Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Secret is Out {pricey J.Crew finds on eBay}

This post is inspired by two comments from fellow JCAs that are spot on (in my humble opinion):

Silver_lining (in this post) said...
...JC would be smart to take a look at eBay - their old pieces are getting snatched up left and right. I used to be able to get great deals on there, but as more and more people flock to get the "vintage" (read: QUALITY) JC items, the prices have been going higher. It's saying something when shoppers would rather have years-old (and used!) items than your new offerings. ...
D*ska (in this post) responded...
silver_lining, You're so right about buying 'vintage' JC items on eBay. They used to be such good deals. Now not so much. Everybody now knows the secret. ...
So very true! Don't get me wrong, I love me some eBay shopping. It was a great place to find pieces that I missed out on at a great price. I remember a few years back getting a NWT Lexington Blazer (the white one with yellow trim) for like $40.

There are still some deals that JCAs find on eBay. However, I noticed a trend in the past year or so with eBay listings for J.Crew merchandise... the prices for final bids are going up and up. The secret is totally out!

There seems to be a flock of JCAs on eBay to find those quality pieces of J.Crew long ago. (Refer to the "Dear J.Crew, Bring Back the Bella {bank it!}" post as an example.) In addition, I noticed there are lots of Sellers on eBay who are listing J.Crew merchandise with higher starting prices.

I totally get it: Demand is up and the market is reacting.

Guilty as charged when it comes to my demand increasing over the years. I really miss the quality and style of certain pieces no longer offered, so I scour eBay in the hopes of locating one. (Refer to the "J.Crew Jackets & Blazers... Still The Same?" post.) This now means that I am more likely to either pay top dollar for the item or pass up on the item all over again. It just is what it is.

What are your thoughts on J.Crew prices at eBay? Have you noticed the trend of increasing final bids? Are there still deals to be had at eBay? Please share your thoughts on this topic!


  1. I haven't noticed high prices for vintage eBay finds but I would be willing to pay a high price (though not over the ORIGINAL price) for some of J. Crews discontinued best sellers such as the yellow Ikat print skirt from a few seasons ago. I think it's worth it.

  2. I personally find some of the J.Crew Ebay prices right now extremely out of control and rather insulting. It's obvious the sellers have read our comments here and on other J.Crew blogs and feel they can price gouge Ebay buyers.

  3. There definitely are not as many deals as there used to be. I had to laugh at the image for this post: I paid a big price for the library dress earlier this year but it was worth it: one of my most favorite frocks in my closet!
    I avoid ebay now so I won't be tempted. ;)

  4. Oh, absolutely. Some of the prices are outright shocking to me. Fair market value is one thing, but gouging is quite another.

    However, I am of the mind that a seller can charge whatever she wants -- if she finds a willing customer at her price, all the power to her. Caveat emptor.

    But I've seen some outrageously-priced things languishing unsold for years, which I find so odd. Most normal people mark things down when they don't sell, lol.

    I've pair more than I wanted to for a few items here and there, but overall eSnipe prevents me from bidding emotionally. I set the price I'm willing to pay, enter it and WALK AWAY. There's no going back to check. I win or I don't.

    I love eBay. It's brought me some of my very favorite pieces of clothing that I own!

  5. I think it's also due to an increase in JCA's and the traffic that the JCA site gets!

    People who don't even use the trade market may be using it for pricing gaging (and gauging!).

    If you add this website and all the subsequent J Crew pop up blogs, myself included, you can see in your reader every day what pieces people are stalking. If someone has one of those coveted pieces, or happens upon it for a deal, they probably see a chance to make a big buck!

  6. I agree FFM and Huddy!
    Last night I saw a listing for the silk navy blouse with polka dots from last fall listed for $399.99! I had to show my husband bc I thought that I needed glasses. And that's last year's piece, not an old school item. Nuts!

    My verification word is "winin" - right on!

  7. Slightly OT, but after seeing the return of the Bubble Necklace, I wouldn't be at all surprised if JC brought back the Bella as one of their "classics". Let's hope!

  8. I buy JC from ebay regularly, and I think the prices have gone up overall. I've had some luck finding great JC pieces at consignment stores, too. And I sell my JC on consignment to fuel the habit!

  9. I have definitely noticed the increase in prices for 'vintage' J. Crew items on Ebay. It is getting harder and harder to score deals. The most you can hope for is that the seller is clueless about J. Crew, but that also means having to do really thorough searches because the seller doesn't know the actual name of a product.

    How about this: an Ebay seller is selling 2007 *catalogs* for $19.99 each!! (And that's the 'sale' price, the regular price is $39.99!!!) - link here! Thank goodness we have lifeasacat for her catalog archive!

  10. JC has been known to "bring back" some items like the recent bubble necklace and the Jenna bracelet. Why, oh why can't they bring something like this library print babydoll dress back??

  11. I buy from ebay occasionally and I'm fine to pay the retail price for an item that is NWT or in really EUC if it is something that I missed and I really believe it would be a great addition to my wardrobe.

    Some of the ebay listings are just outrageous and seem greedy. It's true that ebay sellers are reading this blog. I have been contacted by ebay sellers more than once, after posting in the GWE Looking To Find. Unfortunately it is always an outrageously priced listing and I don't even respond to the email.

  12. I've totally noticed this, but at the same time, who the hell do they think is going to pay hundreds of dollars for a used item? Rarely do the more ridiculously priced items sell... but I'm with Elaine wondering why they don't just lower the price?

    You can still find great deals on eBay, usually from sellers who don't know what they have or don't list the size or item name in the listing. I scored a new Jennifer jersey shirt dress for $9.99 this way. The picture was awful, too. You just have to be able to spot the good stuff... oh, and have way too much time on your hands like I do!

    There are some great deals on eBay right now like a size 14 ivory lexington for like, $5, and a size 10 Juliette for around $25. They both fit the terrible picture and description criteria.

  13. J.CrewJD, great score on the Jennifer dress. I love mine, it is a timeless classic IMO and so flattering. The older J.Crew jersey fabric was amazing.

  14. Noticed the same thing. I've been able to purchase (EBAY) two great pairs of JCREW shoes from 2007/2008 collection (pointy toe low heel flat with ribbon) and a great yellow maryjane heel). I think if JCREW was to re-introduce some of those types of shoes again (lately they are just too funky for every day wearing) and a lot of the items in clothing that we just adored back in the day, it would be great for the company. However, I hate seeing current JCREW items on ebay going for the exact same JCREW selling price and sometimes, more! Are you kidding me?

  15. Anyone else remember that $125 Rose Tee?

  16. Whole-heartedly agreed with the comments about those crazy, greedy ebay sellers on price gauging.

    Same is happening to the Missoni for Target collection! See this post from wearatwork's blog:

  17. The prices have definitely gone up on J. Crew items on Ebay in the past year. The buy it now prices for some items are insane but I guess the seller has the right to charge whatever they would like and I have the right to refuse to buy it. I do still find some amazing deals on hard to find items from the past but it is getting harder and harder. My suggestion would be to shop for items that are not in season to get the best deals. I scored a herringbone Bella this summer for $39 bc hardly anyone was looking for jackets/ blazers when it was a million degrees out. Now that it is getting cooler, I am sure there will be more people trying to find the Bella and other jackets.

    A great place to get hard to find J. Crew items is at your local resale shop. In Dallas we have a couple amazing high end resale shops. Yesterday, I randomly stopped by one and got a black Jamie bag that was marked down to $65 and it was in mint condition. Over the past year I have been lucky enough to get the abstract roses dress, the Owen hobo, the sketchbook roses skirt and Havona silk tank all for dirt cheap. I am sure what you could find would very by city but I would recommend going to a resale shop if you are near a major city bc I am sure you can find some J. Crew items for the past on the cheap.

  18. So true re: the Missoni reselling -- NYT reported that the very first day the Missoni stuff hit the stores and sold out, there were more than 6,000 listings for the items on eBay.

    Even though I do firmly believe in people's right to charge whatever they please, for some reason this particular situation just rubbed me the WRONG way. I won't buy even one item from any of these people who went to their stores and stood in line to wipe out the stock and re-sell at a huge markup. I can't explain why, but I just find it so incredibly lame -- and I hope they get stuck with all of it! Ha.

    I just don't want any of it that badly. I'd rather have one piece of 'real' Missoni (hopefully made of natural fibers) than a closetful of polyester/acrylic knockoff items. You know some chavs will be running around out there in head-to-toe zigzags while riding their Missoni bikes and lounging on their Missoni patio furniture, bwaaaah. lol.

  19. I have scored some amazing deals on Ebay, but you really have to be patient, know what you're looking for, and have the time to search for it.

    There are a few things that really make me angry though about Ebay sellers: those who include "Jcrew" in the item description or market an item as coming from Jcrew when it *clearly* does not. I try to often report them, but Ebay is so slow to do anything about it. Second, sellers who don't list an item as coming from the factory. I've been burned on this a couple of times. Whether they know it's a factory item or not, I'm not sure.

  20. LOL Elaine-

    There were a couple of women in my local Target the other day, running around and frantically buying every little piece of Missoni for Target stuff they could find, all while dressed head to toe from the clothing line. LOL- I just laughed and shook my head at them.

  21. I have definitely noticed a price increase on older JC items. But I'm very patient when it comes to finding something I really want from seasons ago. For example, last fall I was able to get the 2007 Lexington Blazer (black and white) for $89 and the (cream & yellow) blazer for $40!

    I refuse to pay over $100 for anything I'm searching for. Plus, my style changes so if I don't find it, I'm okay. I will not pay ridiculous mark-ups on old stuff regardless of the quality.

  22. I made the mistake of overpaying for a size 8 library dress, which is too small. I would love to get rid of it, and recoop what I paid, but feel guilty relisting it for what I spent. Lesson learned!

  23. JCREWGAL - Would you please email me about your library print dress? Thanks!

  24. I buy a LOT of J Crew on eBay. A lot. And just like others, while I've been doing so for many years now, I have really noticed a price hike in 'old school' items. That said, as an eBay seller too, I will charge what I know the item is truly worth --which doesn't always equate to what original retail was.If someone's got a pristine Bella in a coveted color/size, can you blame them for chargeing near full retail?

    Like others have mentioned, nowdays the only good deals are from those who don't know what they've got. I sometimes almost feel guilty buying those items. I remember getting a NWT Silk Bahia dress for under $30 from some clueless seller and feeling really guilty about the good deal.

  25. wellfedfred, I have that tee. I've worn it quite a bit and always treat it with kid gloves. Still, a couple of small holes have developed over the years and I stitch them up quickly but it makes me think that the tee was right on the cusp of quality decline.

  26. Patsmojo-

    I sent you an email about the library dress.

    Thanks for the interest!

  27. I have sought and found many items on ebay, some for a song, some that were most definitely not, but in the end, I have just one rule...I will NOT pay more than the original asking price from J. Crew. There have been jackets that I have let go because they went many many dollars above the original retail, and as much as a jacket may *mean* to me, it is not that important.

    Usually something coveted will go for around half the original retail and I am okay with that as that is typically what I pay for many J. Crew items on sale from them.

    I figure with all I sell on ebay and here and through consignment I am basically just breaking even with what I buy, and that works for me.

    Another kicker for me is that if my budget says no, I walk away from many items on ebay, and knowing how patterns work (items always come back for sale on ebay, it may be months between but they do), I know that one day my budget will work for getting that item. :)

    JCREWGAL: You will have no problem finding a buyer, promise!

  28. Dinagideon-
    I hope so! I would love to find a size ten for myself now of course.
    I do LOVE the print, and hate that it didn't fit.
    And I love your blog by the way! :)

  29. xoxo, I never did get that tee from JC, hunted madly, and then had to go lie down when I saw it on eBay. I feel about my early French Market tees the way you do about your rose tee. The one with the piggy is my good-luck tee!

  30. wellfedfred, I bought a lot of the graphic tees, including the French market, candy, shoe, boo-coo, etc. from J.Crew when they first started, or maybe when I first started noticing them. I have a dresser drawer full of graphic tees and haven't bought any since the imperial tee because I realized I have more than I can possibly wear in this cold climate and the quality is just so poor. Sometimes I think about putting some up for sale on ebay but for tees it is probably not worth the effort.

    I am not a person who believes in luck at all (Marshall Goldsmith / Peter Drucker follower) but it's nice to hear that works for you.

  31. JCREWGAL - I just responded to your email. Thanks!

  32. JCREWGAL and Patsmojo - if the dress doesn't work out for either of you, I'd love to hear more about it! :)

    the.802 at hotmail


  33. Whoops, make that Patmosjd. Sorry!

  34. I buy from eBay regularly but I've yet to have a deal of a life time. ;-)
    I haven't had much luck finding hard pieces at rock bottom prices. I need to be checking out listings daily but it does take a lot of time.
    I must say that it's getting hard to find pieces from several years ago.
    GWE has been really valuable in getting some items. I guess patience pays off eventually (I like to say to myself).

  35. Speaking of the library dress, there is a size 0 starting at only $9.99, here is the link. Not my auction... I haven't been able to wear a 0 since 6th grade, lol.

  36. I'm downright depressed about the prices for special occasion dresses on ebay.

    Most sellers want $150+ for dresses with marked tags...which means they paid $30 for them at a warehouse sale or maybe $70 or so at one of the distribution center stores.

    I need a dress in a discontinued color for a bridesmaid and I'm so reluctant to pay the ebay prices. I'm crossing my fingers that the "wish list" request I submitted via a wedding consultant will work out.

  37. Totally agree with the inflated prices. I just lost an ebay auction with a last minute bidder and am so mad! It was for a replacement for a merino cardigan sweater that was my favorite. I have the matching headband & belt but moths ate the sweater up! I placed a $53 bid for a used cardigan from 2008 (I think) & still got beat out at the last second while I was asleep in bed. You would think $53 would be enough! I never dreamed it would go that high. I think I may have to go shopping today at the B&M for some retail therapy to overcome my disappointment!


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