Yesterday we reported how customers living in Nordic countries were getting screwed by greedy Nintendo distributors scalping the SNES Classic at the wholesale level. Some people remain skeptical and are convinced the abnormal large markup comes from the retailers themselves.
In Sweden, the SNES Classic costs SEK1500 (USD178.09) at retail. This is more than thrice the amount a customer pays in the US for the same product. The NES Classic merely costed SEK800 (USD94.98) at retail last year, so we’re looking at a huge difference of SEK700 (USD83.11) between the SNES and NES Classic in Sweden.
To find out who is really at fault, Swedish gaming website FZ spoke to gaming retailer Inet and Bergsala, the official Nintendo distributor in Scandinavia.
FZ: As a retailer, do you pay more for the SNES Classic Edition than the NES Classic Edition?
“The SNES Classic wholesale price is significantly higher as compared to the NES Classic”, says Johan Wahlberg, Marketing Director of Inet.
FZ: Please tell us how many SNES Classic Edition units Inet is getting.
“I can say we are getting more SNES Classic units than last year’s NES Classic, but the difference isn’t much. This isn’t what we expected when Nintendo said they would produce significantly more units.”
FZ: How many SNES Classics do you think you can sell if you could order as many units as possible?
“I can’t give an exact figure, but it’d be in the thousands.”
When FZ asked Bergsala about the pricing of the SNES Classic Edition, Bergsala said it’s the retailers and not Bergsala who sets the price. Bergsala avoided the question on how the wholesale cost to retailers affects the retail price.
A newly implemented “chemical tax” partly affects the price of the SNES Classic in Sweden. The tax is determined by the weight of an electronic appliance (120 SEK/USD14.25 per kg). Given that the SNES Classic is a small and light device, the tax should be no more than 100 – 150 SEK (USD11.87 – USD17.81). Inet confirmed that the chemical tax does not constitute as a huge part of the price.
If Bergsala tries to use the chemical tax as justification for the high selling price, it doesn’t make sense as two other countries which they serve, Norway and Finland, have similar prices (USD143.80 and USD138.15 respectively).
In short, this interview confirms Bergsala is scalping the SNES Classic Edition at a wholesale level, taking advantage of its high demand and limited availability. They know full well there will be many customers purchasing them at the end of the day.