Toy Profiteers Take to eBay
It’s not illegal to buy a product and then turn around and
sell it at a substantial premium on eBay. Of course, being a legal activity
doesn’t make it right. This year, once again, popular toys for the holidays
are being bought up by the opportunistic for resale to shoppers willing to
A report by Wales Online found
Go Go Hamsters are being bought for around £9.95 each in stores and legitimate
websites and then resold for up to £60 as supplies dwindle.
Gary Grant, owner
of The Entertainer chain of toy stores and chairman of the Toy Retailers
Association in the U.K., said, "Since late
September, these toys have just caught everybody’s imagination and are selling
for vast amounts of money. In some cases it is the speculators that are causing
the shortages by buying six, eight or 24 at one time. This is restricting
the numbers available to genuine customers. And they are buying them to put
them straight on eBay at inflated prices."
Some shops in the U.K. are placing
limits on the number of hamsters individuals can buy to try and keep the
unscrupulous from cornering the market.
The supplier of the Go Go
Hamsters is telling consumers not to worry, saying more are on the way and
will be in stores in time for Christmas.
"People are seeing the products listed
as out-of-stock on websites, but that is going to be changing on a daily
basis. We are rushing around every day making deliveries,” said Jon Diver,
managing director at Character Options. “People
should not panic. There will be plenty of opportunities for consumers to
find stock at general retailers.”
Questions: Does there need to be a law to prevent the buying up of popular
toys that are then re-sold at much higher prices on websites such as eBay
or is this a healthy supply-and-demand principle at work?