Christmas crazies

by DaniGirl on December 12, 2006 · 26 comments

in Life, the Universe and Everything, Rants and rambles

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?


{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Not So Little Sister December 12, 2006 at 1:48 pm

I can’t wait to give my mom’s present to her. I can’t tell you what it is because she reads your blog, but it’s good. And I just stumbled upon it, so no as much as I can’t wait for her to open it, I wouldn’t pay four times as much for it. Who has that kind of money anyway?

2 Not So Little Sister December 12, 2006 at 1:48 pm

I can’t wait to give my mom’s present to her. I can’t tell you what it is because she reads your blog, but it’s good. And I just stumbled upon it, so no as much as I can’t wait for her to open it, I wouldn’t pay four times as much for it. Who has that kind of money anyway?

3 andrea from the fishbowl December 12, 2006 at 3:47 pm

Personally, I wouldn’t get an electronic Elmo doll even if they were giving them away for free. BUT, people will pay big bucks for things they feel are special to them…. for whatever reason.
Like, for example, some people would spend $200 to see a certain children’s musical group while others would scoff. 😉
Me: I’m thinking we have bought our kids too much stuff, and haven’t planned nearly enough time to bake cookies.

4 andrea from the fishbowl December 12, 2006 at 3:47 pm

Personally, I wouldn’t get an electronic Elmo doll even if they were giving them away for free. BUT, people will pay big bucks for things they feel are special to them…. for whatever reason.
Like, for example, some people would spend $200 to see a certain children’s musical group while others would scoff. 😉
Me: I’m thinking we have bought our kids too much stuff, and haven’t planned nearly enough time to bake cookies.

5 DaniGirl December 12, 2006 at 4:08 pm

Andrea, how funny that you should mention the Wiggles concert, as I was thinking of that even as I wrote the post.
Fair enough, I suppose, but there’s still a long way from $200 for a night’s entertainment to $2,000 for a video game console. IMHO, at least!

6 DaniGirl December 12, 2006 at 4:08 pm

Andrea, how funny that you should mention the Wiggles concert, as I was thinking of that even as I wrote the post.
Fair enough, I suppose, but there’s still a long way from $200 for a night’s entertainment to $2,000 for a video game console. IMHO, at least!

7 Amanda December 12, 2006 at 4:29 pm

A handmade Mason’s pin from englang for my Dad that says, My Grandpa’s a brother.. its of course from my boys… it cost me 10.00 CAD including the shipping! Its the sentiment, I don’t believe in buying gifts that will be tossed aside in a month’s time… its a waste of useful money, money that can be spent on food or on charity!

8 Amanda December 12, 2006 at 4:29 pm

A handmade Mason’s pin from englang for my Dad that says, My Grandpa’s a brother.. its of course from my boys… it cost me 10.00 CAD including the shipping! Its the sentiment, I don’t believe in buying gifts that will be tossed aside in a month’s time… its a waste of useful money, money that can be spent on food or on charity!

9 mamatulip December 12, 2006 at 4:31 pm

Toy prices are insane. Video game console prices are even more insane.
Both of my kids love books, and I’ve got some really cool books that I’m looking forward to giving them. I got my daughter a Yellow Submarine hardcover book that I’m wishing were for me. LOL!

10 mamatulip December 12, 2006 at 4:31 pm

Toy prices are insane. Video game console prices are even more insane.
Both of my kids love books, and I’ve got some really cool books that I’m looking forward to giving them. I got my daughter a Yellow Submarine hardcover book that I’m wishing were for me. LOL!

11 Renee December 12, 2006 at 4:46 pm

People are crazy, that’s why.
I, myself, have gone overboard on Xmas this year also, but not enough to bring me to the status of ‘crazy’.

12 Renee December 12, 2006 at 4:46 pm

People are crazy, that’s why.
I, myself, have gone overboard on Xmas this year also, but not enough to bring me to the status of ‘crazy’.

13 liz December 12, 2006 at 6:48 pm

I think it’s about guilt. Guilt over not spending enough time/energy/whatever on the giftee and thinking that giving The! Must-have! Gift! for Christmas will atone for that emotional lack. Also, it’s easier than thinking about what the person really needs or wants or makes them special.
Won’t happen here either.

14 liz December 12, 2006 at 6:48 pm

I think it’s about guilt. Guilt over not spending enough time/energy/whatever on the giftee and thinking that giving The! Must-have! Gift! for Christmas will atone for that emotional lack. Also, it’s easier than thinking about what the person really needs or wants or makes them special.
Won’t happen here either.

15 Fryman December 12, 2006 at 7:48 pm

I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle.

16 Fryman December 12, 2006 at 7:48 pm

I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle.

17 BeachMama December 12, 2006 at 8:20 pm

I am giving Hubby a new acoustic guitar. I can’t wait as he only has a classical and it just isn’t the same. I am going to pick one that he can exchange if it isn’t right (he is picky about his guitars).
But… and there is a but… I would not pay double or more than fair market value for it. No way, no how, would I pay extra for something I could get two days later at a boxing day sale. I would give the person a picture of it with a note, “Will be arriving after Christmas”.

18 BeachMama December 12, 2006 at 8:20 pm

I am giving Hubby a new acoustic guitar. I can’t wait as he only has a classical and it just isn’t the same. I am going to pick one that he can exchange if it isn’t right (he is picky about his guitars).
But… and there is a but… I would not pay double or more than fair market value for it. No way, no how, would I pay extra for something I could get two days later at a boxing day sale. I would give the person a picture of it with a note, “Will be arriving after Christmas”.

19 kris December 13, 2006 at 1:54 am

A fisher price kid-tough digital camera for the 3 year old. I know he’ll love it. I got it for $55(US). I probably would have paid $10.00 more, but I’m too broke (and cheap) to spend more than that.
The 18m old is getting a rather cheesy toy airplane. I expect he’ll be very happy with that. He has so much crap from his older brother that I don’t think he’ll want for toys for a very long time.

20 kris December 13, 2006 at 1:54 am

A fisher price kid-tough digital camera for the 3 year old. I know he’ll love it. I got it for $55(US). I probably would have paid $10.00 more, but I’m too broke (and cheap) to spend more than that.
The 18m old is getting a rather cheesy toy airplane. I expect he’ll be very happy with that. He has so much crap from his older brother that I don’t think he’ll want for toys for a very long time.

21 mrsgryphon December 13, 2006 at 6:27 am

we’re trying desperately to keep to the budget for Bean’s first Christmas (so far, so good – and if anyone gives her that Elmo monstrosity, I don’t know what I’ll do.)
Best gift? A gift certificate to http://www.trythat.ca for my husband – all kinds of cool adventures and ‘once in a lifetime’ things to choose from!

22 mrsgryphon December 13, 2006 at 6:27 am

we’re trying desperately to keep to the budget for Bean’s first Christmas (so far, so good – and if anyone gives her that Elmo monstrosity, I don’t know what I’ll do.)
Best gift? A gift certificate to http://www.trythat.ca for my husband – all kinds of cool adventures and ‘once in a lifetime’ things to choose from!

23 Rebecca December 13, 2006 at 10:02 am

A journal for my aunt. I bought it for £3 ($6 USD, no idea about Canadian dollars, sorry…) and I’m writing prompt questions at the top of each page (she has tiny handwriting so I know she’ll fit). I can’t wait to give it to her because I think she’ll love the idea. She’s cool like that.
I’m also giving her and my mother a book of Shaker cookery each. It seemed like healthy wholesome food and I thought they’d both like the stories with each recipe. I bought both books off amazon.co.uk, although both were sourced in the US. I paid about £7 inc P&P, but I wouldn’t have paid four times that, no.
As for my husband, I managed to get a limited edition single box set of one of his favourite bands… He has no idea. I paid £10 for it but would have paid more.
God bless eBay, eh!

24 Rebecca December 13, 2006 at 10:02 am

A journal for my aunt. I bought it for £3 ($6 USD, no idea about Canadian dollars, sorry…) and I’m writing prompt questions at the top of each page (she has tiny handwriting so I know she’ll fit). I can’t wait to give it to her because I think she’ll love the idea. She’s cool like that.
I’m also giving her and my mother a book of Shaker cookery each. It seemed like healthy wholesome food and I thought they’d both like the stories with each recipe. I bought both books off amazon.co.uk, although both were sourced in the US. I paid about £7 inc P&P, but I wouldn’t have paid four times that, no.
As for my husband, I managed to get a limited edition single box set of one of his favourite bands… He has no idea. I paid £10 for it but would have paid more.
God bless eBay, eh!

25 DaniGirl December 13, 2006 at 1:58 pm

I wonder if I have a higher-than-average mothers of other bloggers demographic in my readers? NSLS, you’re about the fifth person to tell me their mother reads this blog!
Great gift ideas – I’ll look forward to reading the blogged reactions after Christmas.
(And Fryman, I have asked for that movie every year for the last five years and STILL must rely on the TBS Christmas day marathon. Sigh.)

26 DaniGirl December 13, 2006 at 1:58 pm

I wonder if I have a higher-than-average mothers of other bloggers demographic in my readers? NSLS, you’re about the fifth person to tell me their mother reads this blog!
Great gift ideas – I’ll look forward to reading the blogged reactions after Christmas.
(And Fryman, I have asked for that movie every year for the last five years and STILL must rely on the TBS Christmas day marathon. Sigh.)

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