This Grinch may not be green, but it certainly is sneaky and it’s definitely planning to steal your presents.
Or, more accurately, it’s planning to buy them all and then sell them back to you at double the price.
The aptly dubbed Grinch bots are cyberbots, a lot like the ones ticket scalpers use. Scammers use the bots to bulk buy the most popular toys as soon as they come on sale. Then they put them up on reseller websites like eBay for double the price.
Look out! It’s the Grinch!
And this year’s hottest toys – you know, the ones that your kids are desperate to find under the tree on Christmas morning – are in their bot sights. Fingerlings, L.O.L Surprise! Dolls and the Super Nintendo Classic consoles are among the faves these sneaky bots are snapping up.
@WowWeeWorld help a brotha out; trying to find some fingerlings for a family member and everywhere I go; they’re sold out! 🙁 been to 20+ stores 🙁
— Thomas Barry (@imScooterB) November 8, 2017
The Fingerlings, which are this year’s Hatchimals (in case you didn’t know) and particularly hard to get your hands on, were available from Kmart for $20, but are currently selling on eBay for up to $1000! Yes, one THOUSAND dollars!
Simarlarly, Target had large L.O.L Surprise! Dolls for $99, but toy scalpers are now asking up to $150 on eBay. And that’s not including shipping, with most of the toys coming from the US.
In fact, the markups are so huge stateside, that the Super Nintendo Classic Mini System, which retails for about $120 here in Australia, is reportedly selling on Amazon and eBay for as much as $13,000.
It’s been such an issue that US politicians are calling for a crackdown.
“Grinch bots cannot be allowed to steal Christmas,” Senator Chuck Schumer says.
“Middle class folks save up – a little here, a little there – working to afford the hottest gifts of the season for their kids but ever-changing technology and its challenges are making that very difficult.
“When it comes to purchasing products online, major retailers should put forth policies that will help prevent future Grinch bots from stealing the season’s hottest toys.”
Haven’t even started your Christmas shopping yet and need some inspiration? Check our gift guide for the 25 hottest holiday toys for big kids. And if you find an elusive Fingerling, let us know!