Archived Ebay

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Jun 21, 2011
I see a pretty nasty trend developing. It has always been present, but with the continuing bad economic conditions and advancement in communication between couponing and bargain groups on the internet....Ebayers. Yes, I know it has been around for ages. Yes, I know there always those people that come in buy out all of **insert "hot" item here**, just to put it on Ebay. Yes, I know that some stores have no Ebayers and some have multiple.

Today, we had a honest to goodness guest come into the store and say that they were disappointed that we were out of the Missoni stuff. They were unaware of the madness that had ensued the prior day. She just wanted a Missoni dress. Target marketed Missoni to spur "extra" sales in the store. I.E. you come in to buy a Missoni dress and while you are there you buy some milk, shampoo, and toliet paper. Yes, Missoni had good markup on it. HOWEVER, Target was counting on the Missoni sales to include some of these "extras." Come to find out, many of the stores entire Missoni collections were sold to a select few people in giant heaping carts. Target spent alot of money on advertising, signing, payroll, etc., in order to sell the collection and those all important "extras." Come to find out they could have saved all that money and just keep the junk in boxes and sell it the ebayers straight out of the DC.

Want to drive profitable sales? STOP selling to Ebayers. Simple as that. The collection will still sell and you will have a shot at getting the "extra" items. After a month (or whatever), open the store to Ebayers and resellers. If they still feel the market is there to make money on Ebay, more power to them and the store just got rid of some extra inventory. Win win. If cutting out the ebayers keeps inventory high, then marketing better get their butts in gear and find some better stuff to sell.

So here is the point....sell to the guests. The stupid Mickey's that rolled out 2 weeks ago. My store sold all of them to an Ebayer. There are already several items that are being MEGAhyped on the internet for the upcoming holiday season. The time to nip this is right now because it is just about to get out of hand.

I could go on and on, but I won't.
I think it would be impossible to NOT sell to ebayers, however, putting a limit on more items would be beneficial I think. Target has done it in the past, but I haven't seen them make very much use of it. Missoni stuff should have been limit of one or two items per guest. Sure, we would piss some people off, but I can tell you it would piss off a lot less people than having one person buy the entire stock. When we had an amazing deal on crayons this year one person came in and bought all 500 boxes of crayons on Sunday morning. We didn't get any more in until Friday. So all the week, in the peak of school shopping season all the kids who wanted ONE box of crayons couldn't get any. That to me is BS. Put a limit and enforce it at the register.
I must have a different type of guest as I didn't see ebay buyers as ours sold out. I just saw plenty of guests buying one of many items and lots of sales over $500. As for limiting quantities it is a very touchy subject as ebay buyers still buy product through the register, their money spends just as well as anyone else and as a store we cannot police every guest coming tbrough the checklane as it is a waste of productivity and payroll. Yes we are there to please guests but we are a business focused on tbe bottom line
You are playing with fire if you limit people from buying items. Our job is to sell product. I have been with Target for a long time and have seen many swings and misses and things going 75% off and not even selling at that price. I would have never guessed this ugly crap would sell the way it did. You S while the iron is hot and sell it all the best you can. I think holding anything to be "fair" to other guest is stupid. If they are not there when its available to be sold than they are just out of luck they will know better the next time. Early bird gets the worm. If its something you really want you plan your life to get that item or you pay more for it from someone who does have it. Supply and demand.
They can limit stuff I have seen it done for collector items like Hot Wheels,etc so that does happen. I am not sure how it would work for Missoni though....
Even if corporate doesn't set a limit, leadership including GSTLs can limit purchases on any item to a "reasonable family purchase." I think most people are just happy for the sales.
Target could stop it pretty easily if they wanted. Setup an ebay account of their own, hold some stock, and flush out the ebayers by bottoming the price out. Done.
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