Capitalizing on Demand: Why Resellers Are Justified in Selling Above MSRP

In the world of retail, reselling has emerged as a lucrative business model, allowing individuals to capitalize on the demand for limited-edition products or items that are difficult to obtain. However, one common question arises: Is it ethical or legitimate for resellers to sell above the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP)? In this article, we will delve into the various factors that contribute to the practice of reselling above MSRP, exploring both the benefits and potential concerns associated with this approach.

  1. Supply and Demand Dynamics:

One fundamental principle that drives reselling above MSRP is the interplay between supply and demand. When a product is in high demand but limited in supply, the market equilibrium can quickly shift, leading to price surges. This scarcity and exclusivity drive consumers to pay a premium to acquire the desired product promptly. Resellers play a vital role in bridging the gap between supply and demand, facilitating access for consumers who are unable to secure the product through conventional means.

  1. Time and Effort Investment:

Successful reselling requires considerable time, effort, and expertise. Resellers often invest substantial resources in researching trends, attending events, and monitoring market fluctuations to identify high-demand products with potential resale value. They navigate through online marketplaces, negotiate with suppliers, and manage logistics to ensure the smooth delivery of goods to the end consumer. Selling above MSRP enables resellers to recoup their investment, compensate for the time and effort invested, and earn a reasonable profit for their services.

  1. Opportunity Cost:

Reselling also involves an inherent opportunity cost. Resellers take on financial risks by tying up their capital in inventory, dedicating storage space, and committing time and resources to the business. By selling above MSRP, resellers can mitigate the risk and maximize their returns. The additional revenue earned compensates for the potential losses that may occur due to market fluctuations, price drops, or unsold inventory.

  1. Expanding Accessibility:

Resellers often provide access to products that would otherwise be inaccessible or difficult to obtain for the average consumer. By leveraging their connections, expertise, and resources, resellers create a more inclusive marketplace where enthusiasts, collectors, or passionate individuals can acquire coveted items. Selling above MSRP serves as a mechanism to allocate goods more efficiently, ensuring that those who value the product the most can obtain it, even if they have missed out on initial retail availability.

  1. Market Regulation and Pricing:

The concept of MSRP is a manufacturer’s suggested retail price, implying that it represents a recommendation rather than a binding pricing constraint. Manufacturers often allow resellers the flexibility to set prices based on market demand and supply. By permitting reselling above MSRP, manufacturers acknowledge the complexities of the market and the value added by resellers. It also allows for a competitive marketplace where resellers can differentiate themselves based on factors such as reputation, customer service, or product authenticity.

  1. Risk and Uncertainty:

Reselling ventures carry inherent risks, especially when dealing with limited supply or trending products. Fluctuations in market demand, price drops, or changes in consumer preferences can significantly impact the potential profitability of reselling ventures. By selling above MSRP, resellers account for these uncertainties and ensure a reasonable margin of profit that justifies the risks they undertake.

  1. Free Market Principles:

Selling above MSRP aligns with the principles of a free market economy. In such economies, prices are determined by supply and demand dynamics, and businesses are free to set their prices based on various factors. Resellers, acting as independent entities, are entitled to determine the price for their goods and services. This autonomy fosters competition and innovation, benefiting both consumers and resellers themselves.


While the practice of reselling above MSRP may spark debate and criticism, it is essential to recognize the factors that contribute to its legitimacy. The interplay between supply and demand, the investment of time and effort, the opportunity cost, and the risks associated with reselling all justify the practice of selling above MSRP. Additionally, the free market principles, market regulations, and the value-added by resellers further support the viability of this business model.

Reselling, when conducted ethically and transparently, plays a crucial role in providing access to sought-after products, expanding market accessibility, and facilitating the efficient allocation of goods. As long as consumers are willing to pay above MSRP for the value, convenience, and unique services resellers offer, this practice will continue to be a legitimate and viable aspect of the retail ecosystem.