Sneaker scalpers sting Aussies for ‘10 times the price’

 

Exclusive: Sneaker scalpers are selling rare, celebrity-designed shoes to Australians for up to ten times their shelf price on resale sites.

A News Corp investigation has found they are being sold on platforms like eBay, GOAT and Stock, with a reseller who spoke on the condition of anonymity revealing how far sneakerheads will go for the latest must-have kicks.

Rapper Travis Scott's Nike and Air Jordan collaboration, as well as Kanye West's Yeezy line, and Virgil Abloh's Off-White Nike range were among the most sought-after styles being bought and resold for higher prices, multiple resellers told News Corp.

Travis Scott wearing Nike and Dior’s soon-to-be-released collaboration in Miami. Picture: Getty Images for Dior Men
Travis Scott wearing Nike and Dior’s soon-to-be-released collaboration in Miami. Picture: Getty Images for Dior Men

 

Australian model Shanina Shaik teamed a pair of Adidas Falcon sneakers with Chanel. Picture: BACKGRID
Australian model Shanina Shaik teamed a pair of Adidas Falcon sneakers with Chanel. Picture: BACKGRID

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a US-based Australian reseller - who buys and sells hard-to-get Yeezys and Nikes - said the second-hand sneaker market was lucrative, with some shoes commanding between five and 10 times the retail price on the underground market.

"There is always demand for sold out sneakers and the more limited the release, the more money to be made," he told News Corp.

The reseller also revealed the lengths to which scalpers - and shoppers - are going to for the latest designer sneakers.

"For limited releases, most resellers use 'bots' … these are scripted apps that can complete the checkout process within seconds," he said.

"It makes it impossible for the general public to get their hands on those releases as they sell out extremely fast.

"So the only way to get a pair is from resellers and prices double, triple or sometimes, are 10 times the price."

He said brands like adidas and Nike had enforced measures to try and curb so-called "botting" practices by using a raffle system, "where you register and enter your credit card details and they process the payment only if you win".

But scalpers were finding a way around it, he said.

"There's no stopping resellers to create multiple accounts to increase their chances," the Californian-based reseller said.

"As long as rare sneakers continue being status symbols for streetwear enthusiasts, there's always money to be made as a reseller."

Kylie Jenner and Stormi, in baby Adidas.
Kylie Jenner and Stormi, in baby Adidas.

 

Kylie Jenner launched the Adidas Falcons.
Kylie Jenner launched the Adidas Falcons.

Popular resale styles include a pair of Air Jordan 1 Osidians resold on closed sneaker rsale Facebook group Underground Society, retailed at $US160 ($A234) and sold for $A400, inclusive of a shipping fee.

One Sydney-based buyer said the Air Jordan 1 Osidians had originally sold-out within minutes when released in retail stores and online.

The sneaker resale market is said to be worth $US6 billion globally according to a report by American firm Cowen & Co.

Adidas and Nike - also the owner of Air Jordan - declined to comment on the issue when contacted by News Corp.

Sneakers and a suit for David Beckham. Picture: Getty Images for Dior Men
Sneakers and a suit for David Beckham. Picture: Getty Images for Dior Men

A prime target for the resale market will be Dior's upcoming collaboration with Air Jordan, Air Jordan I High OG Dior., which was unveiled at Art Basel in Miami.

While the limited edition shoe is not released until April, and its retail price has yet to be confirmed publicly, a reseller told News Corp it was likely that the shoe would cost more than $US1000 in stores and command at least double the price on the resale market.

"Triple even depending on how rare they are," he said.

Adidas and Nike - also the owner of Air Jordan - declined to comment on the issue of resale when contacted by News Corp.

BIG BUSINESS OF SNEAKERS

Globally, the sneaker industry is worth $US58 billion, with Australia's No. 1 retail site The Iconic and luxury site Net-a-Porter revealing their most popular sneaker styles.

On The Iconic, the top-selling sneakers - purchased at retail prices, not on a resale basis - include Air Force 1 ($150), Vans Old Skool ($129.95), adidas Continental 80 ($150) and Superga classic ($89.95).

The Iconic's senior buyer Jake Moore said the sneaker market was expected to grow by more than 50 per cent by 2024.

"We have experienced similar growth in the category in the last two seasons and its by far our largest category across all genders," Moore told News Corp.

"We don't expect sales to slow down anytime soon whether its limited edition releases breaking the internet, continued luxe/designer brand adoption, the emergence of brands with sustainable values such as Veja".

Kristen Stewart wore Nikes to a Charlie’s Angeles premiere. Picture: Getty Images
Kristen Stewart wore Nikes to a Charlie’s Angeles premiere. Picture: Getty Images

 

Laid-back kicks. Picture: Getty Images
Laid-back kicks. Picture: Getty Images

Sneakers are no longer considered casual wear, Moore added, with the "continued casualisation of the workforce, who simply don't need to wear dress shoes to work anymore" also a factor in the growing market.

"There is growth in every product tier when it comes to sneakers," Moore said.

For luxury British site Net-a-Porter, the top-selling brands span Nike, Golden Goose, Adidas Original, Veja, Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Common Projects, Converse and Prada.

Last year, Net-a-Porter sold ten times more sneakers than it did in 2012.

Kim Kardashian is the unofficial face of Yeezy.
Kim Kardashian is the unofficial face of Yeezy.

 

Sneaker queen.
Sneaker queen.

French brand Veja achieved a boost in sales after being worn by the Duchess of Sussex, with netaporter.com shifting "tens of thousands of pairs".

Other fast-selling styles included Nike x Sacai's sneaker collaboration - priced at more than $A1000 a pair - sold-out on Net-A-Porter within three hours of launch globally, a spokeswoman said.

Meghan Markle, wearing Veja, in Sydney last year. Picture: Getty Images
Meghan Markle, wearing Veja, in Sydney last year. Picture: Getty Images

And Adidas x Khaite's range was one of Net-a-Porter fastest's selling exclusive styles to date.

"At the moment we are seeing a huge return of sleeker sneakers and classic court sneakers, with an incredible spike in the sales of these styles. Examples are Veja's Esplar, Golden Goose Superstar, or classics such as Givenchy's Urban Street.

"The 70s Runner a la Nike Daybreak or Adidas x Khaite is also making a comeback, and a silhouette that's had a great initial response. It is also a trend that we expect to see a lot more over the coming season.

"One of our Gucci best-selling sneakers this season is the cat printed Rython."


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