Olive Garden’s Pasta Passes Can Still Be Purchased — for a Hefty Markup
But it doesn’t come cheap. The original pass, which grants unlimited Never Ending Pasta Bowl entrees and sides to the designated cardholder from Oct. 3 through Nov. 20, cost $100. Now eBay listings show passes selling for anywhere from $200 to $400.
What’s Never Ending Pasta Worth to You?
It’s not as exciting as Marketwatch makes it sound -- there are listings for passes priced as high as $4,500, sure, but they haven’t sold yet -- but it’s true that there’s a definite reselling market for the promotion.
But what about the personalization of each pasta pass? Lucky purchasers during the lightning-quick sale specified a name that Olive Garden will print on their passes, which the Italian eatery will mail before the event starts.
Some eBay sellers say they’ll ask Olive Garden to transfer the pass to the auction winner, while some are noting that the buyer takes full risk -- no refunds if you’re asked for ID while you’re chowing down.
We contacted Olive Garden to get the official scoop on whether passes can be transferred. We’re still waiting on a response.
Olive Garden Has a Heart, Too
Olive Garden even got in the on the resale game for a good cause. The restaurant offered 21 passes on eBay, with proceeds going to Feeding America, which oversees a nationwide network of food banks.
Olive Garden guaranteed a minimum donation of $21,000. As of Monday, all passes had been auctioned for a total contribution of $23,378.
I’m not sure what was so special about the one pass that sold for $10,100 -- most sold for between $550 and $900, which may be tax deductible (Olive Garden’s eBay listings advise you to check with your tax professional).
Your Turn: Would you pay $100 for seven weeks of unlimited pasta? Would you pay $10,000 for it?
Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer for The Penny Hoarder. She doesn’t trust anyone who doesn’t eat pasta.