Fashion resale online: all the secrets of an underground business – Digital Agenda

Online fashion resale is a phenomenon that has become “mass” in recent years but still hidden in sociological analyzes: it is the online resale of limited editions of the fashion marketespecially streetwear.

A phenomenon that involves brands such as Jordan, Nike, Supreme, Yeezy, Adidas, Stone Island, Gucci, Dior and many others (depending on the garment that is put on the market), but which also includes electronics (computer graphics cards, le console) and the world of art: this is the case of the sculptures of Kaws, one of the most popular artists in the world of streetwear. In short, where there is scarcity and a lot of demand, resale creeps in and finds new lines to make money.

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The online fashion resale is animated by people (kids, but not only) who dedicate their time to try to buy these exclusive items (sneakers, jackets, accessories) and then resell them, marginalizing as much as possible. There are also shops, businesses that are dedicated to this business, but the vast majority is made up of young people who have a lot of time available and high earnings expectations.

And we’re not talking about the big auctions with Michael Jordan’s shoes sold for one million euros, but about an ever-growing tide attracted by the promise of easy earnings, often linked to passion.

Fashion resale online: sites and apps to buy

Where and how to shop for fashion resale online? Through raffle, the pre-release “riffs”, through forms or pre-orders or through the FCFS – First Came First Serve.

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One of the most famous is definitely the app “Snkrs“By Nike, followed by”Confirmed“By Adidas. In the days preceding the release on the market of a new shoe model (or even a slipper, like the famous ones Yeezy Slide worn by Chiara Ferragni on the streets of Milan), it’s possible register to participate in the draw and have the opportunity to buy it. It is a real lottery that rewards the lucky ones. In jargon they are called “raffle”, in fact, “riffa” in Italian. The selection among the lottery subscribers is completely random: just get in a virtual queue to buy. Other popular mobile apps are definitely SNS, END, Asphaltgold, Sneakerdraws, SVD.

Instagram, forms and pre-orders

That’s not the only way: many sites manage raffle via Instagram, inviting people who want to participate to like a post where the object is photographed, as well as a series of requirements, such as commenting on the photo with one’s own size and perhaps tagging two or three friends. Someone, to validate the registration via Instagram asks to repost the photo among their stories or to fill out a form on Google.

Some focus on a direct pre-order on the siteblocking the money and going to redeem it only for the lucky winners, selected for purchase.

There are many sites that are dedicated to this: it is worth mentioning Footdistrict, Oqium, Bouncewear, 24 Seconds, Offspring, Selfridges, Impact, Footshop, Weelgosh, Up There, Soft, Sevenstore e Kickz.

FCFS – First Came First Serve

There is no shortage of sites that rely on the so-called “Who comes first is served first” or FCFS – First Came First Serve method. The champions of this mode are Solebox, Snipes, Luisaviarma, Zalando, Footlocker, Kith, or Unieuro for the Playstation 5. Mediaworld has evolved by queuing whoever connects. The catch, in this case, is that sites are often overwhelmed by connection requests and risk collapse.

Fashion Resale online: cookgroups to stay up to date

The big problem for those who want to enter this “sneakergame” (which however does not only deal with sneakers) is to have the information: the release site of a release, the time, the direct access link, the number of copies of the product, advice on what to buy and what to leave.

The market for cookgroup, the groups that keep users updated on the outings in real time and provide tips & tricks to grab more pairs, on where to find them and how to have the purchased goods sent so as not to have problems with customs.

The most famous are certainly Copgang, Easycop, Copdragon… but they are really many.

The cookgroups use Discord as a platform and have an average participation fee that varies between 30 and 40 euros per month.

The quality is given by speed of information to subscribers on the exit of one of the collectibles or from the amount of advice and information that they manage to provide to the participants.

They are usually divided into thematic channelswith “monitors” that control a site or more sites: for example, one monitor can control the fashion sites built on Shopify, another be focused on the outputs of Solebox, another share all the raffles that you can participate in in Europe with the answers to any questions that ascertain the identity of the person.

Obviously having Discord always open on your computer waiting for the magic moment to buy the item to resell is a rather cumbersome job … which is why an adult with a steady job has some difficulty in taking advantage of this opportunity on an ongoing basis.

Fashion resale online: bots to be faster than others

It is not enough to spend 40 euros a month to participate in a cookgroup and become a professional in this business. It is a necessary condition, to be updated, but not sufficient.

Example: when a release appears on Footlooker, all those who try to connect will find the site blocked or a long line, almost always destined to end in nothing.

The same goes for many other sites.

In order to buy the object (or objects) quickly, the bots, gods, come to the rescue programs that automate purchasing, checkout and payment on one site and can manage multiple accountsso as not to limit it to a single good but to be able to “industrialize” the system.

This was the case, last summer, with the release of the Jordan 1 sneakers on Travis Scott’s American website: sold for $ 160 at retail, it immediately jumped to $ 3,000 in the resale market. With a bot, two American guys managed to buy a few hundred pairs and get away with it.

A bot allows you to set: different accounts to access a site, different payment methods for different accounts, a link where the product to buy is located or keywords to search for that product within a site.

There are different types of bots: for sites built in Shopify, for specific sites, to sign up and participate in raffles. A bot can cost anywhere from a few hundred euros to thousands of euros… and even for bots there is a market in resale, difficult to buy bots that you can buy with other bots.

The sites and apps that sell these products certainly do not stand by and invent, from time to time, various tricks to protect themselves from bots. For example, Supreme, in recent times, for adding the most desired products to the cart, forces the user to turn the mouse around a circle, to verify that there is a person on the other side of the monitor.

Captcha solver, mouse movements, recognition of objects before proceeding to checkout, analysis of behavior on the site (too much speed is banned): all techniques that the online sellers of these “precious” goods have adopted. Of course, bot developers are continually developing new solutions themselves, and in this ongoing war they are the first to gain.

Fashion Resale Online: i proxy per simulare diverse location

One of the easiest and most basic controls for apps and websites is the verification of IP addresses of users who have made purchases. If multiple orders are assigned to an IP address, it is almost certain that the same user has somehow managed (either with bots or with multiple sessions from different browsers) to place more orders and then make money on them.

They come to the aid of resellers i proxy servicesor subscriptions that provide a wealth of IP addresses that help simulate connections from different computers.

This is also a considerable cost which is added to the investment of skilled resellers of exclusive material: you pay according to data consumption and the best services exceed 20 euros per giga.

Fashion Resale Online: the places of resale

Once you have purchased the product at a retail price, for example the Playstation 5 at 499 euros, it is necessary to find those who are willing to pay 700/750 euros and create a margin that allows them to continue to participate in the game, obtaining economic satisfaction.

I channels to bring supply and demand together there are many: in the case of the Playstation, placing the ad on can be the fastest and simplest solution.

But for the latest pair of Nike Dunk inspired by Gundam, the robot of Japanese anime, in collaboration with Bandai, there are more specialized channels: ranging from Vintedwhere you can find everything and more, to get to Depop o Grailed (decidedly more thematic channels for streetwear fans) or industry references such as StockX o Klekt. The first, in particular, allows you to put your object on sale by establishing the desired price. The buyer can decide whether to accept that price or, in turn, launch an offer that can be collected by any seller. To know more, “How StockX works”.


In the discussion, we have not gone into too technical issues and not all the elements to be equipped have been mentioned (eg: the best place to install a bot is a server, perhaps from Google, and this still raises costs; there is a underground marketplace of Nike verified accounts to participate in sweepstakes on the sneaker app for use with bots). But the goal is to focus on great and continuous expansion of online fashion resella world made of technology, know-how, investments and very little declared.

A world to keep an eye on, another example of that liquid and distributed economy that proliferates with the Internet and creates new market opportunities. Starting also from Stockx, which in 2020 declared 400 million dollars in revenue (and with other similar sites that are finding their way), with many stories told and documented on Youtube and on the blogs of kids who take home 5,10,20 thousand dollars in earnings in one month and an industry behind it – streetwear – that moves over $ 180 billion a year.

Surely Sony, to give a virtuous example, with the distribution strategy of the Playstation 5 has shown that it has understood the dynamics of the game, no longer needing to have hardware updates from the first to the second Christmas in which the new console is on the market: it remains a desire that is no longer “for everyone” because it becomes an almost elitist good, even though it addresses a global mass market.

Others are catching the ball, from Levi’s which presents collaborations with Pokemon, to Gucci which wants to speak to the younger market with the collaboration with The North Face or to Dior which, with Nike, presents an exclusive model of Jordan 1 for $ 2,000. of retail that flies over 6,000 dollars the day after the release in the resell market.

The scarcity of Nvidia graphics cards that shoot prices from 500 to 2,000-3,000 euros in resales is another example of a vertical market that has learned some good lessons from this trend. The mass market becomes more and more exclusive to continue to be desired and mass. Curious, right?

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