Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Christmas crazies

In the Citizen this morning, there was an article (sorry, subscriber only - why do they do that?) about the hot 'toys' this Christmas and how people are frantically bidding outrageous amounts for them on eBay. The article notes,

Over the two-week period beginning Nov. 23, eBay has sold 6,470 Wii units across Canada -- most at double their retail price of $280. The Playstation 3 has sold 7,060 times at an average of $2,317 -- four times its retail price of $550. Meanwhile, the Elmo T.M.X. has been sold 10,247 times for an average of $30 more than its retail price of $44.99.
I'm going to have to back this rant up a little bit. I'm going to ignore for a moment the whole idea of the bidding wars, and just shake my head in dismayed disbelief that anyone would pay more than FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS for a video game console. I'm not spending $500 for both boys combined, and don't anticipate doing so any time in the near future. Not in this lifetime. (If the lottery fairy dumps a load of cash in my stocking and deems it must be spent on home electronics, a new computer for the family and a Canon Rebel digital SLR are at the top - and bottom! - of that list.)

But seriously, did you see that last line in the quote? People are spending an average - an AVERAGE! - of $75 for an Elmo doll. And while I think $75 for Elmo is questionable in an eye-brow raising sort of way, I simply can't conceptualize paying over two thousand dollars for a video game system where you still have to pay extra for the damn games. I don't have enough italics, caps and exclamation marks to fully express my astonishment and contempt.

These things will all be back on the store shelves, not to mention their regular price, by mid-January. What on earth is possessing people to pay these outrageous amounts?

What's the best gift you are giving this Christmas, the one you can't wait to give? And would you pay four times the retail price to give it?

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