Recently, I've read gossip about some shopping services in Japan. I guess these shopping services are no longer satisfied charging the 8% or 10% fee to shop for you, and are looking for other ways to cash in... Their misconduct doesn't extend to the point of directly affecting the SS customers (they aren't scamming people, per se)--however, their business practices might still negatively affect others, and may eventually trickle-down to affect the rest of the lolita community.
I've heard accounts of shopping services that arrive at Closet Child during sales/releases, shove regular shoppers out of the way, grab stuff from other people, and carry off entire racks of dresses. They then take these dresses to online secondhand communities and resell them for double or triple the original price of the item at Closet Child. (In other words, they are scalpers.) The practice has gotten so bad that supposedly Closet Child is raising their prices in response to these secondhand scalpers.
Based on various clues, I've already seen several of these resellers on EGL comm sales as well as other sales communities (I see a bunch of dresses on the Closet Child blog--and the next week, notice that the same set of dresses are being sold on the sales comm for 2x or 3x the previous price). To add to the sketchiness, these resellers often pose as "normal girls living in Japan," but after looking through their profiles, it's clear that they are businesses that are pretending to be girls--and their targets are unaware foreigners, not people living in Japan. The prices are still somewhere within the reasonable budget for most lolitas shopping on the sales comm, so there's no issue with the resellers unloading much of their stock...but a part of me wants to say to the buyers: "Hey! You're being scalped! And potentially supporting a corrupt business!"
...So I wanted to ask:
- Is there anything technically "wrong" with what they're doing?
- Should the lolita community respond to this kind of behavior? (Or is it up to Closet Child/the mods/other authorities to monitor and stop this kind of thing?)
- If you found out that your shopping service/seller acquired your dress through unethical means, would you still purchase it?
- If you knew that a particular seller is a business that uses this practice (buying a secondhand dress with the specific intention of marking it up and selling it on the comm sales), would you still buy from them?
- On the comm sales, there's a rule against accusing others of scalping, and that people are allowed to set whatever price they want on items. However, should the same rule apply to businesses?