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Running through the sneaker hype business

By Wang Junwei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-06-11 17:07
A detailed view of the Nike Air Jordan 1 sneakers. [Photo/VCG]

Shoes like Air Jordan or Yeezy are not only popular for enthusiasts or sneakerheads, but have become a business for hype.

For a pair of limited-edition Air Jordan 1 shoes, the selling price could wind up at about 30,000 yuan ($4,300) - and that's just a glimpse of the passionate shoppers, according to a Tuesday report by the Beijing News.

Being a collector is not easy. Sneaker lovers usually have two or three, even dozens of apps on their mobile phones to buy, while speculators have both an online and offline presence.

Manual input is too slow for online purchases, so bots are used to get rare shoes, though even the bots can fail.

In-store sales are not much better. Dealers in the secondary market often hire people to wait in line to buy shoes, which they call "human wave tactics". Those with good connections just turn to store managers or retail workers taking the goods.

"The sneaker industry has a primary market and a secondary market as well," Xiao Jun, a player in the world of sneaker hype, said in the report. "Sneaker chasers have a strong demand for buying, selling and collecting shoes, so the secondary market for reselling has emerged. At the same time, sneakers gradually appreciate in investment value and have joined the ranks of financial investments like stock markets."

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