Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Did you Miss the Missoni Mania?


eBayers are scrambling and hitting Target like its Black Friday. Missoni, the famous Italian fashion house has partnered with Target department stores for a short-term offering of a few products. According to an article by seattle.cbslocal.com, the limited edition Missoni stock will only be available from September 13 - October 22.

Fashionistas and resellers have hit the stores hard and cleaned out everything Missoni including women's apparel, accessories, baby items, bedding, luggage, dinnerware, and even coffee mugs. This is huge! The demand was so out of control on Tuesday, Sept 13 that the Target website crashed and during that few hours, prices sky rocketed on eBay. Look at these completed listings:

Set of 4 Missoni Mugs sold for $137.50:


These mugs sold for $19.99 in the store. Out of stock online at Target.com:


This lingerie set sold for $85.81:



In the store and online, it sells for $29.99:


I went to a few Target stores today, and here is what I saw:

No shoes.


No handbags or tote bags.


No home goods, dinnerware, mugs, linen, or bedding.


I think these insane prices are a result of being in the right place, at the right time, with the right information. Will we continue to see such high profit margins on these products? Some things to consider:

1) Target.com is back up and running. People will try to pay regular retail before they will pay inflated prices on eBay. I think the insane prices yesterday were a result of the Target website crashing. (Although many of the items are out of stock on Target.com already!)

2) eBay sellers who purchased Missoni for resale (or maybe even over-bought) are going to undercut each other and this will become a race to the bottom. The examples above show what people will pay. Many eBay sellers are going to start to panic when they realize that they aren't getting 3 times the retail price for this stuff within 24 hours, and they have spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on Missoni merchandise. Impatience and inexperience will cause them to drop their prices quickly.

3) Supply with catch up with demand. Even though the word on the street is that Missoni for Target is a limited deal, it is getting people in the Target stores,and during this economy, Target must like that side effect. Nothing is written in stone between Missoni and Target - for all we know this could become a seasonal or even permanent arrangement.

This will be a "wait and see" situation. I was able to find about 20 items and will be watching Target.com very closely and see how prices on eBay fluctuate as items become more scarce and show up as "out of stock online." We can't be sure that more Missoni isn't on the way to Target - could this be a ploy to cause a shopping frenzy and help Target's numbers during the 4th quarter? A pre-holiday selling blitz?

What is your Missoni Madness story? Did you hit Target stores, battle the crowds, or find anything at all?
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