Why do people collect Nike sneakers

This is how your sneakers become a financial investment

Sneakers are more than just trendy covers for your feet. A collectors' market has developed for exclusive specimens, and prices are climbing to astronomical heights. We say what you need to know.

Stuttgart - At the age of 16 to the first million: The American Benjamin Kapelushnik showed how it was done. The young man's passion for shoes has made his fortune - more precisely, sneakers, which have become an investment trend around the world and have blossomed into a collector's item and status item. They are sometimes traded like securities in online exchanges and cause insane queues in front of shoe shops and server crashes in online shops. Shoe collectors, known as “sneakerheads”, sometimes put five-digit amounts on the table for particularly sought-after items.

Anyone who wants to invest their savings profitably usually thinks of investments such as investment funds, stocks or real estate. But alternative investments such as valuable wines or vintage cars are enjoying growing popularity. This category also includes the expensive kicks, which not only fans and collectors can earn a golden nose on. The hype is fueled vigorously by the manufacturers - especially Nike and Adidas - who keep supplies tight and keep bringing new special editions onto the market. Because they know that the queues in front of the shoe shops rub off on the brand as a whole and also ensure good sales figures on the mass market.

Buyers are hoping to add a limited edition shoe to their collection

An example of how this can work is the Sean Wotherspoon - Air Max 1/97 shoe from Nike. Twelve creative minds worked on the shoe, who were supposed to design a model that is future-oriented for Nike. The audience then voted on which of the designs should actually be implemented. The sneakers went on sale online and in brick-and-mortar stores in limited numbers for just under 160 euros - they were sold out within a very short time. The manufacturers "Special Editions" provide strong buying incentives for real sneaker fans. They are hoping to add a limited edition shoe to their collection.

But for many it's about more than a mere collector's passion: the price jumps that are possible is shown by the shoe with the name Off-White x Air Jordan 1, released in 2017, for example. The Off-White and Nike collections are among the most popular new ones Sneakers. After less than two years, the value of the sneaker increased more than twenty times. But the Nike Air Mag Back to the Future from 2016 - it was released on the occasion of the anniversary of the movie “Back to the Future” - is currently valued at almost 24,000 euros on sales platforms. The prices vary depending on the size of the respective sneaker - the smaller the sizes for the adult shoes, the higher the price.

There is also trading on eBay, Facebook and Instagram

The valuable sneakers are traded on specialized online marketplaces such as StockX. This trading platform ensures that the prices are transparent for interested parties and that the collector's value of a shoe can also be read off.

Sneakers are also sometimes traded on eBay, as well as in specialized Facebook groups and Instagram. Basically, as with all other collectibles, they are only worth as much as someone else is willing to pay for them. "Anyone who sells quickly and carelessly or who has insufficient knowledge of what is happening on the market usually pays more," warns Thomas Schmidtkonz, collecting expert and publisher of the online portal Collector.com. "The highest prices are achieved by the seller who knows the current value and who can find another interested party in direct sales."

And when the boom in sneakers ends?

Experts do not currently see the risk of the boom suddenly ending and sneakers rapidly losing value. At least as long as the manufacturers continue to supply the market with limited models and keep fueling the hype. Nevertheless, one should be careful and not buy blindly, advises financial expert Seidel. “The alternative investment sector is interesting for investors who already have a solid foundation in traditional asset accumulation.” A financial cushion of sufficient liquidity and other assets should therefore be in place before investing in sneakers. "In addition, you should only invest money here that you can bear the loss of without getting into serious financial difficulties," says Seidel.

And then of course you should also have fun with the investment property itself. If you are not at all interested in sneakers and just want to make a quick profit, you should look around for classic forms of investment. It is important "to deal intensively with the investment market," says financial expert Seidel. "Such special markets in particular have their own laws."

If the hype is over at some point and prices fall, at least the emotional value is retained, as is the case with all material assets - and the practical benefit. After all, you can just put on a sneaker.

Practical tips for future collectors

Sneaker magazines and blogs, such as the “Overkill Blog”, the “Deadstock Sneaker Blog” and the online magazine Sneakerlover.de, provide information on the popularity of different brands and models as well as current releases.
Whether in the store or online: Knowing how a release works - i.e. via which channels the shoes are offered and when, whether you have to register for them in advance and what the actual purchase process is - helps to secure the most sought-after models.

You can find out about price developments on portals such as StockX or Klekt. The sneaker search engine Everysize.de is definitely worth a visit.

When buying and selling sneakers, skill and luck are required in order to buy at a low price and sell at a high price. Those who are always well informed have a competitive advantage.

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