Target puts nonexistent New Nintendo 3DS XL on sale

From Target’s weekly ad published today:
Target puts nonexistent New Nintendo 3DS XL on sale - Bent Corner
How is Target allowed to put something on sale they don’t have? Target doesn’t have the New Nintendo 3DS XL. They’ve been out of stock since Black Friday.

Here’s a recent photo I took at the Hagerstown Target. It’s the locked case that normally has Nintendo handheld consoles:

Target puts nonexistent New Nintendo 3DS XL on sale - Bent Corner
The Nintendo handheld console case at the Hagerstown, Maryland Target.

I could take another photo this morning and it would look actually the same. Target doesn’t have any New Nintendo 3DS XL consoles for sale. Target hasn’t had any New Nintendo 3DS XL consoles for sale for nearly a month. What does Target do? They lower the price of the non-existent game console from $199.99 to $174.99, saving the consumer $25.

If Target had any. Which they don’t.

If Target is going to place nonexistent products on sale, why lower the price only $25? Why not lower the price all the way down to $49.99? It’s not like they will have to sell any units at that price.

They don’t have any.

Walmart helping scalpers gouge customers on the Nintendo 3DS XL

The New Nintendo 3DS XL, a handheld gaming console first released nearly two years ago is still sold out nationwide. The units usually sell for $199.99. Because of the demand and non-availability, third-party “retailers” are selling these units on eBay, Amazon, and even Walmart, at a huge markup.

So if you need to buy a Nintendo 3DS XL, all you have to do is go to Walmart.com and pay $145 above MSRP, and it can be yours.

Walmart is helping scalpers gouge their customers - Bent Corner

The website shows that’s not being sold by Walmart, but by BOS Inc. Who exactly is BOS Inc.? The Walmart site is pretty vague about that. It shows they’re located in the state of Michigan. At least they’re charging Michigan sales tax. It wouldn’t surprise me if BOS Inc. was owned by Walmart.

So not only did Walmart, the largest most powerful retailer in the world, not get enough New Nintendo 3DS XL units to satisfy demand, they’re serving as a conduit for scalpers.

Back in the day, scalpers would prowl the aisles at Walmart on the lookout for high-demand toys and collectibles. They would buy them and then immediately post them on eBay a huge markup. Now, Walmart has made it even easier for scalpers. Instead of making them go to eBay, they’re allowing them to gouge customers right on the Walmart website.

Walmart is helping scalpers gouge their customers - Bent CornerAs soon as Christmas is over, I’m sure all sorts of Nintendo 3DS units will be found everywhere. That’s usually the way it works. With that said, who would pay $345 for a New Nintendo 3DS XL now when they can be found next month for $199? Parents who feel that because of Christmas, they have no choice but to pay too much. Non-custodial divorced parents are especially susceptible to this scam.

Non-custodial divorced parents are already in a vulnerable spot when it comes to their children. The time they get to see their children is usually very limited. In a desperate attempt to remain relevant to their son or daughter, they will often spend way too much money on Christmas, particularly when the other parent is doing the same thing.

It’s sad, and it’s one of the reasons I hate Christmas.  

Why does Nintendo create artificial demand?

If you wanted to buy a Nintendo New 3DS XL this holiday season, you’ve probably noticed they’re hard to come by. That’s because Nintendo of America artificially creates a higher demand for these hand-held game consoles by purposely not making enough to satisfy the demand. Why? How does this benefit Nintendo and its shareholders? I see how it helps eBay and Amazon scalpers, but not Nintendo.

The Nintendo New 3DS XL has a manufacturer suggested retail price of $199.99. Try buying one right now at that price. You can’t, not from a standard retailer. They’re all sold out. You can find them on the secondary market, but not at that price.

Why does Nintendo create artificial demand? - Bent Corner
What good is buying an abiibo Pit figure if you cannot buy the game console it interacts with?

I just don’t get it. Nintendo can’t make money from selling games and game accessories if consumers can’t get their hands on the game console. If you want to buy a Playstation 4 or an Xbox One, there’s really nothing hard about it. You just go to a store and buy one. That’s not the case with anything made by Nintendo.

When the Nintendo Wii first came out ten years ago, they were very hard to obtain. People who had no natural interest in the gaming consoles would search stores for them so that they could then post them for sale on Craigslist. People needing a Wii for Christmas presents for their children would happily buy them from a scalper on Craigslist.

This scheme on Nintendo’s part seems so short sided. What they should be doing is flooding the market with their consoles. Once consumers have the console, they’ll then be in a position to buy games, from retailers and directly from Nintendo through their digital download store.

It’s like the razors and blades business model. Companies sell the razors at a loss, but make up for it with selling lots and lots of disposable blades. I’m not saying Nintendo should be selling New 3DS XL consoles at a loss, but they should make enough for people to actually buy them.