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Getting a kick out of sneakers

Young resellers in the US have found a way to make a buck out of deadstock.

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MUMBAI: We have heard of sneakers costing Rs 3 million, right? But there are even more expensive footwear available online for those wanting to spend big. A pair of solid gold OVO X Air Jordan shoes have an estimated street price of $2 million (yes, Rs 14.6 crore). And the owner is none other than the musician Drake. While that appears to be an ornamental piece, there are other real shoes which have gone for $437,500 (Rs 3.22 crore – for the Nike Moon Shoe), the Converse Fastbreak for $190,373 (Rs 1.40 crore, worn by Michael Jordan); Air Jordan 12 Flu Game for $104,000  (Rs 77 lakh – worn by the basketball hero himself), and Air Jordan 12 Ovo Drake edition for $100,000 (Rs 74 lakh).

Those were either custom made or bought by Richie Rich-men for their mantle pieces to show off to guests. But do you know that an extreme resale market has emerged for more current models of shoes in the US? Bloomberg BusinessWeek in its latest issue talks about this trend which has bumped up even more during the months of lockdown in the US.

Basically, young scalpers have latched on to the move to online direct selling on platforms such as StockX where dead stock was being dumped, and apps of shoe makers such as Adidas and Nike, where limited edition sneakers are sold. They use bots to get around the single shoe purchase restrictions and hoard up on sneakers; the price for dead stock is at a 30-40 per cent discount. They then resell the cornered merchandise themselves at times making a healthy 10-30 per cent mark up. Some of the kicks which are doing well include: Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 Zyons and the Nike Vapor Max.

Die-hard sneaker fans have been more than willing to pay that premium. Some research has pointed out that the resale sneaker market on Ebay has surged to $2 billion in North America alone. Overall, the global sneaker market clocks in $60 billion in sales annually. Sweet right?

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