It was once nearly impossible for the average person to buy an item from a designer’s special collection for Target or H&M.
Ambitious eBay merchants camped out for days and bought up everything they could once inside the store. For years, they’ve been able to sell the items at huge mark-ups for hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
But now, people have stopped buying the clothes, leaving eBay with a “graveyard” of unsold merchandise, Jillian Goodman at New York Magazine reports.
“The key to the high-low eBay dynamic was always demand outstripping supply — items selling out in store and people still wanting them — but now we’re seeing what happens when that relationship tilts,” Goodman writes. “As of this writing, a search on eBay for “neiman marcus target” turns up 2,571 listings, and the only ones with bids are selling below retail.”
Merchants have been selling discount/designer collaborations on eBay since 2004, when Karl Lagerfeld collaborated with H&M.
Retailers have become wiser over time, according to Goodman. Instead of offering so few items they’re guaranteed to sell out, stores started adjusting to heavy demand by stocking up on inventory.
Today, when shoppers go to the store for a designer collaboration, there’s plenty of merchandise to buy. The scarcity that added perceived value to the Missoni for Target or Versace H&M collections before simply doesn’t exist.