Price-blowing speculation itself is difficult to identify as an unethical behavior. After all, the fundamental law of the market is that the supply is low, the demand is high, the price of a commodity increases itself, and when demand outpaces supply, everyone wants to make a little profit. But with the internet and e-commerce platforms, speculation has never been easier. Just a few tens to a few hundred dollars to buy automated bots to order and buy items online, anyone with capital can become speculators. These bots are constantly scanning online sales channels to buy clean items. When you click the mouse to put the item in the basket, it is highly likely that the speculator’s bot has bought it and finished the payment.
Initially, speculators targeted the online live ticket market. Currently, about 40% of all music or entertainment show tickets sold online are “boiled” by speculators’ bots. But by the 2010s, speculation with online hunting bots began to sweep the fashion sites that young people were ‘hype’, with little sales, and high black market prices. From limited edition Jordaners, to hoodies or tee shirts that are collaborate with brands … These shoes or clothes are promoted in the same way as a new movie or a tech item. new release, stimulating the brothers to go in line to buy those items as soon as possible, at all costs. Thanks to that “hype”, the speculators are still living well, but now they even have bots that get 100% of traffic to an e-commerce site during a new sale, or in each sale season.
No retail channel favors or sides with speculators. But in another aspect, the mainstream e-commerce channels themselves do not take any action to ensure this situation does not happen at all. For retail channels, they just need to sell out, that’s all obligations. The goods will be sold to consumers or will be sold to speculators, they do not care much. They just need to hit the sales target with their partner. “They openly say that for profit speculation is bad,” said Bruce Schneier, an internet researcher at the Berkman Klein Institute for Internet Research and Community, Harvard University. But at the same time they like the hot information about the product, they like the scarcity of goods, and they like the fact that the item is sought after by the community. ”
From adidas Yeezy to RTX 3080, from Jordan 1 to PS5, to admit the great attraction of these items makes speculation still exist and live well. From such attraction, it is easy to try to blame the consumer entirely. If no one buys from the speculators, why do they still live to this day? But at the same time, the firms themselves, the e-commerce channels and the legislators themselves need to make important changes to mitigate this situation. After all, hoarding speculation is a side effect of the perfect marketing strategies to create attraction for a product, which has been perfected over decades.
Besides draft laws, now the main responsibility to combat speculation falls on retailers’ shoulders. For example, Walmart said it blocked 20 million bots from buying automatically in the first 30 minutes of the official sale of PS5. From Korea to the UK, retailers are adopting anti-speculative strategies, for example offering the right to review and cancel orders they deem suspicious. But retailers cannot fight the mafia alone. Gaming hardware manufacturers themselves have to identify the problem as well as the solution. The reason is that at the moment, the most loyal fans of those labels are starting to lose their patience.