Advertisement

Popular $2.99 Trader Joe’s tote bags resold for a shocking $500 — are they the new Stanley Tumbler?

trader joes mini canvas tote
trader joes mini canvas tote

A tote bag from Trader Joe’s might be the newest item to quench people’s thirst to stay on trend.

The grocery store’s latest limited item is a mini tote bag that comes in navy, yellow, red and green — and customers are rushing to their closest TJ’s to grab one.

The bags, which are sold for $2.99 in stores, are now so popular, they’re even being resold on eBay at astronomical prices due to the high demand for the limited-edition item.

A listing offers a set of the Trader Joe’s mini canvas tote in all four colors — for a whopping $500.

Another listing is selling just one mini tote for a price tag of $280.

One listing on eBay offers a set of the Trader Joe’s mini canvas tote in all four colors — for a shocking $500. EBAY
One listing on eBay offers a set of the Trader Joe’s mini canvas tote in all four colors — for a shocking $500. EBAY

Their extreme popularity is even being compared to the craze over the Stanley Tumbler, which has become an unexpected phenomenon — and has even become a status symbol.

One user on TikTok posted a video with 1.6 million views showing customers at a Trader Joe’s in California rummaging through a pile of the mini totes, grabbing multiple to throw in their carts.

Some commenters couldn’t believe that people were going crazy over the tote bag.

“I want one but it’s like not that deep,” one person said.

“They look cute and I’ll probably pick one up if they have them next time I go but I don’t think I need one that badly,” another commented.

“Want one but I don’t have the energy to do that,” someone else wrote.

The user, @sineadolivares, added in the comments that “they literally were fighting over the bags like older ladies.”

The bags, which are sold for $2.99 in stores, are now being resold on eBay at astronomical prices due to the high demand for the limited-edition item. EBAY
The bags, which are sold for $2.99 in stores, are now being resold on eBay at astronomical prices due to the high demand for the limited-edition item. EBAY

Someone who seemingly works at that specific store added, “This was my store lmao being at register watching the chaos @ 8am.”

Another TikTok user shared a video of a huge group of people crowding around as employees brought the display into the store — getting ready to pounce before the totes were even on the floor.

“These mfs wildin over a mini tote bag,” the video with 4.4 million views was captioned.

Yet another video with 3 million views showed another local Trader Joe’s with customers standing and waiting for the mini totes to come out of the storage room — and then storming the display as soon as it was set in place.

The poster said that the experience was “so scary,” though acknowledged that they were “part of the problem.”

One person pointed out that the mini totes are “the totes they’ve always had” but smaller — and the Trader Joe’s website confirms the observation.

“The adorable Totes in question are made of the same heavy-duty, 65% cotton/35% polyester blend as our larger, classic Canvas Bags,” the product page says. “They also have the same long, comfortable handles that accent each mostly white-colored bag with one of four vibrant colors: navy, yellow, red, or forest green.

“The difference is, these Totes are Mini-about 13 inches long, by 11 inches tall, by 6 inches wide.”

Trader Joe’s latest limited item is a mini tote bag that comes in navy, yellow, red and green. Trader Joe's
Trader Joe’s latest limited item is a mini tote bag that comes in navy, yellow, red and green. Trader Joe's

The store added: “Please note, these Totes are only available for a limited time, so pick one up while you can!”

According to a post in the Reddit subthread r/traderjoes, one store’s phones were “off the hook with people calling about the totes” and said they “sold 900 in two days.”

“It seems too small to be useful and I just don’t get it. Please explain yourselves!” the post added.

One video showed a huge group of people crowding around as employees brought the display into the store. @yjw.ai/TikTok
One video showed a huge group of people crowding around as employees brought the display into the store. @yjw.ai/TikTok

While some are using the mini tote for practicality such as for a lunch bag, others attempted to use their new hot-ticket item for more unconventional uses like a dog carrier. One person even embroidered the new bag themselves to personalize it.

The totes are totes riding a wave similar to the Stanley onslaught.

“The totes version of the Stanley cup lol,” one quipped.

Some users have compared the excitement for the Trader Joe’s mini totes to the hype surrounding the viral Stanley cups. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Some users have compared the excitement for the Trader Joe’s mini totes to the hype surrounding the viral Stanley cups. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

According to Amazon search data, the insulated 40-ounce Stanley Quencher Tumbler with a side handle and straw was a top-searched product on the platform this past holiday season, and consumers have been eager to get their hands on one of their own.

One video on TikTok posted by Victoria Robino shows customers pushing and shoving to get the limited-edition Valentine’s Day Stanley — Stanley’s exclusive Galentine’s Collection available only at Target.

Another video posted by Mikayla Dixon on New Year’s Eve shows people waiting in a line outside of a Target location in Wesley Chapel, Florida, before the store even opened, and shoppers ran straight to the cups once doors opened.

But Casey Lewis, a youth consumer trends analyst who writes the newsletter After Schooltold Business Insider that she thinks the hype is already dying down.

Looking at the chaos surrounding the Trader Joe’s mini totes, she might be onto something.