If you're working your way down your holiday shopping list, you've probably already figured out that there are at least a handful toys you can't seem to get anywhere.
These items are out of stock online at KB Toys, Target, Toys R Us and a number of other retailers. But there is one way to find them...through Amazon's merchant program. Here's the catch: the prices are exorbitant.
We're awaiting word from Amazon on what's going on with the pricing, but one of its merchants, who asked to remain anonymous, explained it like this: "it's basically supply and demand. We sell toys very similarly to stocks."
Another merchant, who also did not want to be named, said she had been spending the whole holiday season running to stores to look for toys that were sold out otherwise online. She says, "We are not trying to rip people off," but rather she explains that the markup is payment for her effort to shop everywhere possible to find hot items, package them up and ship them out. Most of the time, she adds, she doesn't even sell toys because Amazon's markup is so low she can't make money that way.
Toys R Us, on the other hand, says it is restocking constantly and prefers to be temporarily out of stock in order to keep prices low. "I'd tell parents to be patient and keep looking for the hot toys, because you should be able to find them at a fair retail value. We're always happy to help if we can," says spokesperson Kathleen Waugh.
We wanted to see if any of you out there were experiencing this issue with other toys. Send along your troubles...