The culture of Lululemon addicts is such that we are constantly anticipating the next BIG THING. The next release of Pigment Blue, a NEW(!!) Space Dye, the future “revolutionary” design feature that will change our lives. What’s interesting about this mentality is the social conditions under which it’s fostered. The newest “craze” will hit the message boards, blogs and, finally, the public and BAM! The next thing you know you’re on EvilBay about to pay DOUBLE retail on an (albeit gorgeous) pair of Wunder Unders. The questions I intend to address in this post are all about the Unicorns. Unicorns are highly sought after Lululemon items, that often sell for much more than retail on eBay and other aftermarket venues. But what makes the something become a Unicorn? How do you know something will sell out quickly? Is it worth hitting “reload” on your computer every 6 seconds when waiting for the upload? What are some examples of Unicorns? I first discussed “unicorns” in my post on The Vernacular of a Lululemon Addict. There are so many “unicorns” that a new term, “pony,” is emerging to describe “mini-unicorns,” or items that can be somewhat difficult to find or are popular, but are not full-fledged unicorns. I’d like to address and discuss many of these questions and more in this post, On Unicorns.
The first thing that affects whether or not something will become a future unicorn is initial desirability (initial demand). If people on the chat board are going crazy over a particular print or color, you can imagine, that it will at least sell out, and that when it does, the lucky few who were able to obtain it may choose to capitalize on their luck and sell the item on eBay, often for a (small) profit. Once THOSE sell out and a few weeks go by, no NWTs incarnations of the sold-out item are showing up on the Lululemon Auction pages and all the stores have sold out as well, you may have a future Unicorn on your hands. Sometimes, initial desirability has nothing to do with subsequent unicorn status. For example, Unicorn Tears was not supremely popular when it was initially released, some of the items even went to mark down! (Augh!) But other things, like those Herringbone Vinyasa scarves that got released and sold out in 5 minutes are now selling for around $100 (or more!). They may become unicorns in the future, but for now they’re not too hard to find. They’re just a little (!) pricier than they should be. One full fledged unicorn is the Quiet Stripe Wunder Under Crop. These things go for around $400 on eBay and on the boards. Another would be the Stitch (name of the blue-green colour) Gratitude Wrap ($400). Yet another is the Unicorn Tears Down Time Jacket, which I’ve also witnessed command $350.
The second thing that I think affects whether something becomes a unicorn or not is production, therefore “supply.” I don’t know how many of what things Lululemon makes. I DO know that they make lots of black stretchy pants. But I don’t know how many Stitch Gratitude Wraps they have made. I don’t think that they made a ton of them though. The lower the production run of a given item, the greater the ultimate desirability due to rarity. Availability also affects the price commanded due to basic tenets of supply and demand. Recently, Lululemon has rereleased some rarer and highly coveted colors like Pigment Blue. This has increased supply and reduced the eBay and Lulu Facebook Board prices for other Pigment blue items. Although this has been item dependent, many of us who were not willing to pay more than retail for a Pigment Blue item, got our hands on some beauties while Lulu was selling them.
Another thing that I think affects whether or not something becomes a unicorn is simply eccentricity. Is it terribly unique? I love Unicorn Tears because it’s different. I think that it experienced a certain degree of unpopularity when it first came out because it was too different, but now that it’s a recognized Lululemon pattern, people want a piece of it.
One way you can figure out if something is going to sell out quickly is if there’s a lot of buzz on the boards about it. Check the blogs too! Are people asking questions about the sizing of a specific item? Chances are that they are concerned that it will sell out too. If you really really want something, I would recommend hitting reload on your computer screen a million times or risk missing out. I’m sorry I don’t have better advice. If you DO miss it, you can also call your local store to see if they have it in stock. I’ve heard of RARE cases of a store holding a specific item, but the clients I heard of this happening for were well-known at their respective stores.
I hope that this post has been somewhat helpful. I know it can be frustrating when things sell out only to end up on eBay the next day, and that the only way to avoid paying double for the same exact item is to stare at the “reload” screen and hit the button a million times, but I think that Lululemon does their best to keep people who buy full size runs off the site. Yes, Lulu has banned people for buying too many of a single item in many sizes. I’ve also heard of cases where people have been banned from individual store locations (specifically the warehouses) for buying “with intent to resell.” Although it may not be a popular opinion among those who intend to resell, I hope that Lululemon keeps up this policy and prevents those who intend to resell brand new, potential unicorns on eBay for profit off it’s website, giving all of us a fair chance. I feel compelled to say that this isn’t to say that people shouldn’t be able to buy two sizes of the same item for sizing purposes, but I think it’s completely different to buy two of every size. I just wanted to make that distinction. //Rant Over//
If you have any tips on how to capture new unicorns OR how to tell if something is going to become a unicorn, I’d love to hear it! Please let me know in the comments below!!