Coles customers are going crazy over a new range of collectable toys, with the complete set now selling on eBay for up to $1,000.
The supermarket giant announced on Wednesday that shoppers can collect 30 Little Shop replicas of grocery products, including Vegemite and Nutella jars for every $30 spent at checkout. And within two days, the popular mini plastic toys are now selling for hundreds of dollars on eBay, with some sellers asking up to $999.
Opportunistic customers are even trying to sell individual items for more than $20 each.
“Just got my kids the new mini shop front and some of the mini groceries, they totally love it, I can’t wait to play shops with them over the weekend,” one commentator wrote on the grocery store’s Facebook page.
Another added: “My Miss 3 LOVES your little shop! We have been playing for hours today! We only have a few items though but that’s ok we will keep collecting!”
While there has been some excitement about the promotion, some customers are questioning the supermarket’s commitment to reducing plastic waste. Coles rolled out the items just weeks after they introduced single-use plastic bag bans in Victoria, NSW, Qld and WA, causing outrage among shoppers.
“To say I was flabbergasted at being offered plastic toys of shopping items just after Coles rolled out the plastic bag ban would be an understatement,” one angry shopper wrote. “This is heartbreaking, infuriating and I am mad as heck about this!”
Another added: “You have decided to give up the plastic bags for customers which is long overdue, and now you are promoting your own agenda for us to shop in your stores by offering free rubbish toys that cost so much to produce and end up in our bins. Get your act together Coles.”
And a third wrote: “Questioning why Coles is now selling miniature products which have no worth nor use. I thought Coles supermarkets were committed to reducing plastic waste.”
However, a Coles spokesperson said: “We know many of our customers love collectables and we have designed them together with our suppliers to be miniature replicas of some of the most popular products on our supermarket shelves.
“The idea behind Little Shop is that customers can keep and collect them rather than throw them out. When customers are at the supermarket they have a choice as to whether they would like to receive a mini collectable or not.”
There are also additional items available for purchase, including collector cases, miniature shopping baskets, trolleys and even a miniature shopfront. To further help customers complete their collections, Coles announced they will be holding a Swap Day at selected stores across the country.