Carried over conversation from here:
There's a big difference between by being ripped off and paying retail. For instance If a newbie bought some posters from you're online store Dave, they would be paying retail prices, not necessarily paying too much. The tough part is buying posters that have never been auctioned or have never sold online before. When this happens I research what the US posters in that title have sold for in the past..
No one said the phrase 'ripped off' he said over spent. I would doubt any newbie to the hobby has never overpaid for a poster in his/her early days - it's part of the learning process. You buy, you get excited, you buy more, then you wonder if there is anyone else as weird as you and so you hunt out other people of a like mind, you find them (here
) and listen to their experience - the goods ones point you in the right direction and you learn, the others are called the Poster Price Police and serve no purpose at all.
I truly believe there is no such thing as "retail price" in this hobby simply because what governs the price is demand not margin. I have no issue with people bench-marking against databases (eg EMP and HA) to get a guide, but that is the price they sold it for and as that was at auction and simply because of that reason alone there is NO guarantee that is what the next one will sell for (sometimes only a few weeks later).
I get offered posters from time to time, almost all sellers have done their own research and I can assure you that the seller's expectation of the price I should pay them is rarely based on EMP, almost always it is either the highest eBay prices they can find or at an extreme level Dave Lieberman (and I am not criticising his prices at all). Conversely if I am selling one that they think the price is too high and want to tell me so to see if they can get the price down, they invariably quote EMP prices.
It's a good topic, it often gets discussed at some level or another (and ends up a heated or muck throwing one); IMHO there is no wrong answer, just as long as you know Reggie my friend, there are some answers that are less right than others...
PS: if a person buys from my online outlet he invariably worships me, showers me with gifts or offers up a virgin sacrifice in my name, you know, the usual stuff...