April 26, 2008
Nail Polish and Capitalism: The Nars Zulu Dilemma
My obsession with Zulu started when I saw it in Sephora’s catalog ad last Fall. Nars, like many nail polish companies, decided to switch their formula to Big-3 free. In doing so, they discontinued several polishes from their line, one of which was Zulu. A frenzy ensued. Immediately after Zulu was discontinued, the ebay scalping began. Zulu was selling for $70.00 to $80.00. Nearly a year later, it is still consistently scalped on ebay for $50.00 or more.
My question is, why would a corporation, that by definition is an entity that operates solely for the purpose of producing profit and accumulating capital, discontinue a product that clearly still has a viable market? Zulu is one of the 3 most sought after rare nail polishes, the others being Clarins 230 and OPI Jasper Jade. The same is true for Clarins and OPI as well, why would any corporation allow a third party to profit so greatly and unconscionably from its work product and loyal consumers. Why don’t these companies nix the nail polish black market by simply re-releasing these colors? It’s not that it can’t be done, Essie picked up the ball by re-releasing their two biggie hard-to-finds, Viva La Vespa and Starry Starry Night. Why won’t Nars, OPI, and Clarins do the same?
I asked Nars. Shockingly, I got back a real answer instead of the typical form answer I usually get when I send berating emails to nail polish companies (I berate nail polish companies fairly often so I’ve gotten plenty of really useless replies – I applaud Nars for their excellent customer service in that regard). Kym Davis, Senior Marketing Manager at Nars, says that the issue of re-releasing discontinued highly sought after nail polishes has been coming up a lot lately. She explained that they are considering re-releasing Zulu and a few others but at the moment there are no set plans to do so.
She also said that she would continue to forward consumer feedback about discontinued colors to the big-wigs. There are a ton of people out there that missed the Zulu train (and now suffer from ‘Nothavingzuluitis’, more on that at a later date) but don’t want to blow an exorbitant amount of money buying Zulu from an evilbay scalper.
I present this solution: Email Nars and tell them that they should re-release the colors you want. If it’s really true that Nars is considering re-releasing Zulu, then maybe a few hundred emails will convince them that they should.
Email Nars at email@example.com, ask that they forward your email to Kym Davis.