Sneakers became a recent personal expression of easy living, and the ride has been nothing short of amazing! From the outside looking in, being a “sneakerhead” comes across as vain and obsessive, and with good reason. Getting the misconception that one is engaged in unnecessary spending is relatively easy, especially when for some people, it’s actually true. Nonetheless, there is so much more about sneaker culture worthy of examining.
Simply put, an entire world exists among sneaker enthusiasts. It has its own culture, is highly individualized and can be both enjoyable and profitable. My personal sneaker collection is only a year old, and is extremely modest in number compared to probably any other collector. The nuances of how my collection came to be are actually more important than the sneakers themselves.
From a financial standpoint, I’m generally highly averse to both spending and risk taking. Building a sneaker collection this past year helped lower those inhibitions while providing a unique lens into exploring the second principle of #hardworkeasyliving. Ultimately, I’ve been able to build a small collection with minimal net spending in the process. Here are few aspects of sneaker collecting making this possible.
Discovering the massive resale market for sneakers changed my entire approach to purchasing. I’ve always been a fan Jordan retros, but on average most releases have a retail cost of around $200. With that price tag costs can add up quickly, but luckily demand for Jordan retros (among other sneakers) generally exceeds available supply through local retailers, and this is where reselling comes into play.
For highly demanded releases, there is potential for the resale value to skyrocket almost immediately, or over an extended time. It is also not uncommon for certain releases to have a resale value that is double or even triple the retail cost. With this knowledge, I approach sneaker collecting with two general principles in mind:
- Take all necessary steps to purchase sneakers for my collection at or below retail cost.
- Offset the cost of my personal collection from profits of other highly sought after releases.
The simplicity of this approach as presently laid out does the actual work required no justice at all. To be blunt, there’s enough advanced preparation involved to make full blog posts for individual nuances of copping highly demanded releases. This alone makes each successful purchase at retail cost all the more enjoyable.
Take a moment to compare the retail and resale value of a few pairs from my personal collection and profitable releases I’ve been fortunate enough to acquire. The process of purchasing a few of these shoes has led to a sense of personal growth on my part.
A fresh pair of sneakers makes a difference for even the most ordinary of outfits. The entire vibe of a plain white t-shirt and jeans can be changed with the right pair of sneakers. Personally speaking, hearing someone say “I like your shoes” has become quite a gratifying compliment recently. It serves as confirmation that what’s on feet for the day was noticeable enough for someone to comment on. Although peer approval isn’t sought after, the occasional co-sign is certainly great to receive.
Also, it is often said that the shoes someone wears says a lot about them. If such is the case, then my sentiment is this: why not wear your heart on your feet as well as your sleeve? While outward appearances don’t define your character, they do make taking on the outside world a little easier.
The fact is sneakers are both statement pieces, and a mode of expression. As someone who sparingly expresses themselves verbally, sneakers have become a platform, giving a sneak peek into my personality and preferences. The multitude of models and colors available make it possible to meet your needs by dressing up or down. This level of versatility adds an extra layer of creative expression. For me this serves as an inherent confidence booster through the options available for individual expression.
To the average consumer, a sneaker is a sneaker. Comfort and style in that order are likely the top determining factors for purchase. A sneaker’s lifecycle is no different than it would be for any other retail product. For the sneaker enthusiast, sneakers represents stories, moments in time, and ultimately a way of life.
For some, the thrill of the hunt, and the gratification of copping rare sneakers are the pinnacle of fulfillment. For others, getting specific sneakers create or re-create nostalgia, and lasting memories. Going beyond that, most sneakerheads have detailed knowledge of the “five W’s”, and historical background for each shoe. Most importantly, there’s mutual respect and understanding about sneaker game nuances, and the challenges of acquiring highly coveted releases within the community.
Putting this all together, you get a community of individuals walking different paths to reach the same destination. Whether potential profit, grails, or any hot topic in between, get two sneaker enthusiasts talking, sit back and watch the sparks fly. My personal experience includes the pleasure of comparing notes with people who have secured releases I missed out on and vice-versa. I’ve also been fortunate enough to interact with individuals happy to help fellow sneaker enthusiasts avoid getting ripped off, a common pitfall in the reselling marketplace.
Recently starting a sneaker collection has been nothing short of amazing. Social media and digital platforms have significantly increased accessibility compared to days past. The most gratifying thing is that while trends have shifted over the years, the personal goal of sneaker collecting remains the same.
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#HARDWORKEASYLIVING – Do HWEL For Yourself