If only I had thought ahead, I could have financed a lot of my Christmas gifts by purchasing the $400 Starbucks limited edition gift card for $450. How? By selling it to someone on eBay. I read on CNNMoney that Gilt.com sold all 5,000 of the limited-edition cards in six minutes, and many of the people who snatched them up are now selling them on eBay for around $1,000. As I type this, there are 119 of them up for sale on the auction site.

I wouldn’t have guessed that these cards were an investment. It amazed me when I first mentioned these cards last week that someone would pay $50 more than a gift card was worth just to have a status symbol. Now it looks like some of the people who paid that extra $50 actually weren’t buying a status symbol — they were buying an investment. They understood that not only would someone pay $50 more than the card was worth; some would pay $550 more than the card was worth! Crazy.

Here’s what I’m wondering now: when someone walks into a Starbucks and whips out that limited-edition Steel Starbucks gift card, how hard will it be for the cashier to keep a straight face? Because you know, the cashier will be wondering if that person (or more likely someone who gave that person a gift) paid $550 more than it’s worth just to have one.

I’m not sure why I’m so fascinated by this. I know people waste money on things all the time. This is nothing new. But for some reason, I can’t help but be dumbfounded by this. It’s a gift card. It gets exchanged for coffee and perhaps some really yummy lemon pound cake.

Anyone else scratching their heads over this, or am I just putting in too much time wondering about it?

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