Sneaker Reselling: When Will The Bubble Burst?


They’re a part of the game whether you like it or not. Some use the money they make selling hyped sneakers to enhance their own personal collection, some use it as as their full-time income, and some are just novices hoping to make a quick buck on whatever semi-rare sneaker that they just managed to get their hands on.

But recently the game has been changing. Sure, there are still sneakers that will resell for a four-figure sum…but the buyers don’t seem to be turning out in high numbers. Why is this, you might ask? It might just be because the sneaker reselling bubble is beginning to burst.

Within the last few years, the number of “hyped releases” (said with quotation marks because everything seems to be a hyped release nowadays) has skyrocketed. Every weekend there’s 4 or 5 new shoes dropping. It’s literally impossible to keep up, no matter how much time you have on your hands or how deep your pockets are. Sure, there are still rare and desirable kicks dropping, but they can get lost in the sauce due to the sheer volume of releases that every brand (looking at you especially, Nike) keep cranking out.

With this mass of releases, it’s becoming harder and harder to judge what shoes will fetch the highest prices. Of course there are no-brainer releases, but not every reseller can get his/her hands on enough of those to make a profit. They’re forced to gamble on which shoes will be more successful….and since resellers need to move all their inventory to turn a profit, this can be a risky path to walk.

Here’s a personal example. Last week, a reseller came in and returned 16 pairs of the recently released white/gum Huaraches at my place of business. They were a shoe that sold out fairly fast, and commanded a decent resell price.

I asked him what had happened. He said he was able to move about half of the pairs, and then the demand for them just dried up. Sure, we sold out of them in two days once we had them in stock, but they just weren’t fetching the resell price they were when they originally dropped. He said he’d been reselling for years, and this was the first shoe that he wasn’t able to totally sell through.

It’s too early to say for sure that the reselling bubble will burst, but here’s hoping it does. With the companies flooding the market with sneakers, the general thirst for sneakers is bound to drop at some point. It’s just the ebb and flow of business. And when it does…it’ll be very interesting to see what happens with resell prices.


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