Sneaker Resellers See Dollar Signs In Kanye's Split With Adidas – Forbes





 
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hen Lucas Titus first started buying sneakers and flipping them for a profit online in 2016, one of his first purchases was a pair of original Yeezy “Zebra” sneakers that resold for over $1,300.
It was a “staggering” amount, said Titus, the 20-year-old British founder of Cybersole, a popular bot used to buy sneakers online before they sell out. But today’s market is different, he says. “Now you’ll be lucky to make a little over £50 profit” on average. “There are times where botters won’t even bother waking up on a Saturday morning for a Yeezy drop anymore,” Titus said. “The novelty of owning a pair of Yeezys has worn off, thus lowering the resale value.”
Recently, Adidas has hurt the resale market by pumping out more inventory, introducing dozens of new styles and offering frequent restocks on popular items.
There are signs, however, that Adidas’ decision on Tuesday to sever ties with Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, would reinvigorate interest in the sneakers and boost their resale value on sites like eBay, StockX and Grailed. In a statement, Adidas said it would halt production of all Yeezy-branded products immediately.
There already appears to be an uptick in sales on the secondary market, said Rick Nariani, CEO of WANTD, which aggregates data from across resale sites. Nine of the top 25 highest-selling sneakers were Yeezys on Tuesday morning, up from 6 last week.
Jon Schaefer, who resells sneakers on eBay, expects that classic styles like the Yeezy Boost 350 “Pirate Black” that haven’t been made in years could quickly appreciate by as much as 50%. He said he plans to hold on to some of the inventory he already has, like popular Yeezy slides and foam runners, to sell at a higher price later. “Generally they wear out fast, and when people want a second pair, they just pay the money to get them,” Schaefer said.
 
Yeezys may soar in value the same way that Ye’s line of Nike sneakers did after that relationship ended in 2013, said Stephen Yuhas, 20, another sneaker reseller. It would bring back some of the scarcity that’s been lost in recent years, which helped Adidas build a business worth billions but pressured margins for resellers like Yuhas.
“While it’s nice that everyone who once wanted these pairs can finally have them for a reasonable price, it removes the hype factor and the exclusivity of being one of the only people to have these shoes,” Yuhas said.
Yuhas said he isn’t worried about interest drying up because of the hip-hop mogul’s latest hateful comments. “Even if Ye gets completely canceled, the comfort and uniqueness of Yeezy sneakers will never leave,” he said.

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