Kind of like regular retailers
Over the past year we have all seen resellers pick up stock that was either product that had already dropped out or the market and even some pro issue stock. It did seem a bit confusing where this stock had come from. After all, a lot of these products were no longer available on the market and even the biggest retailers had been cleaned out. Sometimes you might see these products show up at a place like the US retail chains Ross or Marshall’s, but always in odd sizes and never full size runs. So, it led to a lot of people wondering how resellers got their hands on these products.
At first, some of us in The Boot Society (@theofficialbootsociety on Insta) thought they might just be buying them from retailers. Which would make sense because a lot of retailers often struggle to clear out older stock. And this might be true in some cases. Tom from @delairfootball suggested that it some of the product might be what’s known as “B Stock”, which is stock that doesn’t quite meet quality control standards and can’t be sold through regular retailers for fear of liability. Again, this is definitely a possibility. Both of these thoughts could be true.
But there was something that had been forgotten, and mostly by me. One of the reasons had been known the whole time, just forgotten about. See, the Big Three brands always overproduce stock. They produce what’s needed for retailer orders, plus more for their own online stores/apps and often a little bit extra which is used for promos and or for schools, affiliate programs, launch events, lower-level sponsored teams and the like. After the launch windows are over (sometimes several months have passed) then the brands will send out a notice to retailers letting them know what product is available and is now available at a discounted cost.
The frustrating thing for retailers is that often they are limited to how many pairs they are able to order with the initial launch. I specifically remember one of the Superfly IV white colourways was ridiculously popular and sold out immediately, with the company only able to order 100 pairs. Three months later, Nike lets us know they had 1000 pairs available for a discount order.
Which brings us to what seems to be happening with resellers. They have become another outlet for brands to dump discounted stock. It seems that the companies might be beginning to work directly with resellers, or if not the companies themselves, probably retailers will buy up older stock on discount, sell it to the resellers since resellers probably don’t have retailer contracts with the Big 3. This would explain why there is such a gap between when the initial launch of a product is versus when resellers “find” more stock long after the product has sold out. An example of this is shown by the fact that one of the bigger resellers on Instagram all of the sudden got a shipment of the launch colourway of the Mercurial Vapor 13 in stock.
Then we might wonder where some of the pro stock comes in. This is a bit more tricky but it could be assumed that companies (or even some pro clubs themselves) have been sitting on a lot of player issue stock for what seems to be years in some cases. The rise of resellers gave places that was sitting on this stock a chance to get rid once and for all. A few months ago, a majority of the bigger resellers got their hands on some pro issue 2014 soft ground adiZeros, so there is a possibility that these may have come from an adidas-sponsored club, or maybe even an adidas-sponsored league, like the MLS. After all, adidas does send tons of boots to each MLS club to make sure all of the non-sponsored players are wearing adidas, which is a league rule.
This is all just supposition of course. But my experience leads me to believe that this is what is happening currently.
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