SpongeBob Xbox is being resold for thousands of dollars on eBay

Great news! The limited edition SpongeBob Xbox — the Best-Buy-exclusive one that sold out in under two minutes — is available for purchase again. The bad news? It’s only on eBay, and it’s about $2,000.

The eBay resellers are back at it again and doing what they do best: Scooping up limited-edition drops in an instant, then listing them for prices way above the product’s MSRP. First, it was sneakers, now it’s game consoles that resemble beloved cartoon characters.

The limited-edition console in question was an exclusive item that was a part of the “Best Buy Drops” promotion, and went live on the morning of March 7 for $699.99. While the console did come bundled with a copy of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2, the $699.99 sticker price was still $200 more than a regular Xbox Series X console. Whether that price sounds fair to you or not doesn’t even matter at this point, because stock vanished mere minutes after the listing went up, and the chances of a restock are slim (we’ll be sure to let you know if that changes).

But, like we said, you technically still can get your hands on a resale “SpongeBox” if you’re willing to shell out a couple thousand dollars for one. We don’t recommend doing that, though — just get a regular Series X and cut your losses.

Screenshot of SpongeBob Xbox eBay listings.

The audacity.
Credit: eBay

Screenshot of SpongeBob Xbox eBay listings.

Have we no shame?
Credit: eBay

Still, we question how this type of price gouging is allowed to fly on eBay. According to their price gouging policy, it might be a non-issue. “Offering items at a price higher than is considered fair or reasonable is not allowed on eBay,” the site’s policy states, which seems pretty all-encompassing at first. But, as you read on, it sounds like only specific items are covered by this policy: “Sellers offering essential items must offer them at reasonable prices, and may not attempt to unreasonably profit from increased demand or decreased supply caused by emergencies or disasters.” When reached out to for comment, an eBay representative confirmed with us that these consoles are, in fact, not covered by the price gouging policy.

Making sure that eBay sellers can’t inflate the prices of essential items is certainly a good thing, but not extending that policy to other items leaves room for resellers to scam potential buyers out of a lot of money for entertainment-based items and beyond. The retailer fortunately does have a system in place that allows shoppers to report specific listings for presumed price gouging, but the result of using that function on a SpongeBob Xbox resale listing may not be the same as using it on an item that is deemed “essential.”

Another question remains: Can resellers list an item at an inflated price without even having it in hand? The console went on sale early on March 7, and by the end of the day, multiple listings for the SpongeBob Xbox had appeared on eBay. Sure, some of these sellers may have been able to secure one of the consoles at their local Best Buy, but it seems unlikely that every single one of these sellers has the product on their person. To get around this, many of the listings are being advertised as a “presale.” We also reached out to eBay regarding listing items in this potentially deceptive way, but didn’t receive a response.

The way we see it, the best thing you can do when shopping for these limited-edition-type drops on eBay — whether it’s a SpongeBob Xbox or a pair of Jordans — is to just be vigilant and stick to your budget. If a listing seems shady, we say skip it.

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