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Want to cash in on the Hatchimal craze? You are too late

Kelly Ingram reacts while receiving a Hatchimal, a top toy of the season, at Walmart’s Black Friday event in Bentonville, AR on Nov. 24, 2016.
Gunnar Rathbun | AP
Kelly Ingram reacts while receiving a Hatchimal, a top toy of the season, at Walmart’s Black Friday event in Bentonville, AR on Nov. 24, 2016.

There's something worse than not getting a Hatchimal for the holidays: purchasing too many.

That's what New York Times' best-selling author Sara Gruen discovered in the last few weeks. The acclaimed author of "Water for Elephants" had hoped to cash in on the Hatchimal craze to support a philanthropic effort to free a supposedly innocent man from prison, according to Philly Voice.

Gruen purchased 156 Hatchimals toys on eBay the day after Black Friday, spending more than $23,500 on the toys, or about $151 per Hatchimal. The toy retails for about $50.

She isn't the first to try and turn a quick buck on the hot toy trend, however, she was a bit late to the game. While brothers Mike and Stan Zappa, who invested $5,000 on about 100 Hatchimals back in October, have made back their investment, Gruen has a long, long way to go.

Hatchimals usually sell for between $100 to $225 on auction sites. Since Gruen purchased her stash of toys for a significant mark-up already, she doesn't stand to make a considerable profit per Hatchimal.

In addition, as a first-time eBay seller, she was restricted from posting more than three items in her online store because she does not have a history on the site.

"You may have limits placed on your account or on particular categories and items until you confirm certain information or establish a positive selling history," eBay writes on its website.

Gruen faced similar dead-ends from other online retail shops and has since resorted to selling the toys on Shopify, where she currently has seven Hatchimals available for $189 each.

"It never occurred to me that I'd have trouble getting rid of them," Gruen told Philly Voice. "They were already selling at double, triple the manufacturer's suggested retail price, but I figured I could sell them at a profit and put a dent in the extremely hefty lawyers' fees."

Gruen has also taken to Facebook to try and offload some of the cache before Christmas.

"I have a fortune invested, only one venue to offload them, and in only three weeks they will magically transform into useless pumpkins that will take up space in my office forever, and have caused my financial ruin," she wrote on the social media site, according to Philly Voice.