the flourishing business of sneaker traders

Par Catherine Rollot

Posted today at 5:43 am

From top to bottom: Nike Jordan 1 Mid Purple Aqua;  New Balance 327 Casablanca;  Nike Air Max Plus City Special ATL (W).

In his room, piles of books meet piles of shoe boxes. For him, the comma evokes just as much a punctuation as a reference to the “Swoosh”, the emblematic logo of the American equipment supplier Nike. “My first pair was an Adidas Yeezy a little over a year ago. Bought 220 euros and sold a few days later 350 euros to an acquaintance. From 8 am until evening, I stayed connected to the brand’s website. And I nabbed it. At first, I thought I would keep it to myself and then, finally, I thought it was a way to make a little income. “

Henri, a 17-year-old high school student in the Grenoble region, is what we call in the jargon a “reseller”, the name of these young people who buy new and highly sought-after products online and often resell them in the process, earning more. passing a surplus value. More and more resourceful amateurs, half enthusiasts, half stock marketers, aged 15 to 25 for the most part, who benefit from the law of supply and demand, but also from the proliferation of limited series to do the tumble. At the forefront of a generation for whom “Money from online sales has become a very common way of gaining purchasing power, autonomy and asserting your identity”, underlines Elodie Gentina, professor in marketing and specialist in consumption patterns of adolescents and young adults.

In the realm of the most desirable and speculative items, streetwear clothing and fashion accessories brand Supreme, game consoles like Sony’s PS5 but, above all, sneakers. It is in this market that most “resellers” are launching and prospering. Because sports shoes have become objects of speculation, which sometimes reach exorbitant amounts. On an annual global resale market valued at 6 billion euros, some models are taking off. In April 2021, the house Sotheby’s sold for $ 1.8 million (1.5 million euros) Nike that belonged to Kanye West.

Hours of learning

Far from these peaks, the resale of a trendy and new model, bought between 200 and 300 euros, can bring back two to three times its purchase price. Or at least generate significant added value for a student budget. We remember the craze for sneakers from the Lidl brand, produced in limited edition for the second time in July 2021 (a first edition was put on sale in December 2020). Costing 12.99 euros, they were sold ten times more expensive. An ephemeral runaway – many pairs in the colors of the hard discount specialist are now found on the floor of sales sites between individuals – but which has benefited a few days to some smart people.

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