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In the 21st century, sneakers have gained a significant popularity in the market across the globe. Sneakers refer to varieties of athletic shoes made of rubber soles (Edler). Many people make a distinction between sneakers and running shoes, some call them gym shoes, cleats and others just call them sport shoes because sneakers may not apply particularly to certain forms of athletic shoes designed for certain application. Different varieties of sneakers exist in the market making it hard to have a distinct meaning of sneakers. Different varieties are used for casual wear, as semi-athletic shoes, for children’s jogging, and gym classes at school. The prices of the sneakers vary according to brands; some are expensive whereas others are cheap, although price does not necessarily mean quality because many sneakers are made for appearance rather than for athletic purpose.
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Reselling of sneakers has risen over the past few years than any other period in the U.S and other states. One of the main causes is the rise of social media, which has made fashions change fast. Social media have been used as a tool to update, build connection and exaggerations about new releases, both big and small. Currently, people are willing to go an extra mile just to obtain the latest brand in the market; competition is stiff in the sneakers market. As one of the most respected reseller said, people behave in a manner indicating that buying shoe is a talent and skill, which has created competition in the reseller markets.
Unlike in the 1990s, when people considered the period a golden era of sneakers, connected the shoes to the athletes, and admired them, today, things have changed. Children who never saw Michael Jordan play any game feel they need to run off with every brand Jordan dropped. People watch celebrities walk in the streets wearing these shoes, and the urge to emulate their actions and attires overwhelms them. Additionally, the history of a shoe and revering its influence on the culture makes people sneakers’ enthusiasts.
The case of the Jordan 11 Concords was one of the biggest and latest releases in the U.S. Dropping of this sneaker saw thousands of people flocking to malls and boutiques to purchase a pair. This incited nationwide riots and commotions causing an extraordinary and terrifying mood across the city. Jordan 11 Concord was not a sneaker to be desired only for its aesthetic value, but also for its historic role in culture as well as its use in sports. Although it was considered among the favorite and identifiable sneakers to the Jordan brand, and its distribution was limited, most people were surprised because of its chaotic release, and this year’s availability (Mealand). The scenario also happened at the release of the Nike Galaxy series where fans queued overnight to obtain their first shoes, and this coincided with weekend`s NBA All-Star Game in Orlando. The process was chaotic; police officers were managing fans and resellers were busy shouting for purple and blue sneakers with star-like flecks of white (Gresko).
The sneakers’ companies, the advertisers, consumers, and resellers have also caused the increase in the number of resellers. Companies increase the number of resellers by making competitive brands of shoes in a limited time. On the other hand, advertisers increase by gassing up every new release as the best thing that ever happened to the sneakers since the OG air Jordan Consumers’ increase resellers by acting greedily every Saturday or any other day when a new release is likely to be out of the market, and the resellers who vulture new releases and take hold of dozens lack interest. This shows the four groups are equally liable and cannot blame one another, but if consumers are patient and wait for restocking because they are the major players, they can enhance prices and discourage resellers.
When people move away from new and limited releases and give room to restocking, this reduces the plague of resellers and chopping of extra coins. However, in case of truly unique and truly limited sneaker, such as Air Yeezy 2, things are different because people like moving with the current trend and uniqueness. Air Yeezy 2 sneaker has a molded spiked feature said to be “reptilian – inspired” with different colors and was spotted on different musicians, which made the fans queue for them, thereby prompting resellers to charge double prices. It is as if sneaker companies hear people say they need sneakers in the wild; the original limited edition Nike Air Yeezy designed in the late Eighties was released in April, 2009 (Lau). This shows that even if a retro shoe is from the past decade, provided that it has met the fans’ demands, it will still be recognized.
Lebron 9 South Beach is up for grabs. Nike Soldier V was released, but with one color missing. Nike is pre-ordering and working for a strategy to shun reselling of the brand. Although they are working very hard to shun violence and kick off resellers; however, it will be difficult because of modernization and technological innovations. With each new day there are more and more resellers.
Therefore, the major causes of the increase in the number of resellers are the resellers themselves, together with consumers, advertisers, and manufacturing firms. The increase affects the price of the sneakers, competition for brands, and companies that make the sneakers. Consumers being the major cause of the increase should wait for restocking instead of giving the resellers to take advantage of them.
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