Err on the safe side.
As mentioned in a previous article, the past year has an extraordinary rise in the amount of resellers around especially on Instragram. Every week it seems that there are several new sellers popping up. Although this is a great thing if you are looking older boots, there are several drawbacks as well.
I recently mentioned how these resellers were shaking up the industry by providing classic models to the pros and how that is a positive thing. I still stand by that. Its also worth repeating that it has never been easier to find a classic model, and for even some of the rarer stuff it seems like its only a matter of time before it pops up for sale somewhere. Heck, it seems like almost every seller has at least of couple of pairs of the Predator Mania or Hypervenom Phantom 1 in stock.
One would think that since there are so many sellers, they be forced to be more price conscious and have more competitive pricing. In its place, we are seeing the opposite. Instead of a seller looking at another seller and thinking that they should price their products cheaper to get ahead, they almost seem to decide that they should charge just as much. So as a replacement for having competitive pricing, we have a lot of sellers overvaluing their goods.
There’s supposedly a rule in economics that states that the value of something is what the market is willing to bear, that is to say that if something is too expensive, people won’t buy it. The issue that is happening now though, is that even though many people are priced out of buying from a reseller, there are still people willing to pay the price (hooray capitalism and manufactured scarcity!). One could argue that this is no different from any other product in any other industry but unlike other industries, there are no rules to determine what prices things should be available for. The sneaker industry solved this when sites that determined what the value of a shoe might be started popping up. But we don’t really have that for football boots. Thus, its hard to tell if we are getting overcharged.
Putting on a tin foil hat, it seems as if some resellers have been talking and decided to not undercut each other when it comes to pricing. Now, we know a lot of them talk and this isn’t a bad thing, its good to build a community and there are a lot of advantages to it, but a few resellers seem to have decided they’ll use this to make sure that they all have similar pricing so that there is no competitive advantage for anyone.
In some cases, it’s understandable for there to be higher-priced boots. No-one is going to get a new pair of Japan Blue Mania for under $500USD. But in other cases it’s a bit much, like seeing someone charge over $120USD for an F30. There are also some massive price discrepancies beginning to appear. One page is selling a pair of BNIB Powerswerves for $393USD, while another has them for only about $220USD. There is no reason to have that big of a price difference.
There have also been a lot of rumours going around that the markups on some of the product that they sell is on the obscene side, with one place supposedly hitting more than an 80% markup on some of the stuff they have.
Speaking of high markups, this also mean that its generally not a good idea to sell your boots to resellers. There have been some people who mentioned that resllers have tried to haggle to a much lower price than that person is willing to sell them for. I have had this issue before as well when a reseller (one of the bigger and more well-known ones actually) put out a call that they were looking for a certain boot. I happened to be able to get a hold of that boot for around retail price even though it was a super limited-edition boot. They expected me to sell it to them below retail, as if they were doing me a favour by suppling to them. No appreciation to speak of, no room for flexibility. The lesson from this is that unless you really need to get rid, sell it by yourself. If a reseller wants to buy off of you, they should pay the same price as everyone else.
While we are talking about the lack of appreciation, it should be noted that there are a few sellers who reek of extreme arrogance. The general way they talk to people and how dismissive they can be is quite irritating. Its amazing that in some cases I have gotten no response for a reseller only to see them to do same day turnarounds for pros. There is also the fact that several resellers seem to have separate stock available for pros but that stock is only available to “normal” people later on. It even seems like a few pages bank mostly on selling to pros and don’t really care about selling to anyone else.
There has also been a noticeable lack of knowledge on the part of some of the resellers. There have been boots with the wrong descriptions, boots with the wrong names, etc. For the most part, resellers know their stuff. But it is scary that a few of them seem to lack knowledge about what they’re selling.
Another issue is that when some of the resellers get big enough and migrate to a website, prices on every product tend to jump quite a bit. Its understandable that moving to a website and being able to cover the costs of being able to use multiple methods for customers to pay but it seems as if some of these resellers are trying to protect the profit margins they had from before they ran a website.
Something that doesn’t personally make sense to me is why some people prefer to buy new releases from resellers. It is well known that many of them charge less than retailers do but with so many sales going on, I don’t think there is a big of an advantage that people seem to think there is. A normal retailer has multiple paths for customers to take if there are issues with a product. What does someone do if they purchase a new release from a reseller and that product is defective? With your usual retailers, you can normally send the product back and get a refund or a replacement. This doesn’t seem to be the case with resellers.
Last point to touch on for now is of course the raffles. Recently, several resellers have begun doing raffles for limited edition boots and the like. Some of these raffles originally started as a way to make money for charity. That’s great! More sellers should be doing stuff for charity if they have the ability. However, there has also been a rise of resellers doing raffles as a way of making more money selling a boot than they might through selling the boot as they normally would. Not only is this really immoral, its also straight up illegal in many places. It’s just become another way for resellers to try and gouge their customers for more cash.
I want to finish by saying that this doesn’t apply to every reseller out there. There are several resellers are kind, have great customer service and decent prices. You shouldn’t expect to find some legendary boot for really cheap or even under retail. We need to be realistic. But while we are doing that, the same should apply to resellers. Ultimately, I do like resellers since they cause chaos for the brands and I am always going to root for the underdogs in this case.
What do you think about the recent rise of resellers? Have you ever bought from a reseller before? Please share this with your friends and make sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook.
Ed’s Note: The photos in this article are random because, well I’m sure people wouldn’t appreciate me using their photos for this!