Limited edition sneaker launches are nothing new to the market. It is a marketing strategy used by sneaker and other streetwear brands to ensure that there is always some hype whenever they release new products into the market.
How this works is that these companies intentionally produce a limited number of products. Take, for example, Air Jordan, a well-known and loved sneaker brand. When releasing a new line of Jordans, they may limit the number to, say, 10,000. This means that only 10,000 pairs will be available, and once they sell out, it’s done. They will ensure that they make this clear to potential buyers and that by itself generates a lot of hype even before the shoes are officially available for purchase. With a demand of over a million and only ten thousand pairs available, they command the price and best believe that these sneakers will sell out within hours of being released.
As a result of this limited-edition sneaker launch, there is an underground resell market worth well over $2 billion and is expected to continue growing in the future. This resell market is where people who were unable to secure a pair of their own during the launch can get one but at higher costs, sometimes even 20 times the retail price.
One of the trailblazers in the resale market is Brandon Webb. A 21-year-old entrepreneur who has capitalized on America’s obsession with sneakers. Having an interest in luxury fashion from a tender age, he started sneaker reselling while he was still in high school.
During this time, he plowed back some of the profit from his first sneaker resale into buying more. This, however, was very time-consuming, and it wasn’t easy to find limited sneakers at a retail price since there were so many people who were in the same business as him.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and where there is a will, there is a way. The increased competition pushed Brandon Webb to improve his computer programming skills and apply them to the sneaker resale business. This was a turning point and would not only change how Brandon went about his business but the entire sneaker resale business.
He had designed a custom software that could buy up large quantities of sneaker inventory in just seconds. This made all the difference as it gave him a huge advantage over other sneaker resellers. While he could clear up stock with his software, some people had to stay up all night waiting for the sneakers to drop, and others would camp outside of stores waiting for a new release. He made significant progress before anyone could realize what was going on.
Soon enough, other players in the market had caught wind of what was happening, and they began coming to him for help. Subsequently, he took them as clients and gave them access to his proprietary software to scale their sneaker reselling businesses. This led to further growth of the underground sneaker resale business because more people had access to the software that gave them an advantage during sneaker launches.
However, Brandon emphasizes that this is a cat and mouse game, and some retailers have caught onto the strategies being used by Brandon and other sneaker resellers. As a result, they have to team up with cybersecurity companies to limit the number of sneakers purchased by one person and thwart bots’ attempts to clean out the entire stock.
Through Hypluxe, a members-only community that reveals the secrets of the billion-dollar secondary market for limited-edition sneakers, they can find loopholes and produce exponentially great results for themselves and other sneaker resellers.
This just shows that there is so much that goes on in the underground market of sneaker launches, and there is no sign that it will stop any time soon. With more people gaining interest in luxury fashion and sneaker culture, especially here in North America, these brands will continue doing limited-edition sneaker launches. As long as it happens, the underground market is here to stay.
People have so many questions concerning this market, and you can count on us to keep you updated with the answers. Below are some of these questions.
What Drives Up the Prices of Sneakers?
For prices, it is all down to supply and demand. When there is so much of something, prices tend to be low because sellers will want to clear out their stock. Conversely, when a product is scarce, and many people are looking to buy it, sellers can dictate the prices because if one person isn’t willing to meet the asking price, you are guaranteed someone else will. The same thing applies in the resale market. Prices tend to be high because there are a lot of people chasing limited sneakers. Resellers are always assured that they will find someone who is desperate enough or with the money to buy a limited pair of sneakers at their prices.
How Do Sneaker Resellers Stay in The Know About Upcoming Launches?
For this, it’s pretty easy. Most big-name sneaker resellers, such as Brandon Webb, are usually well connected and get intel whenever a new sneaker drops. They are provided with exact stock numbers and therefore know just how limited a particular sneaker will be. Also, sites such as StockX and GOAT usually provide helpful information on sneaker launches, such as where and when new sneakers will be available. Sneaker blogs also make lists of the most popular upcoming sneakers and update them frequently, providing critical information such as what websites they’ll be releasing on. as long as there’s hype, it is relatively easy to stay in the know.
The underground limited sneaker market is here to stay because even if retailers find a way to curb them, the resellers will always find a way to navigate around that. Also, as long as brands continue to release limited edition products, there will be people who miss out and will be willing to cough up huge sums.