Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Internet Fosters Secondary Market in Beanie Babies

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Internet Fosters Secondary Market in Beanie Babies

Article excerpt

There are commodity exchanges for trading cocoa beans, coffee beans and cotton, but cotton-like "Beanies"? Not quite.

The resale market for Beanie Babies -- the enormously popular beanbag toy, which is being treated as a commodity by serious collectors -- consists largely of sites on the Internet.

Numerous online auctions somewhat mimic the exchanges, offering current and "retired" Beanies to the highest bidder. Registered sellers take out electronic classified ads to auction off parts of their collection, along with available Beanie accessories. All include a description of what's being sold. Some provide a photo. Bids are raised in varying increments, usually between 10 cents and $10 a clip. Many sellers place a "reserve," or minimum amount acceptable, on the item for sale. To the highest bidder, the spoils go, assuming the minimum is met. $2,500 for `near mint' While the online auction companies offer no guarantees for the merchandise being sold, auction participants often can view "feedback" on the seller -- a forum for participant comments on how past exchanges were conducted. (Only the sellers hometowns and e- mail addresses are revealed.) Likewise, sellers can access feedback on the registered buyers. A leader in online auctions is EBay of San Jose, Calif., (www.ebay. com) which has completed more than 10 million auctions in over 500 categories, Beanie Babies included, since its inception in 1995. On one recent day at the EBay auction, a retired, rare, Royal Blue Peanut the Elephant without the treasured "hang tag" but otherwise in "near mint to mint condition" went for $2,500. A steep price for something that originally sold for about $5 retail. But the recently retired Twigs the Giraffe Beanie went unsold with no bids after three days. Recently, at Beanie Nation (www. …

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