An undeniably explosive, consumer trend has plagued the market for longer than most are willing to give it credit for. The act of buying with the intention to eventually profit, is anything but a new concept. Having coined terms such as ‘flipping’ and ‘thrifting’, the act of raffling, auctioning, and reselling both first-and-second-hand items has proven to be a highly profitable, and surprisingly sustainable endeavour.
The world’s largest online second-hand shopping destination which offers up to 90% off estimated retail prices, Thred Up, has revealed a 25% increase in resale consumption. Despite 62 million (70%) women, over 18, growing more inclined to invest in pre-owned apparel in 2019, the data collected by Thred Up suggests that 82% of America has yet to engage the market as a merchant, though most consumers are open to doing so.
Perhaps fuelled by anti-capitalist, pro-sustainability, and highly entrepreneurial ideologies, young shoppers, specifically Gen Z (<24), are adopting second-hand fashion faster than any other age group. No longer eliciting feelings of guilt and shame, Thred Up reports that purchasing pre-loved items has since provided consumers with a euphoric mood boost, comparable to adopting a puppy.
As a matter of fact, the absolutely beauty of the resale market revolves around the idea that nothing is unprofitable. With a multitude of sites and platforms offering everything from leather goods, ready to wear clothing, accessories, makeup, skincare, hair products, furniture, mobile phones, and automobiles, amongst many others, the process of flipping preloved and unused items, is arguably one of the market’s most flourishing businesses – even more so with the inclusion of 1:1 replicas.
Regarded one of the most unapologetic retail sectors of the black market, the community of sneakerheads relentlessly flipping their shoes may eventually be worth $6 billion by 2025 – sending a strong signal to all brands, on the power resale value brings in terms of influence, aspiration, and profitability.
Take 2020’s most desirable shoe, the Dior Air Jordan as an example – priced at an estimated $2,000 – $2,200 for each of the low-and-high-top alternatives, this highly exclusive sneaker is currently worth anywhere between $9,000 to $38,000 on the resale market. Due to its immense demand and low availability, it’s almost rare to find individuals lucky enough to get their hands on a pair, who are blind to the unignorable opportunity to profit by selling to those who were prepared to pay much more.
While the market saturates with disruptive consumers looking to outbid, outsell and outshine one another, the presence of counterfeit products continue to pervade, much quicker than anticipated. As of this month alone, $4.3 million worth of replica sneakers were seized in Texas, by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Out of the 60 boxes which arrived at the shipyard from Hong Kong, a total of 1,800 pairs of counterfeit shoes including fake Dior Air Jordan 1’s and a few poorly crafted Yeezy’s were uncovered in incorrect packaging.
In the words of StockX European Director Derrek Morrison, “The much bigger problem arises when collectors or customers want to buy real sneakers and fall for counterfeits.” As a rule of thumb, remember that fake Jordans are often smaller than their authentic counterparts, with a less noticeable gloss, frayed stitching, uneven laces, and inconsistent transitions (on real Jordans, the midsole point is positioned below the last lace hole).