Go to eBay, and search for the following:
Click on the first category, it should have about 8000 listings, give or take.
Now pick an auction that's ending soon, of which there will be several, and watch the price.
I clicked on the first listing I saw that was for the system only. No games (besides the bundled-with-the-system Wii Sports, usually listed as “5 GAMES” because it looks better that way, and technically does include 5 different sports you can choose from), no extra controllers, nothing except what comes in that big, white, unspoiled box.
The auction, which ended 29 seconds after I clicked on it, showed the final bid for the new Wii console at $421.55.
That's a little less than $200 over retail value.
This is a full YEAR after this consumer electronic product hit shelves, people.
I can't remember the last time that people have been this damn ravenous over a product that has been on store shelves for over a full calender YEAR. It's like people forget that the Wii, while admittedly whipping major-league ass in sales over the Microsoft Xbox 360 and positively trouncing the Sony PLAYSTATION 3, is still available for sale in periods that don't directly precede Christmas.
Rather than going out in, I don't know, FUCKING OCTOBER and paying $200 dollars less for the system your kid has been whining about since LAST holiday season, these Alpha Moms and Domesticated Dads are deservedly having to pay an insane premium in penance for their short-sightedness.
If I was one of these sellers, and I was sitting there watching the price climb, netting me more pure profit as the seconds tick on and multiple saps duke it out, frantically bidding and re-bidding , all in a competition to hand me two crisp C-Notes, I would be in stitches. I would literally fall to the floor laughing, pointing in the direction that I think the dumb bastards might be in. I would see my profit swell and rise and fatten, and all the while I would sit in front of my computer laughing and clapping my hands like a young child watching a magic show.
Because that's what it is, folks. It's magic. I've got no other ideas on how to explain the overwhelming success of the Nintendo Wii, to say nothing of the Nintendo DS (that fucker prints money). I've got no logical reason as to why the average consumer is no more than a tool of the market. Like watching the magician throw the deck against the window to reveal my card sticking on the other side, I can barely believe that, in the span of a few short years, the entire concept of retail has been forever changed due to the advent of the digital marketplace.
That's just fuckin' amazing.