Saturday, October 24, 2009

On the Hunt for Zhu Zhu Pets Hamsters - Hot Holiday Toy

You've probably heard about these by now. If not, click here to check out my article on The Examiner, but be sure to come back here to read the rest of the story.

So, here are the facts.

1) They are nearly impossible to find. I have personally been looking at WalMart, Target, and Toys R Us. Target doesn't even carry them. The other 2 stores just have empty spaces on the shelves where they should be. I have already heard stories of people waiting in line for Toys R Us to open every morning - and mobs of shoppers plowing each other over to get these. Be careful, it is dangerous out there.

2) According to Hammertap, the sell through rate is right at 77%. Very good. But, the confusing part is that sellers are offering these in all kinds of different lots - Zhu Zhu pets themselves, the houses, the accessories - in all sorts of combination. So it is hard to get a reading on what you can make on just one piece.

3) Every store who offers them online is out of stock. And if you can find them, there are purchase limits. i think they are all on eBay. I did a search for Zhu Zhu pets and found 7,650 listings. Click here to see for yourself.

4) The single Zhu Zhu pets hamsters that sell for $9.99 retail are selling for as high as $25 each on eBay.

5) My advice at this point: Get what you can get, and save your receipts, in case you need to return something that doesn't sell. This looks to be like the Tickle Me Elmo, Hannah Montana doll, or Guitar Hero craze. But you absolutely have to watch the prices on eBay. It may fizzle out at any time. This is a timing issue. It is up to you to watch the selling prices and decide when to list your item and for how much.

6) My personal note: Don't be a hot toy hog. Please don't make all of us eBay sellers look bad by grabbing every single Zhu Zhu pet thing on the shelf so your cart is overflowing. I just can't help thinking that it is not good Karma to do that. Buy a few, leave a few. Remember that there are people in your community who are going to buy these for their kids for Christmas, and they may not be able to afford paying 3 times the retail price because every single one is on eBay.

Want to know more about what toys will be hot this year? Click here to check out Jenni Hunt's Holiday 2009 Toy Guide.

Happy Selling!

Holiday Toy Guide 125x125


Serena said...

Suzanne, I couldn't agree with you more about eBay sellers not hoarding all the inventory out there. I really do think it is bad karma to do so, not just for toys, but for other items, too. It does make eBay sellers look greedy and bad when people do this.
Keep up the great job!

Mary A. said...

I was at my local Walmart the other day and overheard a manager telling a customer that was asking about them, that the buyers had stopped sending them to our local store because they had a few buyers that came in and bought more than normal amounts of them and did not want to encourage resellers.

Chris the Yardsale Queen said...

A few weeks ago I saw my local Walmart had an end-cap of different Zhu Zhu accessories. I bought 2 of the wheels since I know that is the one thing that most people would want. I was a test-marketer for the product so I know which accessories are good and which ones most people could skip. Then a week later I went back to see if any of the actual hamsters came in and I couldn't find the end-cap anymore. I asked the toy manager what happened to it and she said that someone came in and bought ALL the products so they had to change out the end-cap.

Cali said...

That kind of behavior is so sad. Buying an entire end cap of toys! has a few items in stock but they're prices are high. $19.99 for the hamsters.

Diane B. said...

I am a widowed mother of 3 young girls who would dearly LOVE to get a Zhu Zhu from Santa this year. Unfortunately, that is not even a possibility because of these monsters who have to ruin childrens' joy with their incredible greed. I can't find ONE in a store and can't afford to buy from the Santa Slayers. Nor do I want to. Karma isn't good enough.

Emil Croskey said...

I figure right after Thanksgiving either people will be buying them for what thew resellers offer or mysteriously millions will show up on the shelves at Walmart

Anonymous said...

I can't hold my tongue. consumers are the reason people get away with selling these things for ridiculous prices. As long as people are willing to pay a ridiculous price for a toy, then the market price of that toy will remain that high. All ebay resellers are doing is exploiting the lack of equilibrium between supply and demand. It's capitalism at its finest, folks. If you don't like it, organize a worldwide boycott and force the prices down.

Unknown said...

Hey all you zhu zhu pet fans!! I am currently employed by Toys R Us, and the stores have them, only they can't sell them before the ad goes public on the 20th of November, MARK YOUR CALENDARS PEOPLE!!!! just giving you tips!

Unknown said...

These zhu zhu’s are worth $30+. This is pure open market capitalism at its best. One point that a lot of complainers have not considered, is there are a lot of people who live tens, hundereds, or maybe even thousands of miles from the nearest Target, ToysRus or Walmart and don’t have the convienience of waltzing into their neighborhood store every morning at 8am to see if more ZhuZhus have arrived. Really, if you lived 200 miles from the nearest Target, is it worth your time PLUS the $40 you’ll spend on gas to drive there and back to purchase an $8 toy? Hell no! It’s in fact cheaper to buy it for $30 on ebay…get it?

Those of us that go in and buy up most of the stock (we’re not allowed to buy it all) are actually acting as a brokerage/holding agency for eager consumers who can’t get to a store themselves…aren’t their children entitled to Zhu Zhu’s too? Or are only children who live within 5 miles of a Target/Walmart entitled to these pets? Further, think of the time and money YOU would save if you stopped driving around all day, sitting in traffic, bouncing from store to store only to see empty shelves and simply laid down the 30 bucks on ebay and be done with it. It will even be delivered to your front door. See, you’re saving money and your kid gets what they want…a VERY desirable toy.

The real problem is that the stores are not responding to supply and demand pricing. If these were $20 in the store, there wouldn't be a supply issue. At $8, the profit margin is too high for resellers to's a slam dunk.

Pam957 said...

JMCS, keep telling yourself that. I think it's wrong for a retailer to not limit sales on an item that is scarce, especially when it 95% sure that person is reselling the item.

My bigger problem is with the people that return items that they can't sell. You wouldn't be able to do this with a wholesaler and I think it wrong to do it with the retailers.