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Price Gouging

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:14 am
by Sosukodo
Hi all,

I've only recently heard about the Raspberry Pi but have become very excited about the possibilities of this tiny little board. However, I'm absolutely disgusted with the price gouging that's going on.

It seems that some lesser humans see fit to order all the Raspberry Pi boards they can until the entire supply is depleted in order to drive up demand and jack up the price. Thereby negating one of the primary selling points of the device: it's price.

Has there been any discussion about rationing sales so that a single purchaser may only purchase a set number of boards per month so that the boards can actually purchased for the price advertised?

Sincerely,

Disgusted

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:23 am
by itimpi
Not sure why you think it is that hard to get the Raspberry Pi at the advertised prices? They have been easily available via Farnell/Element 14/Newark since about July (with at worst a few weeks lead time) and I have got a number for myself via that route. There are also quite a few companies now acting as re-sellers who I believe get their supplies via Farnell.

Supplies via RS/Allied have had much longer lead times, but there are now indications that they might be starting to catch up with demand as well.

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:25 am
by jamesh
Sosukodo wrote:Hi all,

I've only recently heard about the Raspberry Pi but have become very excited about the possibilities of this tiny little board. However, I'm absolutely disgusted with the price gouging that's going on.

It seems that some lesser humans see fit to order all the Raspberry Pi boards they can until the entire supply is depleted in order to drive up demand and jack up the price. Thereby negating one of the primary selling points of the device: it's price.

Has there been any discussion about rationing sales so that a single purchaser may only purchase a set number of boards per month so that the boards can actually purchased for the price advertised?

Sincerely,

Disgusted
Can you give some examples of this price gouging please, because as far as we know, you should be able to buy from the suppliers at the advertised price.

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:54 am
by Sosukodo
I believe that the reason for the lead times are because of these gougers buying up the supply.

In lieu of giving direct links, I'll offer 3 main online sources:

eBay - selling for $80.
Amazon - Some selling for over $110 after shipping (CanaKit).
Adafruit - also jumping on the wagon by not offering any Raspberry Pi's unless you order $350 worth of their offerings or buy a "kit" which is $105 ($70 worth of junk piled atop a $35 Pi).

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:56 am
by Dweeber
I think you are a little off base....

You are equating a promotion by Adafruit to Price Gouging... I think of it as a 10% discount on their fine products if you buy $350 ...

All of my RPi cost me $35 plus shipping each... with an avg wait time of about 2 weeks. Don't see the problem. Of course, I chose where I purchased from carefully each time I needed a unit and stayed away from those sellers that clearly were not delivering the product.

Are you having problem finding product?

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:46 am
by adafruit
Sosukodo wrote:Adafruit - also jumping on the wagon by not offering any Raspberry Pi's unless you order $350 worth of their offerings or buy a "kit".
we have a promotion where we give away a free raspberry pi, we do this with many products, right now it's the pi.

we include the pi in our starter pack when we have those in stock (also hard to keep in stock right now) in the past we've sold the board as a stand alone product when we had enough in stock, right now we only have a few left. we will sell them as stand alone products once we have more in stock.

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:57 am
by Sosukodo
Forgive me. I was under the assumption that a product offered for $35 should be sold at said price. I think it's dishonorable to sell a product at such a mark up but apparently I am alone in my opinion.

@Dweeber: Yes, I am having trouble finding an in-stock $35 unit. I believe that if they were rationed, everybody who wants one would be able to get one at the advertised price instead of others causing a supply shortage in the name of profit.

@adafruit: Are you saying that you offer a $35 Pi when in stock? If yes then I've nothing but praise for you. If no then why not just leave the supply chain alone and let people get them for the intended price?

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:27 am
by itimpi
Sosukodo wrote:I believe that the reason for the lead times are because of these gougers buying up the supply.

In lieu of giving direct links, I'll offer 3 main online sources:

eBay - selling for $80.
Amazon - Some selling for over $110 after shipping (CanaKit).
Adafruit - also jumping on the wagon by not offering any Raspberry Pi's unless you order $350 worth of their offerings or buy a "kit" which is $105 ($70 worth of junk piled atop a $35 Pi).
Those are bad examples!

The Adafruit one is spurious as it is a 'free' pi with large orders as one of their standard promotions. The others are nothing to do with official channels - it is always possible to find virtually any product at silly prices via eBay or Amazon.

The official channels and many resellers have them freely available at sensible prices. As long as you (currently) avoid RS these are also at minimal lead times.

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:14 am
by bgirardot
Try NewIT in the UK, they ship anywhere and usually have some in stock and by all accounts are an excellent company.

Having other retailers purchase boards and make them available for sale has a number of advantages over just allowing the two major manufacturers be distributors, not the least of which is having boards available when other retailer's stocks are exhausted.

The last people you should be complaining about is Adafruit considering everything they give back to this community and the wider hacker/maker community in general, I don't care how much they are selling them for.

Which is another benefit to allowing retailers to purchase in bulk and resell, I get to support companies I love like Adafruit buy purchasing through them if I can.

I understand your point about people creating artificial scarcity to try and drive up prices, which again, is addressed somewhat by encouraging a wide variety of retailers to sell the product. And while it is a valid point in general, you have presented no evidence that is happening here in this specific case, straight out demand in general is creating the supply chain issues.

CanaKit is just idiotic if they think they are going to be selling 256meg boards for CND$70.00 and anyone who buys one is being ripped off unfortunately, thanks for pointing that out, now I know to avoid them. But at the same time, I guess it could be said that if you can't wait and want to pay for immediate satisfaction then at least you have that option.

I think you are over reacting. Many people, myself included, waited multiple months for their boards, it is just the way it goes.

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:41 am
by jamesh
Sosukodo wrote:Forgive me. I was under the assumption that a product offered for $35 should be sold at said price. I think it's dishonorable to sell a product at such a mark up but apparently I am alone in my opinion.

@Dweeber: Yes, I am having trouble finding an in-stock $35 unit. I believe that if they were rationed, everybody who wants one would be able to get one at the advertised price instead of others causing a supply shortage in the name of profit.

@adafruit: Are you saying that you offer a $35 Pi when in stock? If yes then I've nothing but praise for you. If no then why not just leave the supply chain alone and let people get them for the intended price?
I'm afraid you have some mistakes in your assumption. The two official manufacturer/distributors sell for the advertised price (+tax+postage) - they are Farnell and RS (or one of their subsidiaries). Anyone can buy from them, then sell on at whatever price they think they can sell at - that is something the Foundation can do nothing about - it's called a free market. People that do that but with inflated prices are Ebay sellers and the like. People like Adafruit and NewIT are examples of people buying in bulk from RS or Farnell, but not adding on too much, and are a much better option than paying inflated prices.

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:03 am
by michele.x
itimpi wrote:Not sure why you think it is that hard to get the Raspberry Pi at the advertised prices? They have been easily available via Farnell/Element 14/Newark since about July (with at worst a few weeks lead time) and I have got a number for myself via that route.
In ebay happens sometimes that goods are sold with prices way higher compared with other online or brick-and-mortar sellers. Maybe people get a outbidding disease when on ebay, so they continue to rebate without logic.
Anyway having to wait a week or two for an order placed online in my opinion is not artificial scarcity, are almost normal times one could expect on delivery.
I got my Pi in four days from Farnell, by the way, and the proble I have with them is that they're not selling gertboards. I have the money ready in my emailee cat ;-)

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:31 pm
by goldang
Seems to be a lot of fan boys & girls here denying the obvious: Raspberry Pi units are artificially scarce. The design is established, the components cheap, but only a trickle of units is ever emitted, most of those destined for christened tertiary retailers who gouge.

Adafruit might be doing some wonderful things for the community, but buying up Pi's solely to sell for outrageous markup due to their being packaged with $10 worth of RadioShack parts is not one of them. It's a scam and I'm not afraid to say so, however nicely Adafruit is viewed by the community.

As for the excuses that eBay sellers mark things up for no reason - what? Auction sellers mark them up because they know that consumers are willing to pay that price, and consumers are willing to pay that price because demand is vastly outstripping supply. This is basic, basic economics. We don't see anyone buying iPhones on eBay for double the retail cost: they'll just pop into the Apple or AT&T store instead. B Model Raspberry Pi's will sell all day long there for $60-$70 double the $35 retail.

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:06 pm
by bgirardot
goldang wrote:Seems to be a lot of fan boys & girls here denying the obvious: Raspberry Pi units are artificially scarce. The design is established, the components cheap, but only a trickle of units is ever emitted, most of those destined for christened tertiary retailers who gouge.

Adafruit might be doing some wonderful things for the community, but buying up Pi's solely to sell for outrageous markup due to their being packaged with $10 worth of RadioShack parts is not one of them. It's a scam and I'm not afraid to say so, however nicely Adafruit is viewed by the community.

As for the excuses that eBay sellers mark things up for no reason - what? Auction sellers mark them up because they know that consumers are willing to pay that price, and consumers are willing to pay that price because demand is vastly outstripping supply. This is basic, basic economics. We don't see anyone buying iPhones on eBay for double the retail cost: they'll just pop into the Apple or AT&T store instead. B Model Raspberry Pi's will sell all day long there for $60-$70 double the $35 retail.

You seem confused about what artificial scarcity means. Demand out stripping supply is not the artificial scarcity you seem to think is obviously going on. Again, show me some evidence people are buying them up to dry up availability and/or that people are reducing production to reduce availability and drive up cost, that is artificial scarcity.

Your comments about Adafruit clearly indicate you have no clue what you are talking about and are just trolling (by a very lose definition of trolling as that is the nicest way I can phrase it at the moment).

Luckily most people are either actual adults here or mature enough to behave like adults and threads like this one have zero impact on anything of importance. I hope they at least serve the purpose of letting you guys vent your frustration.

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:14 pm
by jamesh
goldang wrote:Seems to be a lot of fan boys & girls here denying the obvious: Raspberry Pi units are artificially scarce. The design is established, the components cheap, but only a trickle of units is ever emitted, most of those destined for christened tertiary retailers who gouge.

Adafruit might be doing some wonderful things for the community, but buying up Pi's solely to sell for outrageous markup due to their being packaged with $10 worth of RadioShack parts is not one of them. It's a scam and I'm not afraid to say so, however nicely Adafruit is viewed by the community.

As for the excuses that eBay sellers mark things up for no reason - what? Auction sellers mark them up because they know that consumers are willing to pay that price, and consumers are willing to pay that price because demand is vastly outstripping supply. This is basic, basic economics. We don't see anyone buying iPhones on eBay for double the retail cost: they'll just pop into the Apple or AT&T store instead. B Model Raspberry Pi's will sell all day long there for $60-$70 double the $35 retail.
What complete and utter nonsense. The manufacturers are making Raspi's AS FAST AS THEY CAN. That's not an artificial shortage, that's just a shortage. Now, I don't know whether you are trolling or are just ill informed, but we have sold nearly 900K units since launch, that's about 850k more than expected! There are limits to how fast a semiconductor fab can rattle these things out - the main problem is lead time - it's about 20wks from order to getting chips, 14-16 if you pay more, which isn't possible on the Pi due to its low cost. So there are certainly reasons why they are scare, but artificially restricting availability IS NOT ONE OF THEM. Fortunately, things are much improved now, so you can get them for the standard price, from the distributors fairly promptly.

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:32 pm
by pluggy
Things must have got a lot worse in the 3 weeks since I bought my last Pi, delivered inside 5 days and less than £30 including delivery & VAT. Or there are delusional people around.

I'm not exactly a fanboi, the Pi has many faults (USB anyone ?). It is a cheap cut down ARM board with enough price compromises to sink a battleship. Other than its price there is little reason to buy one. Its bearable to run as a low power always on device where you only need an SD card and a power supply to make it work headless. It isn't worth spending money on to make it into a seriously limited desktop. A 12 year old PC rescued from a skip will do a better job at being a desktop.

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:23 pm
by jamesh
pluggy wrote:Things must have got a lot worse in the 3 weeks since I bought my last Pi, delivered inside 5 days and less than £30 including delivery & VAT. Or there are delusional people around.

I'm not exactly a fanboi, the Pi has many faults (USB anyone ?). It is a cheap cut down ARM board with enough price compromises to sink a battleship. Other than its price there is little reason to buy one. Its bearable to run as a low power always on device where you only need an SD card and a power supply to make it work headless. It isn't worth spending money on to make it into a seriously limited desktop. A 12 year old PC rescued from a skip will do a better job at being a desktop.
And that has what to do with price gouging exactly?

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:40 pm
by Sosukodo
My only recourse is to speak with my wallet. I've chosen to abandon my Raspberry hopes in favor of a more affordable device.

Mods: feel free to delete this thread and my account.

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:45 pm
by BlueBill
Sosukodo wrote:My only recourse is to speak with my wallet. I've chosen to abandon my Raspberry hopes in favor of a more affordable device.
Curious as to what?

There's a local vendor here in Toronto, Canada that sells them for $42 retail.

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:51 am
by Vindicator
AHH the old fanboy maneuver, If you are not seeing it my way you must be a brainless fanboy of the product in question.
The Ebay gouging will continue as long as there are people who choose not to wait and will pay these exorbitant mark ups for any product and they will continue to order large multiple unit lots to sell on Ebay as long as purchasers are lining up for their product.
We do not have to agree with it,or to buy from these (people) but this tendency will continue until it discontinues to be profitable to them.
Let's also remember that the Foundation supports free enterprise even of this kind so they are not likely to involve themselves in reducing this free market sales type.
This situation will remain until supply outpaces demand, so if you do not want to be gouged then please place an order with a company that is not gouging and wait your turn for the product to arrive or if it can not wait then purchase one of the severely marked up Raspi's, but questioning the integrity of the honest retailers of the product will not speed up your order or stop the the gougers from continuing their enterprise.
If you expect more from the device than it has been designed for this again is not the fault of the foundation.(or the device)
The Raspberrypi has never been represented to replace even your 12 year old desktop so if you need a larger,faster ,much more expensive device to meet your needs then do not belittle the device for not meeting requirements of your project there is a possibility that your expectations have out stripped the ability of a $35 dollar device to fill those needs.
This of course would be you failing and not a failing of the device.(if you buy a Honda do not fault the Honda for not being a Ferrari.)

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:00 am
by Lob0426
Sosukodo wrote:My only recourse is to speak with my wallet. I've chosen to abandon my Raspberry hopes in favor of a more affordable device.

Mods: feel free to delete this thread and my account.
If your "wallet" comes up with a "more affordable" device. Please let the rest of us know what it is!

In the case of Adafruit. They are not a subsidiary of the Raspberry Pi partners. They buy at a higher price, so they charge a higher price.

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:45 am
by jamesh
Sosukodo wrote:My only recourse is to speak with my wallet. I've chosen to abandon my Raspberry hopes in favor of a more affordable device.

Mods: feel free to delete this thread and my account.
How silly. We have given you the places where you can buy the Raspberry Pi at it's specified price ($35 for the Model B, plus postage and tax), but still you seem to think you need to buy from people who have a large markup. Have you actually read and understood what the people here have been saying, or are you so convinced you are right you cannot accept the facts?

I also would like to know what your more affordable device is, since I do not believe there are any devices out there that can compete on price.

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:50 am
by Dweeber
Can you imagine this person wanting to buy a car or just about any product for that matter.... personally think it is just a troll since the two on the thread that are complaining about gouging only have post counts related to this thread.

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:27 am
by jamesh
Dweeber wrote:Can you imagine this person wanting to buy a car or just about any product for that matter.... personally think it is just a troll since the two on the thread that are complaining about gouging only have post counts related to this thread.
I'm inclined to believe its just a trolling attempt, can can be dissuaded.

Re: Price Gouging

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:09 am
by scep
'goldang' registered with a disposable email address just to make that post, which kind of sums this thread up -- closing.