James Marriott a popular fashion blogger lives by Dame Vivienne Westwood’s motto: “Buy less, choose well, and make it last”, when it comes to buying clothes. He looks for quality brands and tries not to fall prey to reselling.
A lot of brands popular in Streetwear sell out so quickly people have to resort to a secondary resale market and purchase products at inflated prices. Egalia3 is a reseller who has bought Adidas shoes for £150 and sold them 24 hours later for £450.
These price increases are extremely common, specific products such as Supreme Box Logo t-shirt will consistently sell for at least four times the retail price. Most resellers know which items will have value and which will not, they use this knowledge to effectively control the market.
Certain brands guarantee high resale, a supreme box logo t-shirt will retail for £35 however it will always sell out in seconds once it hits the online store. You can be assured that literally minutes later you will find them posted on eBay for at least four times the price.
Shoes usually produce a greater profit. Yeezys are a trainer Kanye West made in collaboration with Adidas, the retail price was £150 but you can now find them on eBay for as much as £1200. In Hypebeasts most expensive shoes of 2015 article it says: “The YEEZY Boost 750 “Triple Black” came out on top as eBay’s most expensive sneaker, averaging an extortionate $1,876 USD at resale”.
The resale market buys extremely limited items and then sells them at inflated prices, most people believe reselling to be a curse put on the community. However it is viewed as a double edged sword while people hate paying the inflated prices, they need resellers to acquire items they could not get when they originally released.
Fashion graduate and blogger Styles by Nico said that buying items just to sell them instantly for a quick profit is ruining the community:” I think it’s very unfortunate that people can buy things at retail then sell them two hours later and obtain a couple hundred dollars in profit”.
Fashion writer and blogger Riley Tenglar says reselling is acceptable he said: “because I personally have made a lot of money reselling shoes (specifically Yeezys) and it’s been relatively good to me”. A lot of people buy items just to make profit enabling them to purchase more products.
The majority of resellers use bots to purchase these extremely hard to get items. Bots are a computer program in which you put your payment and delivery details. Bots enable the user to checkout and purchase items faster than any human ever could.
A lot of the community view bots as an unfair advantage, they make it incredibly difficult for the average person to buy popular items. Style by Nico said they are an unfair to the average customer: “The problems with bots are that it gives users unfair advantages over everyone else”.
They are a common method, Mathew Pike editor of Bucket and Spade said bots should only be used for personal use: “if you’re planning to use the product, but if it’s just for resale purposes then it’s not cool at all”.
However realistically for reselling to be an effective way to make money, resellers need to be able to buy a large amount of stock. Since a lot of stores limit customers to only being able to purchase one of each item resellers have resorted to find what the community call plugs, these are back door dealers.
People like Riley Tenglar have these options at their disposal he said: “I’ve been lucky enough to figure out other ways of copping hyped items like backdoor links or knowing the right people”. The deeper you go into the Streetwear industry the more connections you make, your success as a reseller truly depends on the people you know.
Resellers are able to continuously sell these items at the hugely inflated prices because people often prefer to have an item that has a lot of hype around it, rather than something that actually is more fashionable or suits them better. It is this mentality that is cemented into the culture which has given reselling its fuel, a lot of people view it as showing off but there is a more to it.
People desire these items because they admire celebrities and want to own the same shoes or t-shirt as certain celebrities. When influential celebrities like Kanye West wears something people immediately want it, the product sells out and a resale market for that specific item or brand opens up.
The attraction for these types of items also comes from owning something that very few people have. For a lot of people it is not a bragging right that they have something others cannot afford rather they have something that others physically cannot get. Jain Deleon who is Complexes style deputy editor mentioned in the “Sold Out” documentary: “Resellers are a bi product of a culture fuelled by the need to sort of have one thing that not necessarily everybody else have”.
Currently there is not much you can do to combat reselling, if you want to get certain items you either have to be lucky or willing to buy them for the inflated prices. However as Riley Tenglar said: “it is not the end of the world if you miss out on an item, stunt with what you have and cherish your grails”.