Trader Joe’s viral $3 mini totes are now being resold for hundreds

Trader Joe’s viral tote bags are being sold online for three times its original price

Olivia Hebert
Los Angeles
Thursday 14 March 2024 20:23 GMT
Related: Trader Joe’s mini tote frenzy

Trader Joe’s mini totes have gone viral on TikTok, and people are now reselling the $3 bags for hundreds of dollars online.

The American grocery store chain’s mini tote bags are currently in high demand, thanks to TikTok. A massive amount of Trader Joe’s customers are buying the highly-coveted mini totes in droves, with clips showing crowds of people rushing to the store to get their hands on the bag.

Influencers have turned the tiny tote into somewhat of a status symbol, as some have shared how they’ve customised their bags with paint, buttons, and embroidery. The bags - which are offered in four different colors: blue, red, green, and yellow - initally sold for the low price of $2.99, but are now being resold on platforms like eBay and Facebook Marketplace for three times the price.

As of this week, these third-party sellers are selling the bags for anywhere from $20 for one bag to a whopping $999 for a set of four.

“Our Mini Canvas Tote Bags certainly sold more quickly than we anticipated,” Nakia Rohde, a spokesperson for Trader Joe’s, told the Associated Press. “Before we had the opportunity to promote them in any way, customers across the country found them at their neighborhood Trader Joe’s.”

“We do have more Trader Joe’s Mini Canvas Tote Bags coming,” Rohde continued. “Customers can expect to see them in our stores in late summer.”

With the company’s products frequently going viral, Rhode added that Trader Joe’s doesn’t condone the reselling of its products, saying: “Our customers, in our stores, are our focus.”

Many have equated the mini tote frenzy to the ongoing Stanley Cup craze. The 40-ounce cups catapulted to viral fame earlier this year and caused chaos for stores across the country, as demand for the cups reached a fever pitch. People scrambled to get their hands on limited-edition Stanley cups, with footage even showing customers fighting each other for the products. The limited edition cups have also been resold for exorbitant prices on third-party marketplaces.

The need to collect items that are popular on social media has a lot to do with both status and our sense of security. Jay Zagorsky - a clinical associate professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business - explained to the outlet: “We as humans seem to hoard things that social media makes us think is desirable or important.”

In times of uncertainty, bulk buying is something that consumers do to feel more secure about their future. During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Zagorsky added that consumers were bulk-buying household items like toilet paper.

Although it‘s not a bad thing to scoop up a hard-to-find item when you see it, there’s a fine line between being a savvy shopper and someone who has fallen into the trap of panic buying.

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