In 1996's "Jingle All the Way," Arnold Schwarzenegger goes through hell and high water to get his son the hottest Christmas toy of the season. He has several run-ins with the police, busts a toy counterfeiting ring, and crashes a holiday parade. You've probably never gone that far in the pursuit of the perfect gift.
However, it's much more likely that you've found yourself in a bidding war on eBay. The pressure to keep up with the Joneses and get your friends and family items they'll love may cause you to spend a lot more money than you'd like. Save yourself some trouble and loads of cash by buying these items from traditional retailers instead.
eBay flippers are people that buy popular items for the sole purpose of reselling it for a huge profit. And they don't just buy a few items, they use computers that utilize thousands of credit card numbers in order to buy an item out of stock. We've seen it happen with sporting event tickets and now it's happening to the most popular toys.
When the Nintendo Classic made a comeback as a smaller version with pre-loaded games, we knew it would sell fast. Many adults who grew up playing the game will want to get their hands on this nostalgic gaming console. Nintendo's price is $59.99 and suggested retailers include Walmart, Target and Best Buy. Most eBay prices start at three times that amount and go all the way up to tens of thousands of dollars. Get them from the suggested retailers now before they sell out.
Hatchimals, a very popular children's toy this year, is already out of stock in many places. The normal price is about $50 to $60 each but the highest price on eBay right now is $60,000! Instead of buying the toy at an unreasonable price, the company behind the toy is encouraging consumers to wait until it's back in stock at Toys R Us, Kmart, and other traditional retailers. Here's part of the message they posted on their site:
"...This is a special season and we don’t want anyone to be disappointed, nor do we support inflated prices from non-authorized resellers. We are working on creative solutions to help kids and their parents withstand the wait. In the interim, some retailers are developing pre-sale and/or rain-check programs for redemption in January..."
Almost two months ago, we told you about Snap Inc's Spectacles, glasses that record video and send it to your phone. They cost $130 and you can only buy them from special vending machines. Only two machines have popped up and although you can watch the countdown to the next machine, they don't tell you where it will be placed.
The company's marketing plan created hype and scarcity, which is a huge disadvantage for consumers. People that have been lucky enough to buy a pair are now selling them on eBay for as much as $5,000.
To avoid some of the pressure and ridiculous prices, it may also be a good idea to start your shopping sooner rather than later. Also, make sure you do your research. What you think is a good deal could be a dangerous or defective recalled item. To learn more about scams on eBay, listen to this podcast.