According to Sneakernews, a total of 49 sneakers released in the seven day span leading up to and thru black friday/cyber monday.
According to rules of the resale game, only a handful Of those 49 would obviously matter. The rest would be forgotten about, or perhaps mined for hidden resale profits. Let’s see how many of the nearly 50 black Friday kicks are ‘doing business’ in the aftermarket.
At what point exactly will it become proper for one to suggest that adidas has – as celebrity collaborator Kanye West suggested – “…jumped over the Jumpman?”
West was of course speaking of the success of his Yeezy brand footwear and apparel (“…20 G’s for the Yeezays offa Ebay!”) , and the excitement those items were bringing to streetwear just as JB’s growth strategy was seeing more retros sitting on store shelves.
As anyone who is even somewhat knowledgable of sneakers knows, Yeezy and adidas pale in comparison to Jordan and Nike numbers-wise, but it is undeniable that kicks from the former are must-haves for those looking to play the quick-flipping game for big profits.
In that sense ‘Ye was correct, as these impromptu tweets from someone at Sneakernews put forth during black Friday week.
So, then, the Yeezy Boost 350 v2 released in a trio, three Core Black, Primeknit sneakers with a ‘jazz stripe’ in assorted colors.
All sold out of course.
More pairs were indeed made availble with this release as well.
Whereas in 2015 the Yeezy 350s never resold lower than four figures, the v2 350s have seldom crept above it, reselling for $6-$700 on average, roughly triple its S220 retail price.
It’s a sign that adidas and West are approaching the ‘sweet spot’ for the Yeezy 350 in terms of supply and demand. Yeezys are not yet at “everybody -who- wants -Yeezys-will-have- them” (and probly never will be), but as more small -time flippers / mini-reseres are able to cop a pair more easily than before, plus make double their money in profits on a quick-flip, all eyes will continue to move in the direction of Yeezy.
Another NMD Takeover
Adidas was clearly determined to get the majority of its releases out way before Thanksgiving, dropping its most popular silhouette the day prior to the three Yeezys, November 22nd.
In another outstanding analysis of the adidas resale market, StockX dropped a crazy stat: 100% of NMDs have been profitable for resellers to some degree, something no other brand can say about a generally-released silhouette .
This interesting , because one weaknesses critics can point out about NMDs and Ultra Boosts (oddly absent from the Black Friday slate) is their anonymity.
Apart from a few colorways, many NMDS fail to stick out in the minds of sneaker buyers, unlike the many ‘nicknamed’ Jordan and Nike classics.
This anonymity , however, apparently matters little, since adidas has made selling the silhouette its priority, rather than this or that colorway like other brands. That, combined with relatively low production numbers of even GR NMds means the shoes always sell out, which automatically makes them more significant in the aftermarket.
Thus, of numerous NMD XR1 released during Black Friday week, the majority have flipped for profit, albeit relatively small ones for all but a couple of colorways. The shoes are nowhere to be found on the StockX Most Popular list , but ebay sales show that one can hardly lose money on an NMD. They are effectively what retros were prior to summer 2015: guaranteed money.
Given that the NMD is a ‘can’t lose’ for flippers, what could one expect when that silhouette links up with one of the biggest names in streetwear?
Correct: cha- frickin-ching.
As expected , the Three Stripes’ BAPE collab was ultra – limited, sold out within minutes, and the $150 (grails?) have both been quick flipping for about $700-$1100+ in the aftermarket, the low and high figures of that range representing the difference in price between the Black Camo ($700) and the Olive Green Camo ($1100). Folks really want that Olive pair.
The Bedwins , which were actually $20 more expensive than the Bapes , and an obvious ‘consolation prize’ collab for those 90% of folks who tried-and-whiffed on the BAPES, have been flipping for about $20-$70 over box price with wildly fluxtuating prices.
In a surprising twist, the the James Harden vol. 1 “Imma be a Star” edition signature kicks sold out, a beneficiary of the adidas bubble, plus the fact that most adidas production runs are a small fraction of Nike’s for similar style kicks.
As such , sales in aftermarket have beem sluggish with but a handful of folks willing to bite on paying $100-$150 over retail for a pair of these. If history is a guide, expect these to restock before the year is out.
From as early as late-February (a nine month lead time) sneakerheads have known about the scheduled Black Friday date of the True Blue release.
On November 22nd , ‘heads were informed that that same shoe unexpectedly dropped early, an old marketing trick resembling a quickstrike, a completely unannounced release designed to cause a buying frenzy through word-of- mouth , and social media.
This was an odd move , since the purpose of setting a date well in advance of the release for certain styles is so potential buyers can circle their calendars for the shopping appointment. The purpose of a quickstrike is the opposite: to use the unknown (pairs aavailable ) to spur buyers into action ( act now!).
Since anybody intersted in the ‘True Blues’ had many months to decide if, when, and where to buy the kicks on November 25th, 2016, almost nobody was going to be fooled by an early drop.
If anything, the gambit hinted the fact that the 3s were a GR, that anybody who wanted a pair ASAP would be able to cop one. The shoes would not sell out instantly – eventually, yes – but not instantly.
The True Blues thus continue the newfound Jordan Brand tradition of the ‘ Super GR , a shoe of high desirability produced in such large amount that it will sell out slowly, killing any chance for any quick flip money to be made for resellers. They remain available here in many sizes
As a strategy for growing revenue, it is effective , provided a brand’s equity is strong enough in a sector to ensure a constant enough flow of buyers for an item that can ‘market itself’. Many Jordan Brand retros certainly have that sort of clout , so JB can afford to lessen its focus on’ limited edition marketing, and look to simply boost volume of sales, hype-be-damned.
To sneakerheads, this seems a step backwards , since Jordan Brand essentially created the modern day Resale Era in sneakers with its semi -limited marktng strategy that offered added value to kicks that have had great important to sneaker enthusiasts since their inception. Now , many buyers must be feeling as if they’ve been used. This is what has created the seeming backlash and criticism of The Brand as a result: people’s growing pains as Jordan evolves, and forces ‘speculators’ to do the same.
So the True Blues, were, for some, a downer, but many would have to wait just a few days to buy the Semi limited ‘Top 3’ retro 1s, a shoe that would remind folks of the ‘good old days’ of pre-Summer ’15 releases.
The Top 3 1s, dropped at 10AM sharp (no early release), and sold out within hours.
Since then, aftermarket action has been erratic, with most buyers willing to pay only the minimum $60-$70 over retail for a pair immediately after the drop , followed by a sharp spike in resale price to $300 – double the previous day’s markup – as pairs from The Flight Club and other consignment stores began to get rung up .
Apparently there were plenty of pairs, judging by the fact that the Top 3 wasted no time unseating the Red Yeezy 350 v2 of Black Friday from the top of StockX’s Most Popular list, with 200+ more sales than that shoe, and double the number of Black Toes, despite conceding a head start of three weeks to that OG retro style. It is somewhat puzzling that a shoe which sold through online so quickly still saw that many pairs purchased amd resold . That could mean that the online pairs were more limited than those in- store- who knows?
Regardless , the Top 3 tosses aside any notion that the Jumpman has fallen behind Yeezy in any way besides ‘the hype of the new’ for those who really know what’s up.
The Swoosh naturally had another big batch of assorted kicks ready to sell on festive weekend, the biggest of which would be the ‘ Dr. Doom ‘ Foams , a new Kobe ‘ After Death’ silhouette, the latest ‘Box Series’ SB Dunk – The Pink Box – Lows, and the Woodland Camo Air Force 1 Lows.
But first, let’s get the ever-present sitters from The Swoosh accounted for.
Nike began the Holiday week with another Kyrie 2 release, which can be found
here in sizes 9.5 and up . The Kyrie 2 Krispy Kremes restocked as a 34th st Foot Locker exclusive, giving Gotham based flippers another opportunity to corner the market like adidas’ ‘Week of Greatness’ XR1 drop had. Chances are good that many passed on these, since the $175-plus plus pair is only fetching about $40 over that ebay.
The following day saw yet another KD 9 colorway hit shelves, as did two more Nikelab Air Unlimiteds (here,here), as well as what must be the wide release of one half of Roundel Zoom Spiridon collab, and the Flax Griffey Maxes. The latter
sold out is available here, but is useless for the flip.
Those two sneakers sold through quite quickly, which was logical for the cult silhouette shoe – the Dooms – making its return after decade. A sell out for the AD Kobe was a bit of a surprise, given the unpredictable , usually underwhelming performances of recent Kobe signature shoes at retail.
For a shoe that sold out fast , the Dooms are perorming erratically in the aftermarket, as this graphic from StockX and ebay data shows. Prices are Ranging from $60 over retail to $100+.
In many ways this is normal for a Foamposite, an expensive-yet perfectly priced shoe that Nike does not release very often, and which, in the right colorway, can fetch $400 or more in the resale market easily.
As for the Kobes, well, the limited silhouette debut (a Nike staple) , has performed as many a shoe with that release profile has: a handful of sales in the aftermarket for the minimum $60-$70 markup on average .
Thursday, the 24th, was reserved for Turkey dinner and Football, so Nike took that day off before unleashing two more Nike Basketball sitters to the public via the Lebron Soldier 10, and yet another KD 9.
The third- or, perhaps, the second -most significant Nike shoe for the Holdiay weekend was the SB Dunk ‘Pink Box’ , which released on Saturday, the 26th.
The story with most SB Dunks these days is that their ultimate value (the highest amount buyers want to pay for a pair, period) is, in most cases, not much more than their $95-$120 or so box price.
This means that most of the fans of what is one of Nike’s most popular cult shoes simply feel the kicks are overpriced. As such, whem a new GR releases, fans of the silhouette take notice, but will often wait to buy a pair until the price is slashed considerably and they can cop it for a deep discount, to quote a common term in the SB Dunk-related Niketalk forums.
This makes most SBs irrelevant in terms of resale, since life for a shoe only commences in the aftermarket once it is gone from retail, something SBs rarely do quickly enough at their original price point.
On occasion, though, The Swoosh hits a release out of the park, with just the right combination of timing, colorway, Collaborator, and (usually) semi limited pair count to wake Dunk lovers from their slumber, and get them to pay up for a fresh pair of Dunks. Such examples from recent years include the Blue Ox by Familia , and Concepts’ Stained Glass of 2015, not to mention grails like the Diamond High retro of 2014.
The Box Series Dunks – of which there have been three so far – fit into this latter category, so they’ve sold through quickly by SB standards.
Not surprisingly, though, there has been little money to be made on the trio, because there is little room for a price premium between a retail price point of $120-plus- tax, amd the ‘price cap’ most buyers are willing to for a pair of Dunks, which is around $200 for all but the rarest Dunk Grails like the Diamond highs.
It is thus no surprise to see the Pink Boxes flipping for just about $40-$60 over retail .
Another in what is unofficially the ‘Camo’ pack of Uptowns, The Woodland Camo AF 1 Low released via SNKRS on Cyber Monday.
As previous semi-limited Camo pack AF1s had, this pair sold out fast at the bargain price of $100, and has since been largely forgotten about, fetching just $50 over retail for the handful of sales on ebay since them.
In a time of oversaturation in the sneaker game ( 50 drops in one week?) the biggest challenge for buyers is keeping track- not only of what is releasing , but where, when, and how- then planning a strategy of what, where, when, and how to buy it.
For would-be resellers, it is also necessary to stay abreast of how shoes are performing in the marketplace days and weeks – even months – after they release.
That is a daunting task.
As such, the brands that can maintain their kicks prominently in the minds of shoppers despite heavy competition is the key to having the shoes sell. Minor brands can turn to hype (limited drops/collaborations) to sell, and most do just that, with varying results.
KITH/ Ronnie Fieg
The one smaller brand which consistently (as in always) sees this tactic work for it is Ronnie Fieg’s KITH (or is it KITH’s Ronnie Fieg?)
Fieg, the recent recipient of the Retailer of the Year award from Footwear News has done nothing short of a magic trick in growing both his store’s brand and his personal brand into a major player in streetwear, fashion, and , of course, sneakers.
Fieg’s legacy as ‘super-collaborator’ has thus given extra clout to pretty much any project he attaches his or his Kith store’s name to. This allows him to successfully market all sorts of sneakers other boutiques / designers would fail to, simply on the strength of Fieg cosigning it.
So, when news broke to sneaker buyers about two silhouettes, the 3.1 (a Fieg creation) and Gel Mai, for $200 and $180 respectively, many were perplexed .
For one, well , the kicks are unconventional ; they’re not what buyers are used to. Second, aesthetically (colorway and style), they’re kinda ugly, some might say. Lastly ,retail for those obscurities was in the same price range as retros and Yeezys. Copping those kicks represented a definite gamble.
But the gamble would be on the Ronnie Fieg Brand at least as much, if not more than,the two obscure Asics silhouettes.
And, Ronnie Fieg is money, as this StockX piece points out. Anybody who is not a shoe brand him or herself, yet nevertheless can be found on ebay via their last name certainly qualifies as an influencer who can move product of all sorts, obscure or not.
Hence, the Gel Ltye III.1s and Gel Mais sold out, no surprise for what were surely ultra – limited supplies. How then, did the kicks do in the aftermarket?
Not great, to be honest. Fieg is on the record as saying he does not create product to be resold, so that could suggest some reason why many of his shoes are always premium priced: to give little value away to would-be flippers.
It was always a given, however that Fieg+limited would ensure some would try their luck with the Mais and Lyte III.1s.
For what it’s worth, the Salmon 3.1 colorway has seen the most interest from resale buyers, proof that Fieg has effectively linked his personal brand with that colorway a la Diamond Supply’s ‘Diamond Blue’. Otherwise, the four colorways of the Gel Mai and Gel 3.1s are ‘not for resale’.
Fieg’s surprise Cyber Monday kicks sure as hell were, though.
The ever- savvy marketer , Fieg’s Kith tweeted a link to the unexpected release of the two handmade, Made-in-Japan Gel Lyte 3s at 5:11 PM (Cyber) Monday evening – a Kithstrike as it was. One of the sneakers was a remix of the iconic Salmon Toe grail, the other Militia colorway inspired by Fieg’s father’s best friend, as he explained in his blog.
One can only imagine the digital pandemonium that broke out as news spread that these two grails were available (albeit for about twelve minutes).
One needn’t strain the brain, though, trying to figure out if the shoes were flippers. The Salmon Toe 2.0 is currently worth three times its retail price of $250, while the Militia Green is worth slightly less: 2.5 times retail.
The Other Others
I’d mentioned Diamond Supply Co. as another brand strongly attached with an iconic colorway, the Diamond Blue and Black. The skate brand had a Black Friday shoe to which it applied its minty touch : the Puma Clyde. Apparently a strict store exclusive, the shoes sold out via Diamond’s webstore, and have since seen few willing to pay a penny above the $120 retail for a pair.
Onto the next one shall we?
Which happens to be ananother Asics shoe: a Gel Lyte V in collaboration with Japan’s Monkeytime.
Appatently, this ‘Dress Up’ release was a store exclusive. It has been MIA in the U.S., but can be found here…..Maybe.
OKay, that brings us to the next boutique – sponsored project : The Philly boutique , Villa, x Fabolous’ collab .
The project featured four silhouettes across four brands : New Balance 999(the Boathouse Row), ; Reebok QueStion ( the Liberty Bell; a Converse All star (Naturel) ; and a 6 inch Timberland boot (the First Frost).
Welp, the 999s have, to date, been overlooked , despite being sensibly priced at $130. They can be found here.
As for the Liberty Bell Questions, few heads saw fit to part with $170 for a pair, so they are still here.
Ditto the ‘First Frost Timbs.’ For $200 , they can still be found
here in a full size run.
The Chucks, oddly enough, have no half sizes, but for just $65, sizes 8-13 can be had.
This brings us to a duo of Reebok collaborations- Kendrick Lamar’s CL Leather Lux, and Cam’Ron’s Fleebok 2 Ventilator Supreme. which just so happened to also release at Villa , speaking to a close connection between the boutique and Reebok.
Kendrick’s Reeboks in luxuriously soft deep green is
available in a virtual FSR at Villa for $150….
Cam’ Ron’s Fleeboks, sold out , and have flipped for the minimally acceptable $60-$70 markup when pairs did pairson ebay, which has been few and far between.
It is up in the air how significant this shoe becomes, because , ‘Salmon’ is Fieg’s, and ‘Mint‘ or ‘Tiffany’ is Diamond Supply’s, then can it be said Killa Cam owns Pink?
It’s possible , but Killa might need to bring his signature hue to a collab with Nike on a pair of Uptowns to move the needle with future projects.
Okay, onto the Jeff Staple x Ewing Athletics ‘Pigeon’ (natch). These sold out, and have essentially gone MIA since then.
The Brooks Heritage Regent ‘Great Wave’ has been completely forgotten about, and
can be had in sizes 7-14 here, along with other hot items.
Diadora has long been a brand that makes kicks folks want , but dont necessarily want to pay for. As such, so many fresh collabs from the Italian label go overlooked since , outside prominent projects like the Purple Tape by Raekwon and Packer Shoes , there is simply not much of a market outside of retail for them.
That it? Thank goodness.
Keeping tabs on 50 releases is not for the faint of heart, but it can be done, and the insights provided here just might aid one in recalling the more obscure sneakers floating around in the world of kicks, waiting to be rediscovered by those who pay attention. Adios……