1. The seller is hoping people will click on an item and not realize they spent too much on it. Once shipped, they will just lump it and not bother to return the product. Or they will open the product and not realize what they paid for it until they get their credit card bill.2. They are hoping children of users will click on an item by mistake and same as #1.3. They are in cahoots with thieves who use a stolen laptop or cell phone to "order" these overpriced items, which are then charged to the victim's account. Or a stolen credit card is used. The seller then splits the proceeds with the thief.4. Some sort of money laundering is going on. Rather than send money directly to ISIS, you "buy" overpriced jars of mayonnaise and effectively do the same thing (the mayo, of course, is never actually shipped).
5. They are using these listings to show relative value of items to suckers they are trying to pawn off a "collectable" on.
Note that when you see a product question posted on Amazon, it is not being answered by the seller but by another consumer (or third party). In the instance of the squirrel scam, the quantity is not specified in the listing - an error by omission that fuels the scam. In the "questions and answers" section, a "buyer" asks the very oddly worded question:
Is this for a case? How many do u get for $57.05?To which a "helpful" buyer answers "No, it was for 6. Squirrels and birds really love it."
What the fuck does $57.05 have to do with anything? The net result is one unlucky buyer read this, assumed it was for six items, and got only one, and was bummed out and left a one-star review. Since the seller never said it was for six items, he is off the hook. Of course, you have to wonder how the weird "question" and misleading "answer" ended up on the website - by design perhaps?
Moral: Read Amazon listings carefully. Remember that reviews are of the product and not the seller. Remember that questions and answers are not representations of the seller and you have no recourse if you didn't read the listing closely.
So what really is going on here? More of the same-old same old, I'm afraid. Social media, in this instance, eBay and Amazon (whose feedback systems, question & answer sections are a form of interactive, social media) end up being spoofed by evildoers to engage in some kind of ripoff.
The name of the game is disinformation - putting up false, misleading, or even vague data, so that people make ill-informed decisions. It is sort of the opposite of the Craigslist scam. On Craigslist, they advertise prices that are too good to be true. On eBay and Amazon, it is prices that are obscenely high.
The net result is buyer beware - caveat emptor.
NOTE: It would of course, be easy for Amazon and eBay to police these kinds of listings. For a fungible commodity, any product price that is above or below the average price by more than one or two standard deviations could be flagged or automatically canned. It is like with Craigslist, who has successfully fought the bogus listings using bots to cancel them. But of course, that doesn't generate revenue for Amazon or eBay!