Fans of beloved Australian children’s TV show Bluey have expressed their fury at the insane “price gouging” of a range of limited-edition Bunnings garden gnomes on online marketplaces.
The hardware chain transformed seven of its stores across Australia and New Zealand this month into “Hammerbarn”, a fictional DIY chain featured in the series.
As well as rebranding shopfronts and offering Bluey-themed kids workshops on weekends, Bunnings dropped a line of merchandise in all its stores – with one product in particular, the aforementioned gnomes, whipping up a frenzy.
The four figurines, which retail at $19, proved so “popular” that “all floor stock” sold out, a Bunnings spokesperson confirmed to news.com.au last week.
But that hasn’t stopped a number of Aussies from going to increasingly desperate lengths to get their hands on the item.
The gnomes have shown up on the likes of Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Etsy at “crazy” mark-ups – some listed for as much as $350.
One West Australian eBay seller, Perth Now reports, got their hands on nine sets of the gnomes, and listed them on the platform at a starting price of $399 each. They since sold all of the sets, with one even going for $425 (making a profit of $406).
Bunnings director of merchandise, Jen Tucker, told news.com.au the retailer is “incredibly disappointed to see a small number of people reselling Bluey products online at inflated prices”, adding that “we don’t support this behaviour in any way”.
“The popularity of our Bluey product range has exceeded our expectations and we’re sorry to hear some customers have missed out on buying a garden gnome,” Ms Tucker said.
“We’re working hard to get more gnomes to our six Australian stores that have been transformed into Hammerbarns and expect them to arrive later this week, ready for customers to purchase over the weekend.”
Customers in the “Adult Bluey Fans Club” Facebook group were quick to call out the “disgusting” behaviour, alongside screenshots of some of the “crazy high listings”.
“People that do this SUCK,” one man wrote. “I’m going through these crazy high listings and reporting them for price gouging.”
“People can’t be serious, can they? This is absolutely criminal,” another said.
“We missed out on gnomes and my two-year-old was so disappointed. Then found these [listings] online. Hope the adult feels good about trying to make an extra dollar.”
“Not sure what’s worse, people profiting off this, or people willing to spend this much to get them,” a third customer posted.
“Not surprised, just disappointed that people are doing their usual thing with limited-run products. That’s not the only listing, there’s many, with individual gnomes starting at $100+.”
“It wouldn’t surprise me if the reason so many are sold out is because of eBay resellers profiteering,” someone else said.
“I really hope Bunnings has a second wave of stock ready to go just to crush these people.”
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