Inside the lucrative world of console retailers

“Since I started a new family, I’ve been trying to look at other ways to make a living,” he says. “I felt I understood the sneakerhead and streetwear culture enough for where I can invest in goods and resell it at a higher price compared to stocks, as I am not well versed in stocks. This is my version of stocks.”

Patel also entered the resale industry thanks to sneakers, around the end of 2016, when he was a junior in college. At the time, he was teaching and earning $ 10 an hour. He worked for three weeks to save money to buy a pair of shoes he could turn over – some Adidas Ultraboosts, which he says he got for just under $ 200, and his friend helped him sell for $ 275. “That was probably why I got hooked so quickly,” Patel says. “Because it was not quick money, but it was really nice to be able to make so much money on just one shoe.”

With the profits from one pair of Ultraboosts, Patel kept turning the shoes one at a time until he reached two at a time, and so on. Years later, he still sells shoes along with other things like game consoles and graphics cards. The day before I spoke to him for the first time, he had bought “north of 300 pairs” shoes on Yeezy Day, between 6 p.m. 6 and 22, which dropped around $ 100,000. “I was very tired,” he says.

Perfect side weather or moral dilemma?

While spending $ 100,000 on exclusive shoes with the intention of reselling them definitely makes it difficult for people to get a pair at a fair market price, there is a positive side to the resale industry – one that is bound by the morals and ethics of individuals. the industry has set for itself.

“If it’s a significant item, I do not think it’s justified to fine it and resell it,” Patel said. “I know some people who had manuscripts for Walmart just to buy toilet paper early in the pandemic when it was very difficult to get anything. I personally have a problem with that type of thing and I would not invent such a thing. I hated it. especially people who resold such things because they are just essential to being alive.

“On the other hand, if you want to tell me you need a PlayStation to be alive, I’ll be very skeptical. That’s where I draw the line.”

Since starting to resell in 2016, Patel says he has earned up to $ 750,000. His entry into the industry could not have come at a better time. After graduating from college in 2017, he was able to pay for 95 percent of his living expenses and tuition for his master’s degree through resale. Then, in 2019, he had to be hospitalized for another operation on his kidney. While the total bill was at the low six digits, he estimates that the insurance only covered about 70 percent of the cost and that resale paid for the rest. “I have no doubt my mother would have wanted to pay for it anyway,” he says. “But just having the ability to say ‘Don’t worry, I can cover it’ also took a lot of stress off her head … that was probably the best part. If it were not for resale, I would in no way have been able to cover it. “

Looking to the future

The reality in the resale industry is that manufacturers and retailers are still being paid, leaving consumers to decide whether to pay the marked prices or go without the item. While much of the frustration with resale has been directed at dealers and bots, some have also been directed at dealers, who do not often go out in public with information about what they are doing to counter botding or slow down dealers. For consumers, all they see is often a reCAPTCHA system, but there seems to be a lot more to it than that.

“Retailers are by and large trying hard to ensure that the legitimate buyer – their customer – can actually buy from them,” said Patrick Sullivan, CTO of Security Strategy for Akamai, a global cybersecurity and edge service company. “It is not this feeble-minded attitude of ‘We do not care who gets this – if it is a bot operator who marks the price, we do not care.’ “There is a very legitimate concern with most retailers. People are working very hard to try to prevent bots from consuming the entire inventory.”

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