Petals, you make some very great points. I too was surprised to see the bear. I know that since we are collectors, we are more invested in keeping our collections value. I know over the years the warehouse sales, escaping prototypes, early releases and some stolen goods have been a battle that many corporations have had a battle with. It is in the handbag, perfume, fashion, jewelry and so many other industries. I think that more than likely Estee and Harrods are aware and do have mechanisms in place to monitor what goes in and out of their factories. Maybe it is a Pollyanna view, but I am optimistic that because we are not inside EL we just may not know what measures that they take to prevent their goods from being exploited. That is my best hope. I do admire though that you are willing to be sure to let them know. That cannot hurt anything. A business as large as Harrod's cannot watch every worker, every minute.
But on the flip side of the coin, and I hope I do not fire up everyone, I personally cannot afford the Harrod's bear. I have purchased some empty and more than likely warehouse solids because I could afford them. I appreciate it much more greatly when I am able to get my mint in both boxes, original solids which are mostly from very nice collectors that are so wonderful to let me make payments. (And I love when once in a while I get MIBB solids by ebay luck, in a wrong category!)
I truly love my solids and my hope is that even in the short term if a solid was made in the warehouse and it is an original Estee. I am proud to add it to my collection. The “get rich quick” sellers see the short term buck, but I see a beautiful collectible that I enjoy at this moment and hope later down the road to pass along to other true collectors. The “short” term buck will be long gone, but the solids I hope to continue to be ageless treasures.
I really enjoyed reading your thoughts but I believe that Estee Lauder should have taken action as soon as the 2011 Harrods solid perfume Bear 'sample' was listed on ebay (please read my previous post for reasons why I think the Bear should not have been sold) instead of leaving the listing to complete with 2 bids finishing at $850. It was the second Bear with exactly the same description that the same seller tried to list that seems for some reason to have been removed, perhaps the first sale fell through or heaven forbid there are two Bears???. I do appreciate that not everyone has unlimited money to spend on compacts especially in this present economic environment but why would anyone pay $850 for a 'sample' when they will be able to buy a 'full' Harrods 2011 solid perfume Bear for £160 in a few weeks time and especially when the compact has been listed for sale prior to general release, therefore without the official permission of Estee Lauder or Harrods?