Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Target Tanks on Missoni Madness

Surely they knew it would be popular! Target's pop-up site in New York sold out in hours. Perhaps that should have been the first clue? Target spent megabucks on advertising the special line created by Missoni for Target: clothing, accessories, even a bicycle. When Missoni launched yesterday, Target failed.

It surprises me that lines formed outside the doors of Target stores before they opened. I didn't realize the general public knew the Italian brand that well. There they were, lined up at the doors, waiting to scoop armsfull of anything they could get their hands on in the first few minutes. From the photos, they didn't resemble the svelte Missoni customer.

Then potential customers crashed Target's site. Within seconds, the "grand opening" became not so grand as target.com went down - and stayed down. It was up and down all day. Did Target make a wise decision when it recently moved its e-commerce site away from Amazon onto its own platform?

I went over to the Target store nearest me at 11:00 am, after failing to get a look-see online. There wasn't a single piece of women's clothing left. Not one! I came home and tried again to see the line online. Some time in the early afternoon, I got a message that said something like, "Woof, stay here, don't refresh your page, and you'll stay in line to get in." Seriously? By that point, it had become a challenge, so I waited. About 15 minutes later, I was given my pass to view the limited-edition Missoni Collection. At that point, very few items were entirely sold out, so I ordered a few. It was my only way to see them: pay, wait to receive them, and then return what I can't wear, which might be everything, given Target's failure to put informative size details on the site.

Now, however, I know that those not-so-svelte customers were instead eBay sellers. All of the items from Target are available at eBay - some at many times their Target price. There are almost 30,000 of them! Current bid on a dress for which I paid $65? $210 at this second. Maybe it's time for Target to limit buyers to one SKU per customer when they launch a blockbuster. This is insane. I'm not sure I want to be seen in the clothing at this point. I'll decide when it arrives.

Did you participate in Missoni Madness?

Update: This phenomenon made the Today Show. I just saw a segment describing "Missoni Mahem" at the pop-up site, the crowds, the crash, and the madness. They didn't mention eBay.

Photo courtesy of Target

34 comments:

Crystal said...

I tried to take a peak online and got that silly "woof" dog all day:) I just wanted to see if there was any thing I had to have. I refuse to go get anything on evilbay at crazy prices. That's part of the fun, paying Target prices!

Charlestongirl said...

I agree, Crystal! That silly Woof message is still coming up, but the waits are shorter. Most items are now "out of stock."

Who would pay eBay extortion for the stuff?

BlushingNoir said...

the whole point of Missoni being at Target is the discount lol who in the world would pay the inflated prices on ebay?! it doesn't even make sense!
I wanted to check it out but I didn't expect it to be more popular than Liberty of London so I didn't rush down to my local one.
If I see it when I go, cool... if not, oh well. I won't die. lol

Charlestongirl said...

I'm giggling, BlushingNoir,

I had no plans to buy, but my curiosity got me when it was "inaccessible."

Only a true fashion victim would pay the eBay prices.

Makeup Magpie said...

Terrible, I hope that merchandise languishes on ebay unsold. But sadly, there are probably people out there who will pay the inflated prices, although I won't be among them! Now, if it were sold out/limited edition Chanel, Guerlain or LMdB makeup...that would be a different story! ;) (just kidding)

Charlestongirl said...

I get really annoyed with those eBay sellers too, Makeup Magpie, which is why I think Target (and other stores) need to stop those buying up everything they can get their greedy hands on.

Same goes for makeup! How frustrating is it to look for something on its first day in a store and find it already sold out?

Kristie said...

I'm embarrassed to admit I haven't heard of Missoni or even know what the brand is all about. I saw all the tweets and news articles about Target's website being down. Out of curiosity, I went to the store to check out the items. They still had a lot of items there so I'm sure like me, most people around here had no clue what Missoni is. Although, after all the stories on it, evilbayers are probably ravaging the store now as we speak.

Eileen said...

Personally, I don't care for Missoni, but chacun à son goût. That being said, I really don't understand why anyone would pay more than Target's original price for any of it. I've seen the ads. It's just a lot of kitsch. Even top of the line Missoni is not exactly a coveted label, so I figure the price Target set on this mass produced "collection" is probably a fair one for some fun stuff that is meant to amuse for a season and then be tossed. Unfortunately, there will be those folks who pay more than it's worth because they think they are getting something "designer". It really saddens me.

A moral tale for anyone tempted to pay an inflated eBay price:

There's a scene in a very old movie in which this character is recounting how he fought his way up out of poverty and of how he dreamed of one day going into a restaurant and ordering a steak dinner. He worked and saved hard. When the day to treat himself finally came, he went to a fancy restaurant where he was dismayed to see that he barely had enough money to order the cheapest steak on the menu. But, he told himself, at least it was a steak. When his meal arrived, he was shocked to learn that his Salisbury Steak was not steak at all. It was just over-priced, fancy hamburger!

You might think you are buying Missoni, but you're not. You're buying Target's collaboration with Missoni. Pay Target's fair price or let it go.

Sorry for sounding like such a pompous a--, but I detest scalping of any sort.

Ava said...

I tried to access the site last night, and actually managed to get a couple of things into my shopping cart, then I lost the connection. I was "woofed" for so long that I gave up. I need to pick up a couple of other things, so will check it out in-store tonight. Given your experience yesterday, there probably won't be anything left!

LoveSugarBabyDoll said...

Greed is ugly in whatever form it takes.

Quote: time.com/International Business Times-

Before heading to eBay to snag new Missoni for Target goods, try to think rationally rather than getting caught up in the must-have-it-now frenzy. The International Business Times reports that many Target stores will soon be restocked with items from the collection, likely within days.



Read more: http://moneyland.time.com/2011/09/14/tons-of-sold-out-missoni-for-target-goods-wind-up-on-ebay%e2%80%94at-3x-original-prices/#ixzz1XwnxLqgM

lovethescents said...

I had no idea Target was collaborating with Missoni. That is exciting! Sadly, it sounds like it was poorly organized. I feel sorry for people that wanted a couple of items, only to be left behind by, to use Eileen's word, scalpers.

You're right, Charlestongirl, Target should put limits on items. All companies should...when I think of the hockey madness here in my city, it's the same. No way can you purchase a ticket without going through a scalper, either in person or online. It's unfair.

Thanks for the information. I had no idea.

Charlestongirl said...

Hey there, Kristie!

No need to go to the store. The items are wiped out. Some of them were nice, but many, as Eileen pointed out are tacky.

Charlestongirl said...

I'm laughing, Eileen. I've never been a big Missoni fan either - most of the prints are too busy for my tastes. I ordered pieces in which the prints were decoration, not the basis for the whole piece (if that makes any sense). They may go back. Since there are in such demand, maybe I ought to offer them to readers at cost plus shipping! I can't even imagine paying more for the synthetic Missoni than I did.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Ava,

Don't bother with a store. I checked online this morning, and most everything is cleaned out. Someone from Target said on Today this morning that pieces may trickle into stores. She said, "Shop early, shop often." I nearly died when I heard that. They just want you in the store! What a ruse!

Charlestongirl said...

I saw that too, LSBD, but I don't think so...many of the earlier designer items Target introduced never reappeared. Clever marketing to get people into the store.

Anyone paying hundreds for these pieces on eBay has more money than sense. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Good grief, Lovethescents! I guess scalpers are scalpers everywhere.

I may have a few size small pieces for sale here. Time will tell, They are scheduled to show up Monday.

Miss Brahms said...

This is like the Calypso St. Barth's Target collection - I was assured it would sell out, then saw it on the clearance racks. Hype indeed! Now I'm headed to Target to buy my kids' Halloween costumes - though it is over a month away - because if I wait, it will all be gone within a week to be replaced by Christmas decorations.

NeenaJ said...

I have long been in favor of some kind of anti-scalping regulation on eBay.

For example, items couldn't be posted within X days of retail launch.

I hope no one succumbs to buying these or any scalped items on eBay and also, that all the vultures get stuck with their purchases.

Limits from Target would have been the way to go. I know folks say that any publicity is good publicity, but I hope this one demonstrates an epic FAIL.

Charlestongirl said...

Can I just say ditto, NeenaJ? Perfectly said!

Charlestongirl said...

Oh oh, Miss Brahmns, I hope the Missoni hoards didn't clean out Halloween too! Actually, some of the children's Missoni might be perfect for Halloween. They could go as fashion victims. :)

Zeynep said...

I'm with Eileen. I live/work in northern Colorado and I was shocked that people in my town knew of Missoni. I agree that it isn't the most coveted line, but I was shocked to go to Target after work and find nothing but hats and 1 scarf. I did manage to find my size in the black pumps, which were the only item I really wanted from this line.

If you didn't manage to pick up a piece from this collection, don't be bummed out. The product range is nice and they did promote to no end, but whatever you do, DO NOT PAY FOR ANY OF THESE ITEMS ON EBAY. If you're going to spend $210 on a dress worth $65, save the money and go buy a pair of nice Hudson jeans or something that is worth $210.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Zeynep!

Can you imagine? The prices on eBay are CRAZY.

Ava said...

According to this Chicago Tribune article, Target sold out six weeks worth of merchandise in one day, and there's no more coming.

Just got back from the Target around the corner. It was if they never had any Missoni merchandise at all! And they bought everything else too - they only had half the stuff on my list!

Everyone wants designer stuff these days. It's the long run result of the consumer economy we've created.

Charlestongirl said...

Good grief. Ava, the press is reporting that this won't hurt Target. I wonder.

Anonymous said...

If you buy the Missoni stuff at the inflated prices on Ebay then just spend the extra dollars and get the real Missoni instead.

Anonymous said...

I really wanted the *pretty* silk scarf but now, not really. Ebay buyers really irritate me because I refuse to pay more than an item retailed for (clearly, I think those prices are often already overvaluing whatever it is).
If more people were logical consumers like they promised me in economics they would be, this wouldn't happen.

My target did have the children's clothing left though.

Charlestongirl said...

Anonymous I, if the eBay prices approach the real Missoni prices, we will know the world has gone insane.

Charlestongirl said...

Anonymous II, I just read in the Washington Post that everything except the women's clothing may be restocked. So check online now and then for that scarf. Or wait until the eBay sellers get stuck with it. Prices may come down.

Eugenia said...

That is repulsive! You'd figure a retail giant like Target would have known this would happen, right? I tried their site too and had the same darn message. My nice actually got up in the wee hours of the morning, drove across the border to Plattsburg, Vermont with a friend (we're in Quebec, Canada) and even though she arrived at Target within 30 minutes of the doors opening, all Missoni pieces (apparently only 20% of their stock had arrived) were sold out within nano-seconds. So, I am completely turned off now with these high end collaborations (H&M, Target) and refuse to even look at what's being offered. They have taken the backbone of their retail sales ie: the average non-ebay re-seller like myself, and have broken it. Tar-jay? NO WAY!!

Deb said...

I too find greed to be disgusting and one of the least attractive aspects of human nature. But right up there in the list is the lack of common sense. I despise ebay and will not shop there but if the ebay scalpers are not breaking any laws, then why all the complaining? If someone chooses to pay ebay prices then they have only themselves to blame if they get scalped. It seems ironic to me to complain about ebay scalpers while at the same time trying so hard to locate and purchase the very same items the scalpers have cleaned out. I must be missing something. Is Missoni really worth that much? And why would anyone think Target is concerned? They made their money.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Eugenia,

Your poor niece!

Charlestongirl said...

Well, Deb, you have to wonder about the people bidding on those overpriced wonders. :)

LoveSugarBabyDoll said...

this is pretty funny: $31,000 for the Missoni rainboots- read on....

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Missoni-Target-Venetian-Rainboots-Sz-10-Pay-Daughters-College-Tuition-/220855994760?pt=US_Women_s_Shoes&hash=item336c0b0988#ht_547wt_1081

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, LSBD! That seller has a great sense of humor. :)