How to Invest in the $10 Billion Shoe Resale Market

Famous designer and acclaimed sneakerhead Tyrina Lee was sifting through hundreds of shoeboxes when she came across one of her all-time favorite pairs: the Off-White x Air Jordan 2.

Lee has been a personal stylist for music stars in cities like Atlanta and Los Angeles for 10 years. But when it comes to buying shoes for her customers, she always goes back to the Jordan 2s, first released in 1986.

Not because of their fantastic figure.

Not because you can wear them with anything.

But because their value continues to grow.

When first released in November 2021, the Off-White x Air Jordan 2 retailed for $250. Since then, the sneaker’s value has climbed to $3,400 and currently sits around $1,900.

Not bad for a pair of shoes lying around in a box.

However, this is not a one-size-fits-all story – Lee’s experience reflects a burgeoning investment niche where some see a pair of Nikes or Adidas as a better growth opportunity than the companies that own them. manufacture.

Mining old shoe boxes for gold

The US market for new sneakers was worth $21 billion in 2019, according to data from research firm Cowen; globally, this market was valued at $100 billion.

The resale market – where ordinary investors can make a profit – isn’t as big, but it’s growing. Research firm Piper Sandler estimates that the resale market grew from $6 billion in 2019 to $10 billion in 2020. The aforementioned Cowen report also forecast that the resale market could reach $30 billion in 2020. 2030.

Several factors are commonly cited as contributing to the growth of this nascent market. These include sharing and discovering sneakers through social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok; the pandemic; and even the release of the documentary series the last dance chronicling Michael Jordan and the Bulls dynasty of the 1990s.

Yu-Ming Wu, the founder of Sneaker News and CMO of sneaker resale company Stadium Goods, explained that once the documentary aired, he “saw Jordans that hadn’t moved in months or years instantly wiped out overnight.”

Lee believes accessibility to shoes — especially marginalized people who have access to the sneakers of their choice — is the single most important factor driving the boom in the resale market.

“Sneakers are more accessible to people now,” Lee says. “Some people can afford more, but at the same time, others have access to the same shoes as [didn’t before].”

Before the pandemic, shoppers lined up at sneaker stores so they could enter a lottery system to win the right to buy a pair of shoes. Now these in-store lotteries are online, making them much easier to access. And major shoe brands now have sweepstakes themselves — Nike’s SNKRS app, for example, lets you create an account, set reminders for shoe releases, bid on shoes, and if successful, to buy them. Even some third parties have set up shoe lotteries.

So why is this ecosystem taking off so quickly?

Consider the growth shown by apps from third-party sellers like StockX, which lets you buy everything from shoes to trading cards. In a 2022 study published by the resale company, they found that on their site “nearly 80% of Jordan sneakers have gained in resale value over the past 12 months. In contrast, only 52% of Dow 100 stocks are worth more than they were. »

An extreme example of the profitability of the shoe resale market is the Nike Dunk SB Low Paris. This pair of shoes was priced at $69 when it was initially released; at the time of this writing, they are worth $450,000. That’s a yield of about 652,070%.

Most recently, on April 26, the Bad Bunny x Adidas Forum Low “Blue Tint” was released for $160. They are now reselling between $475 and $1,220. A return of around 29% – 61% in just three months.

Lee usually resells his shoes through Stockx. For example, she recently sold a pair of lime green Jordan 1s for $400 – after buying them for $200. This voice actor is actually less than the bonanza of her typical sale, which she says runs around 200% to 450%.

How to start reselling shoes?

Potential sneaker investors should start with research: know which ones are selling and which ones are not. Websites like eBay and Stockx will show every shoe ever produced, how much it sells for, and its movements in the market.

Then look in your closet – you never know what hidden gold is hiding in dusty shoeboxes… Think Antiques tour: People find hidden treasures in their homes all the time.

Also check out local thrift stores and garage sales. Many people will not know which shoes are trending in the resale market. If you’ve done your research, you might end up scoring a few gems at great prices. Remember that conditions matter: the closer your sneakers are to unworn and in their original box, the higher the resale. So don’t get too excited about a pair of scuffed kicks in a basket at a yard sale, even if it’s a desired pattern.

If you are ready to spend more money to buy, enter a lottery. As of this writing, the Nike SNKRS app shows two color options for the Jordan 2s and four different color options for the Nike Dunks under “Upcoming Shoe Releases.” These sell for between $200 and $20,000!

Once it’s time to sell, you have a few options. The easiest way is to use a third-party app like eBay. GOAT, Flight Club and Stockx. Although the interfaces are different, they all generally allow you to set a sale price, send your shoes to their warehouse, have the sneakers authenticated by their sneaker experts, and then get paid once the shoes are purchased and paid.

Remember: with every reward comes risk. Good luck!

About Shirley Dickson

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