Last year, Tickle Me Elmo was the hot Christmas gift and Kenric did what many others did to capitalize on the craze - buy a bunch and resell them. This year, the hot gift seems to be the Nintendo Wii, at least so far in the holiday shopping season.
Working for a video game maker gives me something of a unique insight into the world of video games, but I didn't need any inside information to know that no store can keep these things in stock. I just had to listen to the tales of co-workers who have been looking for one for the past several months.
So it happened that last night I was in Costco and noticed a woman leaving. In her cart was a Wii. I immediately found a Costco worker and asked where they were. When I found them, there were only four left, so I grabbed one. I would have grabbed them all, but Costco was imposing a 1 per membership limit - much to the chagrin of the guy behind me who tried to tell me both he and his 6 year old son could buy one. His hopes were quickly dashed by a nearby Costco employee. The remaining Wiis were grabbed within 5 minutes.
I've got my bundle, which includes 2 extra controllers and an additional game, listed on eBay now. Based on the sales I am seeing, I should net about $100 to $150 on this - about a 30% return for a few minutes work. Not too shabby, considering it basically just fell into my lap.
Of course, now I think I'm going to get lucky and find one in every store I walk in :-)