Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Sept 16 2013 21:55:32

Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

By: Ina Steiner

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You might expect it at library book sales, estate sales, or even thrift stores - but does anyone ever get the evil eye from brick-and-mortar proprietors?

"Today this old bat at Dillard's hassled me because I was buying so many bras," a seller wrote in an online post recently.

Many merchants - particularly smaller marketplace sellers - pick up inventory at retail stores such as Target, Pottery Barn and beyond. But some retailers don't appreciate the fact that their products are being purchased to be resold online.

Have you ever felt uncomfortable buying large quantities of items at a store?

Some people say they keep a low profile when product sourcing at retail stores, others report friendly relations with store managers who welcome their business.

Have you ever been banned from a store because you are a reseller? Does it tend to happen at high-end stores, value stores, or boutiques?

What do you think of limits on how many items you can buy from a store? And what was the most profitable item you ever picked up at a retail store and turned around and sold online?




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Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

by: teddychan This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Sep 16 23:35:18 2013

Never had this issue before. Why should they care?

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Sep 17 00:05:43 2013

Only at the liquor store.

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

This user has validated their user name. by: TheUglySweaterShop
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Tue Sep 17 00:20:56 2013

Coach stores will ban you if they even suspect you are going to sell even one item.  

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

by: blaumann2 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 17 00:33:00 2013

Buggy merchants giving evil eye to new fangled auto sellers.
A smart dealer I knew taught me " a dealer's money is as good as anyone elses. I never care what the next one sells my merch for, i just try and learn.  

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 17 00:54:18 2013

Around here the thrift stores think they can tell you what you CAN and CAN'T do with your items AFTER you pay--they have signs telling you that you are not ALLOWED to sell the stuff elsewhere.

I think they are doing something illegal and that they should be extremely HAPPY that people are BUYING their items and giving THEM their hard earned money.  After all the buyer is not the one pricing the items!

The best thrift store item I have "flipped"  was a vintage pair of Montgomery Wards blue jeans that still had the original paper tags on them--bought for $3 and sold for over $400.  

Not really into buying at retail and up-selling but I have gotten things at the dollar store and sold them for more!!!!!

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Tue Sep 17 01:07:31 2013

Bought a vase at a thrift store for $2 and sold for $380. I don't buy at retail stores to resell but have had the evil eye given to me at a few church sales. Can you believe it?! Last place I would have thought to be judged. Sheesh!

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

by: BQool - making life easier for sellers This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Sep 17 02:03:59 2013

It seems like everyone should be happy with this scenario though.  Retailers sell the items for what they'd like to charge while resellers  profit as well.

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 17 02:08:07 2013

libraries and thrifts in particular seem to think that they are being robbed when i buy books from them.  i tell them there is nothing stoppong them from doing what i do...

occasionally i have found new items that i can sell for more, i've never had a problem or question.

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Sep 17 04:49:01 2013

Most "Retail Stores" have a website and sell online. So, there should be no issue. If they don't sell online, they should "Get with the Program".

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

by: Damariscotta This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 17 07:17:18 2013

I think the reason the retail stores don't like this is not the "competition" from a small-time reseller, but the annoyed customers who might come in and find the shelf bare for a popular product. That is why your supermarket flyer/coupons usually have the "reserve right to limit quantities". BTW, this was an issue long before the internet. Small markets could go into a larger store and stock up on a loss-leader or sale item at a lower per-unit cost than buying one case through their distributor.

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Sep 17 07:45:04 2013

Nothing annoys me more than when a clerk in a retail store asks me what I'm going to do with all of my purchases.  Since I buy lots of items that are exactly the same I get that question a lot.  I am normally polite and just respond with "how could I pass up such a deal".

I don't know why any retailer would complain about this. They are making sales---isn't this what it is all about?  

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Tue Sep 17 07:57:48 2013

It is puzzling when eBay sellers have told me that they don't like to sell to other eBay sellers for resale purposes!

Buyers - You  can do anything you want with my items. Anything. If I'm paid & buyer happy, my business with the item has ended. Re-sell away!


At the retail level, in most cases once sold to the buyer the item's end use is not their business. There are exceptions like animals or if buyer is likely  ''breaking bad''. Even then, I think they still sell the stuff but have buyers show ID on certain items.

Thrift stores here seem more interested in the money coming in. Some smaller ones have gone to a high price ticket - but I notice the stuff sits there for weeks at that price. Not sure what that accomplishes!


I notice some eBay sellers stand in line at estate sales, liquidations, thrifts, whatever outlet - and proclaim to all those standing around just how much they make on eBay with the stuff they are buying. Um… you may be shooting yourself in the foot competition-wise. Just sayin'.  

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

This user has validated their user name. by: Map

Tue Sep 17 08:31:04 2013

Obvious ebay is mad that small sellers are flipping goods because omniture reports on the 12 month a year ago view are trending a mirror image at the bottom.

Get ready for worst than last year holiday sales.

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

This user has validated their user name. by: Al G

Tue Sep 17 08:43:55 2013

Know the feelin!

When I accompany my wife tag-saleing, she always mentions that I sell on eBay. Then I have to tell the people that I indeed do, but I specialise in a certain niche and I would be happy to give you a bit my knowledge on that topic, you don't have anything I'm interested in here - or your prices are just fine, however if you want to wholesale them out, here's my card & I'll be happy to negotiate a price with you.

At least at tag sales, I have no problems. Costco, when they have sales on "stuff" which you could resell (they had USB hard drives on sale when there was a hard drive shortage brewing 3 years ago), they don't give a hoot.

Going into Restaurant Depot for sale stuff - no problems as well.

I don't do Coach or Prada unless I'm wearing high heels & fishnet stockings, but my knees can't take it anymore. Besides, taking off all that makeup that hides my beard is no fun......

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

by: go-figure This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 17 09:01:08 2013

@Al: You go girl! Oops, er, umm, I mean you go guy! LOL.

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

by: Nevets This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 17 09:39:30 2013

I have a buyer that uses me to drop ship orders that she places with me, about 12-15 orders a month. I love her and her $$$$ :^)

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Sep 17 10:19:10 2013

Several years ago there was an estate sale across the street from me, so I went to see what was there (I don't generally go to yard sales). There were a bunch of old weaving books for sale at $1 each or less, so I bought them all. I sold them on eBay for a nice profit (one sold for $40).

I was just thinking yesterday of going to a large outlet store mall not too far from me to see if I could get some stuff to put in my store.

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

by: geoguiver This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 17 10:41:48 2013

I managed GW's and Savers for almost 20 years. I've had customers say we should ban eBay Sellers. Why would you turn away such good customers? One eBay Seller would spend hundreds of dollars a week on clothing. A sale is a sale...

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Sep 17 11:16:55 2013

While a lot of the ladies at my thrift store know that I am buying for resell, I also tell them it is resell what I am buying or go next door to the food pantry for my groceries. They get it and don't care how much I buy.

I learned a long time ago not to mention that I resell anywhere else. I was at a yard sale one day where the lady was selling off brand new books in multiples that she had been selling on some sort of party plan. She had them priced and as I also never negotiate prices if it is something for resell, I was getting ready to pay until somehow the what are you going to be doing with all these duplicate books topic came up. Once she knew I wanted to resell them, she tried to raise her price! Note: I had been willing to pay her original price, but I sure wasn't going to pay a higher one just because I would make some money on them and I think that is the crux of the matter. People don't like thinking you are going to get more for something than they can. To them it is as if we are stealing from them. While some of the books did get me a good return, most of them didn't so very glad I had stuck to my guns. But you learn to never discuss the ultimate fate of your purchase as inevitably they will try to raise the price on you. Thankfully when buying large batches of patterns and other sewing paraphernalia I can honestly say 'yes I sew" and that seems to comfort them when selling to me.

Perminate Link for Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye   Retail Stores Give Online Sellers the Evil Eye

by: Will This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 17 11:28:27 2013

All the B+M retailer has to do, is limit quantities.

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