$99 HP Touchpad Tablet: Desperate Consumers Paying Hundreds More on Amazon, eBay

Consumers hungry to get their hands on Hewlett-Packard's (HP) TouchPads have been turning to sites like eBay and Amazon and clunking down hundreds of dollars for the device, even though the tablets have been marked down in many stores from $399 to $99.

Since HP announced last Friday that they would no longer be producing TouchPads or other devices reliant on their webOS technology, Best Buy, Barnes and Nobles, and Staples joined the company in drastically cutting the prices of the 32GB and 16GB HP TouchPads.

The frenzy among consumers to acquire the newly-discounted tablet was so intense that retailers quickly sold out of the electronic device in stores and online.

HP and Barnes and Noble reportedly even canceled some customer orders due to not having any of the TouchPads immediately on hand.

Best Buy was reportedly among the first retailers to slash the prices of the 16GB ($99) and 32GB ($149) HP TouchPads, but independent sellers might have actually been ahead of the curve.

Independent sellers still had plenty of the coveted devices on hand Tuesday, according to bids on eBay and listings on Amazon.

HP announced that it would be re-stocking more of the TouchPad tablets early this week, but some consumers who apparently cannot wait have been turning to eBay and plunking down hundreds of dollars for the $99 and $149 tablets.

One eBay listing had attracted 12 bids for the 16GB HP TouchPad with the price hitting more than $200 as of Tuesday afternoon. The listing, posted by seller "christykmsc5-2008," still had two more days to go.

Another 16GB HP TouchPad was even going for $305 on the popular auction site.

On Amazon, the HP Touchpads were the two most popular items on the retailer's "Bestsellers in Computers & Accessories" list, with the 32GB ahead of the 16GB tablet.

The minimum price for a 32GB HP Touchpad on Amazon Tuesday afternoon was about $359, while the minimum price for the 16GB tablet was about $319.

The Christian Post was unable to speak with anyone at Amazon regarding sales of the HP Touchpads, so it was unclear how many of these items may have actually sold at the higher price on the retailer's website.

HP's decision to cut out webOS-devices also affects smartphones. An HP spokeswoman told CNN that the company will also reduce the price of the Pre3 smartphone to $75, but that deal will only be available for HP's U.K. customers.