The Digital Sneaker Game

We all know at least one sneakerhead. Those people who obsess over shoes and collect hundreds and hundreds of sneakers in their closet. Even spending hundreds or sometimes even thousands of dollars on these sneakers in order to rock the newest Yeezys or the retro Jordans. There is a whole culture and economy behind sneakerheads and their addictions of sneakers. Sneakerheads line up for days to get latest pair of Jordans or Yeezys to get them at retail stores for retail price. But what happens when a sneakerhead isn’t able to cop a pair of the latest release? This is where the resale market for sneakers comes to play.

The sneaker resale market is a simple supply and demand issue. There aren’t enough pairs for everyone to have. There are a limited number made every release and with such a high demand from sneakerheads for certain pairs, it makes some sneakers rarer than others.  This drives prices up for sneakers and you can clearly see that on resale markets with shoes going for 500+% their retail price sometimes  Yes, a shoe that was $350 retail is now being sold for $1800+!

Sneakerheads go on the resale market to look for the shoes they want but couldn’t snag. Where do sneakerheads find these resale markets though? A lot of the resale markets live online now. Ebay and Craigslist are online auctions platforms where sneakers are put up for sale and then are sold to the highest bidder. Social media also plays a big role in resale markets. There are Facebook groups made where users can join to see what shoes are being sold by others in the community and they can connect with sellers for purchasing interests. Instagram is a similar social media platform with hashtags, such as #JordansForSale, and accounts people can follow to see shoes that are being resold and then directly message sellers. Digital and social media commerce markets like these have huge influence and collective impact in the sneakerhead community. In fact, it has been calculated that this resale market is worth over $1 billion. With these online markets though and so many pairs of sneakers out there on the market being bought and sold, it is hard for buyers to gauge what the fair price for the shoe they are buying for the quality of the shoe and hard for sellers to set price, fearing that it would be too high or too low. Recently, there has been a solution to this ambiguity in the sneakerhead community called Stock X.  

Stock X is the world’s first sneaker stock market. The website collects a ton of data everyday about this resale market and analyzes it for sneakerheads and sneaker “investors”. With so much data, there is now a developed a price guide that represents a real time data-driven view of the sneaker market. This platform provides real-time analytics on thousands of sneakers out on the resale market. Sneakerheads can check prices to determine if what they are buying is fair or sell at a price that the market is willing to pay for. This is a data-driven marketplace online that sneakerheads can now use with confidence.

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Along with this, what I think is the coolest feature of this digital platform is that sneakerheads can now track the value of their collection over time, compare it to other collections out there, and have access to the same analytics you might for a stock. Essentially, a sneakerhead collection can now be equivalent to a stock portfolio. A sneakerhead builds his collection and can now identify his whole collection on Stock X. They can see it’s worth and on an asset level, they can track and see their gain-loss by shoe and for their entire sneaker portfolio. Check out this insane portfolio someone has…558 sneakers, valued at $357,000…INSANE!

With both the data, marketplace, and asset tracking, Stock X is truly unlike any other ecommerce or auction based platform out there. In real time, buyers and sellers can see what an sneaker is worth in an open, unbiased, authentic platform for the sneaker resale market. In a way, Stock X is changing how the sneaker resale market was previously run on Ebay, Craigslist, and Facebook. Stock X basically made a stock market for commerce. Imagine what Stock X could do for other resale markets like toys, clothes, cars, etc. With so much data being aggregated, it shows the huge power of what data can do for us and I can image it being so useful to track the value of all the stuff you own. It will be interesting to see how this model affects the ecommerce business, how it will affect buyers and sellers, and see if this will be expanded beyond sneakers and sneakerheads. Will there actually be more platforms based on a stock market of things? All this due to a pair of sneakers.

8 comments

  1. I have heard people being sneaker enthusiasts and wanting the latest pair of Nikes but I had never heard of Stock X prior to reading your blog. It’s really quite a smart idea to have a tool to evaluate the actual value of a pair of sneakers and how this could be transferable to other items people buy on eBay. I know that when Target released a Lilly Pulitzer designer collection, there were people who went to stores and bought out entire racks of dresses just to resell them online for 300%+ on eBay. If more digital businesses like Stock X came into existence to evaluate any item, it could prevent people from overpaying online, or at least being aware that they are doing so. Quite an interesting way of using data analytics and digital business combined!

  2. That’s awesome. Of course, it reminds me of the classic “Beanie Baby Index” that tracked the popular toys at the top of their popularity (which happened to coincide with the peak of the dot-com boom). Of course it was all downhill from there…

  3. Austin Ellis · ·

    After overhearing a conversation last night between a roommate and neighbor over his pair of authentic Yeezys, this blog caught my attention. It really is incredible how serious some people are about sneakers, really trreating them like investments. They buy them and leave them in the box, like ageing a fine wine or a sitting on a future classic car; hoping to sell when the price is high. So, while I had never heard of Stock X, it makes complete sense. Sneakers really do seem to fit in with these other assets that fluctuate in value. Do you think Stock X might expand to other types of products, rather than leave that space open for other digital companies?

  4. michaelahoff · ·

    A stock market for hype beasts. That’s so awesome, and I’m not surprised that it’s so successful because those guys are crazy. This is definitely a safer and more efficient alternative than sleeping outside for Jordans.

  5. Great post! I think this definitely highlights some really insightful points – I, for one, did not know anything about Stock X prior to this. I think the most unique feature is their data collection to be able to accurately tell you how much your collection is actually worth. Super interesting to see this be so much like a stock market rather than just a one on one transaction that I know so many people do right now. I think this brings into question how many other markets this can go into – really any collectible item can be made into a “stock market” style where data and bots are able to track what the market is willing to pay for them. Awesome post – thank’s for sharing.

  6. dabettervetter · ·

    Nelson, I actually had the privilege of working with a high-level sneaker company this summer and the sneakerhead community is insane! They actually love using Instagram to sell and advertise. Also, I know the actual shoe company worked hard to shut down the ones trying to impersonate themselves and worked with the ones like Bodega and CNCPTS to give them exclusive drops and such.

  7. ikechukwu_28 · ·

    This post is fire. Definitely the most interesting one that I’ve read thus far. I had no idea that there was an entire stock market for sneakers that people could use to evaluate their assets. Very cool idea!

  8. Very cool post, Nelson! I’m interested in how you learned about this. Do you know anyone who uses Stock X?

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