The trouble (or brilliance, depending on who you ask,) with limited edition pieces is that there is nearly always more demand than there is supply. Yes, that is precisely the intention of limited edition economics, but as is the case with most original plans, there are the unintended side-effects to be considered from the aftermath.
Allow us to revisit LV x Supreme again. We keep talking about this collab—we love to hate it.
Pieces sold out so close to the drop time that the inventory basically didn’t reach the general masses. Thanks to the celebrity following of LV (who, of course, get first dibs and receive pieces pre-pre-order,) the elite VIP (corporate high-rollers and frequent flyers,) and the regular VIP (who spend enough or shop often enough to receive pre-order privileges,) those who were looking to score a piece of the action but don’t shop with LV enough to land amongst any of the aforementioned tiers of importance likely didn’t have even a sliver of chance to enter their credit card digits, or would have to settle with an ungodly priced piece that they didn’t want to begin with. There would be no shortage, however, of hype or discussion (to which we know we’re contributing quite a bit to). Not to mention, of course, the amount of marketing when these pieces are captured and regurgitated by the many media distribution outlets in the form of blogs, Instagram, and resale sites. If only they could sell hype for money…
That’s okay, this was the intended result; more demand than supply. Secondly there’s the planned benefit of exposure and marketing to clientele from both parties: those exact muggles who don’t normally lend themselves to this magical Monogram canvas-clad brand. Supreme got a very strong dose of publicity for the sharp red box a la Kim Jones, and Supreme enthusiasts have now undoubtedly perused through the LV site or even ventured into a store. Win-win.
Finally, we mentioned a relatively-no-strings-attached relationship that leads to some quick, short-term financial gain, so we won’t discuss that any further.
This gracefully leads into the discussion about the not-so-positive effects from the same cause. Allow this to sink in for a moment:
This piece, the Box Logo Tee… A T-SHIRT that retailed for $485USD was at one point worth $4755USD on eBay. That is nearly TEN TIMES THE ORIGINAL RETAIL VALUE. While we can’t tell you what it actually sold for, if at all, the fact that it was valued for that amount on eBay is nothing shy of absurd.
This logo wallet normally retails about $605CDN sans the Supreme logo. As you can see, the red Supreme version is now on eBay for resale. Of course, the seller cleverly covered the actual purchase price on the receipt positioned on the left of the photo, but strategically displays the item number matching the wallet. The limited red Supreme pictured is currently on eBay for $1426USD at the time this post was written. There were NINE bids. This means SOMEONE WANTS IT for $1426.
This is a slap across the faces of the pricing/marketing strategists at LV. It is blatant disregard for both brands while simultaneously giving it such high praise; your product is amazing and desired, but people who buy it from you might be buying it only to resell it. Heritage, brand loyalty, authenticity… Out the window. Additional revenues, also out the window. This piggybacking is detrimental for both brands in ways that we’re sure we don’t have to spell out.
This may have sparked the cancellation of further pop-up stores opening to supply more of the LV x Supreme merchandise, and a limit on available inventory at existing pop up stores. We reached out to an LV location in Toronto to see if we could get any information, but were told that they are completely in the dark regarding the future of this collaboration, and have no idea about when they will receive further information. Seeing these sky-rocketed prices surpassing any genius their own marketing team and pricing team could have imagined, LV is probably kicking themselves.
In what is probably going to be the first glimpse of an LV identity crisis, it won’t be surprising to see them going the way of Chanel and Hermès with regards to limiting sales to selectively chosen clientele for certain high-demand products. Clearly, hype CAN sell for money… Just not from LV directly.