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November 18, 2012

Twinkie prices going up fast online

SAN FRANCISCO — Twinkies are being sold on the Internet like exquisite delicacies.

Hours after Twinkie-maker Hostess announced its plans to close its doors forever, people flocked to stores to fill their shopping baskets with boxes of the cream-filled sponge cakes and their sibling snacks — Ding Dongs, Ho Hos and Zingers.

Late Friday and Saturday, the opportunists took to eBay and Craigslist. They began marketing their hoard to whimsical collectors and junk-food lovers for hundreds — and in some cases — thousands of dollars. That’s a fat profit margin, when you consider the retail price for a box of 10 Twinkies is roughly $5.

Greg Edmonds of Sherman, Texas is among those who believe Twinkies are worth more now that Hostess Brands Inc. has closed its bakeries. He lost his job as a sales representative eight months ago, so he is hoping to make some money feeding the appetites of Twinkie fans and connoisseurs

After spending a couple hours driving around to stores Friday, Edmonds wound up with 16 boxes of Twinkies and Ding Dongs. He started selling them Saturday on eBay, advertising three boxes for a hefty price of $300.

“I could really use the extra money since I’m unemployed,” Edmonds, 50, said. “I figure I better sell them pretty quickly because I am not sure how long this novelty is going to last.”

Contrary to popular belief, Twinkies don’t last forever. Most bought in stores Friday carry an expiration date of early December,

If buyers don’t bite, Edmonds isn’t sure what he will do with his supply. He doesn’t even like Twinkies. “I do like to have a Ding Dong, every once in a while though,” he said.

John Stansel of Tampa, Fla. blanches at the thought of eating a Twinkie. He’s a self-described health nut.

Yet he, too, rummaged shelves late Friday at a neighborhood Walgreens and then again early Saturday at Target and a grocery store. He spent about $100 for 20 boxes of Twinkies and Ding Dongs. His goal: sell them for about $1,000 and put the money to good use.

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