Target’s Cracking Down on Resellers Following Lilly Pulitzer-Gate

Leah Bourne

Photo: Target

When Target’s collaboration with Lilly Pulitzer hit stores last month, it sold out within hours, and many key pieces landed on eBay with huge mark-ups—some selling for thousands of dollars. Eager shoppers, needless to say, weren’t happy, especially since it wasn’t the first time this happened. Target’s limited-edition collaborations with Missoni, Zac Posen, Rodarte, and others, have had a similar fate.

Now, eCommerce Bytes is reporting that Target is making a major push to crack down on resellers purchasing its products to then sell for insanely inflated prices. “[Target] told me that they are no longer selling to resellers and the fact that I have ordered a very large amount did not matter,” one reader told the site.

That person estimated that they had spent around $100,000 at Target over the last year, and when they reached out to the retailer they were directed to the site’s terms and conditions, which states:

Target does not offer additional discounts on large orders of a single item or on large orders of many individual items. In addition, we reserve the right to limit quantities on orders placed by the same account, on orders placed by the same credit card, and on orders that use the same billing or shipping address. We will notify you if such limits are applied. Target reserves the right to prohibit purchases of any merchandise to resellers. Resellers are defined as a company or an individual that purchases goods with the intention of selling them rather than using them.

Also of note, as a commenter on The Break Room, an independent website that’s a gathering place for Target employees, pointed out, this crack down isn’t just in service to Target shoppers, it’s also to the retailer’s own benefit. “The issue is, Target sells that stuff at a loss to get guests in the store to buy other stuff. Instead of a guest coming in and buying an iPad at a loss and then buying another $75 worth of clothing or whatever, we end up with a loss leader that isn’t leading to any other sales,” the person wrote.

Bottom line: The resellers that Target is going after are the big boys—people buying huge quantities of the same items, and people using special discounts on massive orders, so don’t expect the secondary market for Target’s limited-edition collaborations to just disappear because of this policy update. Will it make it easier for the every day shopper to buy what they want from these special one-off lines? Time will tell when the next buzzed about collab hits stores.