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Disneyland Article
Fans Happy That The Park Is Cracking Down On Resellers

Club 33
Orange County Register
Marla Jo Fisher
December 10, 2018
December 15, 2018
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Most Disney fans seemed pleased Monday that Disneyland is taking action to limit the ability of people to buy merchandise inside the parks and then sell it at a markup.

So-called personal shoppers and flippers, who buy special limited-edition merchandise that's only sold inside the parks and then resell it immediately, frustrate other Disney fans who complain they wait in long lines at the parks and still sometimes can't buy collectible items because they're already sold out.

"I don't agree with passholders buying and reselling on eBay for exorbitant amounts - and they do," Disney fan Katie Ohmes of Scottsdale, Ariz., said. "I see it all the time."

On Friday, the Anaheim park is using a clause in the annual pass contract banning resale of discounted merchandise to revoke the passes of so-called "personal shoppers," and others who use their discounts at the parks, and then put the items up for sale either to individual clients or on auction sites like eBay.

Todd Regan said his readers were "overwhelmingly in favor of Disney taking some sort of action, especially to limit quantities that people can purchase."

On Monday, Disney officials said they believe it's unfortunate that some guests abuse the system and make it hard for other guests to purchase merchandise.

They said they understand how incredibly popular some of that merchandise is and want to help protect the experience of all guests, making it possible for more people to buy their products.

Small lapel-sized pins are among the most highly coveted and traded collectors' items and even employees get into the game-until resellers buy them all up and regular folks can't get them.

"It's actually the main reason I stopped pin trading and collecting," said Alexis Apodaca, a former cast member, who complained that people would buy the pins in bulk when they came out, and then inflate the price by 100 percent. "Should they lose their (annual pass) right away? I think a warning that they are watching them and if they are caught personal shopping again their pass could be revoked. To blindside them, I think was not such a nice approach."

Apodaca was talking about anecdotes from people whose passes have been recently revoked. They said they had no warning until Disneyland simply revoked their passes and some said they were unaware that it was against the rules to buy and then resell souvenirs.

Regan said he had mixed feelings about the issue, because he knows people who live far away who would like to collect park merchandise but can't always come to Anaheim to get it.

"I don't think very many passholders are unaware that you can't use your pass to make a profit," Regan said. "They are doing this to people who are really running businesses."

Sometimes it seems like the most ardent Disney fans will collect nearly everything, from plastic popcorn buckets to high-end purses. Some even collect the monogrammed paper towels available inside the restrooms at Club 33, Disneyland's private club.

Savvy Disney marketing teams capitalize on that hunger for Disney products by creating a seemingly endless series of limited-edition -well - everything that can be purchased only for a short time inside the parks.

This drives collectors to call in sick to work and drive to the park at dawn in order to stand in long lines to acquire their chosen objects. Sometimes, when people can't be there in person, they hire so-called personal shoppers who will go to the parks for them, or they buy on secondary markets such as eBay.

This frustrates individual shoppers who can find themselves standing in line behind resellers, only to learn that his item has been sold out.

"The situation has gotten out of control, with flippers buying up dozens of items, so even locals often times can't get the items," Regan said. "No one can get them except the people who mark them up."

Regan said that early in the morning he'd seen people with numerous collectible popcorn buckets that had just been released "running to their cars so they could get back and post them on eBay."

Many Disney fans said they would like to see Disneyland tighten up on quantities that people are allowed to purchase, perhaps by tracking them electronically on their passes.

Disney officials said they are looking at ways to use emerging technology to make the sales process fairer.

Annual passholder and collector Donna Collins of Valencia said she doesn't think Disneyland needs to revoke passes.

"Instead of revoking annual passes, they should limit the numbers of items they can purchase, and keep records so they won't allow any more sales," Collins said. "I think they are just trying to weed out annual passholders to control crowds prior to Star Wars land (opening next summer.) If they really wanted to limit the number of annual passes, they should just get rid of payment plans."
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