Will Hatchimals Be the Hot Toy on eBay This Christmas?

eBay hot toy Hatchimals
Hatchimals are the hot toy on eBay right now. eBay.com

It happens every year. A toy, new on the market, sells for much more than retail on the eBay black market. In previous years, the hot toys have been:

  • Tickle Me Elmo
  • Zhu Zhu Pets
  • LaLa Loopsy Dolls
  • Monster High Dolls
  • Doc McStuffins
  • Furbys
  • Squinkies
  • Pie Face Game
  • HeadBanz Game
  • Guitar Hero
  • Disney Frozen Dolls
  • Speak Out Game

And the list goes on. The name of the game for some eBay toy sellers is to figure out which toys are in short supply, snap them up from retail stores like Walmart, Target, and Toys R Us, and sell them on eBay for a profit.

Whether you feel this strategy is ethically right or wrong, it happens every year. This year the hot toy is Hatchimals.

What Is a Hatchimal?

According to MyHatchimals.com

"Hatchimals are highly interactive new toy pets by Spin Master LTD that start their life in an egg that the child must nurture before it hatches, revealing which Hatchimal is inside. There are believed to be various versions of Hatchimals which will appeal to both boys and girls. So far we have seen the names Draggles, Pengualas, and Owlicorns. Hatchimals Draggles are advertised as a purple and green speckled egg and Owlicorns appear to be a Toys”R”Us exclusive.

The toys are said to be highly interactive and learn and adapt to your child. It has been said that Hatchimals have 3 development stages of learning and if you want to start over and change its behavior you can reset the Hatchimal to its initial state. The toy is made of plastic, metal, and soft parts and intended for ages 5 and up. We have seen a couple pictures of them and they look like they will be a big hit with the kids. Toy industry insiders agree that they will be one of the hottest toys this holiday season."

Hatchimals currently sell for $50 at Walmart, Target, and Toys R US, but don't try to find them online because they are out of stock. An out-of-stock toy in November usually indicates a hot seller for the Christmas season. Your only hope to snag one is to find one in a retail store.

What Are Seasoned eBay Toy Sellers Saying About Hatchimals?

Sellers are currently trying to figure out timing of when to sell the toy for the highest profit.

Toy selling on eBay is very volatile during the weeks before Christmas. The discussions about this toy on eBay Facebook groups are intense. Seasoned sellers warn to approach this tactic with caution. During a discussion on the largest eBay Sellers Facebook group, experienced sellers offer this advice:

  • Sometimes if you wait till more are released, you are stuck with them. That happened right before Christmas with the Pie Face game. I would sell them personally.
  • Buying and then waiting a month to sell (a) allows manufacturers to make and send more (b) the craze to pass (c) ties up your money.
  • Everyone is buying them off the shelves for resale on eBay right now. In a few weeks, you'll be lucky to sell them at a loss.
  • I was at Walmart today and the staff was cursing eBay sellers, over being out of them.
  • On their FB page, the manufacturer says that a larger number will be shipped in early 2017 but they're also sending more this month. How many more, who knows?

What Is Happening in eBay with Hatchimals Now?

As of this writing, eBay shows selling prices all over the board as sellers are offering Hatchimals either individually or in sets. Selling prices for a single Hatchimal can be over $100. Local Facebook groups also have postings for Hatchimals at double the retail price.

 Stats for what's happening on eBay as of this writing:

  • 3,000 listings for Hatchimals on eBay USA (can be singles or sets)
  • 7,000+ listings for sold Hatchimals (singles and sets)
  • 2,500 of the sold listings were auctions
  • 4,500 of the sold listings were Buy It Now

In an effort to control the madness, eBay has put limits on how many Hatchimals an individual seller can list. One seller shared this email she received from eBay when trying to list:

"Attention: Thank you for listing Hatchimals. The item has limitations on the quantity that may be listed each week. You have reached this limit and will not be able to list at this time. You will be able to list another Hatchimals seven days after your last Hatchimals listing. Sellers not meeting minimum performance standards will not be allowed to list Hatchimals."

So before you go snatching up a cartload of Hatchimals at Target, make sure your account is in good order. eBay Minimum Performance Standards include:

  • You can only have up to 2% of transactions with one or more defects over the most recent evaluation period.
  • You can have a maximum of 0.3% of eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Purchase Protection closed cases without seller resolution over the most recent evaluation period.

Sellers with 400 or more transactions over the past 3 months are evaluated based on the past 3 months and sellers with fewer than 400 transactions are evaluated based on the past 12 months. (Read more about eBay Minimum Standards.)

Retailers May Not Accept Hatcnhimal Returns

Be careful with how many you buy — retailers are wise to what eBay sellers are doing. If the bottom falls out, and supply catches up with demand, you may not be able to give these toys away on eBay. Make sure you understand the store's return policy, the return window, and keep your receipts. For example, Target's return policy specifically states:

"Holiday items and limited-time-only collections may have modified return policies."

So if your strategy is to buy as many as possible, then return them if they don't sell or can't sell at a profit, you better make sure that is a workable plan. Remember there are all kinds of items that sell well for the holidays including gift items, food, clothing, decorations, and collectibles. Think about the consequences of your actions before investing a lot of money into toys for Christmas re-selling.