Resellers. The word alone usually incites some sort of rage among sneakerheads. But, what is it about the idea that some choose to profit off of the simple laws of supply and demand that bring out so much emotion in those who don’t?
We thought about that question and had a roundtable discussion with four successful New Jersey-based resellers - who work together in the same re-selling operation - to get their point of view. Names have been altered in order to preserve anonymity, but the information in their answers are honest and open. Read about these resellers’ tricks of the trade in Sneaker Resellers: Getting to Know the Guys Sneakerheads Love to Hate
Interview by Larry Gallagher (@Writing_Rambler)
What got you guys into reselling sneakers?
STEVE: I was 16 or 17 in 1999, and it just all started with wanting to get my sneakers for free. I remember just doing stuff like buying new pairs on discount at local stores and returning them to Niketown for full price store credits to get what I really wanted. It just evolved from there. As I got a little older, I landed a job at Footaction and made friends with local shops. Even back then, there were places selling new shoes that cost $100-$140 and they were selling them for $300 and the hood was loving it because even at a higher price he had what they wanted.
There are a lot of people angry at resellers, but they’re still willing to pay that extra to get what they want.
BILL: That’s what I’m saying.
STEVE: You can’t be mad at us because we provide a service.
MIKE: A convenience fee.
STEVE: Look, nowadays if you want a specific pair of shoes, you have to spend two or three days that week at the mall scoping out the store. You might have to sleep outside for a raffle ticket to just have a chance at spending $200 on a pair. You waste all that time and then go home praying they call you. You have to be out of your mind to do that.
You can’t be mad at us because we provide a service.
So break down the process for me. How do you get your supply and go about selling them?
JAKE: Before we even get bodies to get the shoes, we do the research. We’ll post things online and see what type of hype the shoe has. Figure out how available the shoe is going to be. Stuff like that. Then we take the steps to get pairs.
STEVE: The shoe could be doo doo brown and we’re still going sell it and make a profit. Not every reseller is like that. Honestly, I don’t even consider us resellers. I look at it as were giving the public what they want. The majority of resellers are only getting five or six pairs, and they’re trying to charge you and arm and a leg. We’re getting hundreds of pairs and selling at maybe $20-$30 over retail. I keep other resellers in my contacts, and I just label them as “retail reseller.” I know they can’t get rid of their pairs, and they will sell them to me at retail or below to get rid of them.
MIKE: We take it all, because we know how to sell it.
STEVE: If I’m giving you less money than you paid for something, then you’re in the wrong business, buddy.
BILL: I try to sell a lot, fast and for less than other resellers. Big amounts add up. I’d rather sell 100 pairs for $5 over than 20 pairs for $20 over.
JAKE: But now we’re talking about the regular general releases. If you’re talking about extremely limited shoes or the real quickstrikes, then, yeah, I’m selling for just as much as other resellers.