BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Every year around the holidays there's a buzz about the "hottest toys," often accompanied by a reported shortage and, in some cases, inflated prices for these desired gifts. Remember the Cabbage Patch Kids and Tickle-Me-Elmo?
Some may believe that these shortages are an intentional effort to build interest in a product, but Thomas P. Hustad, a marketing professor in Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, said that's not true.
"It is in a company's interest to produce enough product to avoid stock outs," Hustad said. "Toy sales are seasonal. While birthdays and certain occasions exist throughout the year, …