Missoni For Target Sold Out Ebay Fail

Missoni for Target – Was It An Epic Fail?

So I’ve read a few posts around the web from disappointed bloggers about the Missoni for Target #epicfail. The much awaited collection sold out in stores and online in a day, give or take a few scarves and socks, and according to some sources, Target has no plans to restock. If the fab fashion landed in the hands of true fans, then that’s fair – you snooze you lose; however, for the most part, it did not! True indeed some people were able to hit Target stores at 9:00 on a Tuesday morning and racked up, but it’s looking like the vast majority of the collection landed on Ebay within hours (30,000 items post launch and 42,869 as of a few minutes ago)!

This whole situation is maddening to me! I’m guessing that a lot of those Ebayers ordered at Target.com and immediately listed the items on Ebay, clearly before they had the items in hand. They are doing nothing more than turning and burning a product and making huge profit by ripping off dedicated fans. I’ve seen this time and time again with various brands. JewelMint customers are some of the most loyal fans I’ve ever seen. They beg JewelMint to bring back past pieces, they sell out immediately, and again, these pieces end up on Ebay and the true fans miss out. It’s like these Ebayers make it their job to hunt down popular collections and pieces, just to turn around and add it to ebay at a two to three times markup.

So is this fair? Is this just the way the free market will work going forward in the online arena? A Twitter bud referred to this situation as fashion scalping. Do you agree? If so, how do we prevent it? The thing is, I hate to complain about a situation, or point fingers, without looking for a solution. Who do you think is to blame, if anyone? Target or Ebay? Suggestions for Target could include limiting each customer to a certain quantity of products for online purchases, but again, playing Devil’s advocate, we live in a free market, so maybe limiting quantities isn’t a legitimate solution either. If Target offered much more supply in the form of a major restock, that would mean we all get what we want and the Ebayers won’t profit as much as they had hoped. I think it all boils down to a major supply and demand miscalculation on Target’s part. I hope you all will weigh in. I feel like merchants need to hear creative solutions going forward.

40 Comments

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I used to live in an area where eBay sellers would wipe out entire shelves of designer for Target items on a launch day. I’d wander in 45 minutes after the store opened, and there would be very little leftover to shop. The cashiers would tell me about the full carts and hundreds of dollars these women (always the same few) would spend. They’d pick a few items they predicted would sell out and be most in demand and buy the entire store’s stock. They’d work in teams to rush in the doors with carts. Frankly, those women scared me away from arriving right when the store opened. I’d settle for whatever they left behind, and eventually I stopped caring about the Target designer lines. Until Tuesday evening that is, when I decided to stop at the store in the smaller town where I work now. I had heard about the website crashing and all the craziness, but clearly this small town in NC did not get the memo. Fully stocked (except scarves and handbags), the store associates had no idea that the line was popular elsewhere. I got caught up in the excitement and purchased about twice as much as my budget can handle. I am now torn, do I take advantage of the excitement and list the items I decide I don’t need on eBay (and I would only try to make a few bucks off of them)? Or do I simply return the items to the store? As for who’s to blame for the crazy eBay mark-ups, I blame the crazy sellers, but I personally think Target needs to put a maximum on the amount any one shopper can buy from a designer line at a time or just restock the store a few days after a launch.

    • Single Mom says:

      I am an Ebay reseller. I am also a single mom of young children. Most of the Missoni I sold went overseas where there are no Target stores. Marking up the prices are no different than purchasing a candy bar from 7-11. Yes they mark up their products too. Ebay and Paypal are making a ton of money on the fees, the sellers don’t make too much after all the shipping , Ebay and Paypal fees.
      Thanks to Missoni and other designer collaborations I have been able to work from home and provide for my kids.

  2. Jessica says:

    I think that greed and our economy are the culprits here. Lots of folks are looking to make fast money and this was a pretty tempting opportunity. I understand it but find it so distasteful. On collections that are limited, I think Target is well within their rights to say something like “limit of 2 per customer.” Still Target was a big winner…the collection effectively sold out, so maybe there is no incentive to do that. My friend got 2 sweaters the next day as someone was returning 5 bags of Missoni. Just luck. And she is tempted to sell one on eBay since everyone else is. It is just so slimy.

  3. Josalyn says:

    Great article. The only way to stop these ebayers is to not buy from them- And I don’t mean all of them, I just mean the ones who are charging twice or two times as much the day the pieces come out.

  4. Lia says:

    Soooo I am split on this, and I will share my opinions on both sides. First, lets say a person does buy a Missoni for Target piece and immediately lists it on eBay for what they paid for it, ie, NO markup. Then, bidders bid and bid etc on it, and it winds up selling for 10 times its retail value. Who is to blame? In my opinion, it’s the bidders. Simple economics dictate a limited supply with a very high demand equals prices go up. Same thing with Jewelmint. Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. If people would stop paying outrageous prices for things, then these things won’t sell for such outrageous prices. Easy enough, seemingly. Now lets talk about those items you pictured above. These sellers are clearly looking to capitalize on the limited supply and very high demand. But is it wrong? Lets face it, I work for money. That’s my goal. I’m not going to work for no profit, ie, just enough to pay the bills and nothing more. I think most people don’t set out on a career to just pay the bills. They want to make money so they can buy things, save, whatever have you. We live in a very capitalist society, I think, and can you fault someone for just trying to make money? I mean, it’s legal. They’re not doing anything illegal. And the funniest thing is, they are getting what they are asking for. The ones that aren’t, perhaps that is just karma. Personally, the companies are getting off on this, because it creates more of a demand. But all the people that are outraged, are the people that missed out. Perhaps next time they should plan better! I went to three stores, between 9 and 11 am the day the collection came out. I got some great pieces, although alot were sold out already. As far as Jewelmint, I’ve only seen pieces sell out after a long time. They sell out after like a week or two after an initial release. You snooze, you lose, and apparently, you pay a lot more money for snoozing! Sorry to write so much!
    xoxo
    Lia

  5. Debbi says:

    I stopped by Target today for some groceries and just happened to see a sign about the Missoni stuff. It basically said that what they had was out on display and if it was sold out there was no more stock out back. I’m torn as well, on the one hand it’s a free market, on the other is it fair to those who want it? Or to the store?

  6. I stopped in the day of around 10 am in Sarasota to find women hoarding and hoarding pieces in their carts, that completely turned me off from the entire experience,it made me livid when I saw it happening in Orlando for Zac Posen. It’s completely unfair that this happens and is allowed. I agree that pieces should be re-stocked so these ebay sellers don’t make as much as they hoped. Or maybe we should just join them >:|

  7. Amy says:

    Blame the people buying them from eBay. These are not essential items, nobody NEEDS cheap Missoni shirts/mugs/notebooks, nobody NEEDS JewelMint. These people want, and apparently either can or found some way to pay, for these items. Simple contract concepts at work: you extend an offer for the Very Audrey earrings, the other person gives consideration and decides that having the VA’s is more satisfying than having $30 or more. I have no patience for people who whinge about this kind of thing. These are flash in the pan trends, why does it bother you so much not to have it?

    • so true! i don’t know anyone that’s purchasing on ebay, but clearly people are. i would never. i wasn’t that into it, and now im totally over it lol. a mug keepsake woulda been nice, but i’d never fuss over missing out on one of those.

  8. Christina says:

    I was lucky enough to have Tuesday off from work anyway, so I ended up going to three Targets in my area to get everything on my personal wishlist. The thought didn’t even cross my mind to pick up anything to put on eBay, but I did end up keeping a scarf that I was going to return (ended up getting the infinity scarf instead). There were obvious people in each store I went to who were just buying items to put on eBay.. it’s unfortunate that they ruined it for everyone else, however, I feel like this could — and does — happen with any item or collection in high demand.

  9. Bernice says:

    I realy hope those that cleaned out stores with the intention of reselling get stuck with it or wind up having to return it.

  10. Darcy Friedmann says:

    I try to steer clear of anything similar to the Target launch of Missoni. Part of the allure of buying a designer piece is that you won’t see it on every other person on the street.

    As to the ebay question – if you are willing to pay the price, they will be willing to sell it to you. If no one buys it, they are stuck with a whole lot of nothing! I use ebay to buy things such as used boy scout uniforms, sports equipments, etc. NEVER will I purchase an item that has been bought with the express purpose of selling for a profit. I personally think stores should limit the amount of items per person. Grocery store do this to keep restaurants from coming in and buying the entire stock, so why not other types of retailers?

  11. Everyone is venting their frustrations about the ebayers selling Missoni for Target items for double the price of retail, but no one is talking about the original price markup on these iconic goods. I am sure that the cost to make half of the Missoni for Target items is less than a dollar. It is all about supply and demand. Because people value the designs of Missoni, Target can fetch $54.99 for a dress. Before I heard about Target for Missoni, I was ready to pay $500 for a Missoni piece from Neiman. After wearing the ballet flats from Missoni for Target today, I wish that I had saved for Missoni Pumps. I’d probably have fewer blisters and more pride.

    http://www.aprilgolightly.com/2011/09/ebay-missoni-for-target-experiment/

    • Ashley says:

      At the same time, I’ve had a couple of people tell me they don’t understand the hype because you can find Missoni at Daffy’s, Filene’s Basement, etc just sitting on the shelves at heavy discount. So for the price of getting M for T on ebay,you can have the real thing

    • Michelle Kenneth says:

      Ashley, I thought the exact same thing! Why pay beaucoup dollars on Missoni for Target when you can get the real Missoni discounted elsewhere? The only thing from the Target collection I wanted were a few of the home items. That was it. Luckily, when the online store re-opened those were the only items that hadn’t sold out. I guess Ebayers don’t want to pay the expense of shipping ottomans?

  12. Leanna says:

    The whole industry right down to this very posting, comments, etc. is based on greed {and what sounds like some jealousy too}. Please let me explain. Clothing lines that charge a killing on clothing to make a profit — greed. The women who desire to own it — greed {we are all guilty of this}. Women who look for someone to blame in a particular instance such as the Missoni line for Target — both jealousy and greed. The people who went out and purchased a ton of it because they could and resell it {because they can} — greed. The only people who would obviously complain about it are those who missed out, but make no mistake, it’s all based on greed. You can’t blame or crucify any one group of people (and blaming Target or Ebay? – Business is Greed are you kidding me?). It only comes down to greed itself, and no one person here complaining about it is exempt from that. The irony of all of this is — If you had a chance to see the tags on the items from Missoni at Target, it all mostly says “Made in China”. That’s the kicker and my key point. Greed doesn’t care that this stuff is made in China. The real deal is made in Italy. Greed says it’s all about a label. All of us lusting after this stuff, we’re the root of the problem here. At the same time this is what makes America so great, and yet is our biggest downfall at the same time. Why does it matter that this stuff is made in China? Well besides the obvious letdown and of course the cost of reproduction and realistic profit margins. My main issue is this — One of the Missoni tags on a bag I saw at Target had this printed on the tag: “Handling of the plastic used in this product may expose you to lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. WASH HANDS AFTER USE.” I took a photo of it with my phone. Really? The bag was like $50, and I’d be risking exposure to lead for a tag that says “Missoni”? The cosmetic brushes were actually pulled by Target prior to the lunch due to issues with a lead-based ingredient. After seeing this and the bags they kept in stores with this warning, I say No Thank You to the whole thing. It has simply lost its lusture.

  13. Erin D. says:

    I just have to say… I was SUPER excited about this and saved money for this event! Well i guess according to ya’ll I snoozed and I lost! No piece of clothing is worth a fight with anyone. I talked to our local Target employees and they told me it was WAY worse than Black Friday! Well with that said I don’t attend Black Friday because of the MADNESS! I just hope that Target learned their lesson with supply and demand on this event. Also I totally agree on the limited purchase per person! There are A LOT of people that are very upset over this “EPIC FAIL”
    P.S….. and I will NOT be bidding on anything on Ebay!

  14. Diana says:

    I was at the pop up shop in NYC during FNO and I saw people with $800 worth of merchandise! I know they’d be trying to resell because really, $800? I don’t think it’s fair and I don’t like that Target is not restocking. I think it’s more of an effort to increase the value of the merchandise – kinda make it exclusive and make people do anything to get it. The point of the collection is that it’s affordable and if merchants are selling it for three times the price, what’s the point? Save your money and buy something better! Because really, it’s cheap stuff! It’s almost fake Missoni. Also – I agree with Darcy – put a limit on items bought like supermarkets.

  15. Talia says:

    I honestly don’t know what the fuss is about. While I love the colors, the zigs and the zags of the Missoni line, I found it sadly lacking in quality. Out store carried the line and I didn’t buy a thing. Really Missoni? Polyester, Polyester and that stuff fake nails are made of… Acrylic and did I mention the items were mostly Polyester? If some eBAY seller can make $800 off of that junk, more power to them.

    Missoni = :(

  16. Annette says:

    I only wanted a few things and my sister was planning on going to the store when it opened so I asked her to pick them up for me. She ended up leaving with nothing. She said when she got there a group of women was just putting everything Missoni in their carts. They weren’t even looking at the items just scooping them all up. She said she did not want to deal with it so she just left. I would have done the same thing. I don’t know if Target cares or not because at the end of the day they made a lot of money, but it so frustrating that people who actually wanted it to keep for themselves weren’t able to purchase and the ebay sellers got hoards of stuff. I think they should have limited the quantities you were able to buy or at least planned for one restock. It is silly that people are willing to pay the prices on Ebay for it. I won’t be. I also have a feeling that once the hype dies down in a few weeks a lot of these people are going to be stuck with merchandise they can’t sell. I hope they all lose money in the end for being so greedy.

  17. Sheila says:

    While it would have been ideal for Target to put limits on the amount of merchandise a customer could purchase (in order to prevent people from solely buying items to re-sell on Ebay), why would they? Unfortunately, at the end of the day, Target’s main concern is selling their product – so I’m sure they are happy with the fact that the entire line has sold out! Although Target should realize that there are now a lot of disappointed and disgusted loyal customers. I for one will no longer buy into any of the hype of Target’s designer collaborations after seeing how poorly the much anticipated Missoni thing was handled, and I certainly won’t be helping any Ebay sellers make a profit. I think this should just be a lesson learned – Target can feel free to sell out all their merchandise to people who will just resell it – but there’s going to be a LOT of Ebay sellers stuck with mass quantities of product that they won’t be able to sell, and Target will lose a few customers along the way (which won’t do Target any good when the Ebay sellers quickly lose interest). It’s just a lose, lose situation.

    PS: Why on Earth would these sellers attempt to sell product for such high prices?! For that much money people could go out and buy the real thing.

  18. Karen says:

    Target is being reasonable in not restocking in some of these places. If it simply restocks and let all the customers purchase whatever they want, when the e-bay sellers cannot sell their stuff and return the merchandise, Target will end up with excess stock.
    I think the best solution (though every improbable) is to have no returns (only exchanges of same item). This way, the e-bay sellers are going to be stuck with the unsold merchandise (or maybe be smart enough not to buy them in the first place). But then again, this would never happen since it’s against store policies.

  19. Allie says:

    Clearly there is a market for these items being resold on eBay, since many have 20 or more bids.

    Personally I think it’s stupid for someone to pay an inflated price. Take for example a Missoni for Target throw blanket I saw listed on Ebay for $81 http://bit.ly/nKbHa8. Now look at the real deal http://bit.ly/pvTnDQ

    There is an obvious difference in quality, so my advice is don’t waste your money on the fake thing. Save up, and then buy yourself the real deal. Maybe it takes 6 months to do so, but in the end quality always tops instant gratification.

  20. Michelle Kenneth says:

    I’d rather Target just keep the Missoni line ALL OF THE TIME, with new Missoni products coming in. Look at Vera Wang…she still has her collection with Kohl’s. There’s something new every season. She’s still popular in the stores, even if it does hit the discount rack. I like the designer collection initiative, but after what happened with Missoni, I don’t consider it a success. I consider it a huge failure.

    After all, if Target thought about it…they could have hawked everything and threw it on Ebay themselves to make a bigger profit. Hell, I would have. Why sell it at their own online store? Just throw it all on Ebay…let everyone else determine the going price of it…Target/Missoni would profit. And then we would all be pissed off.

    Missoni, itself, was a success at Target. Target should keep the name at their store, just like Kohl’s keeps Vera Wang. Besides, I’d like to own more Missoni home stuff. Now, I can’t even buy the dishes. Just hoping I can find them in some discount bin next month.

    • Karen says:

      I’m sure a lot of people would love to see the line being continued, but Missoni is probably not willing to do that at all.

    • i don’t consider it a success at all either. a lot of people are saying that target is probably happy, considering this a success, because it sold out so quickly and they made money. however, i’m pretty sure their ultimate goal is customer satisfaction, vs. selling out to ebayers, as that will provide longevity for their business and thus more money “over time”.

      if you look at their twitter over the last couple of days (@TargetStyle), it’s nothing but apologies to customers. i’m pretty sure they are not enjoying what happened. again, i don’t necessarily think it’s their fault, but i do think things need to be handled differently next time, which is why i offered up this post – not to blame anyone, but to try to come up with creative solutions.

  21. marea says:

    I think Target over-hyped it by releasing everything in one day. They could have put things out gradually instead of in one day. When it happens in one day there’s more of a rush because everyone wants everything right? and if lines were released gradually you could get a few items that you really wanted, but instead it’s a moment of panic- i have to get this because there’s no more. In my opinion, that’s were most of the problem is- releasing the entire collection at the same time. if they did a gradual release they would also benefit from upping their sales from people that remember they need to get a few gifts, and some toiletries… oh and batteries. etc.

    and they should put limits on what quantities people can buy. buying entire racks of dresses should not be allowed. i’ve seen notices at the grocery store that management can refuse sales to wholesalers or retail dealers are not allowed. why can’t they just do that? because when someone buys an entire shelf or rack of stock you can be sure they’re going to resell it

    and btw, the reason that target has made their return policy so strict is because of resellers. and not just resellers, but people that shoplift stuff then sell it online too

  22. Such a bummer to hear this! I love Missoni pieces & was also only able to snag a file folder as the collection was sold out-at least my papers are styli’n! I am not about to be sucked in to purchasing the pieces on Ebay when the quality is only worth Target prices. Hopefully Target will respond by restocking some pieces!

  23. Andrea says:

    People are allowed to make money regardless of how slimy it is (and it is). If no one buys off ebay then they’ll be stuck with that overpriced shit.
    I think Target will set limits next time. If all those people that try to sell on ebay bring their stuff back, and everyone that didn’t get any is now over the hype (let’s hope), then Target loses out. Their best idea is to limit quantities and still sell out.

  24. MSquared says:

    At the end of the day Target is ultimately responsible for the customer experience and satisfaction. Target Executive(s) made the decisions on how to handle and conduct the sale of Missoni for Target, which in my opinion was an epic failure on their part.

    You are asking several questions and the first question you ask was it fair or is the just the way the free market will work going forward in the online arena. No it is not fair to Target’s loyal base consumer and shame on Target. Other large retails such as H&M have had limited collaborations and as far as I know H&M DOES NOT sell their limited addition collaborations online, period end of story. Am I suggesting Target should have not sold their Missoni line online and my answer is no. Do I agree with the fact that those EBay sellers who consumed all the available products from this line and are reselling it on EBay for triple to ten times the original purchase price are scalpers, absolutely! Let’s also examine the original type of scalpers, ticket scalpers; Ticketmaster limits the amount of ticket each user can purchase for an event. Scalpers, of course, use other means to obtain more than their fair share; however, it does serve as a deterrent. In saying that then yes Target could have the amount of online items purchased per user, etc. Target’s PR machine wanted this event to play out like black Friday; however, never once did they consider the negative repercussions from creating such frenzy. Or maybe they did consider it and consider the negative repercussions as an acceptable risk, in which case is a major insult to the general consumer. Target promised the consumer the Missoni line would be available from September 13 through October 22 and should Target restock, heck yeah. Wow, what a missed opportunity to continue to make money by Target.

    If Target wants to stop playing second fiddle to Wally then Target needs to made better business decisions. I applaud Target for bring these collaborations to the general market and because of them I have become a fan of Target. However, after this debacle I don’t know how much of a fan I am anymore. H&M seems to have learned from their past mistakes (the Cavalli collaboration) and now runs a very efficient in store collaboration sale with no illusions to their customer that once it is gone, it’s gone. All Target has to do in the future is examine H&M’s model for in store and Ticketmaster for online sales. It doesn’t seem that complicated to me if the work already has been done then why not evaluate it and make it better to serve your own success. Because the truth of the matter is if anyone doesn’t think that major companies don’t examine each others best practices they are kidding themselves. Target management and executives really need to get a clue.

  25. Trina says:

    Missoni is definitely not my thing, but regardless this type of thing rubs me the wrong way! True fans of the products are getting screwed. I like what you said “I think it all boils down to a major supply and demand miscalculation on Target’s part.” I agree 100%, but also if people wouldn’t buy from those types of Ebayers, maybe this type of scalping would fizzle out.

  26. Kim says:

    if people are willing to spend $150+ on Missoni for Target, just buy MISSONI instead! The whole point of the Target collection was to give a chance for people without the Missoni budget a chance for the look! I did get a few items, but my store was quite picked over, didn’t even get a chance for any of the home stuff. Disappointing.

  27. Maddy says:

    Sadly, all I could snap up were 2 pairs of shoes and two pairs of tights. One pair of flats weren’t even adult shoes (I’m lucky that I have tiny feet, I guess). I had been looking forward to this line since I read about it on here, but I’m refusing to buy from eBay on principle. I’m hoping that Target will restock quickly and that most people won’t buy on eBay at the inflated prices so that the sellers will be forced to bring the prices back down to an acceptable level!

TrackBacks / PingBacks

  1. [...] TheLooksforLess has an interesting discussion which centers around Missoni for Target hoarders who bought out most of the merchandise and are now selling it at a high markup on eBay. I don’t have a problem with the eBay sellers because that’s business. My problem is with the people are actually bidding high to win items that cost $50. Take this hoody which retailed for $49.99 before it sold out. The winning bidder beat out 34 other bidders to pay $306 for the hoody. Are you serious? For $300 you can buy real Missoni on eBay. [...]

  2. [...] launched. I’m not sure what the solution is to managing this event properly (check out Who’s to Blame? Target or Ebay?), but I’m hoping this collab will go much better than the last. The Jason Wu line will hit [...]

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