Roger Caffin, Kat,
I am not against the free market, profit and Capitalism in the real world.
I am not looking to shutdown eBay and Amazon.
Kat used the example of the real estate market boom and many profited from selling at high prices. That's the free market that I'm totally OK with.
What I am whining about (more cheese with that wine please) is that BPL is a community. Amazon and eBay are are free markets without a community.
When selling a product to your brother (assuming you like your brother,) or selling a car to your son, or selling a power tool to a member of your adventure club, or buying a used piano from someone in your church community, do you gouge with the intent to make an excessive profit? or do you set a fair value price, based on the original price of a brand new item at a retail store, then reduce a percentage based on age and condition. That's ethics, and good karma. You can't legislate ethics.
Buying a new product from a retailer for price 1X, then a week later trying to resell for 3X on Gear Swap, when it's still available at the retailer for 1X is disrespectful to the BPL community. Again, you can't legislate respect.
Here's how I used to see it. Community meant trust. I definitely don't trust the dark back alleys merchants of eBay and Amazon marketplace (or Silk Road anyone?) so they have a rating and sellers reputation, to close the gap.
Here on BPL, where people debate for 10 pages the nano weight of lint, formed a community of free advice and freely share MYOG tips. So it's only reasonable to think that when selling a product among members, the price would be set in good faith and honesty.
Look at the profile of some of those posters on Gear Swap, they are using their BPL presence to profiteer and exploit. They take more out then they put in.
But in the end, this is your site Roger Caffin. You set the policy.