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Thread: Artificial scarcity and the high price of BEWD

  1. #1

    Artificial scarcity and the high price of BEWD

    I was thinking about this today and I wanted to put this out for discussion. The price for BEWD is through the roof. I wonder how much of that is what I call "artificial scarcity". Essentially, the card is so good and so universally useful that people want more than one copy. In other words, the quantity of cards available for sale or trade has dropped because people want more than one. What do you think?

  2. #2
    That's....kinda basic economics. Supply and demand; same supply as any other Rare card, but much higher demand, ergo higher prices.

  3. #3
    Re-reading your post, it looks like you're talking about people that would ordinarily only get 1 are picking up multiple unnecessarily. That's probably combining with a high demand and people are speculating on them - holding on to them and doling them out slowly to make more money.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by cbone3 View Post
    I was thinking about this today and I wanted to put this out for discussion. The price for BEWD is through the roof. I wonder how much of that is what I call "artificial scarcity". Essentially, the card is so good and so universally useful that people want more than one copy. In other words, the quantity of cards available for sale or trade has dropped because people want more than one. What do you think?
    Personally, I think that is a misuse of the term "artificial scarcity". I get what you're going for, but I would argue that artificial scarcity is created by the manufacturer, ie, "short printing" cards in other games. For example, in yugioh, a card could be a common, but short printed to be a common that only exists once per box. Or, in 1 example, 1 per case. (Yes, this has happened. What an awful format october 2013 was)

    Anyways, I do agree that people want multiple copies of this card, because they can play it everywhere. This is more of a supply and demand issue. Yugioh wasn't popular as a set until sometime after worlds, when the price of bewd increased. This led to distributors and retailers increasing the price of the Yugioh set because the demand for the cheap boxes would be quickly exceeding their supply, since few cases were ordered to begin with.

    It opens the door to dangerous practices for sure though, and I touched upon this in a blog post I wrote here. Now that we have 8 super rares per set, just think about what could happen if this kind of thing was applied to a super rare card? We're essentially in a situation now where we have to trust that Wizkids will not decide to ramp up "powercreep" and print more Tsarina level cards at insane rarities just to sell more product and line their wallets. I'm not saying it will happen. I am saying that it can. If anyone will be guilty of this, it'll probably be retailers first, as they do basically set the prices for everything. I'd be curious to see how many copies of bewd rare were sold on average both before and after csi jacked the price up.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Osprey View Post
    Personally, I think that is a misuse of the term "artificial scarcity". I get what you're going for, but I would argue that artificial scarcity is created by the manufacturer, ie, "short printing" cards in other games.
    I guess it depends on how you look at it. It is actual scarcity on the secondary market. But it is artificial scarcity if you look at the raw numbers produced. That, of course, assumes that it is produced in the same proportions as other rares as you (very astutely) pointed out.

  6. #6
    Funny enough the price has actually dropped considerably. It used to be a 60 dollar rare.

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    If CSI lowered the price, they wouldn't have any BEWDs to sell.

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    I wonder if that's because people started snapping-up boxes since one BEWD paid for all 180 cards. Increased supply from people looking to sell (and profit) dropped the price. THAT is kinda basic economics.

  9. #9
    I bought a box of Yugioh only because I figured I'd get a BEWD out of it. And it worked out!

    Ironically, I've only used the Apocalypse rebrand I made in place of it, but if I ever go to a tournament I'll need the proper BEWD credentials.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by cbone3 View Post
    I wonder if that's because people started snapping-up boxes since one BEWD paid for all 180 cards. Increased supply from people looking to sell (and profit) dropped the price. THAT is kinda basic economics.
    ugioh wasn't popular as a set until sometime after worlds, when the price of bewd increased. This led to distributors and retailers increasing the price of the Yugioh set because the demand for the cheap boxes would be quickly exceeding their supply, since few cases were ordered to begin with.
    I thought I pointed that out. Look at how quickly boxes were being snapped up after the price jump on bewd. People rationalized that they had about a 60-75% or so chance of pulling one from a box, so why not order a box and try to get other cards they could use to play with or trade? Around here, a lot of the yugioh got snapped up really quickly and it's been difficult to get more in as it's popular prize support for locals.

  11. #11
    My point in posting what I did was to specifically point out that those cards were intended to go to the secondary market more than usual, so it impacted prices directly and immediately.

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