Resale of Monomes for a profit

  • Is there any way this can be stopped? It makes me sick to my stomach when i see the monomes posted on ebay at ridiculous prices. The worst part is the excuses people have for selling it, 'Had this 40h for two years, used it just once or twice and am now selling it for $999. All I'm asking for is the amount I spent on it!'
    Another recent example, 'Got this as a gift but I already had one so I'm selling this BRAND NEW still in its original packaging!'

    Its really hard to get one of these monomes, especially for poor musicians aka real musicians. Then there are these business minded people that just buy this stuff and sell it at a higher price.

    I know people from this community were pissed off at that Japanese fellow that made the PICnome but isn't this worse? At least that dude made something of his own.

    When I got my monome(kit) I got it shipped within US even though I am from the other side of the planet, cuz the shipping cost is ridiculously expensive. I just shipped it to a friend's place within US and asked her to ship it to me. I ended up paying less than half of the original shipping cost.
    This is the only way I have found to save some money on buying a monome.
    Maybe I should take a bank loan and buy all the monomes from the next batch and re-sell it at twice the price. good idea?

  • Of course there is nothing that can be done. These people have the product and are trying to sell it at the price they choose.

    Yes it's annoying to see and what's even more irksome is that because of the desirable nature of the monome people *will* pay these prices which causes them to increase more and more.


    The only way would be to stop buying them from these people entirely but that will not happen because brian and kelli are a small independent company who simply cannot make monomes to fully meet the extreme demand, which in turn leads to people resorting to buying second hand but the same price, extoritionate ebay items and making their own via arduinome.

    That is just how it is.

  • I think those times have passed to be honest, and people buying to simply resell for profit are quickly learning the cash cow is dead.

    The buy it now price on some of them may suggest they are still trying, but looking at the closed auctions on ebay seems to suggest that there haven't been any sold at ludicrous prices for a while.

    It also shows the same ones being re-auctioned at lower prices, failing, and being re-auctioned at even lower prices.

  • yea, i wouldn't stress about it. it was much worse a couple years ago and leading up until about a month ago. now it's leveled off and i can't even sell my two monome's for what i paid. go figure. people TRY to get much more than they paid still; but i don't see them getting it.

  • Well it seems to be a good sign that they are not really selling at those prices but still its just not in the spirit of the monome community.
    If they want to do that, they should go work for Digidesign.

  • on ebay as long as the buy it now price or starting bid is less than or equal to the price paid then i have no beef.

    i agree, there are a lot more monomes out there than there were a year or two ago so things have become a bit better.
    i think this is also due to the popularity of the arduinome project...

  • Supply and demand... This is a clear example of an item which people is willing to pay a lot of money...

  • i bought mine for 2k off ebay a few years ago i was desperate though. and now i am going to sell it for 1500 , sucks

  • [quote:ishabh] When I got my monome(kit) I got it shipped within US even though I am from the other side of the planet, cuz the shipping cost is ridiculously expensive. I just shipped it to a friend's place within US and asked her to ship it to me. I ended up paying less than half of the original shipping cost.

    I totally agree with that man, the shipping costs are over priced and not to crap on Tehn here but I don't agree with the customs fee's we get charged upon recieveing the Monomes from tehn.

    Fair enough, some shipping companies cost, I know this since I get ripped off all the time with shipping costs....

    I think it would be easier to at least mark the monomes at cost to make on the shipping forms, you wouldn't be lying and it wouldn't be illegal and if you used a good quick shipping service and pack well, you can't go wrong.

    Personally I've been put off buying direct from tehn because of his shipping costs and the fact that you get charged at least $200 or £100 customs fee's.

    Come on Tehn, I thought you were all No war, Make Love, Share, Grow Your Own Food, Public Rights etc etc kind of guy, you shouldn't be supporting these greedy customs places.

    Customs fee's alone never add up, even if you work out taxes and VAT over here in the UK, you always pay double of what you should pay. For instance, purchased an Apple Tv from the US for my moms xmas gift, paid £110 all in, but got charged £62 fee's when the guy came to the door. Do the math, that was supposed to be £8.00 Fee and 15% VAT, these guys just rip you off because they can.

    No offence to Tehn though, I love his work and think he does a great thing, infact just purchased an original 64 from a member here and I totally want to support Tehn as much as I can to where I see fit.

    About this price boosting on ebay and such, I agree with some of the prices I have to say, especially with people selling their own kits they purchased from tehn direct. You've got to consider the costs of making the cases, the CAD work alone is at least 5 hours work to a professional and thats before time spent on cutting and the materials, so do the math on some of these and you'd find they are pretty reasonable.

    Price examples:
    Tehn Kit & Logic = $240 + $90 Shipping (if you're international)
    Time spent making kit (unknown cost, but its time consuming)
    Engineer to CAD up a faceplate = £25 + VAT an hour (Faceplate = 2 hours work)
    Engineer to CAD up bottom casing = £25 + VAT an hour (3-4 Hours spent on this)
    Aluminum = Prices Vary from £25 - £40
    Materials For Bottom Casing = Vary from what material choosen
    Engineer Time to do the cutting = £20 an hour (could total upto 4 hours)

    It all adds up and that said some do make loses.

    At the end of the day, if you want something really bad and like the design you see, you have to pay.

  • A shipper has no control over customs charges and if people outside the states want one, then there is extra fees that have to be paid. It's unfortunate, but it's the reality of the world we live in. USPS does have much cheaper international rates, but it's a bit more difficult to ship 200+ items at once.

    As far as used monomes being price gouged on ebay, it's what happens in a free market. It obviously differs from the ideals of most of the people on this forum, but it's just what the market dictates. I believe Tehn is a much smarter businessman than most people realize - keeping demand high and supply low. The difficulty with this position is that eventually a competitor sees the demand and knows that they can make a cheaper product to fill it, like what we've seen with that PICnome guy and more recently the launchpad.

    BUT, Tehn's advantage over the other guys is that he builds a superior product and has a loyal fan base and a great community to support it. A very well crafted habitat, one that I'm quite jealous of... (giving props here)

    We could have a whole other conversation about software and piracy and the exorbitant prices that some companies charge and the moral issues with that whole situation...

  • +1 to supply & demand. That's the system we've got. People were flipping houses here in the US just a few years ago and making gobs of money overnight. Now the government is offering tax incentives for people to buy homes to help boost sales. It's all about what the market will bear, I'm afraid.

    (And no, I don't support this kind of thing in the least. But what is is what is, you know?)

  • jugganaut said: A shipper has no control over customs charges and if people outside the states want one, then there is extra fees that have to be paid. It's unfortunate, but it's the reality of the world we live in. USPS does have much cheaper international rates, but it's a bit more difficult to ship 200+ items at once.

    Not really, if you mark the item low enough to still cover costs and mark as gift it does make a huge difference, infact I've purchase expensive items from US sellers that would help me out via marking low and as a gift and at most you'd have a £8 handling fee at most, which is a big difference compared to £100 charge. Just seems unfair to the buyer that's already paid a fair price and not really taking an advantage of a resale and its not like they're going to make a huge profit reselling the monome.

    I sold a videogame yesterday for £15 + Postage and the buyer asked if I could mark at value of $17 to avoid any extra uneeded fee's, so I did this since its helps out and isn't far away from the cost.

    Obviously I don't blame Tehn for this, but these fee's don't go anyway to needy causes, infact the money just pays for some nasty people to sit and monitor packages.

    Hey, don't get me wrong, if they said "Make out a check to the RSPCA for your customs fee's" then I'd gladly make that cheque and feel good about it.

  • The notion that monome's core principles include falsifying customs documents is offensive.

  • LOL Stretta
    I clearly said that he could mark items at cost, nothing false about that.

  • believe me, we do everything we can not to participate in some parts of the economy-- UPS and googlecheckout being the two most unpleasant but necessary links in the chain. it's a bit offensive to assume that we have an alternative, because clearly if it existed we'd be onboard. undervaluing packages would be a horrible decision which i won't even bother going into-- and i do think about these topics a lot, more than is healthy.

    re: supply and demand, the market, reselling. i think monome is at a pretty healthy point despite the fact that the market has become flooded with alternatives. i don't see resale profiteering-- for example you don't see grayscales on e-bay for $900. other high-priced devices are hopeful remnants from an earlier time. i couldn't possibly claim to hold supply low and demand high-- i've discussed this at length before. we are a comparatively *tiny* business to our newly existing "competitors." we don't have the resources to simply produce thousands and let them sit around. we produce on schedules according to perceived demand, and people generally wait, know when they're to be released, and more than often get one if they want one (and continued to want one over a few months). this also gives people the opportunity to reconsider-- i don't imagine that's in many business plans around the world. remember, "we" is kelli and myself. that's it!

    most of our decisions come down the the fact that monome doesn't really need to be a larger company. i honestly believe the community benefits from our chosen methods. i wonder how many arduinomes exist now? and that's a good thing!

  • Thanks for your response Tehn

    I hope you haven't took offense to my opinions, just don't like the greedy economy and I'd honestly prefer to see someone like yourself see that extra money in their pockets, especially since we have already paid for the product.

    I guess you have to be in Canada and the UK to understand where I'm coming from. It's also unfair that the fee's they charge don't work out right for some reason, but that's another story.

    Fair enough for businesses that import in larger amounts where as VAT and Tax does have to come into the equation, that's business, but when its for personal use of a one off item, I don't see how they get away with it.

    I honestly love what you do, I'll be breaking my monome virginity hopefully this week and hope I can support you some day via buying a kit or something.

    @tehn Have you ever thought about selling some art? I see these prints you do with the monome and they look great, I'm into things like that, collect abit of art when I have some money to blow, maybe you could offer some limited prints on some hand torn recycled paper, maybe something from each of the monome runs you did. I feel like I miss out on that art when people get their stuff haha

  • Its true that there are no greyscale 64s in the market at $900 but this one:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/monome-grayscale-sixty-four-64-controller-USB_W0QQitemZ320481704818QQcmdZViewItemQQptZStudioequipment?hash=item4a9e32bb72

    Is going at $755. And that is not including the shipping and any possible taxes or VAT that the buyer might pay... Well I guess its better that paying $900 for something that costs $500.
    I'm sure the guy is trying to re-coup the shipping and taxes that he paid but for a buyer thats like paying for the sellers shipping and taxes as well as his own.

  • Exactly a year ago, I started an identical thread.

    http://post.monome.org/comments.php?DiscussionID=3275&page=1#Item_13

    I was similarly new and similarly exasperated and expasperating.

    Seems to me it merits a permanent thread or posted notice to prevent the discussion from coming up over and over.

    Tehn's very sober and considered perspective always addresses people's concerns, but it must get tiresome re-stating it repeatedly.

    - c

  • @ M0N0PH0NIC

    It would be incomprehensible to undervalue a customs value given the fact that these packages HAVE to be insured for the same amount. You couldn't very well have a customs value of $150 and insure it for $500....

    If you don't like all the customs fees and taxes, move to America! j/k

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