Couple Sells Princess Diana Beanie Baby for $93,000 – Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
A young couple purchased a Princess Diana Beanie Baby for $15 at a flea market in England and sold the rare stuffed animal for $93,000 on eBay.
Reports that a young couple sold a Princess Diana Beanie Baby on eBay for $93,000 are false.
The claim went viral after media outlets in England like the Daily Mail and The Independent reported that Leah Rogers and Ryan Flanaghan had found the rare stuffed bear at a flea market for about $15, and that they hoped to sell it on eBay for $93,000. According to Daily Mail:
“As a former collector, Mr Flanaghan, 22, recognised the bear as a limited edition Princess Diana Di Beanie Baby — one of the most sought after in the collection which can be worth thousands of pounds.
“But the builder was stunned to find out that the bear was one of just 100 made around the world — and that another version is currently listed on eBay for £62,500.
“The pair is now hoping to sell the bear on the auction site and put the money towards a deposit for a house.”
It’s important to note that the Daily Mail article said that the couple was hoping to sell the Princess Di Beanie Baby for £62,500 (about $93,000). That’s quite a bit different than actually selling the Princess Di Beanie Baby for $93,000.
However, that important detail was lost in translation when many people read the article. The article shows a screenshot of the Princess Di Beanie Baby auction at $93,000 on eBay, but that’s deceiving. It’s easy for eBay users to bid on their own items using a different account to drive up the price, and that appears to be what’s happened here.
The Princess Di Beanie Baby has been at the center of controversy before. Problems are so bad that the website Ty Collector (Ty is the company that made billions selling Beanie Babies in the 1990s) has singled out the Princess Di Beanie Baby with a collector’s fraud alert:
“From time to time, prices paid by buyers on eBay for the Princess Beanie Baby increase dramatically for a short period of time. This generally happens when a blogger, a personality on a TV show or a news reporter claims Princess is valuable because it is selling for an extremely high price on eBay.
“That of course, is an uninformed misrepresentation or sometimes an intentional deception designed to scam potential collectors who do not understand how eBay really works.”
“…When we see spikes in the value of Princess Beanie Babies due to events like this, we do not use the outrageously high prices paid for Princess at eBay in our value computations for at least a 60-day period. By then the secondary market has settled sufficiently to resume using all of the prices paid at eBay in our value formulas. During these temporary periods of artificial value hype we focus more on the prices being received by known “honest” collectors and dealers.
“The same thing happened in 2013 when an uninformed ‘appraiser’ on a popular television show suggested a Princess Beanie found in an abandoned storage room could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on which version of Princess it happened to be. That incorrect assessment was also based on whatPrincess was being ‘listed’ for on eBay instead of the true indicator; the prices buyers actually ‘PAY’ for Princess on eBay.
“Buyers beware. We would gladly and immediately notify collectors if something transpired that would cause a dramatic increase in the value of a Princess Beanie Baby. It would of course have to be something like a P.V.C.-eating virus that is destroying all of the Princess Beanies in the world that were not protected in sealed plastic containers; but short of something remarkable like that, it isn’t likely the true value of the Princess Beanie Baby will be skyrocketing any time soon — or in our lifetimes for that matter.”
So, what’s the big deal about the Princess Di Beanie Baby? The Beanie Baby, a purple bear with a white rose sewn on its chest, was sold after Princess Diana’s death in 1997 to raise money for the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. A tag that comes with the Princess Di Beanie Baby includes a poem that calls the fallen princess an “angel.”
Confusion about the Princess Di Beanie Baby started almost immediately after it was released in 1997, Ty Collector reports:
“Ty introduced Princess on October 29, 1997. In November 1997, Ty informed U.S. retailers they could only order 12 Princess Beanie Babies for delivery in December. This restriction caused many collectors and retailers to believe Princess would be a limited edition. The ‘limited edition’ rumors caused a buying frenzy when Princess first shipped in December 1997.
“Collector and speculator demand immediately drove the secondary market price for a Princess Beanie Baby to well over $200. When a different version of the Princess tush tag appeared, speculation about the variations caused even more confusion about Princess.
“Much of the ’true’ production history for the Princess Beanie Baby is still a mystery. New collectors are misled into believing Princess is valuable by uninformed, dishonest or deluded sellers on eBay who frequently attempt to sell or auction Princess for prices ranging from hundreds to millions of dollars.”
Claims that Princess Di Beanie Babies are worth millions of dollars (or even hundreds of dollars) are totally false. Ty Collector reports that “first edition” Princess Di Beanie Babies that were made in China are worth about $27, and “first edition” Princess Di Beanie Babies that were made in Indonesia are worth about $47.