Research shows that the secondary market is upwards of $1 billion. There were small-time resellers in the mid-00s, but the lengths that consumers go to purchase their kicks has changed dramatically. Relationships with store employees and managers used to be key. The interpersonal hookup was cherished as you were literally doing backdoor deals to cop multiples. In 2016, bots buying out stock and secret links to kicks all mean that it’s grown increasingly difficult to obtain the sneaker you want, because they’re sold out online before you’ve even had a chance. The money changed everything—and now everyone wants a piece of the pie.