As anyone who’s cleaned out their closet and sold on consignment can attest, most items in our wardrobes lose value as time goes on. It’s a sad fact of shopping: That dress you paid full-price for won’t be worth nearly as much by the time you get sick of it. However, there’s one fashion investment that actually becomes more profitable over time — so profitable that now there’s an entire underground industry devoted to it: sneakers.
FiveThirtyEight reports that over the years, sneakers have grown from attracting a small sect of loyal customers to an underground resale business in its own right, filled with buyers, sellers, brokers, and fans. For more than a decade, brands like Nike have been rolling out limited-edition styles to build hype, and clearly, it’s working. Whether it’s the LeBron X What the MVP, Air Yeezy 2 Red Octobers, or Air Jordans, they almost always resell for higher than their original prices.
As FiveThirtyEight notes, you can chalk it up to the basics of supply and demand: “Owning a scarce resource taps into a basic desire to hoard things of value... Nike’s strategy of limiting supply creates a gap — sometimes a significant one — between what a shoe costs (at retail) and what it’s worth.” For instance, those Kanye West-designed Nike Air Yeezy 2’s may have sold in stores for about $250, but they can easily fetch upwards of $2,000 on eBay, with some paying as much as $8,000. Not only does this explain the long line of devotees at every new shoe drop, but it also proves what fashion is all about: exclusivity. Whether it's sneakers or a new Alexander Wang bag, people want what they can't have.
Click over to find out more sneakerhead secrets, and don't be surprised if you start to reconsider where you put your next paycheck. (FiveThirtyEight)