While much of the fashion world is bracing for potential long-term losses and slowdowns in sales, there’s at least one market where insiders are projecting confidence: sneaker resale.
Both resale platforms and customers told Glossy that the resale market is strong, particularly for buyers, as sellers are offloading sneakers. Buyers, with nothing to do while quarantined and supply increasing, are getting sneakers at lower prices than they have before.
“It’s such a great time to buy — lots of panic-selling from people who don’t have their financial house in order,” said a user on Reddit’s /r/sneakers, one of the largest sneaker forums in the world, who spoke to Glossy through a Reddit private message. “I hope everyone stays safe, but it’s all the more reason to keep your rainy-day funds for the storm you can’t see coming.”
In an emailed statement from StockX, the company echoed the statement that the online marketplace was booming.
“While we’ve made some modifications and added precautions within our workspaces, our online marketplace remains open, stable and strong,” the statement read. “Like the rest of the world, we are closely monitoring the ever-evolving situation and making necessary adjustments to ensure the safety of our community.”
Other users of /r/sneakers said they’ve seen price drop notifications from GOAT, with one user telling Glossy they were able to purchase a pair of Travis Scott Nikes for $350 when they normally sell for over $600 on most resale sites.
Like StockX, resellers GOAT, Grailed and Stadium Goods have all continued to operate normally, with Stadium Goods co-CEO Jed Stiller saying the company has not seen any significant drop in sales since the outbreak began.
GOAT CEO Eddy Lu said that, aside from potentially working with different order fulfillment partners than usual, much of the company’s business will remain unchanged.
“Following recommendations from the CDC and World Health Organization, we have implemented increased cleanings and sanitizing procedures at all of our facilities,” Lu said in an emailed statement. “We have also temporarily closed our Seller Drop-Off locations in New York, Los Angeles and Miami, and have recommended all employees who can work from home to do so, [but] we will continue to operate.”
But the boom may not last forever. Resale only thrives when the primary sneaker market does as well. Nike and Supreme, two of the biggest companies in all of streetwear, and two that many resellers rely on for a steady stream of hyped-up, desirable product, have both closed their stores. Nike has already delayed several shoe releases.
“The sneaker resale market has always been built off supply and demand,” said KJ Ho, vp business director at brand agency Optimist. “Supply chains are being disrupted by COVID-19, which has a direct impact on supply in the secondary market. However, the sneaker resale market will face its true test in the coming weeks as people will undoubtedly feel the financial ramifications of this pandemic.”
If the primary sneaker and streetwear market stays closed and dormant for too long, it’s only a matter of time before it trickles down into the secondary market, as well.
“I think that, despite popular belief, the majority of sneaker consumers are not hourly workers that will see a dip in income with not attending work, and buying power will stay the same,” another user on the /r/sneakers forum told Glossy. “However, I think this pandemic will largely impact supply chains down the line, as manufacturers, fulfillment centers and shipping centers will all have greatly reduced (or in some cases, non-existent) staff.”