What once was a hobby to some people has become their full time job. The sneaker resale market was valued at over $6 billion as of 2019.
Resellers have taken advantage of limited sneakers in order to make a massive profit. Using automated computer software, they are able to get their hands on multiple pairs of limited sneakers when the people that actually plan to wear them are left empty handed. Due to the high aftermarket prices of limited sneakers many people have started purchasing replicas.
In the past people would camp out for days in order to have a chance of purchasing a pair of sneakers they wanted. Now resellers are able to purchase hundreds of pairs from the comfort of their own home.
In order to combat these resellers many people throughout the sneaker community have started to purchase replica sneakers. They are hoping that by doing this they could put an end to resellers’ high prices. These sneakers can sell at a significant markup on third party platforms such as Ebay and StockX.
This has caused a divide in the community on whether buying and wearing replica sneakers is okay to do or not. Joshua Marquez (AKA thebredexchange) a 19-year-old sneaker reseller in Toronto, disapproves, telling 8forty, “In a way buying replicas kind of supports fraud and counterfeit items especially when someone tries passing them off as real and trying to sell them.”
Daniel Lukas Guan, an 18-year-old sneaker enthusiast does purchase replica sneakers. “I am currently saving up money to pay for my university tuition so I don’t have extra cash to spend on these limited sneakers,” Guan says. “I’ve loved sneakers all my life so I buy replicas because they are ten times cheaper and no one can tell the difference.”
Replica sneakers have recently been discussed all over a popular social media app TikTok. Well known sneaker TikTokers have been sharing their take on whether buying replica sneakers should be considered okay or not. Some believe buying authentic sneakers are better due to them holding their price and having the option to sell them even after being worn.
Replica sneakers are available on many sites around the world. The most used and well known site is Aliexpress. These replicas are often poor quality and half of the normal price you would pay at a Foot Locker. These sneakers are shipped from China and the site offers pictures to give you an idea of what they will look like when they arrive.
These images have the Nike swoosh removed to protect against being shut down by Nike for selling illegal replicas. But when the pair of sneakers arrive in the hands of the consumer they have the Nike swoosh and all other branding. The specific pair in the picture is called the Jordan 1 High University Blue and goes for $500+ on the resale market. A replica pair of the exact same shoe can be purchased on Aliexpress for $70.
The replica sneaker market is estimated to be worth $450 billion.
Cover Image: Neeshat6