Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Too weird to label: SELL your Box Tops for Education on eBay?

Now this is a new one for me, and I'm fairly jaded when it comes to ways people make money on eBay. While selling those Box Tops for Education you find on food boxes doesn't rise to the level of selling used panties or cloth diapers designed for adults with baby fetishes (I'm not making this stuff up, folks--I wish I were!), it's still weird.

Box Tops for Education are those small, square labels on the tops of various General Mills food items (cereals, snack bars, toilet paper packaging). You cut out the Box Tops and send them to your kid's school. The school turns them in for money ($.10 per box top) to buy computers, supplies, etc.

Now that's all fine, and so you send a hundred a year in with your third grader, and you do your duty and it's all good, right?

Here's where eBay comes in. Someone, at some point in time, realized that maybe they could clip and sell those Box Tops for a little PayPal fundage, right?

And somewhere out there was a buyer, perhaps a parent who forgot to clip those Box Tops, or who wanted their little third grader to send in the requisite number of Box Tops and be like all the other kids.

So seller meets buyer on eBay, PayPal is exchanged, and all is good.

But riddle this one with me: why are Box Tops selling for MORE THAN $.10 each on eBay? I'm looking at auctions with sellers selling 100 Box Tops for $14.99 with free shipping...$17.99 with free shipping?

In WHAT free market system do items sell for MORE than they're worth (other than AIG paper)?

I'm going to guess it's the Parent Wars.

You know--those parents who want their third grader to send in the MOST Box Tops. $100 dropped on buying up five or six hundred Box Tops is nothing if their kid is #1!

I'm being snarky (ish). I can't think of any other explanation for this phenomenon.

(Wait...I started this blog post with a point...)

So--start clipping. You buy the products already. This is FOUND MONEY. Bundle the Box Tops in groups of 100 and get an extra $15 here and there.

Report back if you figure out why the Box Tops sell for so much!

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