This is kind of a weird three-fer. Sort of one of those triangle intersections.
A woman bought “$23,000” worth of “Hatchimals” which I am given to understand is this year’s hot Christmas toy. (Personally, they sound stupid to me, but I am not a small child.)
Interestingly, eBay has apparently imposed limits on “Hatchimals” sales.
“I have a fortune invested, only one venue to offload them, and in only three weeks they will magically transform into useless pumpkins that will take up space in my office FOREVER, and have caused my financial ruin,” [she] wrote. “Oh, and I’ll still owe the lawyers.”
So why is some random woman’s attempt to profit on the backs of hard-working parents who just want to get their children a toy for Christmas interesting?
Intersection number 1: the random woman is author Sara “Water for Elephants” Gruen.
This raises questions: namely, why would Ms. Gruen, who is surely rolling in all that sweet Oprah’s Book Club and movie money, embark on this quest to profit on the backs yadda yadda? And why wouldn’t she have checked eBay polices before spending $23,000?
I don’t have an answer for the second question. As for the first, that’s intersection number 2:
On her Shopify site, Gruen wrote that the mission of her store is “to get justice for a wrongfully convicted man who was sentenced to LWOP(Life Without Parole) 23 years ago, and who has been incarcerated since.”
Gruen has declined to offer any details about the man she says she’s trying to help by selling the toys. She told the Philly Voice she’s working on documentary series about the case, and that his identity will be revealed soon.
Curious. I might watch that series, if shows up anyplace I have access to, mostly because I wonder how she got involved in this case.
Edited to add: Got to remember. Always, always do the math.
$189 times 156 is $29,484. Subtract the $23,595.31 she paid, and that leaves a gross profit of $5888.69. And that’s before the cost of the batteries, whatever she’s paying for the copies of her books (unless she just has 156 copies lying around the house), and assuming she sells all of them. (The article says she’s given four away to “needy kids”, which reduces her gross that much more.)
Doesn’t $5,000 seem like a relatively paltry amount to fund a documentary? Heck, couldn’t she have raised that on Kickstarter without the whole exploiting parents yadda yadda angle?