For the most part I think companies create limited edition products for various reasons:
- To create a buzz by making it seem precious and scarce.
- They aren’t sure they want to add it to their permanent line so they produce a limited quantity to test market.
- There may in fact be a scarce quantity of raw materials for that particular product.
- They are aware of a limited consumer interest and want to be able to maintain that sections interest so they manufacture a small production run for those customers.
- As well as various production, distribution, marketing, etc issues (including but not limited to costs involved).
But that leaves us the consumer with the following quandary:
If I want to purchase an item that is limited edition and out of stock online what can I do?
Well that depends on the manufacturer. While one option is eBay, there is always a calculated risks one takes. The other option is to do a bit more digging/research, because chances are the product you’ve been looking for is out there right now waiting for you. Here’s my list of stalking moves:
- The first thing to do is check your local department store, just give them a buzz and see if they may have it in stock. Sometimes that happens (I saw Estée Lauder’s Silver Leaf Eye Creme still on the floor). If they do have them hold it for you.
- Another option is to find it at a discount store, like Cosmetics Company Stores. I believe The Company Store is actually an Estée Lauder outlet. Not only may you find your dream product, but you can get it on sale. These stores are normally at outlet malls, so look for them there. I would call before trekking out to an outlet store, just to make sure you don’t waste a trip.
- I don’t know if other companies do this, but EstéeLauder’s headquarters will help you source the product through their Gone but not forgotten program. Meaning you call the cooperate offices at 800-216-7173 and they will locate Estée Lauder or MAC products for you, if it still exists. There are some rules, they say it is limited to six items which you can purchase, and that they will only search for items in their main line (however I had a friend who got a seasonal product found and sent to her). You will also have to be patient as it will take a while, after you leave your request, for the representatives to go through an exhaustive list of options. However, when they find it they ship it to you. You will have to pay a nominal shipping fee, but sometimes that’s the price you pay. This is also only available in the U.S.
I wonder if other brands offer this service….hmmm….