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These coats have been sold for five years. They had become so popular that there had been a sellout every year. This is the first time we've reduced the price.

Is this use of the Past Perfect justified?

The coats had become popular and had been a sellout each year, but not this year, as follows from the last sentence.

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    A present tense situation can help - "They have become so popular that there has been a sellout every year." They have become popular, and they are still popular. The sellout started past few years, and in this year also. – Man_From_India Jan 23 '15 at 2:52
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    As a general principle it's best to avoid past (and present) prefect unless you need it. I don't see any real justification for either of yours, and personally I'd definitely use there was a sellout every year for the second one. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 23 '15 at 17:47
  • @FumbleFingers - thank you! It's not mine sentences, it's from a lang-8 post I tried proofreading. – CowperKettle Jan 23 '15 at 18:39
  • A shop staff said to me, "It was printed on a fashion magazine." "They have been sold for five years. They had become so popular that they had been sold out every year. So this is the first time we have reduced a price." I think past perfect is valid for the first one because of the seller's last sentence "it was printed in fashion magazine" and the popularity of the coat started before it was printed so past of the past.It is because the coat was so popular that it was printed in a fashion magazine – user5577 Jan 23 '15 at 22:35
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The inference to be drawn from the price reduction is that this is the first year they have not sold out, hence the need to reduce the price. The change of situation is what warrants the past perfect. If we reorder the sentences it may become a little clearer:

These coats have been sold for five years. This is the first time we've reduced the price. They had become so popular that there had been [or was] a sellout every year....[but this year their popularity seems to be waning].

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I don't see any problem. The last statement:

This is the first time we've reduced the price.

is not implying any reason or justification for reducing the price. Just that they were a sellout in the past.

Maybe they are reducing the price because they were not selling well recently.

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