Thursday, August 02, 2007

Online resales worry retailers

Online resales worry retailers
Updated 19h 49m ago | Comments 53 | Recommend 21 E-mail | Save | Print | Reprints & Permissions |

Enlarge By Richard J. Carson for USA TODAY

Triss Budoff in her Tomball, Texas home with Rafe handbags she bought at Target this spring, posted them on eBay, where she earned as much as $100 a bag. As the number of eBayer sellers like Budoff increase, stores are implementing measures to protect their business.

By Elaine Hughes, USA TODAY
Triss Budoff of Houston spent about $1,000 on 25 Rafe handbags that were available for a limited time at Target. But Budoff didn't use the purses. Instead, she posted 10 of them on eBay and earned about $750 in profit.
"I viewed it as a low-risk investment," Budoff says. "Anything I didn't sell I could return to the store within 90 days and get my money back."

More than a million people like Budoff make a portion of their income from selling products on eBay (EBAY). And that has some retailers worried. To protect their businesses and their brands, they are taking steps to curtail customers who are buying products for resale.

Retailers are especially concerned about reselling of clothing and accessories, a category that has grown 73% on auction website eBay the past two years.

For retailers, "Jewelry and handbag sales are especially hurt by e-commerce," says Ken Nisch, chairman of retail consulting firm JGA. "More of these items sell online because people don't have to worry about clothing sizes."

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