Marketplace touts are cashing in on desperate parents trying to buy this year’s must-have toys, which have sold out in many stores. Toy prices are being increased by as much as ten times their retail price.
In some retailers, shoppers have been limited to one toy each in order to stop buyers from bulk buying the most popular and sought after items and re-selling them at extortionate online prices.
Following an analysis of the Toy Retailers Association’s top 12 Christmas toys ‘dream list’, many of the top 12 toys were being sold online at two or three times the recommended retail price (RRP).
Best selling item the Moshi Monsters Moshling Tree House, is being sold on eBay for as much as £198.98 in comparison to its retail price tag of £18.99 – a staggering ten times the amount of the RRP price.
Retail stocks of Vivid’s plastic tree house (with hidden monsters inside the trunk) are low, however 65 have been spotted on eBay for sale.
LeapFrog’s LeapPad Explorer learning tablet should retail at £79.99, however the LeapFrog store, John Lewis, Argos, Tesco and Toys R Us have sold out of this product.
On marketplace websites this can be found at up to £225 – nearly three times the retail price.
According to John Lewis fast selling iPad-style toy: VTech InnoTab has been ‘flying off the shelves at a rate of eight every minute when in stock’, usually priced at £79.99 in retail shops – online it is being sold for as much as £150.99.
Lou Ellerton, a consultant in children’s marketing and retail for the Value Engineers said: “This is a very cynical manoeuvre by touts to exploit parents at Christmas”.
She added, parents should try and be ‘realistic’ when considering paying inflated prices for these items, and assess how long their child will actually use the toy for.
A spokesman for Toys R Us have announced a one-item-per customer rule on best selling toys to help stop ‘traders’ buying in bulk.
He said: “We are doing everything we can to try to stop this. Where we see that people are buying in bulk and then selling the items on eBay, we stop selling to that person or business”.
Article by Charlotte Greenhalgh