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Sneaker Argument

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“Just Do It” is what you will see in commercials or whenever you walk into an athletic store.That is Nike’s slogan. Nike is one of the world's largest suppliers of athletic shoes and apparel and a major manufacturer of sports equipment. They make many of the shoes that people wear today. I am very passionate about sneakers. I like collecting and researching sneakers, especially Nike’s and Jordan’s. However, there are some issues with doing this. Whenever you are walking down the street, or even in your school, you may see people wearing the nicest shoes. The thing you don’t know is, that it probably took a lot of time and effort for them to purchase those shoes. The most popular and hardest-to-get kind are typically retro Jordans, the ones Michael Jordan himself wore during his playing days. There are many different styles out there, in different colorways and different features. The retro’s you will most likely see in public are retro 1 - 13. These shoes were Michael Jordan’s signature shoes when he played for the Chicago Bulls. He won 6 NBA championships while playing with them. As you could probably guess, that is why these shoes are loved and appreciated by “sneakerheads” everywhere.However, not everything about sneakers is so great.

The main problem with all of this is, that these shoes are extremely overpriced. For example, the Jordan retro 1 costs, in total, $16.25 to make. When you go out to purchase these at your local foot locker store, they retail for $140. That’s a $123.75 profit for Nike! It is ridiculous how these shoes are sold at these outrageous prices! I am not saying that they should not make a profit, but the prices are still too high. It can be difficult for some people to afford the shoes. High prices can lead some people to steal shoes from stores or other people. The “Shoe Game” can be very dangerous. Most of the time, if you are trying to resell your sneakers, you will have to meet up with the buyer. The buyer can then steal them from you and you will be in danger and have lost a lot of money. Because of that, it would be better if shoes were more available to the public and not as pricey. It could save lives. On the news from time to time you will hear of people rushing into the stores to get the latest Jordan or Nike releases. When people are going crazy for the new shoes coming out, that is called hype. Every 1 or 2 years, the retail price might be raised $5. If you paid $160 for Jordan 3’s in 2014, by 2015 they could cost you $165 or $170.

This leads into another problem : the “ticket system”. Many stores, including Foot Locker and Finish Line, have this policy in place. Under this system, people call in or go to the store to purchase a “ticket” for free. Many people try to do this. How it works is a day or two before the shoe releases, whoever won the drawing will get a phone call notifying them that they won. Most of the time, there are about 10 winners, depending on the shoe and location of the store. These winners will then go to the store that Saturday to purchase the shoe at retail. Basically, only a few people will even have the chance to purchase the shoe. This leaves many other people out in the cold. The losers of the drawing will then go on eBay or sneakerhead groups online to see if anybody has the shoes for sale. The people who were fortunate enough to buy them could sell them for double the price of what they paid for them! For example, if you buy the new Jordans that everybody wants for $170, you could reasonably sell them to somebody for $340! Most of the time, if you are someone trying to purchase shoes after release, you will be forced to pay much more than they retailed for. What I am saying is, that if anyone could just go to the store and purchase the shoe for retail price, they would save a lot of time and money. The ticket system is very flawed and outdated, and many other people would agree too. As a result of being overpriced and being sold under the ticket system, it is virtually impossible to “cop”, or purchase, Jordan or Nike sneakers for retail price. If someone is really serious about buying the sneaker they want, it might take weeks for them to find a good deal on them. The people at Nike and Jordan want their sales to be high. Sales are high as it is, but if something was done to make the shoes more widely available, they would go through the roof. Basketball players like Lebron James and Kobe Bryant get paid a lot of money to sponsor the shoes made for them. Even celebrities and rappers have shoes based on themselves. Rapper Kanye West has a famous shoe made for him, the Nike “Yeezy”. Recently, the “Red October” Yeezy 2’s released for $250 on Nike.com. Hours later, if you went on eBay, you would see the same shoes for sale at up to $4000! It is really ridiculous that a resale like that is even possible. If Nike and Jordan are going to release a high-profile sneaker, it would only be fair if everyone had a chance to purchase them. Even though all of this sounds crazy to the regular, every-day person, some people actually think that there is nothing wrong with people getting scammed out of their money. Essentially, it is Nike and Jordan who are scamming people, not the resellers. People will make the argument that if sneakerheads are willing to pay high amounts for shoes, then they should not complain about people reselling and making money on them. Although. these same people probably are not even interested in sneakers and only care about the financial part of it. If someone does not have background knowledge on a topic, they can be quick to judge and jump to conclusions.

Many people have a passion for sneakers, including myself. When you see that one pair that you absolutely have to get, it can become an obsession. Nike, Jordan and other brands make extremely high amounts of money on this industry. It is easy to see why. In today’s world, people care about what they are wearing, what they look like, and how they act. That’s why they are willing to spend a lot of money on shoes. Depending on what they are, they can sell out in a matter of minutes. When people miss out on buying them online, they often look to eBay to buy them from resellers. Reseller price is often too high to be considered. However, just by the pure desire and crave for the shoe, people will take the hit and pay the price. The shoe game is about pride and what you have. In a Boston Globe article, it states, “For some sneakerheads, as the collectors are called, buying the shoe is feeding a passion. For others it’s a day’s work, as the resell value on these limited-release sneakers will escalate by the afternoon. But for everyone involved, from the shoe manufacturer to the retailer to the freezing kid in line ready to give up a wad of cash for a new pair of kicks, it’s just part of the sneaker game?—?a phenomenon of buying, collecting, selling, swapping, and competing for this sought-after street-fashion accessory”. Jonathan Tran, a Boston-based sneakerhead, owns 40 pairs of shoes which he estimates are worth $15,000. He also estimates he has made $18,000 to $20,000 just off reselling shoes. He is just one of thousands of sneakerheads across the country. In the life of a sneakerhead, things can be hard. That is why it requires dedication and love of the game. I’m happy to be one.



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