Is Buying Sneakers A Smart Or Real Investment?

Written by Tanner Paulini (AKA Tee)
20+ years in the sneaker market

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Here at Ownkicks, at our core, we are all “sneakerheads or sneaker enthusiasts”, with combined decades and decades in the sneaker market. But we are also business minded people. The answer to this question is not as simple as yes or no.

Here are why sneakers can be a smart and ralistic investment

If you make favorable financial decisions, then buying sneakers are about as good as any investment. But things need to be examined before making this choice. How quick do you want to see profits from your investment? How long can you financially stand to be without the funds you spent on a sneaker/sneakers? And most importantly, you absolutely MUST know what sneakers are worth buying and what sneakers are not worth buying.

To look at a sneaker as an entity and not a fashion accessory is strange to many people. There are tons of sneakerheads who simply buy sneakers and wear them. They have no interest whether the sneaker will eventually be worth 5x what they paid. There are other sneakerheads (like me) who generally wear most of their kicks, but on valuable releases, will try to double up or even triple up. This is usually done to keep one pair on ice. What does keeping a pair on ice mean? It means keeping a shoe deadstock (brand new) until less and less new pairs exist. And as times go by, the value of the shoe increases.

Then there are the resellers

People who buy as many pairs as possible of a release either through raffles, industry connections, Nike SNKRS app or the use of auto checkout ‘bots.’ These re-sellers are often hated by die-hard sneakerheads because they assume the resellers take away from people who just want the shoe to wear. Well, this is where the fun part comes in. These die hard sneakerheads complain of re-sellers but also complain when a shoe “bricks” (does not have much resale value).

All sneakerheads want their shoes to be rare and worth a lot, but also want them to be as easy as 1, 2, 3 to buy. Unfortunately, both cannot exist. If a shoe is so easy to get that everyone who wants them can get them, then that shoe would not have ANY resale value. On the other hand, if a sneaker is very hard to obtain at retail and sells out instantly, then you have a sneaker that will resell well. Many sneakerheads will have to pay double or triple the retail price. Or at high as 10x retail with some rare pairs even fetching literally 100x retail price (yes rare but true).

Research and resell prediction is important

In my opinion, sneakers are as safe as any investment and like every investment, one needs to research and predict the return on investment (ROI).

For example, my highest profits have always come from Nike SB Dunks. These dunks are made in much more limited quantity and have a low retail value. Did you know that between 2004 to 2005, you could have purchased a pair of the Nike SB Dunk Low for about $65.00? Their low stock number combined with their huge following and low retail price makes them almost a guarantee for big profits. The Sean Cliver Holiday Nike SB Low released in December 2020, retailed for $110. The average price on StockX and similar selling platforms is between $600-$800.00. Another shoe right before the Sean Cliver was the dunk low Habibi, which retailed for $110.00. Less than a month after it was released, the shoe is reselling for an average of $900-$1200 depending on size. Nike SB is turning to instant gold. Perhaps the new gold rush?

What is worth copping in 2021

There is a lot worth copping in 2021, but we are starting with the “Street Hawker ”/ Chinese New Year SB which drops on January 22nd on SNKRS. But like most SB’s releases, they are released a day early at authorized skate shops. The Street Hawker will be NO DIFFERENT. In fact, a personal prediction is that this shoe will top both the Sean Cliver and The Habibis in resale value. Expect to see $800-$1000 in resale value the day it releases. Like the American rappers Fat Joe and Remy Ma said, “All the way up”, you can expect these prices to continue climbing all the way up.
Another shoe that may not be automatic gold but at least silver is almost any Jordan 1 Retro High. These Jordan styles have sold out instantly and will fetch for at least $100 over retail the next day. These types of purchases are easy to flip if you can get your hands on them.

Sneaker collecting is my personal long-term style and sneaker investment strategy. Having been in the sneaker market for almost 20 years, I have worked hard to find managers/store owners and build relationships that have enabled me to purchase certain pairs below resale or retail value and hold on to them like a glue. By investing in this strategy as a sneaker collector, you are in a sense holding an investment portfolio that could one day yield up to 1000x in return. A far better return than the S&P 500 Index Fund.

So, what is the point?

Basically, it comes down to being smart and deciding what is your goal in the sneaker market. Is it a hobby? A hobby with the ability to earn some money. Or a full-on business. Either way, my advice is to HOLD on if you can. Eventually almost ANY sneaker will increase over time and yes it could take years. Some may take a few months and even a day. But most importantly, always authenticate your shoes. Ownkicks pays for itself by spotting fake sneakers for you. The best part of this process is that you do not need to upload pictures if you have a direct link (example). If you were to buy the Air Jordan 1 Mocha for $350 and have an Ownkicks subscription which offers unlimited sneaker authentications, we can help determine if the Mocha 1s is authentic before wasting your money. On average, we have said sneaker lovers over $675.00. Avoid buying fake sneakers.

Prioritize your money and do your research. Yes, sneaker is a good investment, and that is why Ownkicks is here to help you avoid buying fake sneakers.

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