Our first Twit-Kicks All-Star, Andy Oliver, is also one of the biggest sneaker bargain-hunters on the net. In his weekly column Andy helps find the best bargain deals on the internet, today he sheds some advice on how to find those great deals. —ANDY OLIVER
1) Understand Supply & Demand
Like any other market, sneaker prices are determined by supply and demand. The easiest way to overpay is to misjudge one or both components. For example, White/Cement Jordan IIIs and Entourage LeBrons were both in-demand shoes, but were also stocked everywhere. This means there's no reason to pay more than the retail price.
2) Use eBay
Lots of sneaker lovers are wary of eBay, but it's time to get used to it. There are a lot of great deals to be had, and the Saved Search and Watch features can give you the jump on the competition. Use one of the eBay mobile apps to take your deal hunting to the next level.
3) Know what people are actually paying
People often list shoes for stupid prices, but it doesn't mean that they're actually selling for that much. Before you pull the trigger on your holy grails, find out what others have paid for them. Go to eBay and search for completed listings, and make an offer with proof of what they've sold for in the past.
4) Go Global
The sneaker world is bigger than just the United States. International shops are known for discounting big, and offering items not available online in the US. Check out Crooked Tongues, Hanon, Size?, Livestock, and TUB for some great deals.
5) Go Local
Buy from your local shops. If you're a loyal customer, they will almost definitely return the favor. It might mean not having to line up, or it might mean a discount. Regardless, everyone wins when you support your local sneaker shops.
6) Buy from the right resellers
You slept on a pair. It happens to the best of us. This is the time to turn to the honest resellers out there. Check out Corgishoe, Shoewolf, and Shoepreme for fair prices. RIF.la is also a great option for consignment purchases.
7) Make Offers
Nobody likes a lowballer, but if you come in with a fair, educated offer, it will be considered by most sellers. Provide proof, and always have money in hand.
8) Stack Coupons
The big deals from online shops often come from "stacking" coupons. This means applying more than one coupon code, or applying a coupon code to already discounted product. Urban Outfitters, Karmaloop, and East West Worldwide all allow customers to do this.
9) Join Mailing Lists
You might want to create a separate email for this (the updates can get a hairy), but this is the best way to receive updates and coupon codes from online retailers. Nice Kicks has even had some impressive sales that are exclusive to their Insider mailing list subscribers.
10) Be a part of the community
Follow other sneaker lovers on Twitter and Facebook, and join NikeTalk and the SoleCollector Forums. The bigger your network, the more access you'll have to deals and retailers around the world. You might even learn something!
11) Join the Members Only sites
JackThreads, Plndr and Gilt have come on strong over the last year, and they offer up some great prices. You won't find Nike or Jordan brand here, but if you're open to independents like Clae and Gourmet, you can save big.