BUSINESS

People Are Paying Hundreds Of Dollars For Secondhand Lululemon Clothes, Racked Discovers

03/16/2015 06:47 pm ET | Updated Mar 16, 2015
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Would you pay hundreds for used running leggings? Racked unearthed the financial absurdities behind the thriving Lululemon resale market, and it turns out the brand's superfans will pay many times the original price for rare cropped pants or jackets in limited edition colorways.

The retail blog reports that some eBay sellers even said they make a living entirely from flipping Lululemon products online. In fact, the CEO of online consignment site Tradesy told Racked that the Canadian yogawear company was the fourth most popular brand on the site, making it more desired than luxury brands Tiffany and Hermes.

The prices secondhand Lulu products can reach are staggering. A search of eBay sales turns up a pair of plaid shorts, free to those that paid $128 to register for Vancouver's SeaWheeze half-marathon, that sold for $1,300 in January. Then there's a pair of brightly patterned Wunder Under leggings (current colorways run $72-$102) that sold for $702. Both items were new with tags, but even a pink zip scuba hoodie that was lightly used and washed with "typical pilling" sold for $918. Zip scuba hoodies are listed for $108 at lululemon.com.

Racked cites a few reasons for this insane aftermarket pricing, including that -- Pantsgate aside -- Lululemon products tend to last long enough to be resold after many uses and washes.

It probably doesn't hurt that, as The Huffington Post reported last year, "athleisure" clothes are so trendy women are spending hundreds on workout gear they don't wear to exercise.

One major factor could also be that Lululemon operates on a scarcity model, introducing limited edition runs of a product to encourage buying sprees. "Our guest knows that there's a limited supply, and it creates these fanatical shoppers," then-CEO Christine Day told the Wall Street Journal in 2012.

The company declined to address how its policies might affect the rabid resale market. Rather than getting specific, a Lululemon spokesperson directed the Huffington Post to its FAQ section on resellers.

"We completely recognize that once someone purchases our product they can do what they want with it," reads a section of lululemon.com. "We do not, however, support those who acquire large volumes of our product to resell at an elevated price point."

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