Retailers seek to limit eBay resellers

Aug. 1, 2007 at 4:04 PM

SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. retailers worried about shoppers reselling their products at higher prices on auction Web site eBay Inc. are taking steps to limit the growing practice.

Leather goods maker Coach Inc. sends letters telling customers they will not be allowed to shop at its stores if they are found selling Coach products on eBay, USA Today reported.

Gymboree, a clothing store chain for kids owned by Gym-Mark Inc., limits customers to buying five of the same item, the newspaper said. That is because resellers are more likely to buy identical products in bulk since it makes them easier to sell on the Internet.

Some eBay sellers make huge profits on sales, especially for items available in limited quantities.

A white canvas bag by British accessories designer Anya Hindmarch that was printed with "I am not a plastic bag" sold in stores such as Whole Foods Market Inc. for $15. But quantities were limited and when the bags showed up on eBay, they fetched as much as $450, USA Today said.

The top-searched clothing labels include Hollister Co., Abercrombie & Fitch Co. and Nike, along with high-end designers such as Prada SpA, Gucci and Marc Jacobs, eBay said.

The most popular fashion items are dresses, shoes and handbags.

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