Zhu Zhu Pets are the latest toy craze and likely to be the most popular toy of the 2009 Christmas season. Available a few weeks ago pretty much anywhere, Zhu Zhu Pets have been so popular it’s nigh on impossible to find them anywhere. Target’s sold out, Toys R Us doesn’t have them, most toy stores’ shelves were empty weeks ago so, if you want a Zhu Zhu Pet for your child for Christmas where do you go? Not Amazon.com, that’s for sure. As Zhu Zhu Pets became as rare as a brain cell in Sarah Palin’s head, Amazon’s third-party sellers cashed in on Zhu Zhu Pets and Zhu Zhu Pet accessories in such a way that prices are now up to six times more expensive than the retail value and Amazon.com is allowing this.
Yesterday, just out of curiosity I surfed around the net looking for Zhu Zhu Pets and Zhu Zhu Pet accessories. Just about every website I chanced upon was sold out. Not a single Zhu Zhu Pet in sight, and not that many pet accessories either. Finally, I arrived at Amazon.com to discover they had most of the five Zhu Zhu Pets available but at prices I couldn’t believe. Where a Zhu Zhu Pet should retail for between $6.99 and $8.99, on Amazon.com the third-party sellers are selling them for between $31.96 and $36.96 and Amazon.com hasn’t stopped them. So, if your child is desperate for Mr. Squiggles or Num Nums, you’ve got the choice of either not being able to get it for Christmas or paying a price that would buy a half-way decent gift instead of a plastic piece of junk made in China, that will have died a quick death by New Year’s.
Unfortunately, this blatant price-gouging of Amazon.com customers doesn’t stop there either. The price of Zhu Zhu Pets accessories is also through the roof. For a cheap, plastic ‘hamster wheel’ retailing at Target for $8, these Amazon.com third-party scam artists are charging $36.95 plus shipping. With most reviewers also saying these plastic wheels don’t work well and fall apart easily, do you really want to waste almost $40 on something that the Chinese factory spent a buck making? Every other Zhu Zhu Pets accessory is also listed at a price-gouging price on Amazon.com that every sane customer should avoid. Besides, it looks like the sane customers are avoiding Amazon.com’s Zhu Zhu Pets. If you don’t believe me, go to Amazon.com and read all the outraged comments from disgusted customers.
I’m surprised Amazon.com has been this greedy with this season’s most popular toy. Allowing it’s third-party vendors to price gouge people is obviously working for Amazon.com’s benefit as they make a percentage on everything a third-party seller sells. Unfortunately, they have also lost the custom of people like me. I planned to buy a few gifts at Amazon.com for Christmas but I won’t support a seller who, especially in this economy, is supporting the ‘stealing of money’ from hard-working people. In an economy this bad, Amazon.com should be helping and not hindering. For that fact alone, this year I’ll be doing all my shopping at Target.com. Fair prices, good customer service and no price gouging.