Revealed: How opportunistic eBay sellers are taking advantage of supply crisis by buying up popular Christmas gifts then listing them online for more than DOUBLE the price
- Savvy eBay vendors are capitalising on parents’ desperation this Christmas
- Popular children’s toys have been bought from retailers and sold online
- The cost of some toys has been inflated by as much as 160 percent on eBay
Opportunistic eBay sellers have been taking advantage of the supply crisis by buying up popular Christmas gifts and listing them online for more than double the price.
As the countdown to Christmas continues savvy vendors are capitalising on parents’ desperation to secure the gifts on their children’s lists.
It comes after families were warned to start shopping for Christmas last month amid fears that supplies of toys, electrical goods and other products will be disrupted by logjams at UK ports.
Some of the most popular toys are in high demand and quickly selling out from the original sellers, with Lego’s Elf Club House featuring a ‘hard to find’ sticker.
The Lego toy has been seen by MailOnline listed on eBay with a 160 percent price increase. A recommended retail price (RRP) of £84.99 rose to £221.60 when uploaded for sale on the auction website.
Some of the most popular toys are in high demand and quickly selling out from the original sellers, with Lego’s Elf Club House featuring a ‘hard to find’ sticker on the website. Pictured left, for sale on the Lego website. Right, at an inflated price on eBay
Other toys being sold online include Ravensburger’s Gravitrax starter set which holds a RRP of £64.97
On eBay one UK-based seller had GraviTrax listed for £101.35 – a 56 percent increase
Other toys being sold online include Ravensburger’s Gravitrax starter set which holds a RRP of £64.97. On eBay one UK-based seller had it listed for £101.35 – a 56 percent increase.
And a Playmobil Splish Splash Water Park, sold for £49.99 directly from the toy company’s website, is listed with a 60 percent increase on eBay – at £79.99
The UK Toy Retailers Association released its 2021 Dreamtoys line-up this week, after game industry leaders predicted which would be the most popular choices.
Another item being sold on eBay is the Paw Patrol Tower playset, which has a RRP of £130, but can be found on eBay at £169.99.
When iNewspaper asked one eBay vendor about the inflated costs they said: ‘Prices vary due to this item being very popular.’
Another item being sold on eBay is the Paw Patrol Tower playset, which has a RRP of £130, but can be found on eBay at £169.99
A Playmobil Splish Splash Water Park, sold for £49.99 directly from the toy company’s website, is listed with a 60 percent increase on eBay – at £79.99
A Star Wars Galactic Snackin’ Grogu is being sold on eBay for £115 despite holding a RRP of £84.99
The Air Hogs Super Soft toy has been sold on ebay for £54.45 despite its RRP being £39.99
Another vendor admitted a popular toy was being sold at nearly double the retail price because of the ‘lack of stock’ elsewhere.
Natasha Crookes, director general of the Toy Retailers Association, said parents should be careful they are not being taken advantage of.
She added: ‘Consumers are advised to compare prices between retailers before purchasing and remember that the most competitive price may not always be online.’
MailOnline has contacted eBay for comment.
It comes after the Toy Retailers Association warned price increases in the coming months were ‘inevitable’ with shipping costs having risen a whopping 900 per cent in a year, with a £15 toy truck now costing £7 to ship from the Far East, up from 70p a year ago.
People out stocking up ahead of Christmas at a Smyths toy shop in Slough, Berkshire, last month
A woman pushes a trolley out of a Smyths toy shop in Slough, Berkshire, last month
Shoppers look at products in a Smyths toy store in Slough, Berkshire, last month
Meanwhile in the US, the country’s Toy Association said the cost of children’s toys has risen by as much as 10 per cent ahead of the Christmas season.
And the British Retail Consortium said last month there were ‘clear signs’ that the combination of problems were ‘starting to filter through to consumer prices’ as it said one in three retailers in the UK expect prices to rise in the next three months.
One educational toys firm based in Shropshire said it had been ‘hit with increases from every angle – from higher cost of goods, to additional delivery surcharges’.
And a children’s publishing business in Bristol told how by the new year it will ‘have no choice but to adjust prices to accommodate ever increasing material costs’.
A learning products company based in Milton Keynes said it would ‘like to increase our product prices’ but it cannot because it doesn’t want to lose customers.
The Bank of England has already flagged that inflation could hit four per cent by the end of the year, while supermarkets say food prices could increase by 5 per cent.
Alan Simpson, chairman of the Toy Retailers Association, told MailOnline: ‘It is inevitable that prices are going to rise given the extra costs being incurred by retailers due to exorbitant rises in shipping costs.
‘The large majority of toys are manufactured in the Far East and we have seen freight rates rise beyond belief – in some cases we are paying 10 times what it costs to ship a container now compared to 12 months ago.
‘Suppliers simply cannot absorb this level of increase and price rises are an inevitability. This anomaly is not confined to toys and can be expected to filter through all retail sectors whose product line originates in the Far East.
‘This is simply beyond the control of retailers here in the UK and we are at the mercy of several outside factors.’
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