Bing Dwen Dwen – level 3
Shoppers in Beijing, China, lined up overnight in freezing temperatures for the chance to buy scarce Winter Olympics souvenirs, including stuffed versions of Olympics Games mascot panda Bing Dwen Dwen.
On Monday, stores sold out of the pandas at many locations, including the Olympics facilities, where Chinese volunteers and foreign visitors had lined up for hours. Those who avoided the queue paid as much as 17 times the retail price on the outside market. Sellers sold stuffed toys there for over 500 dollars online. Police issued public warnings against buying the mascot from scalpers, and they punished three people for price gouging.
Limited supplies were due to two reasons. The Games opening ceremony was during the middle of the Lunar New Year holiday, and many factories closed just before the demand suddenly increased for the Bing Dwen Dwen toys.
Difficult words: scarce (not available in necessary amounts), scalper (a person who buys large amounts of something, and he sells it at a higher price), price gouge (to take advantage of high demand for something and charge high prices for it).
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