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ALEX CHADWICK, host:

As Michelle notes, it is the season of giving and getting. But there's one person in Tempe, Arizona who will not be getting the gift that was on the top of his list. Reporter Rene Gutel explains why she got rid of the perfect gift for her husband, got rid of it, and why that may turn out to be something that he will not regret.

RENE GUTEL: John is my husband, and this story is about his Christmas present today. So John, if you're listening, turn off the radio. Do not listen to this story. Okay, he loves anything electronic, so I bought him a Kindle. It's an electronic book that Amazon.com makes, and it can hold up to 200 books. It's been the hot must have gadget this Christmas. They cost $400. I ordered one back in mid-November, and it arrived the first week of December.

(Soundbite of noise)

GUTEL: I'm whispering because I don't want John to hear me. UPS just delivered the box.

(Soundbite of noise)

GUTEL: And there it is.

(Soundbite of noise)

GUTEL: It was absolutely perfect and I was so excited. Until one day, I was online reading the news and checking the blogs and I saw that Amazon had sold out of Kindles and that they had no more available through Christmas. My first thought - and this tells you how twisted I am - is eBay.

(Soundbite of someone typing)

GUTEL: That's when I found out that they were selling on eBay at a markup of hundreds of dollars.

Amazon Kindle brand new inbox. Bidding is at $910.

It turns out scalping holiday presents isn't that uncommon. There were Kindles, Nintendo Wiis and the video games Guitar Hero III and Rockband selling on eBay at ludicrously high prices. There was even a Web site out there that gave you tips on how to get the most money for your much-sought-after item. So when I saw people selling Kindles on eBay, I went in and do unethical tailspin. Is it evil to sell your husband's Christmas gift for a huge profit? Every night after John went asleep; I'd log on to eBay and check the latest prices.

(Soundbite of someone typing)

GUTEL: Let's look at the recently ended auctions. It says $799, $999, $895.

Mr. ROB DUCI(ph) (Financial Adviser): Frankly, I think you're an absolute genius.

GUTEL: That's Rob Duci. He's my financial adviser. I pay him to say things like that. He didn't think it was unethical at all to sell John's Kindle.

Mr. DUCI: I think John would be just as impressed that you did something like that based on (unintelligible) and that you would sell, it get double the money back, pocket half of it and go out in a month or two and buy another one.

GUTEL: He said what I had done was turned a $400 investment into a thousand dollars.

Mr. DUCI: I don't know if I could that in a three-week timeframe with my job. I can't guarantee those results.

GUTEL: So with the blessing of my financial planner, I went home and went back online.

(Soundbite of someone typing)

GUTEL: List your item for sale. I listed the Kindle - brand new, still in shrink wrap.

There we go. I can't look back. No regrets.

I gave it a buy now price of a thousand dollars, and it sold three hours later. The best part is that I've been able to keep this entire misadventure from John. He had no idea at all what he was getting for Christmas, although he knew I was scheming.

Mr. JOHN GUTEL (Rene Gutel's Husband): I think Rene is getting me the ultimate white elephant gift. I have no idea. All the hype around this gift is a gift in itself. It's amazing.

GUTEL: So if you see him, please, please, please keep this a secret. He's getting a Kindle in January and an extra 600 bucks to boot.

For NPR News, I'm Rene Gutel in Phoenix.

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