A Case of Manipulating the Market Using E-bay: Kindle EBook Reader

I am not an expert in market or economics and I haven't bought anything online ever in my entire life. But one thing is for sure. I do know about scalpers. Scalpers, in our country refer to the people outside any entertainment venue, be it sports, concerts, promotions - anything that is live and requires paid tickets to get in - who sell tickets they bought to people who are anxious to get in at extremely ramped up prices. In simple terms, they are people who engage in a simple buy and sell scheme. In some countries it is illegal. But for online, I guess it is another matter.

The example I would like you all to be aware of is the new hyped up: Amazon E-Book Reader called Kindle. Undoubtedly a breakthrough product in terms of its features and not to mention its long awaited entrance into the market. The Kindle is an E-book reader that every avid book reader wants. Compact, sleek and useful, it is the E-book Reader for the books. No pun intended.

I for one, would have liked to buy one, if my finances permit me.


The point is that a lot of unscrupulous people have taken advantage of the dismally slow manufacturing of the product. Amazon immediately ran out of stocks reportedly because people have scrambled to get their hands on one. Undoubtedly - a lot of them would pay for more than premium prices to get one for bragging rights.

This prompted Amazon to put this message out:

Okay, so it ran out, so what? Well look at the next picture kimosabe!

Now, is it wrong? Yes. Is it illegal? No. Go figure.

From the original price of $399.00 US, people at E-bay hiked it from $ 405.00 US to $ 499.00 US. Amazing.

My Stand

This is morally wrong. Now, I don't know about the rest of you people in the world today, but in my own humble opinion nothing could - and should be done about this. This is after all, a device for leisure and entertainment accessible for you guys living in the so called First World.

I am not singling out e-bay on this nor am I pointing only to the evils wrought by the Internet. People do this and people do this to other more important things too. It would hurt if they do that with rice that's for sure. It would hurt if they do that for water that is for sure. It would hurt if they do that for all the basic human needs. This is my stand.

Despite all my imperfections as a human being - as an earthling living on the planet Earth - I believe that the impending and inevitable scarcity of basic human goods or resources would be heightened by this "entrepreneurial scheme" to buy and sell things at higher prices. True, legislating about that would stifle whole economies to say the least. True, the demarcation between legitimate buying and selling is easily obfuscated by misdeclarations of usage. But what choice do we have?

If you have read up to this point, let me make it a point that this is not only an article about E-bay or Amazon or Kindle. It is about the future. It will be a future of scarce resources, of higher prices - due to practices like these. These are practices not illegal - In fact given the right declaration and obfuscation of circumstances - they can be seen as perfectly normal commercial activities.

What does this mean for you?

One day you will find out.

As for me, I am living in it everyday. We pay for water here at more than 400 % the normal rate. Instead of the water utilities we have the water haulers who charge the same amount as one month water if it came from the utilities per water tank delivery.

I am living in a place where government subsidized "cheap rice" is being resold illegally to commercial rice retailers at discount prices giving the businessmen enormous discounts and enormous profits.

Even as the world's supplies dwindle every minute, they continue on doing these practices.

The question is when will we take a stand. When it's too late?

Why I said nothing could be done about this. Because after you've read this - you are definitely going to click a new icon on your browser. After you have read this, you will say, "I know about this already, so far I can still make do with the current resources. This is the government's job."

But will they do it? Government's around the world have increasingly shared and reinforced the same characteristic: Not listening to their people. Millions protested against the War in Iraq - Government did squat. Now Iraq is a hell hole.

As are most of my articles - this article is unfinished since this business is unfinished.

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