From NOTHING into a $6 BILLION-worth of market. That’s the sneaker resale market for you! But just like any business, this market has been going through the stages of your ordinary business cycle, one at a time. Which makes us question, at what stage is it today? What exactly is the current state of the sneaker resell market? And is now a good time to kick-start a sneaker reselling business?
Today is all about delving into the state of the sneaker game by analyzing the most recent events and sneaker news. We’ll also discuss how key brands performed this year. All of this is to provide you with insights into sneaker resale in 2023 and how to optimize your profit despite all of the changes.
The Evolution of Sneaker Reselling
In the past few years, the sneaker reselling business has grown significantly, shifting from a niche business to a multibillion-dollar industry. And so in 2023, we find ourselves at the crossroads of this thrilling game. The same game where profit, passion, and controversy collide. And, in order to fully understand the current state of sneaker resale, we gotta first examine its history and how it evolved.
At first, sneaker reselling was mostly known as a skateboarder hobby. Then came the 1980s and the birth of Air Jordans. It was then that the phenomenon of sneaker reselling began to take shape in urban areas, particularly within hip-hop and basketball communities. In fact, many consider Air Jordan to be the grandfather of sneakers today.
This said, the launch of the Air Jordan 1 in 1985 marked a momentous turning point, sparking interest in collecting limited-edition and rare sneakers. Michael Jordan was then a rising superstar in the NBA and so he had great influence on fans and the culture as a whole. As a result, everyone wanted to do it MJ style and rock the Js just like he does.
Seeing this, competitors, like Adidas and Reebok, tried to recreate phenomenons similar to the Jordans. But of course, there was no comparison to the success AJs had. But well, Adidas did have the chance served on a silver platter before this chance even reached the Swoosh. Too bad- for them- and lucky us, they rejected the NBA GOAT’s offer.
Introducing a New Era
By the early 2000s, the internet kicked off a new era in sneaker reselling through the introduction of online platforms, such as Flight Club and eBay. They’re the place where sneaker enthusiasts could buy, sell, and trade these coveted sneakers.
Ten years forward, sneakers became a vital part of mainstream fashion and pop culture, attracting investors and entrepreneurs. And by this time, more specialized resale platforms, such as GOAT and StockX were still emerging. Such markets offered sneakerheads the transparency and security they’ve been looking for. Which they achieve through an authentication process that verifies legit products.
In fact, the sneaker resell market created a competitive climate that thrives on the hype sneakerheads create upon the release of rare sneakers. On the other side, a competitive climate often leads to rapid price inflation and can exclude casual sneaker enthusiasts.
In short, it’s a go big or go home kinda business. But despite these barriers, the sneaker resale market thrives still, offering financial profits and a feel of cultural relevance and belonging to a big community
The Current State Of The Sneaker Resell Market 2023
So, sneaker reselling has always been a big gamble, a big payoff kind of market. However, we can’t deny the fact that there was a time between 2020 and 2021 when sneaker reselling boomed like never before. It even got to the point where nearly every single sneaker released on Nike SNKRS sold out in the blink of an eye. And as a result, scored some big bucks on the aftermarket.
However, this was mainly due to the fact that COVID-19 was taking over the world back then. People were looking for side hustles that could make them some money from home. So, some took it to the reselling market, while others headed to the virtual world where they invested in cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
Yet, what those investors weren’t aware of is that markets fueled by stimulus cash and easy financial policies make it seem like the market can only go up. But just like any other market, it’s all based on speculation, and there will always be ups and downs.
This brings us to our question: what’s the sneaker resale market looking like now? Well you see, it definitely isn’t in its booming stage. But does this mean that the sneaker resale market is dead or it’s sinking like the Titanic did?
Is the Sneaker Resale Market Dead?
Although not booming, the sneaker resale market most certainly is NOT dead, unlike Supreme. What does that mean? It means that the market is in its correction phase.
Business Cycle: At What Stage is the Sneaker Resale Market?
You see, every business cycle consists of four main stages: Expansion, Peak, Contraction, and Recovery. The first two phases have already passed. As for the third one, in all honesty, we can’t say the market has reached such a level of steepness, like ever. We did witness a great fall that broke sneakerheads’ hearts. However, the peak that the sneaker resell market reached between 2020 and 2021 was one of the greatest ever. So, when the curve took the slides due to the burst of the market bubble, the fall felt as if the whole sneaker industry went underground. And that was mainly due to the recession and inflation.
But this isn’t the case here, since many hyped kicks are still reselling above retail, and sneaker resellers are still making money off them. The only difference is what they used to make off reselling one pair of coveted Jordans, for instance, they now make by reselling multiples. A profit is still a profit though.
Take Travis Scott’s Olive AJ1s as an example. They retailed for $150, and they’re reselling for an average of $676 on StockX. This means that, as long as there are epic sneaker collaborations like this, the industry will be doing well. But sneaker collaborations aren’t the only thing keeping the market alive. You also got names, like Jordan Brand, launching Js that make more than double their retail price on resale. The upcoming Air Jordan 4 makes a great example.
So, if we can’t call this downfall a contraction, what can we name it?
Sneaker Resale Market Correction
Here come the “What are we?” and “Can we put a label to this?” Well, unlike THAT part of our lives, the sneaker resale market doesn’t mess around when it comes to labeling. Experts call this phase the sneaker resale market correction.
And before you start wondering, a market correction basically means a more than 10% but less than 20% value decline from a peak. It’s a neutral phase that every business goes through, regardless of the bad experience investors face. It basically assists in returning prices to their long-term trend-, AKA normal values. Because as you may have noticed when it comes to sneakers, prices peaked like never before, both retail and resale-wise.
This justifies it all. You see, when you buy too many pairs of hype sneakers, and entertaining yourself with sneaker-reselling during lockdown doesn’t make it the norm post-lockdown. Life had to go back to normal at some point. From going to our daily jobs, running errands, to rebuilding our social relationships (not really), we don’t have the free time we had during the pandemic.
And so, many headed to the resale market to sell rather than buy, while others cut back on the time spent on copping sneakers. Meaning that not ALL SNKRS drops get the same hype anymore. And no inexperienced fellas hyping up the Mids and copping them like there’s no tomorrow mixing them up with the classic Jordan Highs.
This is how resell prices started going down. Because what was previously scarce as heck was now available. And so resellers were lowering the asking prices to seal the deals. Some sneakers even hit a record low, going below retail. But you know what they say, it’s always darkest before the dawn. And let’s just say that the sneaker market’s dawn might be breaking earlier than expected! Valued at $6 Billion in 2019, estimates have it that by 2030 the sneaker resale market will reach $30 Billion in value. Of which China makes up a big chunk.
Is it a Bad Time for Sneaker Resellers? The Future of Sneaker Reselling
Although the sneaker resale market doesn’t look its best today, it doesn’t mean things haven’t been looking pretty promising lately. For one, we’ve got Adidas and Ye rekindling their relationship. And even if it’s a short-lived fling, at least Adidas would’ve cut back on their losses and Ye pocketed some money. Moving a step forward into gaining his Billionaire status again. And who knows what the future holds? Maybe Adidas might have a change of heart last second and makeup with the marketing genius once and for all.
OR since Yeezys are selling out like crazy, does it mean that the sneaker community has finally forgiven Ye? If so, maybe other sneaker brands might be drafting out potential business plans the rapper would say yes to, but are still waiting for Yeezy stocks to clear out to make the move.
In addition, we’ve been seeing new sneaker collaborations dropping more often. And trust us when we tell you, those collaborations are worthy enough that they have the potential to rebuild the market block by block. You’ve got:
- Devin Booker x Nike
- Tightbooth x Nike
- Amine x New Balance
- Nigo x Nike
- Bode x Nike
- CLOT x Adidas (a make or break)
it goes without saying that you’ve also got existing building blocks of the sneaker market, such as: Adidas, Nike, and Jordan Brand. The former even offered Travis Scott his first signature sneakers as of July 2023.
In addition, New Balance seems to be upping their game lately. They’ve been managing to score gold-like collabs. So, who knows, maybe they’re the ones that will be fighting Nike over market shares. And as a result, pushing Adidas to the back one step at a time.
In addition to all of this, newly emerging sneaker collabs climbing up the foot chain might mean something. In all honesty, it always means something when you see new brands joining in on the sneaker show. It’s the biggest green flag indicating that the sneaker game is NOT dead in the least.
How to Become A Sneaker Reseller?
The sneaker reselling industry has undeniably transformed sneaker culture, giving aficionados a platform to follow their passion while also making a profit. However, striking a balance that protects the sneaker community’s authenticity and inclusion while addressing ethical concerns and maintaining a good relationship with sneaker brands, retailers, and consumers is critical.
So, the secret to becoming a sneaker reseller lies in balancing passion, profit, and ethics in the sneaker culture.
– Is it legal to resell sneakers?
– How can sneaker resellers get their hands on limited-edition sneakers?
– How do you catch the best shoes to resell?
– Is there anything unethical about sneaker reselling?
Once sneaker enthusiasts understand sneaker reselling and sneaker botting go hand-in-hand, everything will start falling into place. So, click on the button below to get your full guide on how to start a shoe reselling business!