For many collectors just hearing the word “reseller” is enough to make their blood boil and set them of into a rage of furious anger! I would include myself in that category as on a few occasions I have queued for hours for a shoe only for it either to be sold out or my size had gone by the time I reached the front! I can handle shoes selling out if they go to the people that want them to wear but seeing known resellers in the queue denying me the opportunity to buy them only for them to be on eBay as soon as they get home is what annoys me the most.
Now there will be so many opinions on me missing a shoe like it’s my own fault I should get to the shop earlier and if I want a shoe I need to be prepared to do the time to get it and they are possibly right, I have queued overnight for shoes in the past but I have come to point where I no longer have the patience or on the most part the time to wait outside a shop for a pair of shoes! But when it comes to GR’s (General Release) selling out on the day of release and then seeing them listed on eBay for 3 to 4 times the retail price that is when you wonder is it worth the hassle when more often than not I’m not going to get a shoe I want unless I’m prepared to go the secondary market route. I have also seen people pushing and shoving outside stores when the doors open, I think it’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt or god forbid killed for shoes( for those unaware people have been stabbed, shot or killed in the US for shoes) and that is something I am just not prepared to do, the pushing and shoving that is not the killing!
So where has reselling in the UK come from?
If you go back 4-5 years I could pretty much get any shoe I wanted without having to queue for hours outside a shop, I had contacts that would always put a pair aside for me as long as I collected them before lunchtime, those times have long gone, but why?
Reselling in the UK is a fairly recent thing but has been around in the US for a long time, it is such a big business there are stores(consignment stores) that will sell trainers on your behalf on a commission basis, these have started to pop up in the UK as well! That is how big reselling is, who would think a shoe with a retail price of £100 could fetch a 4 figure price on the secondary market! So a question that could be asked is can you blame someone that resells, especially when so many people make a living from it? You could also ask if these people should be paying tax, when you see an eBay seller having over 600 pairs for sale and over 1000 feedback is quite clear that they make a fair amount of money reselling, but that’s for another day!
I think it will be fair to say that we have all sold shoes in the past whether it be a pair you bought but never worn or you’ve sold a pair to fund an expensive pick up possibly from a reseller but have we bought a shoe with the intention of selling to make a profit, have you paid people to queue for you so you can get multiple pairs, this is where I have my issue with it all! Also there is a possibility of shops helping people that resell(not saying shops do, just a thought)
Here are few examples taken from eBay!
Can anything be done?
In all honesty I don’t think a great deal can be done about it, a brand releases a shoe and it sells out what more do they want? Brands can’t control nor dictate what people do when they have purchased the product, but can they be blamed for the escalation of reselling? Again I don’t think so, would collecting shoes be so popular if you could get every shoe that released, surely part of collecting is having a pair that is hard to come by and that not everyone has? I know plenty of people( me, just justifying to myself that I’m not the only one, haha) that have spent thousands of pounds on one brand and that’s our choice, does it mean that our needs should be catered for by the brand, I would like to say yes to that but who am I kidding they owe us nothing!
All in all it has become very much a lottery to get a shoe, shops doing raffles to win the chance to buy a pair. Shops and websites only allowing you to purchase a shoe if you go through a twitter or Facebook link( personally I think they use links to get footfall through their social media sites) for me it has made it even harder to get shoes online, even more so now that people are using bots to help with online purchases! It seems that every TLO (Twitter link only) release is sold out in about 20 seconds, how is this possible?? I am no IT geek but find it so hard to comprehend how something can sell out so quickly! I have tried for all 5 of the Kobe Prelude packs that have released so far and have failed on every occasion! I know I bitch and moan every Saturday morning after another failure to get a TLO release from Nike.com but will be trying again on Saturday, you never know I may get lucky!
Before I started to write this I didn’t think it would be as hard as it was, I know I’ve probably missed many things and everyone will have something to add, feel free to comment and we can extend the post in the comments section! I’m sure there will be plenty of things to add!