The resale of sneakers, a real business

Several specialized players are positioning themselves in the second-hand basketball market, estimated at between 3 and 6 billion dollars worldwide. Traditional” investment funds and competitors are focusing on this niche, while brands are beginning to become aware of the stakes.

second hand basket ball items

The resale market for new and used sneakers is growing rapidly. StockX, which developed the first sneaker exchange, estimates it at more than $6 billion worldwide. For Matt Powell, vice-president of the NDP Institute, it is difficult to give an exact value since a large part of the exchanges are between individuals. However, he considers that this market was around 1 billion in 2016 and could now reach 3 billion (on a global sneaker market estimated at more than 90 billion).

The resale of sneakers is done both on sites and in physical shops, and the number of actors multiplies. After a budding phase, we are witnessing a gathering of forces. In February, two of the largest players, GOAT and FlightClub, merged to form a $550 million valued company. Since February, the company has included among its investors the retail chain FootLocker, which has written a cheque for 100 million.

Partnerships with brands

Another major player, Stadium Goods, after having been financed by LVMH Luxury Ventures, was taken over by the Farfetch luxury products platform for 250 million. In parallel, second-hand clothing purchase and sale sites, such as Vinted, Videdressing or Vestiaire Collective, are seeing more and more sneakers being exchanged on their platforms.

If sneaker groups have long looked at this market from afar, they are starting to take a closer look, although they do not benefit directly from it because the resale is outside their distribution channels: “We want to work in partnership with the brands to offer product launches directly in this secondary market,” explains Josh Luber, CEO and co-founder of StockX.

It’s still a little early for Mark Parker. Nike’s CEO recently said that the group “looks at this market”, on which “we are aware that we have a great influence”, “but we have no plan in terms of partnership or strategy in this area”, he said, “Read also: Dr Sneaker, Sneakers and chill: those entrepreneurs who are restoring sneakers

Sneaker IPOs

However, the American giant did a first test last year with StockX. As on a traditional stock exchange, the site carried out a real IPO (initial public offering) of sneakers: like a company’s IPO, “investors” were led to formulate bids on a model before its launch. Once they had put it on the market, they were then able to “trade” it with other buyers. A limited edition of 46 Nike LeBron James 14 units was sold at an average price of $6,000 per pair…

For sneaker lovers and collectors, competition between buyers and rampant speculation make it increasingly difficult to access limited editions.