Catharsis: Fuck you, ebay price gougers!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Note: the sale roundup is right below this post. All home items this morning.

Ladies, I am angry. There are four things in my life you should not mess with: my family, my friends, my job and my shopping. The first three should go without needing an explanation. The last one deserves some exposition.

This post is not passing judgment against people who pay above retail for sold-out items. This post is not passing judgment against people who sell older items to the highest bidder. This post IS about people who buy popular items on sale, wait for them to sell out and then gouge the price for personal profit. It's disgusting to me. I can't fathom one instance where this is OK. And I feel bad because I fear my blog is stoking the fire.

In my favorite college class (American Political Foundations, natch) my professor talked about how everything has intended and unintended consequences. The intended consequence of the Trade Market and the Weekend Community Post is to help Anthro lovers locate items that they'd otherwise never find. The unintended consequence is that resellers are obviously trolling the blog (and the other Anthro blogs), seeing what items are popular, buying them on sale and then listing them on ebay (or similar auction sites).

Take a look at items that are highly desired in the search & find posts...the Winding Ruffle Boots. The Budding T-Straps. The Skyfall Dress. Search for any of these items on ebay and you'll find active or sold items starting above retail price. To make the distinction, it's one thing to start the item below retail and watch it sell for above. That's demand. (Don't get any ideas, Anthropologie!) It's quite another to take an item that retailed for $150 and start an auction for that same item at $250. I call that gross.

I think it's 100 kinds of bullshit. Sure it's capitalism but it's the saddest example. They're profiting purely off of someone else's desire. And there's something to be said for why we crave these items so much. It's just clothing! But I know the thrill of the hunt all too well and I know the temptation and justification disposable income can fool us with. I will say this: ladies, I urge you to stay away from scum auctions like this. We should not encourage this type of behavior. Half the time when you get the item you realize the hunt was the fun part and owning it matters much less. Paying above retail for an item that just sold out is an impulse and these amoral sellers are preying on that. Bravo to letting some of these ridiculous auctions expire with no bids. Let them accrue fees.

I'm not sure Anthropologie is even aware of this issue. Or if there's really anything they can do about it. It's not like Anthropologie is the only retailer experiencing this issue. I have no plans to shut down either community swap post -- I think the benefits far outweigh the unfortunate disgraceful byproducts. I will say one thing. If I catch ANY community member perpetrating schemes using this blog as a conduit, participating in price gouging or misrepresenting items for sale I will swing the banhammer without hesitation.

ebay sellers currently selling items above full retail price:

Know of any others? I want to know. And I'm eager to hear your opinions. Am I overreacting? Please keep the comments clean -- call outs of any community members in the comments WILL BE DELETED. If you have evidence of a community member price gouging email me.