Thursday, November 30, 2006

Double Post!: In Search of Wii & eBay Next-Gen Analysis [Update]

Since my last post about Wii availability, I've been searching high and low, online and offline, for this scarce console. After much disappointment, I decided a little more research was in order, so I spent a good half-day perusing forums and discussion boards, as well as plentiful pages of Google. From all that, I have concluded this: It's not worth even attempting to get a Wii until December 1st. Luckily for me, December 1st is tomorrow.

What gives me this idea? It's not crazy logic, or pulled-out-of-my-butt statistics (well, some of that later on). Just go scan over's Wii discussion board to see compiled list of store availability. Use the plethora of Wii trackers to confirm that, save Wal-Mart, most online retailers have been eerily stingy with their available quantities since release week. Go to your local Meijer and ask when their next shipment is due (I found they're the only folks who actually don't guard shipment dates like classified government documents... if you stop in the store).

Long story short, this weekend's your best chance to snag a Wii before Christmas comes and goes. Gather your camping gear- it's console-huntin' time. More after the jump.

On a slightly related topic, here are some eBay stats of today's performance for the Wii and Playstation 3:

  • Wii Listed on eBay: 51582
  • PS3 Listed on eBay (20G&60G): 72850
(Note: These numbers may include re-listed auctions, cancelled auctions, and most definitely include unsold auctions. The actual number of individual consoles listed is probably around 3/4 these numbers.)
  • Average Profit Margin (%) for Wii: 92.6%
  • Average Profit Margin (%) for PS3 (20G/60G): 44.3%/52.6%
(*Note: Data taken from the average of 5 auctions (of each type) offering only the console, and the auction must have been successful.)

If you had $1800 to spend, and consoles magically became available at retail price, which should you purchase (if you intended to resell?)
  • Expected Profit for Wii (You'd be able to buy 7): $1614.2
  • Expected Profit for PS3 (Able to buy 3 20G/3 60G): $663.6/$945
(Note: The profit here does not include eBay listing fees or final value cuts taken out upon a successful auction. Because there are so many variables when accounting for what type of listing you want, and how much your item sells for, I offer a guesstimate of $5.00 to list the item and .0525x$25+.03x($Closing Value) to account for eBay's cut of the final sale=~$27-34 for PS3s and ~$20 for Wii. This amount is per auction.)

So, if I were to purchase a few consoles this holiday season with a set budget, I'd get the Wii. But hey, the market's a crazy place. PS3 prices may soar soon, for all anyone knows. I just find it highly intriguing that the PS3, for being as scarce as it is, isn't fetching higher prices. You'd figure there's plenty of Wii going around for people to camp out their local stores and snag one, yet they're selling on eBay like hotcakes. PS3s, on the other hand, aren't available at all, and they're selling for less than the Wii (in terms of profit for the seller).

Perhaps this goes to show that $600+ is indeed too high a price for a console, or maybe the whole supply shock of PS3s got to Sony's buyer base. Either way, it's interesting.

A spreadsheet of this data is viewable here, with pretty tables and charts! Feel free to disprove my math- I suck at statistics.

[Update: After going off some tips from the Amazon Wii board, I managed to snag a Wii this weekend. Great times in line, but sadly, I didn't have a camera to capture the moment. Of course, everyone made a mad dash for the extremely-underproduced Wii Nunchucks and SD sticks. My lesson for this launch was learned: screw online retailers during the holidays- just use their message boards to find stock of real retail stores.]

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