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Zara tulip dresses are selling on eBay for more than double the retail price: WHY?

OK, can someone please explain this to us?

From the Zara website, yesterday:

And from eBay, also yesterday:

Can you spot the difference between these two dresses?

Other than the fact that one is £69.99, and the other is £150, we mean?

That’s right, there isn’t one.

And we wish we could say this was an isolated incident, but the fact is: it’s not. There are dozens of these dresses on eBay, being bid up to extraordinarily high prices considering the fact that:

a) They’re from Zara


Not all of them, granted. Some of these Zara tulip dresses have, in fact, sold out in the store, such as this floral print number, which is no longer available:

In this case, there is another explanation for the high eBay price of the dress. We call it the “Olivia Palermo effect”:


Olivia isn’t the only celebrity to show a preference for Zara and its dresses in recent months. Both Kate Middleton and sister Pippa have been spotted in Zara this year, as have a string of other celebs, and this has, if the media is to be believed, sparked a buying frenzy which means that although the dress below, as seen on Pippa Middleton, was last seen on the Zara sale rack, priced at £19.99, certain eBay sellers are offering it for considerably more than that (a little optimistically, it would seem: this dress isn’t quite reaching the giddy heights of the tulip dresses. Sorry, Pippa.).

What is this madness, we want to know? Where does it come from? And don’t get us wrong: we love Zara. We like all of the dresses pictured on this page. But, bearing in mind that the purple dress pictured at the top of the page is still available in all sizes on the Zara website (or was at the time of writing), we just can’t understand why people would pay more than twice the price for it. We realise Zara doesn’t ship to all countries, and that if you don’t have easy access to a store, eBay may be your only option, but even so: we’re perplexed.

Now, we were going to ask why eBay sellers are charging £150 for a dress that is available in-store for £69.00, but the answer to that one is pretty obvious: they’re doing it because they can. Because consumers really are willing to pay that much extra. Which brings us to our next set of questions:

Is the media hype so effective that people will spend almost £100 than the retail price of a garment just because it’s been deemed the next “must have” item? Are we all so desperate to dress like celebrities that we’re willing to buy their clothes at any price? Are these dresses selling for so much A) because certain celebrities have been seen wearing them, B) because the media has hyped the fact that certain celebrities have been seen wearing them, or C) because the people who buy them just really, really like the designs?

Finally: would you pay £150 for a £70 Zara dress?

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