Missy Schwartz
May 10, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Last month, Abercrombie & Fitch announced it would withdraw controversial T-shirts that featured Asian caricatures and slogans deemed offensive by Asian-American groups. But the shirt saga goes on. Politicalcircus.com entered the fray with a parody tee (pictured), and the A&F shirts were fetching $200 and up on eBay until they were taken down in late April. ”I’m Asian—I do not find the shirts offensive,” says online trader Linh Tran, among the first to post ads for the 200-odd tees he snagged at a local A&F after a tip that they were about to be pulled. (How did other eBay sellers score tees? While WWD senior editor Arnold Karr says, ”It’s not uncommon for retailers to take goods they are unable or unwilling to sell and unload them to a secondary market,” A&F spokesperson Hampton Carney insists, ”We are not reselling the shirts in any form.”) And there’s a lesson in this. Christine Chen, exec director of the Organization of Chinese Americans, says, ”I’ve heard that ethnic-studies teachers have bought T-shirts to use as teaching tools.”

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