Empty Prime bottles selling for $35 on Facebook: 'Cannot be serious'

Aussies are charging almost 700% above retail value for empty Prime drink containers.

The madness surrounding Prime drinks has reached a new peak, with demand for the product driving a bizarre economy online.

In the wake of chaotic scenes at a Perth Woolworths, bans in Queensland schools, and supermarket shelves stripped bare around the country, some cunning consumers are now selling empty bottles of the coveted beverage online - and people are actually buying them.

Listings are prolific on Facebook Marketplace and eBay, with sellers asking anywhere from $3 to $35 for the items. "People cannot be serious," reacted one stunned Reddit user who spotted an empty Prime bottle going for $20 on Facebook.

Empty Prime bottles on Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is littered with ads for empty Prime bottles. Source: Facebook

The drinks come with a recommended retail price of just $4.50, but as they're regularly sold out in both Woolworths and Coles, other specialty retailers are charging anywhere from $15 to $30 for a single bottle.

Meanwhile, desperate Aussies are snapping up the containers from online sellers, with eBay sales records showing that a number of the items have sold. Some buyers are even paying shipping fees of over $30 to have the empty bottles delivered to their doors.

Prime was launched by YouTube superstars Logan Paul and KSI, whose eager young fans appear more than willing to lap up anything they have to offer. Collectively, the American and British duo have almost 40 million followers on Instagram, 28 million followers on TikTok and a whopping 60 million YouTube subscribers, with exploits ranging from widely promoted novelty boxing matches to B-grade rap songs.

Empty Prime bottles on Facebook Marketplace
Woolworths sold over 800,000 Prime drinks within a week of stocking the products and now shoppers are selling the empty bottles to fans who missed out. Source: Facebook

The range includes both a hydrating sports drink and a caffeinated energy drink, but only the former can legally be sold in Australia, as caffeine content in the energy drink far exceeds local limits. Even so, unscrupulous retailers have been importing Prime Energy and selling it both online and in-store, with reports of Aussie school kids purchasing the banned beverage to resell in the schoolyard.

Energy drinks with significantly less caffeine have previously been shown to have a number of negative physical health effects including heart issues, impaired concentration and gut disturbance. However, equally concerning are the drinks' reported mental health effects, ranging from insomnia, anxiety and agitation right through to full-blown mood disorders, psychosis and hallucinations.

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