Semantics. Corporations love to manipulate semantics to do something illegal by calling it something that is legal. They came up with multi-level marketing so they could legally run a pyramid scheme. I think I heard, somewhere in the United States, some company took a whole bunch of people off the payroll permanently, but called it something different from being fired or laid off in order to legally deny unemployment compensation. When they lobby a politician, that’s legal bribery. Blackmail is renamed to business. There is no end to the examples, so let’s stop here and get to the example du jur. Retail.
Scalping is defined as buying something and reselling it (often with a price mark-up) without adding any actual value. Commonly used in ticket resale, as it’s one of the most common examples of illegal scalping. (Note: If you live in the United States, this practice may still be legal, but somewhat restricted, depending on where you live, but generally, ticket scalping is illegal in most of the world.) You can’t buy tickets to a show or game, and then resell them, even if you just changed your mind and aren’t marking up the prices. However, a big corporation, in many areas, can buy most of the tickets, add their own mark-up, and call it retail. Even so, many places limit how much they can mark up the price over face value, but a lot of places don’t. Corporate semantic manipulation at its finest.
Now, let’s take the practice of retail outside of ticket sales into the private world. Let’s say I bought product X on the internet for a certain price. Now, I want to sell it to you for 10% more than I paid for it. More often than not, you’re going to turn me down. Why? Because I’m ripping you off. The exception is if I wanted the product and then, at some point, I no longer wanted it. Even so, there’s nary a way I’m going to get away with marking up the price. In most cases like this, the product will be used, so I’d have to mark it down. In order to get away with a mark-up, I’d have to add value. Otherwise, it’s a scam. Well, that’s exactly what retail is. When you go shopping at your retail stores, you are enabling scalping. Retail establishments don’t add any value to their products. They just buy it, mark it up, and sell it to you. Retail, by definition, is scalping. Think about that next time you go to a department store.