I took the escalator at the Galleria Mall up to the second floor. After turning the corner, I saw a line of people waiting outside of Foot Locker. I knew what they were here for: reserved sneakers that customers didn’t pick up. I saw Timmy Hogan, next to Elijah Hardaway Drizzy, a fellow sneakerhead, cracking jokes about the people in line, like, “Ooooh I’m telling you’re a reseller.” We had nothing to do but sit around until 3 p.m. when Foot Locker started letting the unclaimed pairs go.
Hogan began reselling sneakers in 2012, at the age of 12. “I used to go to conventions to sell my shoes and I sold through Facebook pages,” he said. Secondary markets were a little slow back then because smartphones and the internet were not as far-reaching then as they are today. If you didn’t have money for physical advertisements, you didn’t get much traffic. So, Hogan didn’t get until 2017.
“I made around $120,000 in 2018 through reselling and $40,000 so far in 2019,” he said. Now, in 2019, there are online marketplaces like StockX and GOAT that dictate the price of a product. They are the middlemen between retail stores and anyone else who couldn’t purchase the shoe initially.
A few months back, there was a special release of the Nike SB Dunk “Green Lobster” that was exclusive to Boston. Hogan was lucky to be one of the first people lined up at Concepts. This shoe was a collaboration between Concepts and Nike. He got one pair by camping outside Concepts and another pair on the website. A few days before the release, the price of a pair dropped from nearly $1,500 to $400. Hogan sold both pairs for around $500, about market price.
Online markets like StockX and GOAT have pros and cons. A majority of the items listed there dip within the first week of their release.
“It’s kinda bad cause it drives down the market,” Hogan said. “I remember like a few years ago before StockX and GOAT were there, [the] market was high on a lot of items.”
Often, people panic and sell for whatever money they can get back. An example is the regional exclusive Yeezy Boost 350 “Clay.” On drop day, the price actually surged. But after Adidas orders started being delivered, prices started dropping. A size 10 in mens went from over $400 to around $350.
Hogan managed to get his hands on 33 pairs. If he sold all of his pairs, he would make about five grand in profits. However, he’s deciding to wait.
“Hold them cause they’re just gonna go up in price over time,” he said. He’s predicting that within six months, some sizes for the Clays will reach $800.
There is often controversy with high-demand brands like Supreme, Adidas, Nike, Bape and Off-White. Some claim these brands are taking product away from fans and collectors, thus ruining the culture. Others complain that they couldn’t get a pair because of resellers.
However, high demand makes it harder for everyone to cop, not just resellers. “I’m a reseller myself so reselling doesn’t really bother me. If you want to be a collector, be a collector,” Hogan said.
Extremely high-profile releases like the Air Jordan 1 “Solefly” and the upcoming Air Jordan 1 “Travis Scott” continue to cause conflict between sneakerheads, as some have resorted to selling fakes for profit.
It is almost impossible to tell a fake pair from a real pair without comparing or using a black light. “I think fakes are the most terrible thing in this game, not only does it mess with resellers, [but] it also messes with collectors as well because if they buy a shoe they’ve wanted for a long time and its fake, that’s terrible,” Hogan said.
At the recent sneaker convention Boston Got Sole, the event was hosting a raffle for a pair of the Travis 1s. It turns out that their pair was fake. “There was an outstanding amount of people walking around with fake Travis Scott Air Jordan 1s that are currently selling around $2,000, although the host of the event did well with blocking them out,” Hogan said.
Drizzy and Scott Stornaielo, owner of The Vault Lifestyle Boutique in Lynn, busted about four people with fake Travis Scott 1s during the two-day event.
At the end of the day, it’s harder to make a living from reselling nowadays. As the sneaker consumer market grows, the stock is spread among more people, allowing fewer people to have excessive amounts of product. “Buying all Clays $500!” Hogan said jokingly in the Foot Locker, and we walked out into the spring breeze.