Disturbed by scalpers

When surfing online like i’m doing so on Ebay or any similar platform, I see people selling their often brand new Librem5 for atleast 20% over the retail price…just to make profit.

That is in my opinion, a big thumb down since a lot and I mean A LOT of people are waiting for their phone being delivered.

People like that should be blacklisted from L5 its website to prevent any further scalping.

If they are located outside the US that 20% could be to cover their costs of delivery, tax, and import duty.


Funny, because I had the impression, many people are selling even with a loss…


Best way to deal with scalper: not buying from them.


I don’t know about scalpers, there’s high demand and people want their device now and are willing to pay for it.

Those for sale I’ve seen here on the forum (that weren’t vaporware) were priced well. Those on eBay are almost always an auction instead of a flat price due to the demand, and while it can be frustrating sometimes (my reservation price is easily eclipsed it seems) I view it as inevitable since the influx of devices to backers from Purism is slow.

Edit: I would like to also say this happened/is happening with PinePhone models too though to a lesser dollar extent, inbetween batches those not sold on the forums can often reach over $200 for the base model. People just want more Linux phones, and don’t want to wait if there’s another way to get them.


I do not think a lot of people funded a phone with the idea of putting it on eBay. The return on investment takes a long time and is a bit risky for someone with no other purpose for owning this kind of phone. Even if the only motive was profit, they at least helped fund the development and manufacturing costs. If they buy a phone now to take advantage of the lack of supply, they will probably not get their costs back, which will have to include the cost of shipping it again. By the time the phone is received, Purism will probably be very close to being able to ship a phone within a week or 2 for an order placed now. Privacy minded people prefer to buy from the source, so they may end up selling at a loss.

When you list something on eBay as an auction, there are 2 things that determine the price: The initial price, set the by the seller, and the second to last bid, set by a bidder who did not win. The seller is not in control of that last part.

I get that not everyone wants to deal with eBay, especially as a seller, but listing unwanted phones is a better option than asking for a refund, for both parties. Perhaps if more did that, the supply on eBay would be higher and the bids would be lower.


How does it harm us if someone else wants to sell their Librem 5 at any higher price? If anything, it only increases the perception that my Librem 5 will be worth even more than I paid for it. My place in line isn’t affected when someone else sells their Librem 5 at a profit. Why should we care what others do as long as they don’t change our deal?

I would rather have the value go up and not down.


Perhaps we should accept that the OP is “disturbed” - and it is valid for the OP to express how perse is feeling - and leave it at that? :slight_smile:

Because the purchase price now is significantly higher than the original purchase price, there is always going to be the potential for profit. That is not within the control of the person selling on ebay. That is within Purism’s control. Could an original backer have reasonably anticipated that situation? Doubtful, in my opinion.

Pretending for a moment that this change of purchase price did not occur, in my country, in very limited circumstances, this kind of scalping is illegal. The reason is that with a fundamental limit to supply, scalpers can buy up all the stock and then charge genuine customers more. In addition, there is a concern that this situation creates an incentive for counterfeit goods to be created. I doubt that either of those concerns applies in this case.

I would go with:

If the development of the Librem 5 were entirely funded by scalpers then I thank them for putting up the funds and waiting 3 years to make a profit. :wink:


I would take a different approach. I would make charging a fixed price illegal, and require that price is always tied to demand. But I would also make taking something off of the market to sell at a later time illegal. That way, the market more gracefully handles shortages and encourages additional production and additional inventory, and scalpers cannot sit on inventory and contribute to the scarcity problem. It also keeps inventory in the hands of legitimate sellers, which can also deal with the counterfeit problem.

  1. Profit benefits everyone.
  2. Librem 5 private sales over retail enhances the value for all of us.
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Would that not also encourage businesses to make lower quantity runs to keep the demand to supply ratio as high as possible?

I’m a bigger fan of “don’t buy from scalpers”. Rewarding the behaviour you’re against is counterproductive. Having protections in place for counterfeits and impersonations I’m wholly on board with, but laws to dictate price, not so much. Also I don’t think banning taking something off the market to sell later is reasonably enforceable; after all, how do you tell a scalper from someone whom doesn’t need the product after all/ordered too many/etc. This seems like the only enforcement remotely feasible would be to ban the entire secondhand market which I hope isn’t your goal.

They would make enough money to justify the effort of producing the phone unless it were selling for an unrealistic price… $10000+?

In the case of a phone, maybe. Since the original reference was to making this a law, I figured it would apply to more than just phones since trying to tailor laws to very precise devices would have its own issues of being impractical. As such I stand by my generalized statement that I think this would generally incentivize companies to produce less to keep profit margins as high as possible by keeping the hypothetically mandated price as high as possible.

Sure someone might argue “competition” but I think this encourages the whole supply chain to keep costs high this discouraging competition from starting up to begin with.

It seems to me that the very best incentive a company could get is a truly free market. Government simply does not work.

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I have many of the same issues with anti-scalping laws, which have different implementations around the world. I would rather not have them in most instances since they create avoidable shortages and poorly allocate capital (who gets there first is probably not the best method for determining the best owner of some types of equipment in an emergency). But if the problem is to be solved, it should at least be solved the best way.

If buyers value the reputation of the manufacturer, then quality should be kept in check. For some types of products and for some people, they might not care.


The simplest method is whether it costs more to get it than from the proper supplier. If so, then they’re scalping. Otherwise it’s used stock, it’s already subject to depreciation and will not sell for more than it was bought.

This is actually subjective, though logically it shouldn’t be. A buyer may think “unopened in box” as good enough to be considered “new” and thus be willing to pay a higher price for a hard-to-get “new” phone. Ultimately it is up to the buyer and what a given buyer is willing to pay for a given phone.


Maybe this forum should put up a used Librem store? I’m not annoyed by the scalpers because I haven’t seen or looked for them.

It would also cut down of Forum posts trying to sell (there aren’t that many now but it will certainly increase) because those folks would have their own category in a different pull-down than this forum. Puri.sm could also keep track of the hardware like a used-car dealer because those sellers would be “verified” former owners.

The mere thought about regulating the after market is disgusting. You should refrain from telling others what to do with their own property.


is a bit harsh. Let’s keep it civil :smiley: