Saturday, March 1, 2014

Should There Be Purchase Limits on the Hot Items?




Ugh, nothing chaps my hide more than hearing/learning about people buying out size runs in stores making it impossible for people to get the latest hot item they are searching for. Milky Way Wunder Under Crops and Camo Speed Shorts were particularly tough for people to find this week. Stores limit purchase of new Lego sets, another popular item for eBay flippers, maybe lululemon ought to consider doing the same for in-store purchases.

83 comments:

Tornadogirl said...

I was positively disgusted when I saw that! I REALLY REALLY wanted a pair of the Milky Way WU's but there were none in stores. And I'm sorry, I REFUSE to pay $140+ for crops!

I guess my question is, how is this happening in the first place? Would a sales associate not be slightly suspicious if someone was buying an entire size run of something? I may buy one or two of an item if I'm not sure of sizing but not sizes 2 through 12!!!

V said...

wth. -__-''

I'm extra annoyed because the Not So Petite Fleur, Milky Way and Silver Spoon have yet to hit my stores. I asked at Pasadena and they said they haven't gotten them. They've got a ton of diamond dot though. TONS. I popped into Glendale and didn't see them and forgot to ask.

Samantha said...

So frustrating! So many of us don't have stores even remotely in driving distance (I never have no matter where I lived and now, as an FPO customer, must rely on online orders). This puts so many of us out of the running to buy items at retail. none of these were items of interest for me but others have been and the same happens.

Anonymous said...

I guess who ever lives near Gardena California won't be finding these items in a store near you....sad.

Anonymous said...

And it is at no cost to these people- because they can return these items 14 days later if they don't sell them straight away. But they do sell them, because they have manufactured the item's scarcity.

Very unhappy about this happening.

anneverzel said...

Thank you-I Tweeted this yesterday, it makes me furious!!!

Anonymous said...

Heck yeah they should!

Anonymous said...

wow... that's really ridiculous

Anonymous said...

Yes, there should be a purchase limit!! I tried to buy the Milky Way Wunder Unders this past Tuesday at 7AM ET. and they were sold out. The same thing happened to me the Tuesday prior. It infuriates me to see these items on Ebay at ridiculous prices. I'm going to call the company and lodge a complaint.

Kw said...

I have to agree. This is just abuse.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that makes me crazy too! If it's so easy for us to find these people, why can't Lululemon find them and do something about it? No, instead they take it out on the regular Joe that sells the odd piece.

Amanda said...

Lululemon is a big enough company that there is another answer, that they don't like. Ditch the scarcity model on hot items. They have a pretty good idea of what is going to be a faster seller. They did this to themselves. I'm not saying that it's right for people to be scalping the items, but these aren't concert tickets, there is a limited number because lulu made it that way, not because of any particular regulations or capacities that were out of their control.

Kay Stevens said...

I wish they would limit the number of items that a single individual could purchase. I live in Cincinnati, and we have two stores here. A single individual went to both stores, and HE bought every size under size 8. When I went to the Hyde Park store, they had two pairs left - a size 8 and a size 10. I wear a size 6, so I went ahead and bought the size 8, hoping that maybe I could find someone to trade with. I bought the size 10 for my granddaughter. The gentleman who bought all of the shorts said that he was buying them for his daughter's track team - allegedly at college, and they wanted them. I have been checking on Ebay to see if HE is listing them. Just so aggravating. I wish Lululemon would limit purchases. It is just ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Of course LLL should have limits on buying multiples of any product but the savvy grey marketer will only find a way to get around that. In the luxury retail business I've seen these people go to multiple stores to purchase so they can buy more and they usually only pay cash. The policy should be no more than 2 of the same size and style and no more than 5 total units per transaction.

LuluAddict said...

@Katy - As far as I am concerned "teams" can buy the not so hot items. Lululemon certainly has a good idea of what is going to be the "hot" seller and limit accordingly. I'm sure these people are claming they are buying them for their "team".

LuluAddict said...

@Amanda - I'm not ready to have them ditch the scarcity model quite yet. It works in our favor when it comes to resale, which many, many of us take advantage of - we sell our older lululemon to fund our latest purchases. Also, no one wants to walk into their gym or class and see three other ladies with the same item on. I know I am disappointed when I can't find the latest hot thing but I know that another hot thing I'll like just as well is coming so I let it go. However, I don't have a problem with them instituting a purchase limit on things.

Anonymous said...

Calm down people this is not a new game these professionals are playing its been going on for a long time. It happens @ NIKE, Chanel, Louis Vuitton etc. They will always find a way around it. This is a business for them and most of these gray marketers are Asian families. Before you get all PC I'm Asian myself and I know this for a fact!

Anonymous said...

Yeah... I also don't want to be walking around dressed the same way as everybody else in the gym. It's just clothes, so if I don't find what I was looking for it's just too bad. As LLA said, there will be another hot item just around the corner.

Anonymous said...

That's bad. Agreed, LLL can go after sellers like this. NOT the average seller who is just getting rid of clothes as they have too many. I posted some older not even hot stuff on craigslist and my ad got flagged! I've read about it here too, where LLL has blocked people from on-line shopping because they are alleged ebay sellers. SUCH BS!

Buying for a team? To that end, I hope they ask for ID in the store and keep track.

You can limit number of same items per person, but just as someone commented already, people can go to other locations and buy more. When they are determined to make a buck, some people will do this. This may be just how they make their living. And YOU KNOW it is someone reading this blog!

Emily said...

I may be wrong, but I don't think the Milky Way WUs have been available for purchase online yet. A friend of mine was up in the middle of the night with her baby and checked the website when everything was uploaded and they weren't on there at that time. Hopefully they'll be released online in the next week or two.

Anonymous said...

I agree - a limit on purchases in store is warranted. But I'm confused - hasn't Lulu been flagging and shutting some of these sellers down? Or is that only when they purchase on line?

I think the sadder part for me reading this is that there are schmucks out there willing to pay these aggravated prices just to have an article of clothing.

Anonymous said...

Something equally annoying (or even more so) is to see the LULU salespeople wearing the hot items (in my size)that I wanted to buy! They purchase the items immediately when unpacking them out of the boxes. I know this to be a fact. They also receive a discount (which is OK) but there should be a "waiting" period for them.

Anonymous said...

I'm fine with the scarcity model. I agree it helps with resale down the road and also I don't want to go to my gym or Pilates class and see a bunch of other ladies wearing the same item as me. I figure if I miss out on an item that has sold out quickly then I just let it go too. I'll find something else to buy in the future.

I definitely think Lululemon should implement a purchase limit on hot items that you can buy in store or online. A lot of brands and stores currently do it so there wouldn't be anything wrong if they did implement a limit. I think a lot of Lulu customers would find it acceptable. I'm surprised that they haven't done this yet.

Anonymous said...

Kay @4:48, if you decide you don't want your size 8's I would love to buy them from you. I am in columbus and my store didn't get them and said they don't think they will.
The other store in my area sold out except for a 10 and they wouldn't hold them for me. I am sure they are gone now. Thanks!-Darla

Anonymous said...

Another thing that adds to the problem is that they don't search inventory at other stores, place holds, etc., basically do anything to help a customer find what they're looking for -- something that most other stores (practically all that I'm aware of) do. I can see how with the current frenzy it could cause problems to do these things, but I do think they need to find some kind of balance and make things less scarce and less stressful for the customer to buy the product they want.

Also, I personally find the ability to resell items for decent prices an unexpected perk more than a necessity. It has changed my buying habits somewhat, but I wouldn't say for the better. I'd prioritize being able to purchase the goods I want to being able to resell high.

Just my opinion, of course!

Anonymous said...

I like the idea of LLL adding more variety to their line. So many of us westerners have been trained to wear the same things as our friends, for whatever reason you'd like to imagine. More creativity added to our workout wardrobes could make more individual statements which I think would be beneficial for mental health. It's refreshing when I put one particular swiftly) because I know that nobody in my gym has that same shirt—no one! So I encourage everyone to refrain from encouraging workout gear monotony. Instead, the designers who create these beautiful prints should be encouraged to make more.

Anonymous said...

This is just a disgustingly clear example of greediness. I suggest we boycott this seller on ebay, at least it decreases the chances that person will make a profit and then maybe they'd stop. Someone should bring this to Lululemon's attention, I also agree that there should be a 3-4 same item limit when purchasing online or in store. No one needs 4 pairs of the same pants.

Anonymous said...

This is just a disgustingly clear example of greediness. I suggest we boycott this seller on ebay, at least it decreases the chances that person will make a profit and then maybe they'd stop. Someone should bring this to Lululemon's attention, I also agree that there should be a 3-4 same item limit when purchasing online or in store. No one needs 4 pairs of the same pants.

Anonymous said...

If anyone is interested in boycotting or reporting to Lululemon, that person's ebay name is 4cheapink. I know I will be doing both.

Anonymous said...

I looked through that person`s listings on ebay and noticed that she has at least 8 listings where she is selling multiple Lululemon items, including 2 listings where she is supposedly selling more than 10 bras in each listing. Makes me sad. =(

Anonymous said...

I think a 3 per item rule would be good. Sometimes online you may need to buy a couple sizes to try or you may want to get extras as gifts, but seriously , 10?? No way

Anonymous said...

Lululemon obviously cannot always predict what is HOT
I saw it mentioned several times that the the prior milky way print from over a year ago went to WMTM.
and I saw it in the Orlando Outlet for several months…even the Wunder Unders were not selling at the Outlet.…
as well as that flowered Wunder Under which people would probably go crazy for.

And hoew can you possibly tell someone they are not allowed to buy something for their team

What the Heck is going on here…you people are all loony over some flipping crops

I agree is is disheartening to see those photos….

I do not always get the things I want, but am fortunate and Thankful in life to get the things I need

Anonymous said...

The latest items are so ugly that I don't know how people are even buying ONE of them!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous post, LLA! Agreed, please don't ditch the scarcity model, lulu. I live and workout in an area where lulu is everywhere, but manage to stay unique because of the limited volume that is typically released.
What they need to do is implement an in-store and online purchase limit to no more than 2-3 items of the same piece. Two of the same size, three if the purchase includes a different size. People buying different sizes to compare fit or a gift will be satisfied with this policy. Individuals buying for teams should have to receive pre-approval from store managers before buying such a huge volume as what we see in these cases. They should have to prove the purchase really is for a team versus just stating this, like what we’re seeing now.
Also, they need to address the issue of employees holding and buying items before they officially hit the store room racks for the public. I rarely buy from the 5 local stores in my area because without fail my size usually sells out first in store, however I’ll always notice multiple employees with my similar build sporting the one piece I was hoping to pick-up. Very frustrating.
I’m really curious what store approved these excessive purchases. Gardena is in the Southbay so I’m guessing the El Segundo location? Just a guess though… who knows. I think corporate needs to investigate and hold this store responsible for the negative PR they’re bringing the company.
Whatever you do, please do not buy from this greedy Ebay seller.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I disagree. They need to make more. Getting three size 6 pants in a store that serves thousands is ridiculous. I'm not going to buy them off ebay because they are only released once so resale of a older item will always be good. Lulu is causing the problem. Double or triple the output and the problem with be reduced. People will still buy resale items on ebay, but at least more people have a chance to get new items that they want. I give up, moving on the a company that has in stock the items they promote!

Anonymous said...

I agree that the scarcity model is good for resale etc. which helps a lot of us by more and then sell once over and wanting new. I also like it if I get a final sale item that I don't like when home and can find a buyer for. I think they would need to do an overall limit for online items because hard to say what is hot. But in the store they should just use common sense? Over 4 of something? Really that should not happen.

Anonymous said...

It would be the worst thing Lulu could do to eliminate the scarcity model. It's psychology 101 at it's finest. When items are readily available, you won't want them as much. I've seen it time and time again when companies fix the scarcity of their items, and it's been very detrimental to their businesses. People love hard to find, exclusive stuff! Once that exclusivity is taken away, companies take a big hit.

With the currect model, Lulu has people stalking their website on upload day, ferociously grabbing items they think will sell out. That would completely go away, along with a lot of chatter online in groups like this.

Lulumum said...

I agree with you completely, Lululemon needs to step up limiting shoppers and not selling to people they know are high volume flippers. That ebayer was sort of clever though in that she/he knew the photos of large volume of those items would be scandalous enough to be promoted on all the facebook group pages. As everyone discusses how vile those pictures are, her ad is being heavily promoted, and some in those groups are buying from him/her. She could have just posted a picture of an individual item, but she chose to post a photo of a huge pile of that item.

Anonymous said...

Yeah i'm sick of these a-hole ebay sellers buying up everything and charging up the bung hole for it- seriously would never buy from them! I agree put a limit on items to buy at least make them work for it make them go from store to store to store to buy single size or two per item per store!!!!!! Or something like that! Like lla i like the scarcity model too but i like her know other items will come out that i like just as well or more down the road, i don't resell my items at high prices either i sell well below what i pay for them just making room for new items. If the bid goes up from list great if not o well!

Anonymous said...

With all this talk about the new camo and the Milky Ways, I can't even remember if they've been part of an upload yet...anyone know if these have been a part of the Canadian side of the uploads yet? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I have size 6 Milky Way WUC. Let me know if you want it

Anonymous said...

I realize someone(s) at LLL is probably assigned to read the LLA blog. Nevertheless, I hope this has been reported to them. These are the types of "customers" they should go after.


Not the average person who posts a sale because they missed a return window and the item is not to their liking or doesn't fit (on-line only shoppers end up in this situation). Or someone just selling because they are clearing their closet of too much LLL addiction!

Anonymous said...

Thanks LLA for your blog and everyone who contributes to the great discussions. Speaking of resale of gently used lulu, is there anyone who would like to sell their Patience Pant in Black size 2? If so please email me kelly Michel 1999 at gmail dot com

Harte said...

The night the wuc in platoon came out I had an incident with my order and the stupid processesing screen. If anyone wants a pair in 4 or 6 I have to return them tomorrow. Please email me (item plus tax and I think I can fit it into a flat rate envelope) hhill @ poets dot Whittier dot edu (hope it's ok to do this here!)

Harte said...

I forgot to mention I only have two extra size 4 and 6

Sky Risher said...

Yes. I would not have a problem either. I think it's horrible when I go on ebay and find sellers selling stuff for 2 or even 3 times the retail value...and I am always wondering what's up?! AND Do they really expect someone to buy at those prices?! But they've got watchers and some have bought...shame!!! I would boycott those sellers for sure!!!! And when honest buyers like ourselves, just want to buy and a pair of crops from LLL directly...we have to stay up late and run around like crazy people just trying to spend $50 plus $$ on workout clothes we love.

Anonymous said...

The Milky Way crops haven't been released online yet have they? Although I'll have to get really lucky id love to snatch a pair.

Stylista diva said...

I think both online and stores should limit what people can buy of any one particular item. I think 3 is an acceptable limit. While it won't entirely stop people from going to several stores and purchasing their limit, it will at least make it more difficult. I also have no problem with these sellers being banned from purchasing Lulu online.

Anonymous said...

I think it's so horrible. I loved buying used items on ebay ... old lulu pieces that I couldn't ever get a hold of or were from before my lulu time. Maybe something I admired on a girl at yoga or the gym.

Now all I see are piles of brand new pieces that I would have purchased for regular price and less of the fun old merchandise. It just doesn't have the same feeling on ebay as it did a few months ago! I could find an older pair of crops and get excited. I simply refuse to pay over market price for anything on ebay. It's not fair. I'm happy to purchase the items from lulu but resale seems to be very different from what it used to be.

Yes, limiting the quantity makes sense. Why would I under any circumstance go in to the store and purchase one of each size from 4-10 or 12? Why would anyone do this online? Clearly lulu can stop this from happening. But it's their right to do as they wish with the merchandise. If they are "okay" with allowing one person to purchase every fun pair of printed crops and make a living off of reselling them ... who are we to complain? Not sure "why" they would want this but I've simply stopped questioning lulu's thought process at this point.

It's sad. But I suppose they are just pants. :D

Anonymous said...

Until Lulu imposes a limit, the best thing we can do as consumers is NOT buy from sellers like this on eBay.

Anonymous said...

You're right, Lululemon needs to limit purchases. I can hardly fault the eBay sellers themselves - if there is easy money to be made, people are never just going to stand back and not take advantage of it. If the clerks at Lulu just ring up purchases of 10 of the same item without batting an eye, this will keep happening. The responsibility lies with them.

Ching-a-ling said...

This makes me sick!

Anonymous said...

Instead of just talking amongst ourselves about how we don't like them allowing bulk purchase in store, lets let heylululemon and the GEC know! they can hear our complaints and even though they don't often do much, maybe they will one day hear our lice and seek out a solution! I sure will!

Anonymous said...

The scarcity model is good in that it limits everyone from looking the same at the gym.

I do think there should be a limit as to how many can be ordered at one time. This is still not fail proof in that a few people from the same group can come in and buy the whole size run.

I personally cannot bring myself to pay $140.00 for Lulu crops but obviously some people are. We need to stop supporting this activity by also not purchasing these excessively overpriced items.
If there's no market for these overpriced Lulu resells then perhaps it will end this activity.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind a bit of a scarcity model, but this is ridiculous IMO. They need to make enough product to last at least 12 hours on the website. The eBay sellers are making the money, instead of lulu. I refuse to buy from them, but obviously they are making money or they wouldn't bother. When I hit the gym, there are so many women in crb's, NLT's, power y's, wuc's, scoopnecks and pace setters. I think the idea of having something "unique" is a bit silly. I gave up on that three years ago when everyone suddenly discovered lulu. I am over it now, I guess. Good thing I'm not into crazy patterned wu's. One less person attempting to buy them.

Anonymous said...

There are several of the camo jackets on ebay for over $500 (by the same seller, of course). Really? Out of control...

Amanda said...

Wait, were the Galaxy WunderUnders uploaded last Monday? I thought they weren't! I haven't been able to find any in the D.C. area. Ugh. So disappointed.

If anyone an angel me a pair in size 8, leave me a message here (I forget how to format the email address). I'm happy to pay retail, plus shipping. I'm happy to angel back for you sometime in return too!

mackenzie said...

My local store seems to get suspicious of me if I buy just 2 of the same item (regardless of size). I can't imagine that they would let someone come in and wipe out entire sizes/stock of items. At least, I hope not. :/ It is true though that Lulu limits their release amounts on purpose. Just like Apple, they do it because they know it will make the items seem more desirable, and make little lululemon monsters like us, who become addicted to the release and the chase. It's unfortunate, but it's apparently an effective marketing strategy for them. They have no right to get angry at the mess that they create. If they don't like what results from their marketing strategies, they should change that, and release more product. They aren't willing to change, because of the want and need they create this way, and the revenue they get in return.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has worked in retail at Abercrombie & Fitch as a sales associate, it is extremely frustrating watching Professional E-bayers come in and buy 25 items at a time to re-sell. At Abercrombie that is the max item limit per purchase, but they are still at 25 items allowed to buy in bulk. It happens everywhere and I don't know if it is that companies in general just want the revenue no matter how they sell it , but no company seems to put an extremely low limit like 2 items on purchases in their stores.

More importantly sales associates at that low level in the food chain so to speak can't do anything about someone coming in and buying one item up in every size if the corporate level hasn't put any restrictions on it. So i'm sure the lulu educators get just as frustrated about it as we do having to see the people buy them all up to be greedy.

Organicgurugirl said...

Even though Lulu claims they don't approve of what's happening, most of this is strategic. They clearly know what will be a hot ticket item based on historical data and past purchasing. The Yoga Over skirt sold out in hours online. I only have a studio store in Louisville. The closet full size stores are 1.5 hours away minimum. Those skirts were on eBay within an hour of them selling out.
It's frustrating, especially for those who actually buy the clothes to use them and still support the brand, not to make a quick buck.

Anonymous said...

Those pictures are so frustrating. Yes there should be a purchase limit on hot selling items. These people are abusing the scarcity model and reaping the reward to Lulu detriment.

ablafeir said...

OMG is that the same seller for all 3 auctions?

Cezanne said...

I just get annoyed with looking on eBay after an upload and seeing things marked up to double what it would have cost from the lululemon website. I am a person who lives no where near a lululemon so I've missed out on items and find them on eBay marked up to a price that I am just not willing to pay. For instance, I really wanted a mind and body kit but never ordered it from the website. Last time I checked someone was selling one for $150. So frustrating.

Pink Peony 4 said...

No wonder they looked at me like I have 2 heads when I returned a 4 and a 6 WUC in silver platoon something. They made my thighs look huge and I'm not ok with that.

Amanda said...

I don't think they should permanently ditch the scarcity model..... just have enough to do a quick re-release every so often to hit the scalpers where it hurts. Lulu's supply habits have become too predictable in a way that benefits scalpers.
I also benefit from people reselling their items, I don't want them to stop. If they didn't sell for enough then people wouldn't bother and I would miss out on all the great vintage pieces that I missed out on when I was making far less money.

Jiji said...

ITA it's abuse of scarce commodity. I do like the fact that LLL items holds its values, however, to be buying whole runs to double up the price for newly released items is ridiculous. I do get that it's free market, but LLL should look into this phenomena and take action on these buyers.

This seller is in my neck of the woods...so I guess I have to expect my local store will be out of all newly released coveted items. Boo!

Anonymous said...

Lululemon is the REAL original cause of all. If Lululemon just makes enough gears, people would not even bother searching on eBays, then nobody can make a penny by selling Lulu on eBay, means nobody would buy out the entire size run and resell them online. BUT Lulu will NOT make more gears in all sizes, because this is the way, or should I say business strategy to make you gals feel competition and never enough, and keeping searching and buying...I once called Lulu and asked them why not make more, and I've been told it's for my own good so I don't see everyone in my class/gym wearing the same things. But really? I see chestnut Uggs and black Hunters and Lulu tights everywhere nowadays, and I don't see anybody is uncomfortable about that.

Robyn Lewis said...

milky way hasnt been uploaded online yet!! the guy at my store said he would never let anyone buy a whole size run of any item I think it just depends on the educator they also said they cant purchase online and i find this weird isnt it better to make them get theirs online rather than sell out the store of certain items so customers dont even get a chance to buy?
I think the educators are a big problem with the products being sold out before they even hit the floor cause they all bought it should have to be on the floor for a week before they can buy an item or lulu should take special orders for educators before items are made that way extra gets made ! never gonna stop the ebayers unless you stop buying from them the only people making them money is the people willing to spend double on items!!

Anonymous said...

Have the camo speeds been uploaded to the US site yet? Thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

If you still have them available I'd love to get in touch with you. Jashcraft at egmail dot com
I live near Gardena, CA, so I think it's pretty safe to assume I won't be finding these at the El Segundo store.

Deezee007 said...

I live in So Cal and drove all the way to Irvine and scored the last pair of the camo speeds in my size then went to El Segundo this weekend for the Milky Way WUC and was able to get those.
It chaps my rear too to know that I am a devote consumer who drove 3 hours round trip for 2 items, but this dill hole can buy out the closest store and sell everything on Ebay.
I just called Lulu corporate to report him/her and give them an ear full on putting a cap on hot ticket items. They were very attentive and also suggest that we put our concerns on "Hey Lulu." It's another quick way to get our message across to the powers that be.

Anonymous said...

For someone to do a large commodity sale for a team, they have to have proper documentation and the team has to be a team associated with a school or other accredited organization. They only buy core, solid color items. Most often, it's cool racerbacks, pace setter skirts, speed shorts, and run inspires in black or white. Teams are not the problem here.

I have turned down large sales for many eBay-ers at my store. A lot of these people will buy them one or two at a time. They are professionals.

Anonymous said...

This sort of makes me laugh, because there was a big bru-ha-ha over Lulu banning a certain male Lulu fan from purchasing online because he had three (I think) of his old shorts for sale, and they were like "we don't allow resale of our items". Then a HUGE stink occurred and I believe they removed the ban.

Yet sales like this are still allowed to occur. I do NOT understand.

Also, everyone here who is complaining about paying high prices for scare Lulu items, but then saying "but I like to resell my items" well, you can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

We are the Problem…not the obeyers…stop buying at inflated prices and it will go away

Don't even look at the items..they can see how many opeople are viewing each item

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 8:59 am - He didn't get banned from buying from the e-commerce site, he got a warning and it was about re-selling, or flipping as we call it, a pair of NWT pants from the on-line warehouse sale that were originally $19 for $98. In addition, he used a stock photo for the ebay listing, which is an eBay VERO violation. which is probably how his listing came to lululemon's attention in the first place. His warning was a catalyst for others who had been banned for similar sales - flipping NWT items people had bought from the on-line store. Some of the people who have been banned are high volume sellers, or "power sellers", but there were a handful of low-volume sellers who were mostly trying to unload an item they had either changed their mind on or missed the return period for. As far as I know, all the small fry sellers have been re-instated and can now buy off the website again.

Anyway, that story got major media attention because Business Insider, whose articles are picked up by all media and rebroadcast everywhere, seems to have it out for lululemon and publishes any story that will bash them and give them click-bait. The same goes for other media outlets. Customers bitching about eBay flippers cleaning out stores on hot items is not newsworthy to the media at all since it's doesn't put lululemon in a negative light.

One reason this person is getting away with this, so far, is that they are buying in the store, and not from the on-line store, at least in the case of the Milky Way WUCs since those haven't been uploaded yet. As far as I know, Lululemon doesn't have any policies regarding selling multiples or size runs of the hot items in stores to customers. I'm kind of hoping they might want to consider putting purchase limits on items to help prevent this.

Of course the best way to put those ebayers out of business is not to patronize them.

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 8:41 am - Thanks - I thought that was the case for team sales - you need documentation and it's usually core pieces. Of course, an ebayer is going to try the "team" angle to justify buying large quantities of an item.

I know professional ebayers sometimes use a team of people to shop for them, too. It's a tough problem to combat.

Anonymous said...

I don't really think it's in Lululemon's best interest to put regulations like this in place. The high prices and high volume of their products on eBay helps fuel their scarcity model and helps justify their price points. There are three things to consider.

First, it makes their products look even more desirable. It's extremely advantageous to their branding - it conveys exclusivity and uniqueness in every product; i.e. their products are so exclusive and unique that one can only buy them in a secondary marketplace.

Second, the store sees the same amount of business, regardless of who is buying. Whether it's one person buying 50 pairs of crops, or 50 people buying a single pair of crops each, the store sees the profits from 50 crops sold.

Lastly, if the company monitors eBay sales and sees that even used versions of their products are selling for up to $500 each, the company can then logically raise the price points on their products. We saw the most recent bump in price of the wunder under crops around the time the first pair of quiet stripe WUs sold for more than $300 on eBay. (And I've seen them sell for much more than that, so I wouldn't be surprised if this product goes up in price again in the next year or two.)

I agree that it totally sucks for us, the consumer. But Lululemon hasn't exactly positioned themselves as a customer-service oriented company. They have instead consistently proven that they will do whatever it takes to improve their own bottom line. Whether that means producing see-through pants, crafting ridiculous return policies, or allowing resellers to rob loyal buyers of affordable products, they will do whatever it takes to turn a profit for their stakeholders.

Anonymous said...

I would never buy any item that was being re-sold for such high prices. Lulul must be getting something out of these sales, it probably makes their gear more desirable.
I am pretty sure that they are reading comments from this blog and they are going . It's working.

This definitely making most of the LLA readers stay up all night looking for this items to load.

Meanwhile lulu is laughing to the bank.

M

Tifferoo said...

I did a team sale 2 years ago for my dance company girls, and it is definitely only for a few core items, in black. I had to get special permission to get the studio pant, since at that time it wasn't on the group sales list.

Lisa Houle said...

I used to have an eBay store back in the day when I had time for it and eBay didn't charge the ridiculous fees they charge now. While I never sold any Lululemon, I did follow trends and celebrities to see what was hot. I had "hook ups" and retail contacts all over town and the towns that surrounded me (and even some in other states). If I was ever questioned on a purchase, I always used the "TEAM" excuse and was never refused a sale. I can almost bet that these people use the same tactics.
As a former retail manager, I know first had that you don't care who is buying your product- you're just focused on selling it to make your daily sales goal (and heck.. help out the days you missed to make your week). I am surprised, however, that Lulu would not prohibit their stores from selling these sorts of quantities, as I assume they limit the quantities you can purchase online. It's crazy that Lulu was able to trace IP addresses of those who sell their products on eBay and block them from making online purchases; yet this activity does under the radar. I recently went from a size 12 to a size 4. I have been selling my legitimately used workout clothes on eBay. Reasonable starting prices, not nearly what I paid for items.... some how I have been included in those blocked from making purchasing at lululemon.com. It's stupid because only two items I sold had tags on them... both impulse final sale purchases that they wouldn't return. I guess when they say final sale.. they mean it :)

Anonymous said...

I don't care how hot an item is, I for one am not going to pay some ridiculous price on ebay.

As for the person who mentioned that you can't have it both ways to cap items and you too want to sell on ebay: we all agree LLL has a good resale value. Most people just want something back for the likely original retail they paid, and for their efforts. I don't post on ebay. I do sell locally and I still don't post for a crazy price (and I'm telling you, with some of my speed shorts, I'm aware that I could). Selling is actually a chore and a hassle for me. I suppose if you're posting on ebay and it's bidding item, and you happen to be selling a hot item (I remember reading about the Quiet Stripe WU), then the price gets driven up by demand. I can't fault the seller for that, it's the people willing to pay some insane price! It's also 1 item, not 12.

Anonymous said...

I spoke to the educator at my not-so-local store today regarding the 'I'm buying for a team' issue. She said it's a very difficult conversation to have with a customer - essentially asking them why they are buying so many and then if their story is not plausible, telling them they are lying. She did tell me to post on hey lululemon - which for the most part I can't be bothered because I feel like the responses from LLL are all canned and non committal. She did say that the store's big complaint on their monthly conference call with HQ will be that they don't get enough of the popular stuff. She said for some things they get 2 pieces - total. In that regard, LLL is clearly trying to play the scarcity game and the result that is having is to piss off the true consumer. I know my patience is running thin for trying to get desired items to the point I can't be bothered. After all - I certainly don't NEED another pair of WU's and as LLA mentioned, there will be another awesome print again, sooner than later. So why lose sleep over it - which if I want any of the hot items I do have to lose sleep because the upload happens on west coast time, screwing all of us on the east coast unless we set our alarms for a 1am wake up to shop for lulu!
Today I wanted camo WUC - she said what they got was gone in 2 hours. Takes me 2 hours to get to the store for crying out loud!

Anonymous said...

Come on girls......these people who are posting multiple sizes for the same hot ticket items are employees!!!! When you take pictures inside a LLL store and black out your face...uh...that's a sign!!! Rumor has it that LLL employees get a significant discount, so why not buy out all the sizes or post multiple sizes????