Target Buyers Report That Resellers Have Been Banned

lillypYou may remember last month when Target put out its limited-quantity special Lilly Pulitzer collection, and frenzied fans waited in line, fought in the store aisles, and even crashed the retailer’s website. Past Target collaborations with big-name designers have resulted in those items being flipped on eBay for a bunch of money, but after the Lilly Pulitzer debacle, Target has reportedly banned resellers from buying from them.

The Internet makes retail arbitrage super easy: you can buy an item on sale in one location, or even at regular price, and sell it using eBay, Amazon, or some other venue to a person who doesn’t have access to that item. That’s basic economics, and it can be a full-time living for many savvy people.

eCommerceBytes reports that one reseller was told that he is no longer allowed to buy from Target online, even though he has spent more than $100,000 there in the last year alone. Why doesn’t it matter that he has been such a good customer? Resellers aren’t good customers from Target’s point of view: they’re hoping that customers who come in for the Lilly Pulitzer event or to buy items at loss-leader prices will buy other things with a higher markup. A reseller will load up on only the low-priced items and sell them for a profit, instead of buying a normal family’s cart full of goods and making more profit for Target.

Target employees are directing alleged resellers to the company’s online terms and conditions. Things reportedly changed after a May 12 memo, which instructed employees not to allow customers with tax exempt IDs to make purchases. Target also appears to be, um, targeting suspected resellers and banning them from shopping online.

Target Bans Resellers after Last Month’s Lilly Pulitzer Incident [eCommerceBytes]

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