Investing | Article
Alternative Investments: Can Reselling Streetwear Earn You Huge Profits?
by Sophia | 30 Mar 2021 | 5 mins read
Investments are more than just putting money into stocks and bonds on the stock market. Sometimes, investments could also mean starting a business or even reselling vintage items at a higher price. You can even invest into streetwear and sneakers — buying them at retail prices and later reselling it on the market for profit, provided you’ve got the right goods.
It’s not always about staring at company stock charts and reading financial reports. But how exactly did this culture of reselling streetwear even begin?
A brief history on streetwear culture
Somewhere down the line, shoes and hoodies stopped being simple.
You’ve seen the Hypebeast folk on Instagram, with their fierce outfits and edgy poses. Supreme has been on fire since the mid 90s, coming from humble beginnings as a little skate shop to getting on famous fashion runways all around the world.
Nowadays, when you catch a glimpse of someone decked in Yeezys, a Supreme hoodie, and Lord knows what else, you probably feel a little pinch of envy. Why?
Because these kids are cool. Because we all wanna be hashtag relatable with the in crowd, too.
It didn’t just come out of nowhere, though.
This coolness has been around for roughly four decades now – and was once seen as a comfortable way of dressing only found among those deeply entrenched in skate culture in Los Angeles.
Now, streetwear is considered fashion – and not just regular fashion. Celebrities are doing it. It’s become a movement bigger than where it came from. When people talk about high street fashion, streetwear is right up there.
Of streetwear and stock markets
In some parts of the world, people are turning the streetwear game into a money-making scheme — by buying exclusive pieces at retail prices before reselling them.
There’s even an app called StockX (usable on iPhone, but not on Android, unfortunately), which, to the untrained eye, looks like something out of an investor’s dream. You can check prices on different types of streetwear and sneakers, and they’re often jacked up because of the high demand for them.
According to a colleague who uses the app to buy mint sneakers himself, none of the listed items on StockX are secondhand, or worn. They’re almost always new.
The “stock market” here is exclusively driven by demand for limited edition sneakers.
In the app’s bidding section, a pair of Back to the Future sneakers are priced at USD $25,000 — a whopping $33,583.20 in Brunei dollars.
We know that most of us don’t have pockets deep enough to afford something as exorbitant as that. But there is a presence here where streetwear is concerned.
Locally, a much cheaper option (in comparison) would be 27supplyco.bn — Brunei’s first sneaker and streetwear store, started because its founders shared “a passion for sneakers” and a love for the streetwear community and culture.
Even though the community is small, and the store doesn’t seem to be into reselling vintage or exclusive pieces of streetwear or pairs of sneakers, its prices are still pretty hefty.
Now the question is: What if one wanted to get into this reselling business, and begin investing their money in streetwear to hopefully sell it off at a higher price later down the line?
Just do it? Is it even worth it?
Big brands like Supreme and Nike are actually aware of this “resale culture” within the community, elsewhere in the world.
On one occasion, Supreme placed items in the wrong categories on purpose to mislead bots that people use to buy items for the sole purpose of reselling them at a higher price. You can imagine the kind of outrage that move created.
Nike went another route and released Jordan 1s that were labeled ‘Not For Resale’. This meant that customers who bought the sneakers couldn’t buy them in a box. They had to literally wear the sneakers out of the store, so they wouldn’t be in mint condition anymore.
Adidas also hunkered down once to mass delete bot accounts off its online stores.
Resellers were decidedly shook. This clues us in on one thing: that maybe buying into this trend of reselling streetwear and sneakers isn’t such a great idea — for both the buyer and the seller.
After all, jacking up prices on these shoes, whether limited edition or not, only makes them less accessible to the people who really want them — to wear them, not resell them.
It’s not about whether you can, but about whether you should
While the decision to hop on this trend and subculture is entirely yours, we feel the need to highlight that because this is clearly an alternative form of investing, there will also be a measure of risk involved.
Fashion trends are ever-changing, so what’s in today might be out of style tomorrow when the next hot thing drops. Banking on vintage streetwear and sneakers to earn a quick profit for the short-term might net you some gains, but it’s definitely not a long-term solution to making a real living.
That, and you have to consider your audience, and whether there’s enough of a presence in your community to even be able to make that kind of money in the first place.
Also remember that it’s only the most exclusive pieces of clothing or pairs of sneakers that will get a high resale value — gaining access to them might be a costly investment that won’t net you any returns.
We can only say that there are various ways of making money work for you if you look hard enough.
As to whether or not it’s ethical or lucrative, it really depends on you. Because at the end of the day, whether you’re a reseller or a die-hard collector, what you do with your money is as personal as the fashion you choose.