Teflar, a relatively new luxury brand, but also can sell out a new collection within seconds. However, fans of the brand were left feeling bitter after this quick sell out, after there was an interreference with bots meaning customers couldn’t actually get their hands on the collection. That same day, the bags started popping up online on resell sites for double the price.
Since they launched, Teflar has gained a cult following over time thanks to creating luxury products that are affordable and more accessible than some of the luxury brands we all know and love. Since the most recent launch, that was taken over by bots, Teflar has shut their website down and issued at statement on Instagram saying “Teflar is for the people. Not the bots.” It has now been a week and the online store is still closed, the creative director and designer, Teflar Clemens and Babak Radboy, also issued a sperate statement claiming that the impact of the bots, that allegedly bought an entire collection in a matter of seconds, was actually exaggerated and the reality of it was that there were lots of actual customers shopping with a few bots, it was the high demand that crashed the website. “Some of it is technological, and most of it is addressing this specific restock because the activity was so intense, it broke the backend with thousands of orders being submitted at the exact same time.”
Resell culture isn’t a brand-new idea. In streetwear it is very common for resellers to buy a lot, then after a drop they can sell it for a lot more than whatever the retail price was. Now this method is starting to become more common within luxury fashion, Teflar is one of the main luxury fashion brands who has adopted the ‘restock’ and ‘drops’ approach. In streetwear drop culture is such a big deal, because if you can get something that drop it makes you part of this exclusive and rare club, when there would have been thousands of loyal followers of the brand trying to get it in the drop before it goes to resale on a website like StockX.
These resellers know how to use bots to their advantage. Bots exist in any vertical that could possibly exist, especially if you can make a good profit out if it. In 2019, Imperva did a report and found at least 18% of e-commerce sales are purchased by a bot. Bots can exist as either an open source, software or code and all you need to access these is the internet, nothing fancy; be aware if you are going to try this, some of these bots can cost hundreds of dollars for resellers. For sneaker resellers, there have been cases where running a bot, such as the nova bot, can cost an estimated $26,000 and there is no guaranteed return. One popular bot has been the Nike Bot, it costs $499 a year but there have been cases where people have made $2 million in profits.
So, it doesn’t matter who the brand is, if you are dealing with a brand who has drops, then you know you are competing with bots.