Why the Sneaker Industry Needs Resellers

Why does the sneaker and fashion industry need resellers? The answer may astonish you. In fact, When I asked this question on my Twitter I was completely surprised by the results. It seems that consumers are almost split 50/50 with a few that were undecided. I could feel the indecision percolating through the twitter feed. Do we really know? Do we trick our brains into believing a tale sent from the innards of the social media world, or are we 100% certain that big business needs the consumer base more than just financially. Let's look at the numbers. 

Screenshot 2018-03-20 21.40.29_preview.pngdeadlaced reseller poll

Is it possible for the numbers to be this close? Short answer, yes. Whenever I take a poll I try to gauge the winners based on the landslide effect. If the yes voters won by more than 60% percent than I would feel comfortable saying, yes, of course we need resellers and vice versa. I try to base polls on fact, like much of my research, but the truth is there are too many X factors and biases that go into a poll. For example, I am a reseller, yup they need us or I can never get a sneaker for retail, nope, I hate resellers. Because of the many biases in the world we must dive deeper into the pool of sharks known as resellers. 

OMG they're here! The most diabolical human beings on the planet. They pillage, they plunder - they rob from the rich and give to the, wait for it, they give to themselves. The worst! I envision this is how an outsider, who can not seem to buy an overpriced piece of leather, views a reseller. They go by many names; flipper, buyer, distributor, seller, but homeless, jobless douchebag? I think not! 

Why not? The sheer amount of hours that goes into researching, coding, setting up, hours at the computer, networking, advertising, financial planning, and on and on and on is unimaginable. Resellers are the hardest working individuals quite possibly in the US. Not only that, they are the embodiment of what Americans are, dreamchasers. Every single immigrant that comes here, other than those caught in some genocidal religious or political war, are dreamchasers. They want the gold, they, dare I say, want what the resellers achieve on a weekly basis. Although I am not here to wax poetic about an entrepreneur I must say I respect anyone bringing in money with the use of technology and a brain. 

Avi Richards @avirichards deadlaced

This picture is amazing. I can totally see a reseller purchasing copious amounts of limited sneakers from a rooftop while others tear out their hair. The good ones (resellers) can purchase anything, anytime, anywhere. A skill that takes years.

Ok, back on track. Why does the sneaker industry need resellers? Let's begin with Nike, Adidas and Jordan. How can these monstrous companies possibly need a normal human being when their companies contain athletes, entertainers, icons, and legends? Simple answer, resellers are the conduit to the "normal" world. A good reseller can get anything, yes? So, picture this or better yet - graph time!

% of Population in Specific Career

The graph above is quite misleading but gives an idea about just how small the advertising is by the 1%. The actual number of professional entertainers in the world is less than 1% of the population. The actual number of entertainers that have a brand sneaker deal is exceptionally lower. But what about the audience they reach? Good point, the entertainers reach an insane amount of people. Trust me they get the job done, but it is only half of the story. We would have to calculate how many people they reach, how many people watch their sport and how many people actually care about what the human billboard is wearing. We would also need to see what % of consumers see, want and actually buy. As you can see there are a ton of variables. We would have to contact a statistician to proceed. One thing we can say for sure is A + B + C + D-Z is a ton a maybes. 

Quick Fact: Lebron James is the biggest athlete in the world. 9/10 of Lebron James sneakers sit on the shelf at your local sneaker establishment. 

Come one Reseller Come ALL

Resell is life is the slogan. A slogan that means much more than the words elude to. Reselling and doing so successfully can bring forth a ton of societal badges. The badges are but are not limited to clout, desirability, not being a broke son of a bitch, hard-working, trendy, and important. Most tweens, teens, young adults and thirty somethings find a great deal of confidence in these badges. Not to mention the money. I hear it all the time, "you made how much this weekend" or "Its just a shoe". Well my compadre, It's not just a shoe, it feeds my insecurities or better yet it feeds my family. 

Any normal human being gets a job to support another human being, himself, his habits, his family, his friends and so on and so forth. It is all part of the rat race. What if the rat race can be exploited? What if the rat had a running head start and plowed through the maze walls. Resellers create this kind of aura whereas normal, non entrepreneurial talent begins to take notice. Humans consist of a natural curiosity, and money naturally peaks this curiosity. What does it all mean?

It means resellers bring in a new non - athletic consumer base. A consumer base that eventually gets hooked into buying more to try to sell more but ultimately ends up holding the bag. For any sporting goods brand (now with a new shiny lifestyle label) it simply means more sales. By the time the newest reseller figures out that what he had just purchased would be better off chocking up tires, it will be too late. The Brand's return policy has expired and semi-regret kicks in. As most of us do, we win some and we lose some. We try again because we happened to get lucky once and made a good profit. All because we saw the young chef Gregori cook up in class. Because he influenced us to try. Because he was wearing a shiny, peacock esque pair of Jordan ones. I love you Gregori, I mean I hate you.


Hype is amazingly effective. It will have all of your emotions on high alert. At times you will feel as if you have to have it, you need it, you want it and you want it now. This is dopamine is at work. It is produced in the brain when the brain senses pleasure. Everything you even slightly find pleasurable is dopamine being released from your neurons. Pretty Ladies - dopamine, Money - dopamine, the adrenaline rush from reselling - dopamine. Successful resellers and influencers alike know how to produce a ton of dopamine. Maybe it is the prospect of making money or maybe it is the product itself. It may be the photography, the filters they use, the false sense of excitement they exude (sometimes real excitement). It could be the elaborate collections, a consumer potentially finding a must-have collection piece called a grail. Whatever it is, the chase, the hunt, or the cashouts the game is highly addictive and all brought forth, in part, by the resellers. So what does hype do for a brand?

Hype for a brand is everything. Hype will sell out a pair of subpar sneakers within minutes. Hype will allow clothing outlets to resurrect forgotten brands and, in collaboration, sell out instantly. When hype is present no product stands a chance and any participant without preparation is demolished by the hype train. Hype is clearly an asset to any business or brand but it also is the driving force behind the sneaker game. Without hype there would be no secondary market, no rich resellers and essentially no reason for any large sneaker brand to not consistently stock the shelves with the same, hot, product. Hype brings in the bucks in bookoo form. 

One lasting thought on hype and Asics. Some Asics do sell out and become impossible to find. I wonder what would take them over the top as a premier fashion staple. Asics are comfortable and look incredible on foot.  Maybe they could use a push from off the court/field athletes or maybe an entirely new set of influencers. Check out some Asics here.

The Everyday Reseller

I spoke before about the athlete and the human billboard. Guess who also has the human billboard syndrome? You guessed it, resellers. I have been in the sneaker game my whole life, and professionally for five years. I have yet to come across a reseller that does not dress in his craft. Young resellers go to school, are always active, shop at the mall, attend sporting events and on and on. Their love for the money eventually coincides with their love for the brand(s). This is a big business executive's dream. Not only do they sell their product but they also get free advertising. I need some dag on kickbacks man - literally. 

As I'm writing this I am thinking about how I may have to do a part two because there are not only more reasons why big brands love resellers but there are also a few financial cons. 

Yay! You made it. The end of the post has come. I have a few words of advice for anyone reselling. Keep reselling and making your money. Why? Because the brands love it. If they did not they would not keep feeding you limited products. You are another revenue stream. 

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scott ward