You’ll find all kinds of treasures if you spend enough time on eBay—an eight-pack of Rush Limbaugh’s deeply upsetting sweet tea brand, for example. But eBay is also rife with scams, as evidenced by the time I spent $60 on what I thought were hardcover editions of a popular fantasy novel series and ended up with a link to a 3,000 page PDF. Now, exorbitantly priced Taco Bell hot sauces are the scam du jour as reported by Eat This, Not That!, with eBay sellers peddling the sauce packets for as much as $24,999.99.
Although Taco Bell hot sauce is famously free, the packets are going for wild prices online. Why? Because they’re allegedly “super rare” packets; namely, packets printed without the quippy labels. Take, for example, this listing for “Taco Bell Hot Sauce, Blank Packet No Label. SUPER RARE” which is going for $24,999.99. The seller writes:
“Rare instance of a misprint leaving a Taco Bell packet without the sexy pun it usually comes with. Limited collectible, get yours here. Found it the fifth time I ever ate there. If you give me money for it I’ll probably go to Taco Bell more often tbh.[sic] I’m hungry, please feed me.”
Eat This, Not That! links to another listing featuring six packets of hot sauce for $2,500. The listing reads:
“Condition is ‘New.’ Shipped with USPS First Class. Make your wildest dreams come true with these LIMITED Edition Taco Bell hot sauce packets. Forget about that Shining Fates Charizard, buy these instead!!”
Why the high price tag on sauces you can get for free? Like with many fast food anomalies, Reddit users have theories. While the eBay sellers are hawking the unprinted sauce packets as “rare” finds, Reddit users note that the unprinted packets are actually common and “intentionally circulated.” Then again, eBay shoppers are notoriously susceptible to scams. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a 3,000 page PDF to read.