gone and then you would have to pay a crazy price, I think one way we could all help is not pay the scalpers stupid prices, that way they wouldnt bother. But I dunno, I want a Holt Hyde but he ends up everywhere at crazy prices.
Good to see places are trying to stop it as well, fans should get the dolls at normal price, not sky rocketed to line someone's pockets

I agree that they should up the amount they make on certain dolls.... but mostly the boys. I know for a fact that they make far less of the boys than the girls. Per shipment we would get about.... 10-20 assorted boxes of MH dolls, out of those assortment pack maybe 5-8 boxes would have a male MH doll. I think Mattel does this on purpose because they WANT to make the male doll's more rare, it has nothing to do with them being less popular. They are trying to make certain dolls more rare for collector standpoints I think. 

So far as I can tell most other non male dolls are supplied at a pretty decent rate. I've never had a huge issue finding a certain doll unless they have just come out or is some sort of pack with a make [ex: FCA operetta, picnic casket etc].

The main problem is the shelf life of the dolls. They come out with the series so fast these days that you have barely enough time to save up and buy half of one set before another one has come out and once a new set comes the old one starts to disappear out of production. It's more of a timing issue at least for me. Plus they keep getting MORE expensive... and they are already pretty expensive dolls as it is. 

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