Instead of blogging today on our usual topic of purchasing hand-painted shoes, we’re going to take a detour to discuss sneaker investing. Investing in sneakers has become an increasingly popular way to grow money in today’s society. Some alternative assets — like sneakers — appreciate in value over time. You might find a pair of Yeezys you bought years ago has doubled or tripled in value. Imagine buying a bulk number of shoes that all double or triple in value over time and reselling those sneakers to make money.
If you have the right kind of hustle, you too can invest in sneakers and start reselling them for these types of returns. The sneaker industry is a 2 billion dollar market that is continuously growing. The hype around these shoes makes the investment a great buy that could net you an excellent return when sold the right way. It’s the reason why recently Nike’s VP resigned, sneaker reselling was taking place by her own family members.
There are two ways you can invest in sneakers. You can either resell sneakers and take advantage of the snowball effect or invest in an airbrush or duller and customize sneakers so that you can sell them for a higher price. Investing in sneakers to resell has a snowball effect. You can buy one pair and then resell it so the next time you have enough capital to buy two pairs. After those two pairs are bought and sold, you can buy four pairs, and then the snowball effect continues from there until you have enough money to buy hundreds of pairs of shoes and sell them. As long as you don’t buy used shoes and keep all of your pairs deadstock (in brand new, clean condition), they will retain their value and typically even go up in value.
Many people invest in sneakers this way to the point that it’s become such a popular opportunity that pairs are flying off the shelves at retail during sneaker releases. Resellers are driving up the price of shoes in the secondary market on reselling platforms and you too can get in on making a profit from shoes. In a recent episode, The Sneak Diss Sneaker Podcast said investing in sneakers is an asset in today’s society. Expanding your portfolio by putting your money in the sneaker market can lead to making thousands of dollars of profit if you know what you’re doing.
Invest in sneakers that sell
Selling sneakers for profit doesn’t just work with any pair of kicks. Figuring out which sneakers sell will help you determine what to purchase. The first thing you can do as a new seller is check the resale market to see what kind of shoes have already been sold. Usually, the hype or demand behind a shoe depends on how many pairs are made, how many shoe enthusiasts like the shoe, and what the sneaker resale market looks like before it even hits the shelves. You’ll really need to hustle to find which shoes are worth it when they are released and which ones aren’t.
For example, when the media posts pictures of a celebrity wearing limited-edition sneakers, it drives up that shoe’s value. Icons like Michael Jordan and Kanye West have the hype behind the secondary market of their shoes. For Kanye West, Adidas Yeezy and Yeezy Boost are what hold high resale value. For Michael Jordan, a Jordan 1 or Nike Air are what shoes qualify a solid blue-chip investment that money resellers put their money in. For years, Air Jordan shoes were the only ones that held value, but with a competitive market between Adidas sneakers and Nike sneakers, their resale value on StockX has gone up drastically on both. These shoes are very limited and sell out immediately on release day.
Analyze the sneaker resale market
Checking the prices of Air Jordans and Yeezy shoes on websites like StockX will give you a pretty good estimate about what shoes to buy that will increase in value. StockX is an online platform that allows sellers and buyers to buy and sell shoes while also charting out the performance of each shoe sold. It’s a great place to get an accurate read on what price a sneaker sells at. Pairs of shoes that were bought years ago have an increased resale value as they start to age. Limited edition shoes sell for a high value, and even some general release pairs are worth investing in. Becoming knowledgeable about which shoes are popular will help you invest as a buyer and help you get something that holds its value.
Once you know exactly what shoe you want to go after, the next step is to focus on the release of that shoe. Sneaker releases happen online at stores like Foot Locker and Nike. Buying and selling shoes at retail price will lead to a larger margin of profit. Finding a sneaker to resell is possible at these types of stores, but you have to know how to manage the release. Releases can be competitive and tricky because so many people will be looking for the same item on release day.
Years ago, people who tried reselling shoes used to camp outside of stores for sneakers, but nowadays, in-store raffles and online releases are how stores do it. If you want to increase your chance of actually buying the sneakers you want, you need to enter as many sneaker raffles as you possibly can on foot sites like Eastbay, Champs Sports, Foot Locker, Footaction, and Finish Line. Besides entering raffles and trying to purchase online during release day at foot sites, sneaker boutiques also hold raffles and drop shoes.
At the end of the day, if you want to invest in sneakers, buying shoes at retail when they come out and reselling them is how you will make thousands of dollars. It’ll increase your margin of profit and allow you to resell more shoes so you can make more money. The retail price of some shoes is the lowest that they will ever get so investing at that price point and selling at a higher one is the best route to take.
Where to find the resale market
Once you’re able to secure shoes that you feel will sell at a higher value than you bought them at, it’s time to resell them. Sneaker reselling doesn’t have to be complicated. There’s no need to go searching for customers when there is a technology that can lead Air Jordan buyers straight to sneaker resellers. StockX, eBay and GOAT are all popular websites that encourage sneaker reselling.
The advantages of using these three websites are that you’ll be able to showcase your sneakers to millions of potential buyers, sell it for what the current market value is and get a guarantee of authenticity to avoid fake sneakers. Fake shoes are common in the reselling game but all three of the previously mentioned resell platforms will authenticate your Air Jordan, Nike Air, and Adidas Yeezy products so buyers can purchase without worrying about the item being fake. Recently, eBay was the latest company to allow sellers’ and has become popular because of the reduced fees for using the platform as a seller. You’ll be able to make more sales at a better price while you capitalize on your investment by not having as many fees taken out of the profit. These sites make selling sneakers easier because you don’t need to have any connections in the sneaker world. You can simply purchase the sneakers and list them on the market until they are sold. The more pairs you invest in, the more you can sell.
Additionally, you can also sell your sneakers locally and avoid fees altogether but buying and selling shoes this way can get tricky. It’s riskier because there is no authenticity check, and you have to meet in person to exchange the sneakers.
Where to buy and invest
Finding the right platform to invest your money in sneakers is crucial if you want to add kicks to your portfolio. Here are the most common platform to use if you’d like to invest.
StockX was previously mentioned and is the most advertised and talked about platform to buy and sell shoes on. It provides you with sneaker sale information so you can make the best call of when to buy into the market during a dip or before a rise in value. StockX will authenticate the sneakers you buy on this platform before being shipped to you. Keep in mind that you will have to pay fees when buying on StockX.
GOAT is similar to StockX, except it has fewer statistics and charts. You can buy both new and used shoes on GOAT’s resale market, which makes it easier to find a deal on a pair of shoes or a pair that is very old. I’ve used GOAT to acquire slightly used shoes and new ones in the past, and they are fast with their service. I also take advantage of their sneaker storage function, where they store your shoes at one of their facilities for free. It’s the only platform that offers a storage function.
eBay has recently emerged in the market as a great platform to buy into the market because of the company’s new authentication services. Another great factor to consider when buying in the market on eBay is prices will be lower because it doesn’t charge sellers fees to sell so they can afford to undercut the market, giving you — the buyer — a deal. You’ll also be better able to find bulk deals on sneaker lots on eBay compared to most other platforms. In the past, I’ve used eBay to buy a new pair of sneakers at below value on eBay and then immediately flipped them on GOAT for a profit.
Facebook isn’t just a social media site for the older generation, it’s also a great place to find deals on shoes. Many bulk deals are made on Facebook, but buyers need to beware because there is no authentication service so the shoes could be fake.
I’ve heard about many people doing local meetup deals on OfferUp, but I avoid it because I don’t like meeting locally, and I don’t trust the authenticity of the sneakers without a legit checker. Still, if you find someone with good ratings and the correct prices, you could avoid paying fees and shipping by using OfferUp to find local sellers.
Quick flip vs. long hold
Now that you know how to make a profit and invest in shoes, the next step is deciding when to sell at the right price. Many pairs of sneakers have been sold long before they could appreciate in value. Sometimes holding onto a pair of sneakers for an extra month or two is worth it in terms of making more money. Not only does it matter what types of sneakers you purchase, but it also counts when you decide to exit your position and sell those sneakers and what the sneaker resale market looks like at that time. This is where a proper investment mindset comes into play.
Some sneakers rise in value more quickly than others that start out with a lot of hype but depreciate over time. Educating yourself on demand behind hype sneakers will help you become better at investing in pairs. For example, Nike and Jordans had previously been in lower demand than Adidas but have recently become incredibly hype and popular again. Reselling shoes like a pair of Yeezy Boost used to be easier than a Jordan 1, but the tables have flipped, and now it’s the Jordan 1 that is in demand. Not only that, but the Jordan 1 is desirable in all styles: The low top, mid, and high-top versions.
Typically, investing in sneakers for the long term will bring you more money than flipping them quickly. You’ll be able to sell unworn pairs of shoes when there aren’t many deadstock pairs in existence, so the sneaker’s price is high. Deciding between tying your capital up for 6 to 12 months or making a quick buck can be tough. Use this simple guide: If a shoe looks to be sought after by many then it might double or triple in value over the course of a year. However, if a shoe really isn’t being talked about that much on social media or at your local shoe shops, it might be better to quickly flip it and reinvest your capital into something more profitable.
Buying in bulk
Sometimes if you’re unable to purchase a pair of sneakers at retail, you can find a local seller — or one on eBay — to buy from in bulk. The benefits of purchasing in bulk are that you’ll be able to buy a large number of shoes at an average price that might be cheaper than what the sneaker resale price is. You pay one lump sum of cash, collect a large number of sneakers, and then sit on them until the value goes up and you sell them off. If you’re looking to invest in sneakers and have a lot of capital but keep striking out on getting shoes at retail, you might want to consider this method.
A brick is a shoe that either underperforms in the market or is a general release that many people would never have sought after. Many investors into sneaker reselling will take advantage of these mass-produced sneakers. These bricks sit on shelves in stores for months. Someone who wants to invest in sneakers might take a gamble by purchasing a large number of kicks like these and holding them for a long time in the hopes that their value will go up. If you buy the right sneaker, this could quickly happen and you could make a nice return on your investment without really having to compete with many other people. The sneaker community calls this a brick flip.
It can be tricky to find out exactly which bricks can be flipped. Just because a sneaker isn’t doing well doesn’t mean it can be flipped eventually. Typically, sticking with a shoe that has a small amount of popularity behind it but is easy to find will be your best bet. Keep in mind that if you go all out and buy a lot of bricks, this could be considered a risky investment because there might never be a market of buyers looking for the specific shoe that you’re holding.
In recent years, sneaker reselling has seen the rise of sneaker bots that can easily purchase shoes faster than any human can. These bots have made reselling sneakers more competitive than ever before because of how efficient they are at purchasing large quantities of sneakers. For many investors that want to get into the sneaker resale business, botting is typically one of the first ways they learn about doing it. There are tons of success stories out there about people who purchase a sneaker bot and start reselling shoes the very next week.
The truth is that botting might assist you in your journey of reselling sneakers but bots are limited, and trying to get one when they are released is almost just as hard as trying to get the actual sneakers. Yes, they can take away some of the physical hustle that goes with reselling shoes, but a bot doesn’t guarantee you to purchase a specific pair of shoes. Not only that, but the startup capital needed for a bot can be pretty expensive because the better ones alone can cause several thousand dollars.
Most people think cook groups are only for botting, but they are also for people who want information on various sneaker-related topics. If you’re going to invest in only sneakers that will be brick flips, there is a group for that. If you want to use a bot, there are groups for that. If you want to learn how to purchase shoes manually, there’s even a group dedicated just for that without botting.
These cook groups typically come with a monthly fee, but they will teach you how to locate, purchase, and even sell hard to get sneakers. This makes reselling shoes much easier because it’s like having inside information that is limited to a select number of paying members.
How to start reselling shoes with low capital
Just like any investment, investing in sneakers comes with a risk. If you want to start a sneaker resale business but don’t want to risk a lot of capital, it’s always best to start small. Consider this a method of dollar-cost averaging your way into the market compared to lump-sum investing. You might not get rich quick selling sneakers, but you can find one pair at a time that you think might be valuable and go after it. If you get it, try to sell it for more than what you paid. This will make getting into the reselling game more manageable because you won’t have to risk a lot of capital, and you still have a chance of getting a limited pair of kicks that is worth a lot on the market. If you’re having trouble getting started, here are some tips to consider.
Check with local stores
Asking around your local stores can help you get information about how that store handles its limited sneakers. Maybe it’s first come, first serve or even a raffle system. Regardless, the more the people at your local shoe stores recognize you, the more information you’ll be able to learn.
Try sourcing sneakers locally
Sourcing sneakers locally for a reasonable price doesn’t have to be done at sneaker stores. One example is outlet stores like the Nike outlet. Nike outlets typically have a ton of different types of heavily discounted shoes and can be flipped. They aren’t limited to Nike Air or Jordan brand sneakers, but really all kinds of Nike kicks. Many resellers walk into these outlets and pull out an app like StockX to scan different shoes and see what sells. It’s a great way to source bricks or even find a pair that somehow managed its way to the outlets but is worth a lot.
Most of the time, it’s not about what you know but who you know. If you have the right connections, you might find yourself in more sneaker deals than you would have imagined. Getting connected with the right people at a sneaker shop or a local seller can help you develop your own reselling business.
Attend a sneaker convention
Sneaker conventions are great places to meet other sneaker investors, network, and make deals happen. The great thing about them is that you’re guaranteed to find a ton of sneakers and cash at these events, so if you plan on purchasing or selling a lot of shoes without worrying about fees, this is the place to do it. Some of the most prominent sneaker investors use these events to connect with people from across the country and purchase shoes that would be hard to do otherwise.
Investing in sneakers: We got you covered!
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