This will be the value of the sneaker reselling industry by 2025. And if that means anything, it’s that the sneaker industry is the best place for hustlers and those who want to make big bucks fast.
So if by now you haven’t joined this cult of sneakers and sneaker reselling, you’re missing out big time. And while you could argue that the sneaker hype is fading away and that our Yeezys won’t be worth sh!t soon, an investor just dropped more than $1.2 Million on exclusive sneakers. So, how about that?!
2019 Sneaker Industry Highlights
The first look back at 2019 shows a very large number of releases, some of which were quite easy to attain, and some you could only get if you were Friends & Family. But that’s kinda the case with every year since the late ’8
Ok, so what’s the real deal with 2019?
After a long year away from the spotlight, the biggest story of the year was Yeezys rising back to the top of the ranks. 2018 was by far the worst year for Yeezy sneakers and Yeezy resellers, and one would think there was no coming back from that state. But they’re back and stronger than ever.
2019 was a good year for Adidas. The Three Stripes Brand signed Beyonce, pro gamer Ninja, and strengthened its partnership with Pharrell Williams. But the most notable release for Adidas was the Recent Prada SuperStar sneakers with the matching Golfing Bag. And by that, Adidas has paved the path for more iconic and luxurious sneaker collabs that are coming our way soon!
This year was a great success for Nike as well, with new and renewed collaborations starting with Supreme and Off-white and not ending with the Undefeated pack. Nike is no stranger to incredible and highly valuable and fancy partnerships. But 2019 showed us more fun and eccentric side to Nike, with releases like the Vapormax x Flea market, Kyrie x SpongeBob, and Waffle x Sacai.
We might as well call it a night and just announce that Jordan Brand was the biggest winner this year. But to keep you reading we WON’T!
But for real, Jordan Brand has nailed the sneaker industry this year like no other player. We could say that it’s the Travis Scott collab that brought most of the success for the brand in 2019, but that wouldn’t be very fair or accurate. Would it?
Year after year Jordan Brand proves that history is everything. That sneakerheads still appreciate a success story over a shiny pair of shoes. Regardless of the reselling prices, young and old fans appreciate the industry and enjoy the sense of belonging to this massive community.
Now let’s talk numbers, resale prices, and hype. What were the best releases for every brand this year? And how can these numbers help you prep for 2020?
Best Yeezy of 2019
You probably copped a bunch of Yeezys this year, especially if you used a sneaker bot like AIO Bot. And you also probably love them all the same. But it’s not so difficult to tell which Yeezys were this year, or any year.
Based on resale value, The Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Synth Reflective is the best Yeezy you could’ve copped in 2019. And that’s not hard to take in. The Synths were exclusive to Asia and Africa and the reflective feature easily adds a $300 to $500 to the reselling price. The regional Yeezys we’ve gotten used to in 2019 were an incredible way to make Yeezys more desirable, without Kanye breaking his promise and limiting the production numbers.
Now, looking at the total units sold on StockX, it’s obvious that the Black Yeezy (non-reflective) wins. This colorway, in particular, dropped twice and the restock that happened on Black Friday featured full family sizes. So the stock of these was pretty high which explains the HUGE difference between the units sold of blacks compared to another wide release, the Clays.
Generally speaking, Yeezys and Yeezy resale value have seen an unmatched rise in resale prices in 2019. They’ve done so well, they’re a surefire ticket to the billion-dollar sneaker reselling industry!
And AIO Bot users won big time on the biggest Yeezy releases in 2019. And they took advantage of this rise in reselling prices to cash in like the pro sneaker resellers they are!
Best Nike Releases 2019
Nike year was full of out of the box collaborations. But one of the most interesting was that with Staple Pigeon. Although this release happened back in January of 2019 it is still one of the most valuable Nike releases this year. And one of the most expensive on reselling platforms like StockX.
Now if we were to exclude the exclusive special edition boxes, the rankings would change. We’d be down to the Nike Blazer Mid 77 Slam Jam making 450% profit over the retail price. And the looks of these sneaker shows that minimalism is really in right now.
In terms of units sold, the Nike Air Max 90 Mars Landing was the winner, up until we were drafting this piece. But that’s not such a weird thing since they weren’t exactly rare. What’s interesting, however, is the Nike Adapt BB coming in second place. Earlier this year Nike introduced one of its most advanced technologies, the Adapt BB.
The self-lacing system faced a major backlash after users reported the companion mobile up did not sync properly with the shoes.
But that didn’t stop Nike. The app was updated and the shoes soon became one of the best-selling sneakers in 2019. And Nike moved on to reveal Adidas Boost’s newest rival, the Nike Joyride.
Make Way for Jordan Brand!
If Jordan Brand has mastered anything throughout these long 34 years in the game, it’s collaborations. Out of the 10 most profitable Air Jordan sneakers in 2019, 6 are co-creations. With the F&F Air Jordan 5 Trophy Room still resting in first place.
Besides collaborations, Jordan Brand seems to offer the most diversity every year. With now 34 silhouettes to choose from, there’s no limit to the variations we could get. But there’s always a best-seller, a fool-proof design that no one can get enough of, and that’s the Air Jordan 1.
And this becomes more obvious when you realize that 7 of the top 10 best-selling Jordans sneakers are actually Air Jordan 1 sneakers! And personally, I approve of every single AJ1 colorway listed above. All in all, 2019 was a very good year for Jordan Brand in terms of hype, and in terms of revenue which peaked at a solid $1 Billion in Q3 ALONE!
Air Jordan sneakers are the biggest building block of this community, and we at AIO Bot know how much you love them. That’s why 2019 was incredibly successful in terms of Jordan checkouts for our users.
The Biggest Bucks for The Biggest Players
It goes without saying that the biggest players and biggest winners in the sneaker reselling game are the reselling platforms. StockX, GOAT, FlightClub, Stadium Goods, Poizon, and Nice are some of the biggest names to which sneakerheads owe the booming of this industry. And while you might think that retailers like Adidas, Nike, Yeezysupply, and Footlocker cash in the most in this game, you’re wrong.
Actually, retailers make just a single sale and that’s on release day. The rest of the movement happens in the . And many times the same pair of sneakers would ping-pong back and forth through a reselling platform or app until it reaches its final destination: A sneakerhead willing to flex it rather than flip it for cash. And that’s someone who is truly dedicated to the sneaker, not the resale value.
The Largest Markets
We can’t wrap 2019 up, and not give a major shoutout to one of the fastest-growing sneaker markets in the game. For years now, the eyes were always set on North America and Europe when it comes to sneakers and sneaker reselling. But the past couple of years saw the introduction of a whole new market for reselling limited edition sneakers, one that could rule the game very soon.
Due to the numerous limitations, they have on stock trading, Chinese millennials have recently started resorting to reselling sneakers. An investment that, for now, is not limited or controlled by the Chinese government. And so any young Chinese wishing to invest their money and make as much profit as possible would start flipping sneakers.
And that’s not just a fad that’s slowing down next year. In 2019, China’s sneakers’ secondary market was valued at over $1 Billion by StockX. This value positions China as one of the most promising components of the $6 Billion global market of sneaker reselling. And at this pace, Henek Lo, general manager of GOAT China believes “China will soon become the sneaker capital of the world.” How soon? We’re not sure, but until then the U.S still leads the game as the biggest sneaker reselling market globally.
When, Why & How Did China Join The Sneaker Reselling Game?
The Chinese sneaker trading market has been around for over a decade now. But it’s not until very recently that major platforms like GOAT and StockX have started investing in the sneakers hype in China. Right around when China started comprising over 10% of StockX total transactions.
Now, GOAT jumped onboard launching a mini-app on WeChat in July 2019. After receiving $100 million in funding from Foot Locker Inc.
The reasons behind the boom in the Chinese sneaker reselling market are many.
The first reason would be that, unlike stocks which have a strict limitation on the amount of profit you can make trading them in China, reselling sneakers doesn’t. So flipping a pair of $220 Yeezys for $2000 is possible due to the absence of a cap on sneakers’ returns. And that’s why millions of Chinese Millennials are into this new investment.
Add to that the impact the Chinese-American trade war has had on the profit in the Chinese stock market and commerce in general. Which redirected all the attention of Chinese investors towards sneakers.
Another reason why sneaker reselling is such a great investment in China now would be the scarcity of goods. China has the largest population on earth, estimated at 1.42 billion people. However, the stock level of sneaker releases is nowhere close to matching the high demand there. The majority of the stock still drops in the U.S. which leads to increased demand in China. This demand drives resale prices of exclusive sneakers out of the roof.
The Yeezy Approach
Regarding this issue of scarcity, Kanye as always approached the matter in a very creative way. A way that would do Chinese sneakerheads justice, and at the same time wouldn’t kill the hype. In 2019, Kanye West and Adidas introduced us to “Regional Yeezy Releases”. The way these releases work is pretty simple; every region of the world gets its own exclusive colorway. During these releases The Americas get the same colorway, Europe and Africa are considered 1 region and finally, Asia, including China, and Australia gets the same version of Yeezys.
This might not completely resolve the stock issue in China but it could help bring the competition level a bit down. Especially that compared to China there isn’t much of a demand on Yeezys in the Middle East, Russia, or Australia.
It was a move that typifies the recognition among many Western businesses that Chinese consumption of rare apparel and footwear has become as significant as more traditionally established markets.
It might not be very obvious to you, but Chinese sneakerheads have claimed their rightful spot in the game, big time. According to Chinese data-mining company QuestMobile, more than 10 million monthly active users trade sneakers on online-resale apps such as Poizon, Nice and DoNew. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With StockX and GOAT now entering the Chinese battlefield, these numbers are expected to increase exponentially, and fast!
Also, the possible breakthrough in the financial industry could make way for foreign ownership could be another big step towards bringing market player to the Chinese market. This makes it easier for American companies to market their products in the Chinese market, and this includes sneakers.
The Biggest Talks: Sneaker Reselling, fashion & More
So much can happen in 1 year. And so much did happen in 2019. But amidst a pool of events, news and sneaker releases, what were the events that caused the biggest buzz? And the news that were truly game-changing?
On May 10, the office of the US trade representative announced it was raising tariffs from 10% to 25% on goods imported from China. And just in case you didn’t know, most sneakers sold in the U.S. are manufactured in China. This increase has been the talk of the town for months now, with footwear brands worrying about their sales sinking due to the inevitable increase in retail prices. And you as sneakerheads are now questioning the purpose of your existence knowing that your profits are doomed to decrease eventually.
That’s why many footwear brands are considering moving from China to escape these tariffs and maintain their competitive advantage in a highly crowded market. And one of the first lines to take this leap of faith could be the Adidas Yeezy line.
Sustainability & Ethical Fashion – 2019
Another big talk that’s been going on for a while but peaked in 2019, is sustainability. The more aware the customers are, the more likely a brand would lose them for not seeing eye to eye with their principals and beliefs. People are getting more and more into sustainable fashion. And for all the good reasons.
So a major shift in the fashion and footwear industry would be utilizing sustainable material to produce more eco-friendly sneakers and fashion garments.
This move saw an unprecedented increase in 2019. With Adidas releasing the Futurecraft Loop, their first fully-recyclable sneaker, and Nike utilizing plant-based dye, and the “Flyleather” made out of 50% recycled leather fiber. Even Kanye West hopped on the trend with his Algae-based clogs! Sneaker brands upped the game even more by creating a sneaker completely out of plastic from the ocean!
And it’s not just sneakers we’re talking about here, major fashion houses and brands have joined this movement like Prada, Burberry, Chanel and many more. Almost brand you know banned fur from their clothing. It’s all about ethical clothes and ethical fashion.
Not only did this new approach impact the production of sneakers, but it’s also changing the shipping routes to avoid causing more damage to the Arctic Ocean. Fashion brands are pulling all the stops, and it’s commemorable.
Fashion Trends of 2019
The thing about fashion is that it’s always changing. There’s always something that’s in and another thing that’s out. There’s always a new fashion trend that we gotta get on. And 2019 had its fair share of different fashion trends. We’re not saying they were all good though. Like the ugly dad shoe trend that’s STILL STANDING!
But the trend that brought sneakers and technology together, we’re ALL for it! Sneaker technology brought 3D printed and self-lacing sneakers into the scene. Then we got the tie-dyed and denim sneakers like the Air Jordan Washed Denim sneakers. Even luxury brands wanted to be part of the sneaker industry, which is why we now got high-end luxury sneakers too.
The Biggest Deals
Following the massive merger of GOAT and Flight Club in 2018, the year 2019 saw some big cash transactions involving sneaker reselling platforms and renowned retailers. That merger brought in about $60 million dollars in investment money. In fact, 2019 might as well be the most valuable and costly year for the industry.
If we talk numbers, the sneaker reselling industry alone is expected to stand on a $6 BILLION dollar estimate by 2025. Let’s consider the best reselling platforms. StockX, for example, took about $44 million dollars in investment money, while Grailed took $15 million. Footlocker invested $100 Million and Farfetch acquired Stadium Goods for a whopping $250 Million?
But how about sneaker deals? Sneaker brands use sneaker collabs with different designers, artists, international space stations, and celebrities to boost their sales. It’s the power of sneaker collaborations. And, there are a few sneaker collabs that stick out. The collabs that set fire to the ongoing fight to rule the sneaker industry between the two sneaker giants. We’re talking about Adidas and Kanye West and Nike with Michael Jordan. Kanye West owns 15% royalty on wholesale while MJ has 5% royalty. But, MJ owns his own company. He also happens to earn the most money of all NBA players from sneaker income. To be exact, $130M.
Another prominent sneaker deal of 2019 was the one Adidas signed with Queen Bey! This goes to show how much the sneaker and music industry are connected. Beyonce, who fully owns IVY PARK, signed the game-changing deal in April and drops on the 18th of January, 2020. Adidas’ shares spiked 1.5% right after the announcement, so this must be one serious deal. We’re pretty excited to see how the community will take to this line!
Future of The Sneaker Industry
Now although we haven’t seen the direct impact of the trade war between the US and China on the sneaker industry, we fear that we might in the near future. It would definitely affect sneaker production in China. This trade war is considered a ‘lose-lose’ situation, according to the United Nations; and therefore, we hope they come to some kind of agreement soon.
On the bright side, Nike Off-White had quite a year! Virgil Abloh dropped 3 releases around the end of 2019 and they’re pretty awesome! Which is why we feel like 2020 would be a good year for Virgil.
And, if you’re wondering where to invest your money next year, we got you. So, the 2020 Yeezys are already getting lots of heat, which is why we expect them to have a good year! Also, go with the low-key collabs, they turned out pretty awesome this year. Like the Nike x Sacai and Undefeated sneakers. And, of course, Supreme. Supreme just wrapped up the year and it was an incredible season! So will the next one, no doubt.
Let’s take a moment and appreciate what a year 2019 was! It was a big year in terms of sneaker releases, resale, and sneaker deals. This year certainly kept us on our toes. It also proved how the industry is expanding at a crazy insane rate. And it doesn’t seem likely to slow down anytime soon. We keep getting new designs and colorways that shake up the industry with every drop.
The growth of the industry ultimately led to the insane rise in the number of sneaker bots lately and sneakerheads investing in bots. This makes sense because the competition gets tougher every day! So, people need a powerful bot like AIO Bot to stand a chance.
So, we hope you bid farewell to 2019 with the smallest amount of Ls possible and good luck in 2020!
Happy new year, fam!