How To Be a Sneaker Collector
Sneaker culture has been rapidly evolving since the 1980s. The sneaker industry connects with music and sports culture, and each pair of sneakers comes with its own history. Whether you are motivated to become a collector for the profit, style, hype or community that sneaker culture has to offer; anyone can become a part of the sneaker game. Although this community may seem intimidating to join, with these seven steps one you start your sneaker collection journey.
What Is a Sneaker Collector?
Often referred to as sneakerheads, sneaker collectors enjoy and accumulate sneakers as a hobby. There is no baseline sneaker amount one needs to own in order to be considered a sneakerhead. These collectors admire the history attached to these shoes as well as the value these sneakers have to bring. A large percentage of sneaker collectors resell their sneakers for profit and some even make a comfortable wage off these transactions.
What Is the Value in Starting a Sneaker Collection?
The sneaker industry has cultivated into a $79 billion dollar market. Due to this, collecting and trading sneakers can be a profitable business. In 2019 the sneaker resale market was valued at $6 billion dollars and is now projected to grow into a $30 billion dollar industry by 2030. Many sneakerheads become resellers by purchasing a sneaker at retail price and reselling the sneaker online at a higher price in order to earn profit. Some of these online platforms sneaker collectors use include Flight Club, StockX, Stadium Goods, and much more.
7 Steps to Start Your Sneaker Collection
When it comes to starting your own sneaker collection, you may get lost on where to begin. Ultimately, you want to create a collection that is catered to your own specific goals. Whether you plan on becoming a sneaker collector for the resale market or for pleasure, here are our seven recommended steps.
Step 1: Learn the Sneaker’s History
Each pair of sneakers carries its own unique story. Before purchasing an item, understand the cultural value the sneaker has to offer. Although when it comes to investing in an expensive pair of shoes, financial appreciation of the product may seem more important than cultural, this is not always the case. By knowing the designer behind the shoe, the technology, and the backstory, you can build a greater understanding of the shoe’s value. By doing this, you will also be able to see which designer’s products appreciate more in value over time.
Step 2: Understand the Marketplace
Without knowing sneaker culture terminology, it can be difficult to break into this community. By comprehending the basic terminology, you will be able to decipher what forums are saying about the latest sneakers and better understand sneaker culture. Moreover, one should look into what the sneaker community considers the “classics” and what makes these sneakers so monumental in the industry. For example, the Nike Air Force 1 and Air Jordan 1 are considered timeless classics since their release in 1982 and 1985.
Step 3: Research When New Sneakers Are Coming Out
Once the basics are covered, knowing when new releases are coming out is essential to expanding your collection in the least expensive way possible. The retail price of highly sought after sneakers typically tends to be significantly cheaper than the resale value, so it is important to know when sneakers are dropping. How you can do this is by following their favorite brands on Twitter or viewing sneaker launch calendars. However, some popular online platforms sneakerheads use include Nike SNKRS, Grailify, Kicks On Fire, Adidas Confirmed, and Sneaker Monitors to help them keep up to date with these releases.
Step 4: Learn How to Purchase New Drops
Purchasing a new sneaker on its drop date is a time sensitive process. Sometimes sites crash and there has even been a surge of people using bots to secure their purchases quickly. However, some brands are counteracting and eliminating these bots to level the playing field. To secure your purchase, it is important to set multiple reminders prior to the drop, set up your payment method prior to the event, and act quickly when the release begins. You can purchase these new drops either through mobile apps, official brand websites and much more. However, some sneaker drops, you can only participate in by entering a raffle, which has become quite popular amongst sneaker retailers.
Step 5: Research the Resell Market
The resale market has become an integral part of the sneaker industry so it is important to know how to navigate it. Usually, sneaker collectors “double up” on their purchases in order to fund this hobby. This means they are able to enjoy one pair while selling and making a profit off of the second pair. If you have the extra cash to spend, the secondary market often guarantees you earning profit on reselling an exclusive pair of kicks. However, when purchasing from this secondary market, know the risks involved. This secondary market can consist of platforms such as StockX, eBay, social media channels, and much more. Ensure that the platform you are using takes their authentication process seriously since there is a surplus of sneaker fakes out in the resell market.
Step 6: Educate Yourself on Sneaker Maintenance
Maintaining the value and quality of the sneaker is a major component of having a sneaker collection. Sneakerheads typically store their shoes in a dry and cool environment since heat can damage the structure of the sneaker. Some even invest in a dehumidifier to create this optimal temperature. Sneaker collectors usually gently wash and clean their sneakers regularly to ensure they are in good condition. Additionally, when purchasing a new pair of shoes, there is a protective spray many sneakerheads use to minimize potential damage from stains. Others within the community also refrain from wearing sneakers so they can maintain their factory condition. However, it is important to note that even if sneakerheads never wear their shoes, shoes with polyurethane midsoles only last 4 to 5 years prior to them falling apart.
Step 7: Enjoy Them
Although a vast majority of sneaker collectors are intrigued by the resale market and what it has to offer, many people just enjoy their collection. There could be a lot of hype surrounding a particular sneaker but don’t blindly believe the commotion. Choose sneakers that you are particularly interested in and support their story. Ultimately it is your decision whether you wish to purchase to resell or to wear, but enjoying them is a crucial part. For many in the sneaker community, they joined since they do thoroughly enjoy the history and the designs from the sneakers themselves. Regardless of why you might collect sneakers, make sure to take pleasure in the process of sneaker collecting.
Start Your Sneaker Collection Today
Sneaker collecting is a hobby people around the world appreciate. Whether your end goal for starting a collection is to resell or to wear, learning about the sneakerhead community is a fascinating journey. Understanding the history of each shoe, how it interacts with that time period’s music or sports culture, and how this industry has evolved is an endless adventure. Be a part of this global culture and start your sneaker collection today.
Q: Is sneaker collecting a hobby?
A: Yes, sneaker collecting is a hobby people around the world enjoy.
Q: Is sneaker reselling profitable?
A: Yes, reselling exclusive sneakers can be highly profitable! Due to the sneaker shortage from supply chain issues due to covid-19, reselling has become even more profitable than years prior.
Q: How do you make a good sneaker collection?
A: Start by purchasing classic pieces while looking for sneakers that you naturally gravitate towards. Whether your sneaker collection is good is dependent on your taste and style.