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The sneaker flipper business has become increasingly attractive to hustlers of all ages and backgrounds. This is understandable, with the sneaker resale market currently valued at around $6 billion and expected to reach $30 billion by 2030.
Reselling sneakers is a relatively simple process. You buy sneakers with a high resale value, whether they are used or new. You may even purchase multiple pairs at a competitive price. Afterward, resell them to sneaker enthusiasts at a healthy profit.
Seems easy enough, right? In this article, we’ll cover one of the most lucrative brands to resell, Jordans. You’ll learn important information about:
What the best-selling Jordans are
Options for sourcing
How comps and volatility lead to optimal profit margins
How to resell with Vendoo
Before online resale grew to the industry it is now, resellers could bank on running to the nearest Foot Locker or word of mouth for what the next hot drop would be. These days, resellers need to be quick and savvy to secure the most coveted styles, competing against sneaker bots buying up inventory that could sell at 100% + markup on sneaker resale websites after selling out. Here are our top tips to be successful selling Jordans.
Breaking into sneaker reselling? Check out our Ultimate Sneaker Reseller Cheat Sheet!
Sell Jordan and Nike Classics
There is consistently high resale value for Nike SB Dunks, Nike Dunk collaborations, and Jordan 1s. Black and white Jordans, Red Jordans, Pink Jordans, many pairs sell well above their retail price because they are so coveted in the sneaker community. In 2021, Jordan 1 hype reached an all-time high, as Nike SB Dunks became one of the most coveted sneakers on the resale market.
Jordan continues to capitalize on demand amongst sneakerheads with a new Jordan 1 released weekly. They’ve also mastered tapping into nostalgia using colorways that Michael Jordan played in or from originals released in 1985. Classics have repeatedly performed well in the market, apparent with the Chicago colorway of the Jordan 1.
Unlaced, fresh-from-the-box Jordan 1 Retro Chicago from 1994 resold this year for $2,500, earning the seller $2,000! If you have a more recent pair, say from 2013, you still have the potential to net around $876. Not bad in our book.
Since 1984, Nike Air Jordan 1 has been a sneakerhead must-have since it was released for basketball legend Michael Jordan. Each time the style is re-released, it attracts the attention of the sneaker community. According to figures from The RealReal, the Nike Air Jordan 1 sneaker has an average resale value of up to 1,816%.
Photo courtesy of The RealReal: Jordan Retro 1 Chicago Sneakers; Nike x Supreme Dunk Low Pro SB White Cement Sneakers; Jordan 1 Retro "Banned" Sneakers
Check out this article on ALL Air Jordan Styles so you can spot a keeper when you find one.
The Best Jordans to Sell in 2023:
- Air Jordan 9 Olive Concord
- Air Jordan 1 High OG True Blue
- Air Jordan 1 Low Elevate Year of The Rabbit
- Air Jordan 4 Retro Thunder (2023)
- Air Jordan 1 High OG Celtic (2023)
- Air Jordan 5 UNC (2023)
- Air Jordan 1 High University Blue (2023)
- Air Jordan 1 High 85 Panda / Black White
- Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Low Olive
Sourcing Jordans can be a challenge if you’re looking to buy them retail. Depending on the hype around the release, they can easily sell out before you get a chance to purchase and big brands are also trying to combat sneaker bots to give shoppers a real chance to buy. There are other outlets to consider if you can’t find them from a big box retailer:
(and don’t count out what your friends or family might have hidden in the closet! Buying at wholesale prices in bulk from someone you know could lead to decent profits)
Authentication Tip: The Wings logo at the ankle collar of an authentic Nike Air Jordan 1 should measure exactly 22mm in height and 55mm in width. Check that the R and the D in Jordan are connected; counterfeiters often overlook this detail.
You might also like: 10 Great Marketplaces Every Reseller Should Consider
Cash Out On Collabs
The sneaker world revolves around collaborations, so flipping them makes sense. Take advantage of the secondary market's scarcity of dynamic duos to earn more money. It is inevitable that the price will rise when the product is limited in availability. Between scarcity and a widely recognizable collaboration, the more covetable and deeper the profits will be when reselling. The sneaker world has fused itself with musicians, fashion houses, athletes and more to continuously drop outside-the-box designs and drive demand. Check out the best Air Jordan collabs of 2022:
Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Low “Reverse Mocha”
A Ma Maniere x Air Jordan 2 “Airness”
PSG x Air Jordan 5 Low
J Balvin x Air Jordan 2
CLOT x Jordan Delta 2 “Flint”
Bank on Luxury Brands
Similarly to cashing out on collabs with artists, you’ll want to take note of luxury brands dropping a shoe, like Louis Vuitton, Off-White or Dior. While they may retail high to begin with and the entry price isn’t for the masses, the resale value is relative, meaning thousands of dollars in potential revenue from one pair if you have the ability to scoop them. These releases are always pretty scarce making them iconic pieces to buy and resell.
Want to stay up to date on all things sneakers? Check out this article: Best Websites and Social Accounts Sneaker Resellers Need To Follow
"Bots" are software applications that help resellers nab hyped pairs online, including limited-edition drops, in the sneaker resale industry. In spite of the controversy surrounding bots in the sneaker world, they are often essential for purchasing the newest releases at retail prices. Former sneakerheads and self-taught developers often build these bots for profit. While sneaker-nabbing bots can give resellers a leg-up, they are often the cause of much distress on the side of footwear companies who are looking to mitigate the problem.
Read more: A sneaker reseller who uses multiple 'bots' to nab mass quantities of expensive shoes the moment they drop explains why the controversial tech is worth it
Inside the controversial underworld of sneaker 'bots,' where coded scripts resell for thousands of dollars and Twitter monitors can make or break a release
Check Comps and Volatility
Everyone wants the sneaker that will flip for the most profit, but how can you really tell what your Jordans will sell for? Always check comps to get an idea of what the sneaker is being listed for on average on secondary marketplaces as well as what they have actually sold for. This is one reason we love StockX and eBay as resources, not only as marketplaces to sell. Check out these Jordan 1 Retro High OG’s:
There’s a ton of valuable information on every StockX listing. You’ll find:
Last Sale Price
How much higher or lower the last sale price was from other sales (volatility indicator)
Sale Price by Size
Volatility percentage shows how much the shoe has fluctuated above and below the average sale price. For example, if a Nike Air Jordan sneaker had an average sale price of $1,000, but had sold for as high as $1,500 and as low as $500, then its volatility percentage would be 150%.
Volatility is useful in indicating which Air Jordan sneakers can be sold for high prices if they are found at a low price. The higher the percentage, the greater the potential profit margin.
Keep the box and clean your kicks!
Finding a pair of sneakers with the box might not always be feasible but it definitely adds value to your listing when reselling. This tells potential buyers the sneaker has been protected and cared for and that they can expect the shoe to be in good condition. Unless brand new in the box, you should always give your kicks a good cleaning before listing and shipping them off to a buyer. Sneakerheads are meticulous, no wear will go unnoticed so be as transparent as possible in your listing and include clear pictures showing multiple angles of the shoe.
Josh’s Sneaker Tip: If you have a valuable pair of sneakers, try to find a box to sell them in. Boxes, and the original accessories that come with shoes such as dust bags, are important to collectors. You could attempt to find a box for the exact shoes, or even use a replacement shoe box of the same brand. This will add value to your listing for a better sale.
Resell Sneakers With Vendoo
Having the most eyes on your listing is the best and fastest way to make a sale on secondary markets. Crossposting your listing to multiple marketplaces increases your chances of making a sale and widens your audience significantly. eBay, Grailed, Poshmark, Facebook Marketplace, and Depop are just a handful of the marketplaces Vendoo offers resellers to crosslist.
With seamless inventory management, you can track the sneakers selling best, on what platforms and grow your sneaker reselling side hustle!
Check out the free trial and list your sneakers on multiple marketplaces to maximize exposure!