Fingerlings are one of the most sought-after toys going into the holiday season, and many retailers are already sold out.
The Associated Press reports that as shoppers seek desperately for a place to get their loved one exactly what they wanted, many are being taken advantage of my frauds and counterfeits on sites like Amazon and Walmart.
The 6-inch tall monkey dolls cling to childrens' fingers, move their heads, and talk based on a few interactive behaviors. They're inexplicably popular — every child must have one.
However, all that many of them are going to get are the knock-off imitations being peddled as the real thing online. Many are receiving monkey dolls packaged as authentic Fingerlings, but they don't move, or talk or squeal when you stroke their hair. Some customers are even getting monkey toys in the mail that light up or glow, which Fingerlings aren't even supposed to do.
One of the biggest problems is Amazon, where third party sellers have many loopholes they can use to make what they're selling appear to be the real thing. Amazon has a zero tolerance policy for counterfeit products, but they usually leave sellers to sort out returns and refunds. In this case, customers are calling on them for more.
One customer, who got an off-brand monkey toy that didn't articulate at all, spoke to the AP, saying that the seller offered her a ten dollar refund out of the $17 she paid. When asked about that order, Amazon said they would refund victims of counterfeiting if they reached out to Amazon customer support.
Amazon's policy is that they're always working to prevent fraudulent products from reaching their marketplace.
Meanwhile, the toy's manufacturer, WowWee, is battling the rising tide of fakes as well. The company sued 165 counterfeiters in October. On their website, they advise customers only to buy products that are labeled "shipped and sold by Amazon" on the retail giant's website.
"We know Fingerlings is a high-demand toy," WowWee said in a statement. "And we're working very closely with our retail partners to ensure stores are stocked this holiday season."