Russians bulk buy McDonald's items & resell online

A 40-fold increase in prices, similar to black market conditions.

Fiona Tan | March 10, 2022, 02:10 PM

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McDonald's outlets in Russia were packed with people after the fast food chain announced it will be temporarily closing all 850 of its outlets in the country.

This could be the last time Russians get to eat McDonald's for a while as there is no timeline of the chain's return.

Scalpers rush in

The sudden scarcity also created an opportunity to make a quick buck.

Listings to resell the coveted McDonald's food items online at staggering prices appeared overnight.

Reselling McDonald's items

Scalpers easily marked up prices by 1,000 per cent and more.

For those who'd like to savour a last sip of Coca-Cola that was dispensed from a McDonald's outlet, it would now cost a cool ₽1,500, or approximately S$14.99.

This is around an 18-fold increase in prices, where a large Coca-Cola would usually cost ₽79, or S$0.79, according to Russia's McDonald's website.

Image from @nexta_tv/Twitter.

This is compounded by the fact that the value of the Russian ruble has cratered, falling by some 100 per cent, since sanctions globally kicked in.

The company responsible for the fizzy gold, Coca-Cola, suspended business operations in Russia on Mar. 8, just one day before McDonald's decided to follow suit on Mar. 9.

For individuals who would like to purchase a heartier McDonald's meal consisting the full works for at least a few pax -- one cheeseburger, two Big Macs, two packs of French fries with cheese sauce, one Caesar sauce, with two McFlurry cherry pies, a vanilla and Strawberry milkshake each to wash it all down, and a wild berry pie to close -- it would set them back ₽45,000, or S$445.

And the meal was still warm, the seller's description said.

Image from @nexta_tv/Twitter.

According to Russia's McDonald's website, this feast would typically cost a total of ₽1,134, or S$11.20, assuming each item was purchased a la carte.

This meant a whopping 40-fold markup from the original price.

More listings

There were more McDonald's food items available on an online marketplace for Russians after the fast food chain's closure.

Prices start from ₽40,000 and go up to ₽50,000, or between S$395.22 to S$494.02 for some of these listings:

Image from @nexta_tv/Twitter.

McDonald's opened in Russia in 1990

The beloved golden arches is but one of many Western companies to withdraw from Russia.

Others include PepsiCo, Starbucks and IKEA.

Apple, Google, Facebook, Ikea, Nike, H&M, Toyota, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz have also announced that they would limit their operations.

The long lines outside of McDonald's outlets in Russia before their impending closure were similar to what happened 32 years ago when the fast food chain opened its doors for the first time on Jan. 31, 1990 in the former Soviet republic.

Long queues formed at the American fast food chain for a taste of cuisine that capitalism wrought.

Situated at Pushkin Square in central Moscow, that was the largest outlet in the world at that time.

Some individuals have bemoaned that the temporary closure of McDonald's in Russia was the end of an era, yet another testament to popularity of the fast food chain in Russia.

One individual even went to extreme lengths to ensure that McDonald's food is not off the menu just yet.

A photo of a fridge stacked with burgers was put up online, showing the hoarding situation in Russia that further compounded the scarcity for others.

Image from Reddit.

The individual is clearly lovin' it.

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Top image from Reddit and @nexta_tv/Twitter