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Marks & Spencer's autumn range emerges on online black market

A black market for some of Marks & Spencer’s autumn 13 clothing is emerging, with individuals using online auction sites to sell key items for up to double their store price tag.

One of the most popular pieces appears to be M&S’ £85 powder pink duster coat, which sold out on marksandspencer.com within the first day it was available, last week.

Consumers on Ebay are now being offered the “hero piece” for anything up to £160 – plus £10 posting and packaging.

The same coat in pale blue is selling on the site for £150 and other items, including some of M&S’ leather products, are also on sale.

The problem appears to have arisen as a byproduct of M&S’ new approach towards more limited availability, with creative director Belinda Earl saying it was echoing the strategy adopted by Zara of not rebuying stock once it has run out.

An M&S spokeswoman said a second drop for the pink coat would take place next week, with a third and final drop following a couple of weeks later. But from that point “once it’s gone, it’s gone”, she explained.

The spokeswoman added that the team was aware of the situation, but that M&S would not be looking to take preventative action to stop it in future, for example by limiting the number of single items a person can buy at one time.

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