Store Scalps Wiis, Say Workers

Dennis Faas's picture

The days of Tickle Me Elmo might be long over, but the holiday rush for that must-have toy remains an annual phenomenon. In fact, for the last two Decembers one device has been at the top of most kids' (and heck, parents') Christmas list: the Nintendo Wii. Now, it seems at least one retailer is taking serious advantage of that demand.

In a recent investigation, Ars Technica revealed retail outlet Slackers' 'scalping' of Nintendo's cute little console. According to employees, the owner of the store took his orders of the Wii -- so desperately sought this Christmas -- and placed them on eBay for $400. That's about $150 more than the price of most retailers once the system hits their store shelves (in the rare instance). Ars Technica reports that since this scandal was first reported, anonymous employees for the store have flooded the site's inboxes with confirmation of said practice. (Source:

It's not unlikely that many Slackers employees are gamers themselves. It shows; statements demonstrate a clear frustration with their employers' business practices.

Asked what policy was when a customer asks for a Wii, one employee retorted, "We tell them we are out and we don't plan on getting any in the near future." That's the standard line from most retailers, including Best Buy, Future Shop, and EB Games. However, in the case of Slackers the actual number of Wiis in stock is very misleading.

"It may say we have three, but that is just to make it appear as though we don't have a stockpile," an employee said. "The actual number is usually much higher." (Source:

These same angry employees -- who have been placed in what is undoubtedly an awkward situation when facing desperate parents and gamers -- estimate that about twenty Wiis have been sold on eBay rather than from their rightful place on Slackers' shelves.

Clearly, the workers are worried such reports could produce a nasty backlash from their bosses. "I'm simply giving you the facts," one said.

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