Our FTC Complaint Has Been Filed:
NECA is Price-Fixing
Value vs. Non-Value Retailers

NECA RETAILERS Beware...Public Disclosure...
We have already filed our report and complaint with the FTC. We strongly advise that any retailer partaking in this price-fixing, market-divisional scam to consider the outcome if they continue honoring this agreement. You may consider filing your own complaint and possibly avoid any legal repercussions in the future at FTC.gov.


The REAL reason we will no longer do business with NECA
(National Entertainment Collectibles Association):



Overview...
NECA is attempting to fix prices and eliminate competition on Amazon and Ebay through cost manipulation. To a degree, they have succeeded in making it impossible to tell what your collectible is worth.

Although it was implied that would should NOT share this information- we will no longer be a part of this scammy and deceptive practice. NECA has been charging two different prices for product for nearly 2 years now.

The Program...
We were given two options to choose from:
"Value Retailer" or "Non-value Retailer"
We chose "Value Retailer".

"Value Retailers" (standard direct cost)
For sellers moving wares ONLY on their own websites & own physical stores they are charged standard cost. (They cannot sell anywhere else.) These sellers are called value retailers. Although we strongly opposed this idea, as marketplace sellers receive the benefit of HUGE amounts of traffic- NECA stated that if we did not honor the agreement, they would close our account. They stated value retailers are NOT allowed to sell ANYWHERE other than their own website, or brick-and-mortar store.

"Non-Value Retailers" (additional 33% increase to direct cost)
For retailers moving their wares on Amazon, Ebay or any other "marketplace" including but not limited to online marketplaces, these retailers are called "non-value retailers". These non-value retailers are required to purchase products at 33% HIGHER COST than "value retailers".

What It Means...
The first and foremost outcome of the "non-value retailer" selection is higher retail prices. This was aptly named by NECA as the name implies: NON-VALUE. "Non-value" is also a MASSIVE deception to give NECA's DIRECT RETAIL division a lower price-fixed advantage and, additionally, to mislead consumers into believing the item they purchased from a marketplace is worth more as a collectible than it truly is. By requiring non-value marketplace sellers to pay an additional 33% increase in cost, this ensures that NECA's direct retail division maintains a clear and over-whelming pricing advantage when selling on high-traffic exposure platforms, such as Amazon and Ebay.

After Seeing It In Action...
Although we sent numerous emails and placed a couple calls demanding that this program be abolished, NECA believes it is good practice to actively deceive its customers through price-fixing. We were informed that we were allowed to choose which program to enter, which is true. We chose the lesser of two evils: the lower priced program to continue passing the savings on to consumers. Only after choosing did we realize that our limited exposure, by not being on marketplace venues, stagnated our growth that had been off to such a huge start. We believe NECA did this intentionally to mislead retailers and capture a larger share of direct retail unethically. NECA has attempted and often has succeeded in "cornering" marketplace venues to be the lowest price through internal price manipulation and limiting competition. The factors setting the prices of NECA products ARE NOT BEING DETERMINED BY THE FREE MARKET. We believe this is a form of price-fixing. NECA REFUSED to modify the program or allow us to continue selling on marketplaces under an allowable provision (although they did make provisions for a few "select" retailers and distributors).

We were informed that ALL retailers, INCLUDING NECA'S RETAIL DIVISION, would be subject to the same pricing structure. This was a lie. By the time you do math on additional mark-ups, 15% for Amazon, 9-15% for Ebay, Paypal fees, etc..etc... it is NOT possible for NECA'S retail division to continue selling items on marketplace venues at "standard retail" unless they are receiving their goods at "value-retailer cost" and violating their own agreement. The math doesn't work.

Going Forward as A Consumer...
When researching the value of your items on marketplaces, you are looking at grossly inflated prices on many items. "Non-value" retailers are selling many items BELOW cost now just to get rid of them. We believe the NECA market is rapidly decaying and the engagement between NECA and its retailers is deteriorating rapidly due to this price-fixing scam. Additionally, we believe retailers are starting to realize than this has been extremely detrimental to their own business and it is no longer advantageous to promote NECA products.

Although we will no longer carry NECA products EVER-AGAIN, we are exposing this unethical and, in our opinion, illegal program in the hopes that they will abolish it allowing remaining NECA retailers to go back to business as usual. Although we could just walk away and not care- we always believe in taking correct action. Taking correct action sometimes means standing up for others even when there is no longer ANY benefit for ourselves. We simply believe in doing what is right.

As a futher note, Amazon states that they will get involved anytime a price-fixing scam appears on their website for the best interest of their customers. We contacted Amazon at the senior management level and were informed that they would do nothing about it.

Although this may seem advantageous to consumers if they simply purchase from NECA at retail, be aware that the ENTIRE line of NECA collectibles appreciation value is now tainted. Accurate research cannot be performed due to "non-value" retailers marking up said items ARTIFICIALLY 40% or more due to price manipulation. If the item you purchased is worth HALF of what you paid, we believe that may STILL be an overstated appraisal.

Our Opinion...
Although these agreements are OCCASSIONALLY legal when manufacturers put them forth of their own free-will, it is our assertion that they are NOT legal when manufacturers have their own retail division and exclude their retail division from said agreement. We were told that NECA's retail division would also be charged "non-value costs" for selling on such venues- but is obvious that this agreement has been violated. A thorough review of NECA's accounting practices will/would expose this practice in violation of their own agreement.

Additionally, we believe that NECA has broken the law through-
vertical price-fixing:
an illegal arrangement in which parties at different levels of a system of production and distribution act to fix the market price of goods.

We also believe that NECA's actions have also ushered in a NEW scope of illegal-
Market Division:
between that of brick-and-mortar stores and online venues.

From the FTC: Plain agreements among competitors to divide sales territories or assign customers are almost always illegal. These arrangements are essentially agreements not to compete: "I won't sell in your market if you don't sell in mine."

Competitors have been forced to operate among divided sales territory- brick-and-mortar vs. online marketplace venues with NECA acting as the liaison and forcible instigator (ringleader).


Buyer Beware...
As NECA product quality rapidly decreases to drive their own cost lower, just know that you are often over-paying for these items on marketplace venues due to the "non-value retailer agreement". The only good thing that may come from this, is the fact that as retailers pull-away from peddling NECA goods, they are often dumping them on marketplace venues FAR BELOW their costs. These products in our opinion, for the most part, are no longer in demand anyway- so buyer beware.

NECA RETAILERS Beware...Public Disclosure...
We have already filed our report and complaint with the FTC. We strongly advise that any retailer partaking in this price-fixing, market-divisional scam to consider the outcome if they continue honoring this agreement. You may consider filing your own complaint and possibly avoid any legal repercussions in the future at FTC.gov.

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