Wii U Gray Market Is Frothy And Heating Up As Scalpers Sell Online

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While Gamestop is reporting record Wii U preorders and sales, it looks like the Wii gray market is in full effect, driving prices of the console into the thousands as unyielding children barrack their parents into buying them the latest and greatest this holiday.

Gamestop reported 500,000 Wii U pre-orders and 1.2 million games ordered, double the pre-orders for the original Wii.

The gray market, that traditional arbiter of early console popularity, is already in full swing with Wiis U showing up at inflated prices on multiple storefronts. Amazon has them for a $100 premium while games are available at retail price.

eBay sees consoles hitting $2,999.99 (one wag is selling a 10-pack of Twinkies and a Wii U for $5,000) while Craigslist in New York brings us models at about $700 for the 32GB model. In all, with a bit of clever shopping, you could pay a minimum of $150 over retail for the $349 32GB console.

Devices like the PS3 hit highs of $3,000 on eBay at launch before falling back to earth. This scalping at least bodes well for the popularity of the console given that demand is quite high.

You can read my opinion on the Wii U here or just head down to your local gamery for a demo.

[Thanks to BenedictJohnson for the clever use of barrack]