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Customer Frustrated at DOEN Sale Sheds Light on Aggressive Tactics Used by Resellers

There were all these resellers filming themselves live and guarding their piles of stuff like treasure, making it hard for anyone else to grab anything.
PUBLISHED APR 28, 2024
Cover Image Source: NYC designer sample sales have become a battleground |Photo by Helena Jankovičová Kováčová | Pexels
Cover Image Source: NYC designer sample sales have become a battleground |Photo by Helena Jankovičová Kováčová | Pexels

There are some who purchase items only to resell them, and they are known as resellers, but they are becoming increasingly aggressive. They're snatching as much as they can, paying people to wait in line for them, and even doing live videos while they shop in an attempt to move ahead. Last month, things got so out of hand at a Versace sale in Chelsea that the police had to step in and shut it down.

Image Source: Photo by David Kouakou | Pexels
Fashion reselling (representative image) | Photo by David Kouakou | Pexels

Susan Davey, 32, who loves hitting up sample deals and resides on the Upper West Side, said, "It's like everyone's in survival mode." She had visited a DÔEN sale in SoHo only last week. A business named 260, which collaborates with well-known designers like Marc Jacobs and Frame, is in charge of organizing these deals. Davey waited in line down Broome Street for more than two hours in hopes of scoring a 70% off summer maxi dress. She wanted to get a deal because these dresses usually cost about $600.

When Davey finally made it to the front of the line, she had to spend another hour wading through a chaotic mess inside the showroom. Resellers were filming themselves live and guarding their piles of products like treasures, making it hard for anyone else to grab anything. Davey is an actress who has been exploring sample sales in New York City since she moved there from Ireland a year ago. She was left feeling frustrated and empty-handed. "They snatched up all the summer clothes. What was left was mostly dark colors and heavier stuff," she said. "There were whole sections that no one could even get to." She thinks it's all because of the sneaky tricks of resellers.

"I saw this lady on a live video showing off all the stuff she grabbed. People were annoyed and kept asking the staff to do something, but nothing happened," Susan recalled. "And get this, some folks were even paying others to hold their spot in line. I even saw one reseller handing out her business card, which was a first for me."

Chastine Vosvick, 39, from Long Island, returned to the DÔEN sale on Sunday, hoping for better luck. She had already lined up since Wednesday morning and waited for two hours only to find that everything was taken by the resellers. "Everything was snapped up by these resellers, leaving nothing for the real fans of the brand. It was so frustrating," she said. "When you see lines stretching for blocks, there should be something left for the true customers."

Image Source: Photo by RDNE Stock project | Pexels
Reselling items (representative image) | Photo by RDNE Stock project | Pexels

Alexandra voiced her frustration on TikTok, stating resellers are ruining sample sales by grabbing everything and preventing others from accessing items. This sparked a reaction from other shoppers. One person said, "Start going through their stuff before they pay for it. It's not theirs until they buy it." Another suggested being more aggressive: "Push them aside and grab what you want."

Even some resellers agree that things have gone too far. Ruth Ramsay, 37, used to buy stuff for Neiman Marcus and now flies in from Dallas to shop sample sales in NYC. She resells most of what she buys but says she plays fair, unlike others. "I never buy more than 25 items or let someone shop for me. Some of the stuff I've seen lately is just not right," she said. She admits she's used a professional line waiter before. Last year, she paid someone $16 an hour to stand in line for nearly four hours at a Moncler sale. "I'll hire someone to wait in line when I come in late the night before and need those early hours to plan," she explained.

Meanwhile, Davey is taking a break from sample sales after her bad experience with DÔEN. "New York is exhausting enough," she said. "I usually find something at these sales, but I might be done for a while."

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