And not in the way you think
There has recently been more focus than ever on limited edition boots and part of this is because it seems like we are constantly seeing more and more limited drops over the past several years. As part of this, there is also an increase in collectors of said boots. This is similar in a way to how many limited edition supercars are being released. Part of this is because like football boot brands, car brands know that a limited release is almost always guaranteed to sell. But there’s another side to this.
That stereotype of someone buying a fancy car not because they want that car, but they want the social status that comes with it seems like it has existed for a long time. It seems as if we are seeing this with some football boot collectors. There are several that seem to be more into the social status securing a limited edition drop gives them rather than if they have any interest in the actual boots themselves.
Again, this isn’t trying to paint everyone with the same brush. There are more than a few passionate collectors out there like @peridz_, @sfgsoccer, @dlbootroom, JayMike from Unisport, @b8theadmalaysia, etc., etc. But some of the biggest collector accounts seem to be buying limited editions as a sort of “look what I got and you don’t have”. It would be great to be wrong but given that sometimes these collectors don’t even seem to have the right information about the boots they’re collecting, it does seem as if they care more about the social power it brings rather than the joy of collecting itself.
To quote the video game critic Jim Sterling “There is a power to exclusivity and the flaunting of privilege by having something others don’t have”. Originally this brought up thoughts of the sports car and supercar collectors but the more I thought about this, the more I realized that this can be applied to football boot collectors as well.
It’s frustrating in several ways. First, it’s the hoarding of limited edition boots that stops others from having a chance to get a hold of them (scalpers obviously play a large role in this as well). Second, it does seem that some of the biggest collector’s simply hoard several pairs until they get a chance to re-sell for a massive mark-up. Third, its just…boring. It’s the same dudes posting about how they managed to get the latest boot (probably using bots, honestly) but there just doesn’t seem to be any passion involved. Just like some of these super car collectors. They just buy them because they’re limited edition, regardless whether or not they actually like the car/boots/insert desirable product here.
Some people could point out that that it doesn’t really matter, people can use their money however they want. The issue with this is just like in a lot of other industries, social circles, politics, money buys influence and power. Obviously, the brands deserve to be called out on this, as per usual for this blog. They make too many limited editions at once, while at the same time making it far too easy for people who use bots and the like to get a hold of them. They could fix this issue, but at the end of the day, they still make their money and since the biggest accounts will almost always manage to get a hold of these products, brands still get the “organic” social media spread they crave.
The system as it is sucks. Too many people are being priced out of stuff and the biggest influencers will continue to get bigger and continue to gain social power and influence.
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