5 things to consider when flipping sneakers
We asked a veteran sneakerhead and experienced reseller to share his tricks of the trade. Here's what he told us.
Thinking about flipping sneakers to put a little extra cash in your pocket? Australia's sneaker aftermarket can be a lucrative space and resellers can earn a tidy income if they get it right.
But just how do you do that? Getting into the reselling game can feel intimidating but there are plenty of ways to set yourself up for success and minimise potential losses.
We chatted to William Christopher, self-proclaimed sneakerhead, experienced reseller and founder of Australian streetwear brand Asphalt and Co., to learn some expert tips.
Understand the culture
According to Christopher, studying the cultural history of a sneaker is an important step in understanding its level of demand and potential sale cost.
"I like to look at what made the item so coveted and who is involved in the project," he told Finder. "A product in itself will always sell, but if you can really dig through all the hype and see the actual value of the product, it not only pushes that product in the market but also elevates the culture that it's associated with."
Christopher pointed to the Travis x Fragment Jordan 1 as an example. Thanks to Fragment's cult-like following within the streetwear community and Travis Scott's phenomenal status within pop culture, the collaboration is in high demand and could easily see resellers earn hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
"That is for sure a no-brainer shoe to resell for an exorbitant amount of money," he said.
Choose a selling platform that works for you
You don't have to tie yourself to one selling platform but sellers should look for features that enhance their offering and make life easier for everyone involved.
"I've been using eBay's Authenticity Guarantee program a lot lately and their service and shipping time is incredible," he told Finder.
eBay's Authenticity Guarantee comes at no extra cost to buyers or sellers and is currently available on certain sneakers sold within Australia. Under the program, eligible sneakers are shipped to authentication experts for physical inspection.
If they can't be authenticated, the sneakers are returned to the seller and the buyer gets their money back. If they are deemed authentic, they're express shipped to the buyer with a unique NFC tag that shows a digital authenticity certificate featuring product details and date of authentication.
The program is relatively new in Australia so its scope is still limited. As of October 2021, it's available on Yeezy, Jordan, Nike, adidas, Vans, Converse and New Balance sneakers which sell for at least $150. Expansions to the program are expected in future, specifically to luxury brands such as Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton.
You don't have to price your sneakers the same as the next seller, but you should be aware of what the general asking price is across the board, Christopher says.
"I might price it differently to the next person but outlets such as StockX, GOAT and even general marketplaces like Grailed and Depop serve as a good indicator on the price of a product," he told Finder.
Of course, the seller with the best product knowledge will be best placed to price accordingly.
"While the market dictates the price, ultimately someone could sell it for way more or less on the mere fact of product knowledge," he said. "That's something I would always preach."
Get to know the local market
Product knowledge is arguably one of the most important factors but sellers should also look at the local market to understand what's in demand and what will always sell.
"The Australian scene is sort of a special one in itself as it sells not only 'general hype' items like Yeezys and Supreme but niche market items like the Nike TN and ASICS running models," Christopher said.
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Avoid overloading on one shape
Although there'll always be hype around certain silhouettes, Christopher said sellers should avoid overloading on one shape.
"If you're confident in buying and holding stock to hopefully see a rise in the price and value over time, then take the risk," he said. "But don't put all your eggs in one basket."