Sony’s latest video gaming system Playstation 3 is one of the hottest Christmas items of the season. The system is on the cutting edge of gaming technology and is in high-demand with most retailers selling out of systems before they hit the shelves, while some businesses haven’t even been able to meet their pre-order demands. PS3 retails for $599.99. . High demand always drives up prices and it has been reported that one PS3 system sold for $8000.00 on eBay not long after it was posted online.

When the system hit the market a little over a week ago, consumers could be seen standing in line, outside in the elements, literally days before the system was released in stores. I personally know of a person who stood in line just to see if someone would pay them for their spot in line. Someone did. $400 just for a space in line for the opportunity to purchase a PS3. My brother-in-law, who is the General Manager of a Best Buy in South Carolina told me that most individuals purchasing the PS3 were doing it to sell it, not because they wanted the system.

Then I heard about this story from Columbia, South Carolina related to the “Circuit City Six”. There were only six systems available at the Circuit City in Columbia, SC. The six individuals who purchased them did not even intend to keep the system. They are looking to make a buck. Of the six individuals, there were two married couples. This means that two families purchased two systems. For some of you, you’re thinking, “What’s the big deal?”. Others are thinking, like Karen Lewis who wroted the linked article above, “What a selfish thing to do. Some kid is desperately wanting a system that they probably won’t get because greedy adults are buying them up to sell on eBay.”

But there is another tidbit that leaves you scratching your head. The two couples who purchased 4 systems between them are Christians. Not only are they Christians, but they were youth pastors. Now, we all know that every youth pastor needs a PS3 (wanna wish me a Merry Christmas?), but these weren’t for themselves. They bought them to sell. When told of the rumored prices on eBay, Carly Bain (one of the “lucky” ones) said, “Praise God I’m selling it!”

Mrs. Lewis is angry. She is angry because she thinks it is sinful for these two couples to purchase a PS3 just to sell it. And it is likely they will sell it for a price way above it’s market value. But who determines market value other than those demanding the product. Isn’t this just good economics at work? Of course, I am thinking, who in the right mind would pay thousands of dollars for a PS3? I guess people with money will.

I guess my question is, where do we draw the line when trying to make a profit? If I own a car dealership, should I only sell cars to provide just enough income to meet my financial obligations to my staff, cover my costs, and feed my family? Is it wrong for me to get as much as the consumer is willing to pay for a car, knowing that I will pocket much more than what the car is actually worth?

What is troubling about the “Circuit City Six” is that, regardless of where we stand on entrepreneurism, in this case, Christians look greedy. Perhaps they are selling the PS3 to raise support for a life on the mission field (one can hope). Will not likely, would such a cause justify selling a gaming system at a grossly exaggerated, market-driven price? I’d love to hear your thoughts about this. So, won’t the seven of you who read this chime it. It would make my day.