Over the weekend, news broke that a Princess Diana Beanie Baby (very rare, very special) could be worth almost $100,000 on eBay. Many people were skeptical but some raced to their basements to discover whether they too were sitting on a pile of adorable, over-valued gold. Many people were! The only problem is that Beanie Baby is pretty much worthless.
According to Gawker, who delved deep into the world of extreme Beanie Baby collection, no one was ever going to shell out any cold hard cash for that toy, and the outlets that went into a frenzy about it overlooked one thing: you can list an item for whatever price you want on eBay, it doesn’t mean anyone has to buy it:
Here is a fact about eBay: You can list any object for any crazy old price, but no one has to buy it. That alleged $90,000 listing, if it ever existed, doesn’t turn up under a search for first edition Princess bears that have actually sold.
The real sale prices are more like $75, with prices going as low as $15. One princess bear did sell for nearly $30,000, back in April, but it’s not clear what (if anything) made it more special than the others. Perhaps a gullible purchaser?
If it was, in fact, a gullible purchaser, they may be feeling pretty silly now. But at least the bear is cute, right?
Tycollector.com, a site with up-to-date information about beanie baby collection, issued a stern statement about the state of affairs which led ordinary people to think that they were somehow thousands and thousands of ducats richer:
In an irresponsible and non-professionally researched newspaper article on April 18, 2015, the UK Daily Mailand The Sun (UK) provided misleading information aboutPrincess Beanie Baby values. Once again, tycollector.com was inundated with emails from people in the UK and Ireland hopeful that their Princess Beanie Baby was worth a lot of money and asking for the best way to sell theirs.T
The writer of the original article (as is usual with these types of articles) used “listing” prices on eBay, as opposed to the prices buyers have actually paid for Princess over the past 30 – 60 days, to support the premise that Princess is valuable. One cannot avoid speculation about the credibility of ANY article in the UKDaily Mail or The Sun, when those online magazines/newspapers permit such a misleading article as the one about the Princess Beanie Baby to be published.
Princess Diana Beanie Babies are still listed on eBay, but the prices have dropped considerably. While some listings ask for a starting bid of $86,570, others are much less greedy, allowing hopefuls to bid as low as $300 for the privilege of owning a part of history. None have bids.