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People Are Asking $1K on eBay for $5.50 'Supreme'-Branded MetroCards

By Nicole Levy | February 21, 2017 8:45am | Updated on February 22, 2017 2:46pm
 The logo of a popular streetwear brand appears on a limited-edition MetroCard, available as of Monday.
The logo of a popular streetwear brand appears on a limited-edition MetroCard, available as of Monday.
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Twitter/@NYCTSubway

If the impending MTA fare hike is putting a strain on your pocketbook, this is one way to recover the difference.

EBay and Craigslist users are reselling MetroCards branded by the streetwear designer Supreme for as much as $1000 — four days after the limited-edition item was made available for purchase at the company's flagship store in SoHo and one day after the MTA announced their sale via machines and tellers at select subway stations.

The cards are a collaboration between the MTA and Supreme, a streetwear brand with a flagship store in SoHo, a worldwide cult following, and a distinctive red and white logo. The MTA has been selling ad space on the back of its cards since 1995 and on both sides since 2012

Transit passes branded with the Supreme logo and loaded with two fares, worth $5.50, were first released Friday at Supreme's store on Lafayette Street as part of the label's Spring/Summer 2017 collection. On Monday morning, the MTA loaded a limited quantity into vending machines at several subway stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, for purchase at average MetroCard prices.

The agency's announcement of their sale on Twitter sparked a frenzy among trendy Millennials and teenagers, who lined up at and swarmed around machines — periodically loaded with limited quantities of the branded cards — in the hopes that chance would dispense them a golden ticket. 

Savvy opportunists purchased more than one card, auctioning them off online at markups between $20 and $955.

What kind of person might buy a card for 181 times its listed value? 

"I don't judge how anyone spends their money on eBay," MTA spokeswoman Beth DeFalco said when asked to weigh in. 

DeFalco declined to comment on the specifics of the agency's advertising deals, but officials told the Daily News in 2012 that brands were paying between 18 and 51 cents a card, depending the number printed. 

On Twitter, some New Yorkers questioned the priorities and budgeting of a government agency promoting its advertising campaign:

City Council members and advocates have been calling for Mayor Bill de Blasio to subsidize half-price subway and bus fares for low-income New Yorkers, but the mayor's office says the MTA is Gov. Andrew Cuomo's responsibility.