Yes, I Condone The Hello Kitty Black Market

Sunday, June 23, 2013

I'm not quite sure exactly why I wanna start this post but you see, I'm mildly amused by people who get really angry and agitated over those scalpers that have emerged recently due to the McDonalds X Hello Kitty craze and of course, our lovely haze from Sumatra.

I'm sure this is not the only Want-To-Sell (WTS) post you see from the Internet. The idea is simple, head down to a 24-hour McDonald's at the stroke of midnight, buy 30 sets of Extra Value Meals and then top up a hundred over dollars for 30 kitties and then sell them at 900% profit.

Should they do that?

Well, as a genuine kitty collector, I do get annoyed when I head down to the nearest McDonald's barely 12 hours after the release, only to find that the kitties have been completely sold out and a visit to the next three restaurants are to no avail BUT I don't see anything wrong in buying these kitties in bulk and selling them at high price.

You see, the logic is simple. When demand exceeds supply, prices increase.

For example, when a country is on the verge of war, you will realize that provisions such as rice and canned foods will increase sharply in price. That's pretty reasonable right? Because demand exceeds supply, so the prices increase.

But why is it so infuriating for these people when we apply the same concept on Hello Kitties?
Image from McDonald's Singapore Facebook Page
"They capitalize on other's emotions driven by the desire to own one, so they shamelessly hoard them and turn them into a profitable scheme,"

Sounds like iPhone 5 isn't it? Remember how long the queue was when it was first launched? Does it not capitalize on people's desire to own one? If you're doing sales, this is the very basic thing you gotta do.

Ever heard of AIDA? In advertising, AIDA refers to Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. If you don't evoke desire in your customers, then your business is as good as dead.... So I'm not really sure if the comment above made sense.

Maybe it does, in a way. Most businessmen are heartless, immoral and selfish. But they are not wrong to do it, yes?

That being said, since ALL businessmen in ALL aspects of business are like that, why are there people getting so angry particularly at people who resell these kitties?

To me, if you're upset because these scalpers bought all the kitties (so as to sell them at crazy prices), I think you are better off getting upset with McDonald's for not limiting the number of kitties per customer can buy, until this upcoming Singing Bone. -__-

I mean, surely they would have anticipated this right? They've been pulling this Hello Kitty promotion since year 2000!

The market is like that -  in the case of the Hello Kitties, if you can afford the money, then you can skip the long crazy queue and buy straight from these scalpers. If you were to ask me, I will pay $35 for a kitty if I am desperate enough.

What? Are you crazy, Jac?

Well I don't think I'm mad because the cost of the kitty isn't just $4.60 per se - it is the cost of the Extra Value Meal ($5) + time queued (2.5hrs = $15? Give them $10/hr la) + energy to lug the kitties home ($5) + effort to post online ($2) + meet up ($5) so it would more or less come up to... $36.60 already woh.

At least, this is how I will charge others lah hahaha. Afterall, time and effort is also equals to money what no? You only need to pay, don't need to queue and don't need to stuff yourselves silly with those McD EVM week after week and don't need to stress whether still have stocks or not.

But because money is actually quite hard to earn, I will choose to queue lah. Or activate all my friends to help me - that's what friends are for ma, correct or not!

SO CUTE!!! Image also from McDonald's Singapore Facebook Page
Then there are people who talk about the poor who just wants to buy a kitty for their child to cheer them up. My suggestion, try to buy two kitties at one go. Then sell the other one at $35. You cover your cost and your child plays for free (and both of your meals are ALSO free!) - isn't that great?

The rich who cannot afford the time/effort to queue will pay for the not-so-rich to queue and they make money from there. I'd say this "black market" is quite meaningful. =)

By the way, please bear in mind that this black market arise because of the limited number of kitties that is currently in the market - if McDonald's really want to stop this "unhealthy buying and selling", they can always increase the number of kitties. When the supply increases, do you think people in the black market can sell $35 a piece?

Now that I've almost said it all, I'd just like to say the ugliest people in this entire Hello Kitty craze are those people who buy the Extra Value Meals only to throw them away. 

Eh please lah, if those EVM are useless to you, I'm appealing to you to bring them to the old folks' home or the orphanage. All these meals will bring a smile to their faces, you know? A trashbin won't smile at you for giving it food.

And... wouldn't it be nice to give back to the society?


I have also heard of cases of price jacking for the N95 masks. While I understand the concept of demand and supply, I feel that the selling price is TOO HIGH to be acceptable. LOL quite a contrary isn't it?

$4.60 kitty selling at $35 I can accept, $1 mask selling at $12 I cannot accept wtf.

For those who are not aware, the usual price of a 20-piece pack costs about $20. But during times like these, people sell them at $3, $5 or even $12 per piece, which works out to about $60 - $240 per box whadafuggggg.

Personally, I believe that every item, including people, has its worth. It is usually calculated by how much you like it and how useful it is to you.

Can I accept it if rice goes up to $100 per pack? Yes I can.

Can I accept it if the Hello Kitties are sold at $35 per piece? Yes I can.

Can I accept it if the Hello Kitties go up to $70 per piece? No I cannot.

Can I accept it if these N95 masks go up to $100 per box? No I also cannot.

Seriously, the mask is only useful during the hazy season - sometimes when it is not so jialat you wouldn't even need it at all. WTF are we gonna do with all these masks when the firemen put out the fire in Sumatra? Wear as bra meh?

That's why I think selling $12/piece for a N95 is really.... kill people set fire (杀人放火,乘火打劫!). Besides, it's not like I can eat it (ok, to be fair, I can't eat Hello Kitty also) and I won't really die if I don't wear a mask. I can always stay at home. Turn on air purifier. Wrap my face with some other stuff lol. And... it's not even cute. -__-

Anyway, now that the haze is (somewhat) over, you should probably take this time to stock up on the masks. Most stocks are already available in pharmacies and all, so I am quite sure prices would have stabilized. And since they have quite a long shelf life, you can keep them for next year.

Looking on the bright side, if next year's haze is equally jialat, you may find yourself a couple of hundred dollars richer!

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