This year’s hottest toy is the Zhu Zhu Pet. This electronic hamster has grabbed the attention of little kids, and their parents are scrambling this holiday season to find one in stores. It normally retails for $9.99. However, because of the shortage of Zhu Zhu Pets at Toys R Us, Target, Walmart and other retail locations, Craiglist and eBay sellers are selling Zhu Zhu Pets for double to quintuple their retail price. Parents are paying these outrageous prices.
The Ledger interviewed Karen Aguayo, a Miramar mother of 7-year-old, Zhu Zhu-crazed twins to find out why she would pay more than retail price. “My kids are really good and they asked for only one thing,” Aguayo said. “You don’t want to break their hearts and tell them Santa couldn’t come through for them.” Even a brief safety scare didn’t dim the enthusiasm for this little toy.
As a parent of two wonderful kids, I understand the need to give your children the perfect holiday. However, it doesn’t make any sense to pay more than the retail price for a fad toy. That’s right, it’s a fad. This year it’s Zhu Zhu Pets and next year it will be something else. Yes, your kid might want a Zhu Zhu Pet because their friends have one or they’ve seen the commercial hype on TV, but it’s not going to ruin your holiday if you don’t get one.
Take a deep breath and tell yourself, “The holidays are about family, not Zhu Zhu pets.” If your child is obsessed with getting a Zhu Zhu pet, sit down and discuss the true meaning of the holidays. Set the expectation level that they’re not going to get everything they want. Above all, don’t break your budget or stress yourself out by hunting for a toy that your child might lose interest in after a month.
Save your money. Put down the hamster, and don’t participate in the holiday shopping madness.
About the Author:
Kathryn Katz is a working mom and Certified Personal Finance Counselor. She works for Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, a non-profit credit counseling agency. For additional holiday shopping tips, check out their Smart Holiday Shopping Guide.