Lilly Pulitzer for Target at a premium on eBay

Target's weekend social buzz

The point of moving a designer collection from the shelves of a luxury department store to those at a mass merchant is to make the line more affordable, right?

That wasn't the case for Lilly Pulitzer fanatics on Sunday morning, when shoppers flooded Target's website and stores to snatch up the label's Palm Beach-inspired fashions at a discount.

Similar to the retailer's tie-up with Missoni back in 2011, when entrepreneurial shoppers angled for a profit by taking their discounted designer duds to eBay, many consumers snatched up as much Lilly for Target as possible, with the intention of marking it up on the resale site.

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But the big difference between Lilly Pulitzer and Missoni, an Italian design label known for its knits and vibrant prints, is the original price tag. Whereas a Missoni dress sells at retail for thousands of dollars, Lilly Pulitzer's website does not feature any that are more expensive than $400.

A shopper loads up her cart with Lilly Pulitzer for Target.
Source: Brian Sozzi

That initial price—which is in line with many affordable luxury brands—has led some Lilly for Target items to command a higher price on eBay than their full-price counterparts on the authentic Lilly Pulitzer site.

Take, for instance, this Lilly Pulitzer for Target maxi dress in Nosie Posey, which sold for an original price of $34. One seller has placed that item on eBay with a starting bid set at $225, allowing consumers to "Buy It Now" for $325.

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While the "Buy It Now" price represents a markup more than nine times higher than the original tag, it's also nearly $140 more than a similar dress on, which sells for $188.

Lilly Pulitzer for Target’s Nosie Posey maxi dress, on eBay, left; Lilly Pulitzer’s Marlisa strapless maxi dress, on, on right.
Source: eBay; Lily Pulitzer

To put it mildly, shoppers were not pleased.

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Target spokesman Joshua Thomas said the retailer was "disappointed" by people reselling their items on eBay, as the goal was to make the line accessible to shoppers.

But not everyone was looking to make a quick buck from the collection. Megan Stacey, a fashion blogger from Cincinnati, said she will auction off her extra items later this week for charity.