Disney Clamping Down On Professional Personal Shoppers
Disney has begun cracking down on professional personal shoppers at the Disneyland Resort by revoking annual passes. These personal shoppers buy large quantities of Disneylamd exclusive merchandise and resell them online at higher prices.
With many extremely popular items selling out in hours, such as Popcorn Buckets or Funko Pop Vinyls, which usually can only be brought at the park. Observers have said that Disney have begun aggressively targeting these resellers and by cancelling their annual passes. This is because annual Passholders get a discount of up to 20% off purchases.
The OC Register has reported that personal shopper, Samantha Cudnohufsky from San Diego received a letter in November saying:
“It came out of nowhere — I had no warning. They took away my pass right before the holidays. … I had several people tell me that other people had been hit too.”
She will be obligated to pay for her annual pass until May 2019, which is about $71 a month.
Even though her pass has been canceled, Cudnohufsky said she is still obligated to pay Disney monthly until May. She has been running her business for around 4 years and there are reports of many other sellers receiving the same letters.
Disney responded to the OC Register about the story and said that “Park Rules and Annual Pass Terms and Conditions are in place to help protect the experience for all of our Guests.”
The terms state “benefits and discounts are for personal use only and may not be used for any commercial purpose including, without limitation, to obtain or purchase items or services with the intent to resell such items or services.”
Disney have been struggling with “flippers” and “professional shoppers” for a while, with Disneyland guests getting very frustrated with trying to get hold of very limited edition items. Often Disney does implement a limit to how many items people can buy at once but images of people leaving the parks with huge bags full of identical items have caused frustration.
The rise in professional personal shoppers is primarily down to Disney not producing enough product and not selling them online, so people away from the Theme Parks can get hold of them “legally”. These sellers have filled a void and I myself have used a few different personal shoppers to get me items from the parks, so understand why there is a demand and these personal shoppers are filling a void. However Disney might be trying to stop these personal shoppers to get their customers to use ShopDisney.com instead.
There is also the argument that what makes these items special is because not everyone can buy one, but social media has made these items much more desirable. Plus there will always be the split between those who can go to the parks to buy them and those who live far away and will pay a Premuim to get them.
What do you think of Disney clamping down on personal shoppers?