- Beijing police are cracking down on Olympic merchandise resold above retail cost, the AP reported.
- Three people were sentenced to unspecified “administrative penalties” for upcharging customers.
- “Please consume rationally and do not buy at high prices from scalpers,” Beijing police said on social media.
Law enforcement in Beijing is cracking down on Chinese traders selling Olympic merchandise at up to 10 times the retail cost, the Associated Press reported Friday.
Souvenirs inspired by Bing Dwen Dwen, a cartoon panda in a plastic suit, flew off the shelves in China after the Winter Olympics kicked off on February 4. Plush toys of the panda were priced at 192 yuan ($30 USD) at the Gongmei Emporium and other shops in central Beijing.
“The secondhand market is hot,” local newspaper Beijing News reported, per the AP report. “Bing Dwen Dwen has surged to 10 times the original price.”
Stores had about 300 dolls for sale, but shoppers said they sold out in as little as 30 minutes. One customer said the dolls had been on sale for a while but only recently gained more popularity as the “media are promoting it.”
“It started to be sold a long time ago but didn’t generate a buzz,” a customer at Gongmei, identified only her surname, Zhu, told the AP.
Three people in Beijing were sentenced to unspecified “administrative penalties” for upcharging customers on the resold merchandise. Local reports say a trader was arrested by police following a complaint that he was reselling an Olympic keychain for 20 yuan ($3) above retail price, the AP reported.
“Please consume rationally and do not buy at high prices from scalpers,” the Beijing police department said on its social media account, citing the AP report.