(NEW YORK) — On Hostess Brands’ last day of shipping its iconic snacks, entrepreneurial eBay sellers have taken the opportunity to tap into buyers’ Hostess panic, selling boxes for 95 percent more than grocery stores.
In one Food Emporium grocery store in New York City, Twinkies were sold out by 1:30 p.m. ET. In its place, was a box of 8 Hostess Strawberry Cupcakes, sitting next to several other Hostess products.
While Twinkies were retailing there at $4.29 for a box of ten, one eBay seller sold a box for $59.99. Other boxes were on sale for $100 or more.
Hostess’ final shipments take place Friday, said Erik Halvorson, a spokesman for Hostess, the same day CEO Gregory F. Rayburn said it filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to close its business and sell its assets.
Halvorson said retail prices for Hostess products vary.
The company had filed for bankruptcy twice. The company filed in 2004 and then again in January of this year.
“We deeply regret the necessity of today’s decision, but we do not have the financial resources to weather an extended nationwide strike,” said Rayburn in a statement on Friday morning. “Hostess Brands will move promptly to lay off most of its 18,500-member workforce and focus on selling its assets to the highest bidders.”
The fate of the Twinkie and other Hostess products hang in the balance as Hostess winds down the company. Private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings is one of the owners. Hedge funds Silver Point Capital and Monarch Alternative Capital own Hostess’ debt.
A spokesman for Silver Point Capital, based in Greenwich, Conn., declined to comment. Monarch Alternative Capital, based in New York, did not immediately return a request for comment.
Among the 33 bakeries and 565 distribution centers Hostess said it will close is a factory in Schiller Park, Ill., which neighbors Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The bakery was the birthplace of the Twinkie, created on April 6, 1939 by Continental Baking Co.’s James Dewar.
Dewar had tried different ways to use shortcake pans and first filled Twinkies with banana cream, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
During the Great Depression, two Twinkies were sold for a nickel. During World War II, when bananas became scarce, the filling was changed to vanilla, the Sun-Times said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News
Doug Criss, CNN
Kathryn Vasel, CNN