Sunday, August 13, 2017

Opportunists Charge 1800% Markup for Last Minute Solar Eclipse Supplies on Amazon

I thought this was newsworthy! A commenter on one of my most popular blog posts of all time "$10 DIY Solar Filter for DSLR Camera" pointed out that the solar filter I link to was being sold on Amazon for a huge markup! I noticed that just a few days ago the 4"x4" solar filter was out of stock, but it looks opportunist are swooping in to flip these unavailable items at astronomical rates as third party Amazon sellers. Eclipse glasses, only $3.54 on July 24, are offered at $69.95, that's an 1876% increase!!

huge price increase in solar eclipse glasses on amazon
Price trends from Honey plugin for Chrome

I use the Chrome plugin called Honey to get price graphs for the items on Amazon that show obvious trends upward as the Great American Eclipse approaches. 

Not just eclipse glasses, but the solar filter I recommend in my blog post is no longer $7.35, it's now being offered by a third party seller for $134.85 (that's a 1735% increase!). 

huge price increase in solar eclipse glasses on amazon
Price trends from Honey plugin for Chrome

This is making me a little worried. I have all my gear already, but it could be the early signs of what the BIG DAY is going to be like. I'm picturing myself out on the road trying to get food, water, bathrooms, all being at the mercy of supply and demand. If tens of thousands of eclipse viewers are going to be descending upon little towns, gas stations, and rest stops all across America - who could blame them for getting the most they can out of it, knowing it's unlikely these 1-day tourists become regular visitors. 

I guess all we can do is wait and see. As for the stuff on Amazon, there are plenty of alternatives - you don't need THAT pair of eclipse glasses, and I know that the black polymer filter comes in different sized sheets (that are also marked up, but not as bad). Stay safe out there, and remember to take in the full experience - possibly including the over priced goods along the way! It just adds to the story of the event that you can tell your friends and family years from now. 

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