Zara Applique Coat – The Sharks of the Secondary Market

I have always wanted this coat but I am not picky, I would take it in green, or black rather than the desired blue. I will pay more than it is worth, more than it was originally sold for, although I have a limit in mind so I may never get it before it falls into the dark and unvisited annuls of fashion past. And that is the point. There is a demand. Clothing of any kind can drop in and out of fashion so fast, that a retailer could miss a trick and in this case Zara did just that. If only they had the hindsight to keep this in the stores longer.

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The Zara Studded Applique coat is huge at the moment. Worse still I see women on the streets of London flaunting it in my presence. But I have a snowball’s chance in Hell of getting one, unless I meet the asking price.

People are cashing in. On Gumtree a girl is selling one for £100. On eBay there are half a dozen. Some days there are none. To taunt me a girl in the office has the coat in black. Apparently her mother bought it when abroad. And that is the interesting thing. This coat was sold worldwide by Zara. In the UK the RRP was £129. And, I can’t cast my mind back to when it first came out. Surely it would have been ignored until the time we all saw Gossip Girl’s Ivy Dickens, Rochelle Wiseman and Colleen Rooney wearing it in gossip mags sending us out like a swarm of fashionista zombies, foaming at the mouth to be en vogue.

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You have to remember those flash in the pan reality TV celebrities only shine their radiance on the UK. In Europe they do not exist at all in the public, certainly not the fashion-conscious public, eye.  So in Europe the coats didn’t sell. They dropped from 100 euros. Maybe didn’t sell then. Studs may not be “in” in Rome, or Paris, Madrid, or Berlin. Not unless the Brits are on holiday there.

But now the world knows there is a demand. If you look on eBay Polish sellers have several of the coats up for £270, bringing the average for all the coats on there to the £250 mark. And they may well sell. After all, the only coats in the UK are either second-hand and people are cashing in on the trend, or they are brand new, with or without tags, and size XS and really, who is an XS nowadays? What about those Polish sellers? Is Zara even in Poland or has the demand become so attractive that the secondary market now includes people making knock-off versions of a, no disrespect to Zara, a High Street brand coat?

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There is certainly an opportunity for arbitraging, a chance to make a quick buck. The coat on Gumtree for £100 could go on EBay for double that and, as long as people want it, it would be worth doing it.

What I think of most, is that this is not a piece that is going to last. Studs are too much of a fleeting fashion and those who have been swayed by the gossip columns and celebrity magazines will have paid 150% over the Recommended Retail Price for a flash in the pan. Fashion is so fickle, and her followers so blind at times. So the secondary market in fashion is as huge as the primary but with one main difference; there are no rules, there is no RRP, people can charge what they damned well please to suckers (like me) who will pay whatever they ask for a chance to make a woman jealous on the train, on the walk to work, at the pub, anywhere.

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