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GoGamer.com Scalping Conan Collector's Edition

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May 28, 2008 6:12:58 PM

Article by Ryan Lord

The collector's edition of Funcom's new MMORPG Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures has become a hot item -- so hot that respected retailer GoGamer.com is selling copies of the game on Amazon at nearly twice the price. Tom's Games investigates.

http://www.tomsgames.com/us/2008/05/28/ageofconance_scalping/
May 28, 2008 6:37:01 PM

And did they explain why customers should take the burden of their supposed pricing mistake?

This is BS, pure and simple. Makes me want to torrent the game out of spite.
May 28, 2008 6:39:01 PM

SEALBoy said:
Makes me want to torrent the game out of spite.

It begins.
Related resources
May 28, 2008 6:42:34 PM

Go Steam Go! err, not on Steam, but maybe someday?
May 28, 2008 6:52:55 PM

SEALBoy said:
And did they explain why customers should take the burden of their supposed pricing mistake?

This is BS, pure and simple. Makes me want to torrent the game out of spite.


Yes, it's BS, but how exactly would pirating Age of Conan solve the mess? Remember, it's the retailer, not the publisher, that's raising the price.
May 28, 2008 7:12:50 PM

Also not to mention this is for the "Collector's Edition" only, so you'd need one of those special ray-guns to go along with your torrent.
May 28, 2008 7:29:27 PM

robwright said:
Yes, it's BS, but how exactly would pirating Age of Conan solve the mess? Remember, it's the retailer, not the publisher, that's raising the price.


True, I never said I would download it (I doubt I'd be able to play online even if I did).

But I get your point. I guess I was kind of mad when I wrote that.
May 28, 2008 7:40:29 PM

And the answer is............................DO NOT BUY FROM THEM! Wow that was a hard thing to figure out. Unless you still live in communist country, you are not forced to by the wonderful collector edition of the game from them. I am still suprised that so many people buy these collectors items but whatever, knock yourself out. Again, in a free market, demand will determine price, not the RETAILER!!!!!!!!!!!! So if no one buys from them the price will drop. I know its a tough concept to handle, but try and understand it. Any if the price does not drop, then I guess it is worth twice the price.
May 28, 2008 8:42:11 PM

Nobody is forcing people to buy these collectors editions, but buying up a large stock of them to sell at an inflated price isn't a good way to do business. Also a big issue with AoC specifically is that many people who pre-ordered the game ordered the collector's edition and also signed up for the early access. Now that these collectors edition's are back ordered many of the pre orders have to wait and are running the risk of getting locked out of the game when their early access runs out. I'm sure Funcom will accomadate these people, but still what GoGamer is doing is pretty shady.
May 28, 2008 8:51:28 PM

Simple solution Eidos should stop using them as a retailer. Their (GoGamer) error is just that. The have no right to rape consumers in such a shady way. They sold millions for less, of AoC or some other unrelated game? As a consumer if you choose to ebay the game knock yourself out I know I did for $180. Retailers should never sell anything above MSRP, just that simple.

Pirating AoC would be useless without a key.
May 28, 2008 9:19:25 PM

I've bought plenty of games from gogamer for a fraction of MSRP that I really don't mind if they jack up the price for high-demand games. Don't buy it if it's too much. They're probably my number 1 source for PC games, and I always find great deals on their site. This is a stupid thing to complain about. It will be funny when they start selling the collector's edition for half off a couple months later. The collector's edition actually sounds pretty cool, but I'd usually rather just get the regular game if it's almost half the price. I have no interest in MMOs either way. Too much time and effort and more importantly money for playing a virtual hamster wheel.
May 28, 2008 11:37:15 PM

What is MSRP? Please spell it out for me (just pretend i'm stupid, and that this is NOT an attempt to make everyone go figure out what MSRP is.. that should be pretty simple).

What was Eidos reply to the mistake in pricing information?

In fact, what was Eidos and Funcom's response to GoGamer's claims?

Quote:
"But it's clear the company is going outside the lines of normal business practices and is sticking gamers with the bill."


How much do you know about 'normal' business practices?

May 29, 2008 12:19:19 AM

I noticed GoGamer doing price gouging on Amazon the day after Funcom announced that the AoC Collector's Edition was sold out. It is unfortunate that they decided to do that, because they have always done a great job when I order from them.

However, in all fairness to GoGamer, their representative on the old AoC forums did a great job of emailing pre-order bonus codes to people personally since Eidos would not allow GoGamer to advertise bonus in-game items for pre-ordering like other retailers such as GameStop, Best Buy and Circuit City. It seems that Eidos really tried to screw GoGamer and put them at a disadvantage compared to their competition, so this may just be a case of GoGamer deciding that if Eidos was going to treat them so shoddily, then why should they bother following the normal rules with regards to pricing?
May 29, 2008 3:56:46 AM

Amazon marketplace is like ebay, you can find things 50% below or above retail. It is not for everybody but it is a great tool to find good deals or hard to find items. Who knows what GoGamer paid for the collector, very possible that they bought it at a higher cost to resell it at Amazon. It is a free market and at the end of the day it boils down to people's discretion whether they want to spend the extra money to get something they really want.
I have used Gogamer in the past and I will keep on using them in the future because of all the great deals they have offered me. I think this is a pure bashing of a good retailer by Lord.
May 29, 2008 1:38:56 PM

MSRP is Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price. In this example, Eidos may have been selling them CE copies at $64.00 each (just a guess), with the well known MSRP of $89.99. We really don't know the specifics of how much Eidos was charging retailers to get their copies, but it's always at a discount especially with volume orders, so that the official retailer can make a profit.

Eidos is looking into it, that's about all we can say here. Think about it this way - the Nintendo Wii has consistently had a higher market value than MSRP, especially during the holidays. They've been hard to find, much like the Age of Conan Collector's Edition. Despite that, have you seen companies like EBgames, Best Buy, Circuit City, etc. listing their Wii consoles at higher price points than MSRP? No. If Best Buy gets a batch of Wii consoles, you can walk in and grab one without worrying about paying Ebay prices. It doesn't matter if you yourself are going to turn around and sell it on Ebay for a big profit, it's that the company you're dealing with isn't taking advantage of so called "market pricing", and in turn gouging consumers.

In regards to LemonJoose, I know about the code fiasco, and that was meant to be in the article in detail but was cut during editing. Even in regards to that situation, in the end consumers looking for a copy of the CE were the ones to get the shaft. It doesn't make sense to take your frustrations out on consumers, or make them pay the bill. The main point here is, GoGamer received those copies at discount for standard distribution and were expected to not take advantage of the market.

Regarding loosegoose's comment about bashing a good retailer, I've been a customer of theirs for years, probably going back to 2001 or so now. I actually had just put in an order with them last week, and will still most likely do business with them. The listing itself came as a huge shock to me, because they were one of my favorite retailers to deal with when it came to ordering games, aside from Amazon when it comes to new games (only because of the free shipping). This is not something I was comfortable with seeing, and I don't think it's something that any of you should be comfortable with either. They could have used these units for excellent marketing promotions and pulled in tons of new customers that were rabidly looking for a copy of the Collector's Edition, but instead chose to move them off-site to Amazon's private marketplace at a huge mark-up.
May 29, 2008 1:50:28 PM

x04spy0x said:
What is MSRP? Please spell it out for me (just pretend i'm stupid, and that this is NOT an attempt to make everyone go figure out what MSRP is.. that should be pretty simple).

What was Eidos reply to the mistake in pricing information?

In fact, what was Eidos and Funcom's response to GoGamer's claims?

Quote:
"But it's clear the company is going outside the lines of normal business practices and is sticking gamers with the bill."


How much do you know about 'normal' business practices?


MSRP Manufacture Suggested Retail Price and normal business practices should not exceed this amount. The retailers get the product for a whole sale price or something less than MSRP.
May 29, 2008 3:53:27 PM

loosegoose said:
Amazon marketplace is like ebay, you can find things 50% below or above retail. It is not for everybody but it is a great tool to find good deals or hard to find items. Who knows what GoGamer paid for the collector, very possible that they bought it at a higher cost to resell it at Amazon. It is a free market and at the end of the day it boils down to people's discretion whether they want to spend the extra money to get something they really want.
I have used Gogamer in the past and I will keep on using them in the future because of all the great deals they have offered me. I think this is a pure bashing of a good retailer by Lord.


Loosegoose, GoGamer.com got its copies of Age of Conan CE from Eidos, just like other major retailers. And if you really believe that GoGamer.com should set whatever price it wants for the game, fine. It's a free market. But why didn't GoGamer just sell AoC on its Web site for $160? Why go to Amazon and sell it through an alternate sales channel at a higher price?
May 29, 2008 4:04:08 PM

robwright said:
Loosegoose, GoGamer.com got its copies of Age of Conan CE from Eidos, just like other major retailers. And if you really believe that GoGamer.com should set whatever price it wants for the game, fine. It's a free market. But why didn't GoGamer just sell AoC on its Web site for $160? Why go to Amazon and sell it through an alternate sales channel at a higher price?


That brings up another good point, moving them off-site to Amazon means that Amazon gets a cut of each sale. They were perfectly capable of selling the copies on GoGamer.com, and could have kept the portion that they lost to Amazon.
May 29, 2008 5:36:53 PM

This isn't really that big of a deal. GoGamer routinely sells stuff at a lower price than market, and it's not really a big deal that they sell one game off site at a markup, or even 30 different games. The market is permitting them to do so. Eidos doesn't care, it makes their game look super important going for double it's retail value. Is the collector's edition scarce? Yeah, does it have to be? No. Do you think that having an extra 100,000 players with a special mount amounts to a hill of beans to anybody? No.

Everyone is outraged over the principle of the thing, but it really doesn't matter unless you are looking for the collector's edition, can't find it, and don't want to pay double MSRP for it. I doubt that GoGamer's allocation of copies was that high to begin with. Putting a terrible deal (double MSRP) on their website is a bad business move, so selling them at Amazon makes much more sense. You always want your portal to have good deals, not crappy ones.

The game industry at the retail level is a HORRIBLE business. Used games are the only place retailers generally profit, and if you are losing $15 a game at launch, as GoGamer claimed to have been, it is very signifigant. For every game you don't make your $5 on, and even lose $15 on, you have to sell four more, just to recoup losses. Making $5 on a game is not profit, that money is not a $5 that goes into your pocket. It is spent on rent, power, internet, staff, etc. They probably get to keep about $1 of that as profit, once their debt load is even gone, which it probably isn't.

Anyone who is pissed about this, and has never owned a retail game outlet, really has no room to speak.
Taking a loss on something means nothing to those not taking the loss, but to the one taking the loss, it's huge.

Kudos to GoGamer for doing what they have to do to remain profitable. (or get profitable)

If you don't like a price at retail, don't buy it. It's just that simple. I've gotten many great deals from GoGamer, so no complaints here.
May 29, 2008 6:22:28 PM

I see we have some new members on the forum that are GoGamer fans...interesting... ;) 
May 29, 2008 7:58:40 PM

LOL... no, I have no affiliation with GoGamer. But I appreciate the conclusion.
May 30, 2008 12:13:49 AM

Owned by capitalism, bitches!
May 30, 2008 1:40:00 AM

Sorry for not taking the time to fully read the article so maybe I'm completely wrong here. Anyways from what I know from my days working retail electronics there are usually agreements between vendors and retailers which dictate various aspects of how an item, in this case a game, will be sold. If Gogamer took advantage of their retailer status and sold the games offsite for more than they were supposed to then they could definatly be in trouble. You can applaud this as a savvy business move all you want, just don't complain about the big bad gaming companies if they either sue Gogamer.com or stop selling them games and drive them out of business.
May 30, 2008 5:22:45 PM

In my country the most popular video game store routinly charges double for any and all games they sell(and i know they purchase at wholesale price).Ive done buisenss with gogamer, in fact recently i bought mass effect for the pc from them while it was on preorder.EA had a special going on for that game that took $10 off the MSRP, most stores didnt carry it, gogamer did, they even carried it over 48 hours after the release of the game, even now you can get it a little cheaper than what most others are selling it at.For gogamer to start price gouging like this is completly out of character for them and there had to be some extraordinary circumstances for this to occur.At the end of the day this is making a mountain out of a mole hill and if people see the need to buy it at that price then that is their buisiness.I have seen worse in the game retail industry, like that store that sold halo 3 before the official release date just to jump into the market before thier competitors.
May 30, 2008 8:24:47 PM

Quote:
I have seen worse in the game retail industry, like that store that sold halo 3 before the official release date just to jump into the market before thier competitors.

How is holding on to copies to sell at a higher price worse than selling earlier to sell more. The two seem very similar to me. The only difference is that Halo 3 was going to be readily available so selling early netted extra sales. AoC CE had limited availability and was going to sell out regardless so they withheld copies then jacked up the price. The only difference is who you are hurting the most. In the Halo 3 case it was other retailers. With AoC CE it's the consumer.
June 3, 2008 4:01:35 PM

I know this post is late but has anyone actually looked into the CE of Age of Conan or does anyone who posted own a copy of it? I also know that this is more a thread about what GoGamers has done but I had to sign up just to post on this thread...What GoGamers did was more of a ripoff than is being discussed here...This has to be one of the sloppiest & worst CE's ever released.

The article mentioned there was TWO unique virtual items with the CE? I'm also here to tell you that is false. The drinking cape was released to people who subscribed to the newletter. Some people who have been subscribed to the newletter since it first began claim to have even gotten a code for the ring to (note: this ring can't be seen visibly or by character inspecition which does not exist in-game - also after level 40 the main feature of the ring is turned off). So there is nothing distinct about this CE on the virtual side. Nothing virtual for a CE owner to show off and stand out as unique.

GoGamer claiming the CE for Age of Conan will go up in value is something I would think an actual gaming retailer would know better than and they probably do. He was probably just misleading everyone hoping for sales. The fact that WoW CE and GW CE sell for so much when you can find them is because they offer something in the virtual world that is UNIQUE that you can not get any other way. Unless Funcom does something to fix this I do not see this CE "increasing" in value.

The demand for the AoC CE was when everyone did think the virtual items were unique which they are not. Just read the AoC forums and you will see at least one thread of complaints. Thats not typical for a CE I would think. And to top all this off they charged more than any CE I have ever looked into before. So basically you have one of the worst offerings for a CE for what is shaping up to be a great game for the one of the worst prices of any CE ever. At least to date.

To further validate my point just search ebay - people WANT in-game uniqueness (a word?) to show off. The pre-buys from Best Buy in particular sells for MORE than the retail price of the CE. And that's just a regular sized box with a card in it with a code for a unique virtual in game item. No art book (which some expected to be a hard cover but it isn't). No cloth map you can BARELY read (VG had a similar map which is much better). No soundtrack CD. etc...

The AoC CE box itself is overly huge and so so as game boxes go. Not to mention the 5 actual guest passes - they weren't even included. You have to use your Funcom account to retrieve the actual guest pass codes which you still can not do.

I think thats about it. And yes I do own this CE (and yes I know I'm one of the people that got taken at least unless Funcom does something to fix this and listens to their subscribers).

I also want to express that I think this applies mainly to MMORPG's games and their CE's. As the previous poster made a reference to the Halo 3 CE. That comes with a nice Spartan Helment (w/ stand) to showoff inside your place of residence that even your friends who aren't gamers will notice. Those same non-gamer friends will hardly notice a game box, what appears to be a game guide, or a map that can't be made out.
June 5, 2008 4:11:24 AM

Amazon.com caused an absolute bomb to go off in terms of the Collector's Edition value days after our article posted. Somehow they received a whole batch of them, and listed at $89.99 with free shipping and even no tax in most areas. Since then, prices have plummetted on Ebay and Amazon, and surprisingly GoGamer also stopped selling them.

In terms of the value of the CE items, I am now seeing your point. I did receive a drinking cape code for the beta, and the ring stops working after level 40. For a 2% bonus, I really think they should have kept the ring going all the way up to 80. It's not that big of a deal, and it would have given much more value to the ring. The cape I've never used once, as I could not find a way to get my so called "free drink" at any of the bars, nor the point of doing so. I'm now wearing a different cape.

The value for me in the CE comes from the art book, dvd, and soundtrack. Those did not disappoint. Overall in terms of quality, I'd rank the AoC CE inbetween something like Age of Empires 3's CE and Warcraft 3's. World of Warcraft's CE was probably the best overall.
June 5, 2008 7:06:32 PM

Quote:
Why don't you just buy it from the GoGamer website at MSRP;

They were claiming to be sold out last week when this thread was started and most of the discussion took place. The fact that the price dropped across Amazon and now they have it in stock just makes it seem all the more dubious. Did you seriously not get that or are you trying to make it look like they were there all along?
June 6, 2008 2:09:57 AM

ryanlord - I agree with your assestment in the actual value of the AoC CE though in terms of the actual price it must be considered a huge injustice to all of us that purchased one unless Funcom does something to fix that.

Also I think the original Guild Wars (Guild Wars: Prophecies) was just as good as the World of Warcraft CE. In Guild Wars everyone in the game knows who actually owns a CE and there is no other way period to have obtained the special emote aura. It's actually quite a simple addition but brilliant and everyone in the game likes it. Just about anyone who didn't know what it was became filled with instant curiosity and the majority of those people who didn't know were compelled to ask about it which of course is positive attention that most people enjoy getting.

In AoC they could have at least made the newsletter drinking cape another color and that would have at least been something better for the CE owners. And yes the drinking cape was for being signed up for the newsletter not being in the beta. I have a few friends who weren't in any of the beta's and got the code.

The actual e-mail came out May 21, 2008. The subject was - Age of Conan: A Reward from the King‏. When did AoC release? May 20, 2008. Why do I bring this up? Here is a quote direct from Funcom you can still find on their website which is information on the CE if you look back through the news or information sections...

"The Drinking Cape (Bonus In-game Item) – As fitting for a mature MMO game, the Drinking Cape gives you access to free drinks in all the taverns of Hyboria. This dream-come-true outfit will never be available after the game launches, and with it you can impress friends down the road by proving your status as a pioneer player. "

...Kind of misleading there? I for one think it is. And that's definitely not the only thing Funcom has been misleading about.
June 6, 2008 1:53:07 PM

I'm kind of surprised to find that people actually bought the CE primarily for in-game items, especially something like the drinking cape which just "gives you free access to drinks in all taverns if Hyboria". Why not just give out a Franklin Mint Elvis collectable fork and plate set? It would actually go perfectly with AoC, "The King of Rock meets the King of Hyboria...", well maybe not.
But unless some CE in-game item gives super abilities otherwise unattainable in the game what's the point? I can attest to the fact that other players without that otherwise useless CE item are NEVER impressed by somebody who has it. Even more so since they are usually pointless you end up having to actually try to show them off which makes the wearer look more like a dick than anything. Actually that should have been in the description for the drinking cape

"This obnoxious piece of backwear will give you access to free drinks in all the taverns in Hyboria, which you'll need to wash away the sense of what a dick you look like while wearing it."

It reminds me of the guy who shows up at the D&D game wearing a cloak and wizard's hat. He's not impressing anybody, which speaks volumes considering it's a D&D game.

Obviously this is my personal opinion but the only value I see in a CE is the actually stuff that comes in the box and/or the box it's self. The best CE I ever bought was the Quake 3 CE because it came in a tin which was actually usefull long after the game was and looked pretty cool.
June 6, 2008 2:03:53 PM

You know I still have my Quake III CE tin as well. That's just a good all around box.

I think the worst CE I ever got has to be Ultima IX. I got it as a gift. First of all the box is about the size of a door and it's just filled with garbage. I think there were Lord Garriott tarot cards in there or something and some kind of certificate of authenticity.

I didn't get a Conan CE but I do have the drinking cape. It's sitting in my bank in game because it's perfectly useless and I think the characters look better without it.
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