Sneakers are a hot commodity. Literally.
That’s how StockX feels about it, anyway. Launched in February, the online marketplace is changing the way sneakers are bought and sold on the secondary market, aiming to bring transparency and authenticity to the process.
Using real-time data and analysis, the site shows buyers and sellers how the market value of a shoe either declines or appreciates over time depending on demand. Like the stock market, a buyer places a bid on a pair of sneakers and a seller places an ask – when the two match, the item is shipped. The transactions are all anonymous, and StockX physically authenticates each pair of shoes to make sure they’re the real deal.
"Traditional resale markets are kind of lawless in the lack of anonymity and authenticity, said Ramin Keene, CTO of the company.” We wanted to take a data driven approach and give people much better information about the resale market."
Sneaker collectors, affectionately dubbed “sneakerheads,” can use the site to create their own collection portfolio and reference as price guide to buy or sell some of their most coveted kicks.
Last week, StockX announced its expansion into other product categories, letting brands offer “IPOs” of limited-edition items.
"Anything that is not a unique item can be bought and sold using a stock market construct," says Josh Luber, CEO and co-founder of StockX.
A self-proclaimed sneaker head, Luber’s serendipitous venture of turning his hobby as a collector of shoes into a full-time gig came out of his obsession with data four years ago while working as a consultant at IBM .
"I got a hold of some sneaker data and the entry point was to figure out what one sneaker was worth,” says Luber. It was a slow function to building out what the full market is."
The concept attracted the attention and investment of Quicken Loans founder and billionaire, Dan Gilbert, who eventually became a co-founder of StockX. Since its launch, the Detroit-based company has received financial backing from hip-hop artist Eminem and Silicon Valley angel investor Ron Conway.
Check out the video above to learn more about the company and how it’s harnessing the Wild West of shoe resale.