Sara Gruen, author of 2007's bestseller "Water for Elephants," has something you want. A lot of somethings, in fact. But just because you want them and she has them doesn't mean you'll get them.
She's in possession of dozens and dozens of Hatchimals, which she bought up at way above retail price and had hoped to resell at a profit. But eBay, where she'd wanted to offload her abudance of this year's most sought after Christmas toy, wouldn't let her sell them. At least, not enough of them. At least not at first.
Let's let her explain:
Gruen drew a ton of criticism (and also support) for her get-rich-for-charity scheme, being accused of everything from taking advantage of desperate parents to questions regarding her intelligence. (She did, after all, post her story on the internet—not the most empathic of spaces.)
A Los Angeles Times story updates Gruen's struggles with a real Christmas-ish miracle. After the media storm eBay went ahead and "white listed" her, meaning they lifted the limits of her daily sales. She'd managed to also sell about 40 percent of her stock on her own Shopify store, The Gruen Zoo.
She told the Philly Voice that she bought 156 of the Hatchimals on eBay for a total of $23,595.31. The little furry animals, which hatch after kids tap and rub the little shell they come in, retail for $59.99, but have routinely been sold for double or triple that since the manufacturer (and, therefore, stores) haven't kept up with demand.
Gruen wanted to scalp—er, sell—the toys as a way of quickly raising money to cover legal costs in the case of a person serving prison time for a crime he did not commit. Looks like she's going to get her money back AND make a little for the initial cause.
And perhaps everyone learned a good lesson in participating in the modern-day black market: Maybe don't?