The sneaker business continues to grow in part fueled by women’s growing interest in the category. All of the major brands have stated goals around growing their women’s business and part of their effort to achieve their numbers includes created silhouettes sized and designed to appeal to women. While there have been some designs that have fallen flat, for the past two years an increasing number of women’s sneakers are finding their way onto resell platforms.
Detroit-based StockX is one of the leading platforms for buying and selling coveted sneakers, clothing and accessories. Founded by Josh Luber, the site was launched in February of 2016 with just sneakers. Fifteen months later it expanded into watches and handbags and more recently added streetwear.
We checked in with Luber via email to get a sense of the women’s sneaker market (one word: growing!) and also find out, brass tacks, what women’s shoes are hot enough to pop on the resell market.
Check out our interview below, followed by the top five shoes on StockX in 2018.
Snobette: The resell market is in a growth phase. What distinguishes StockX from its competitors?
Josh Luber: “The biggest barrier to collecting the kinds of items we feature on the platform–sneakers, handbags, watches and streetwear–is where to purchase and how to ensure that what you’re purchasing is authentic. StockX solves both of these problems by providing a super easy-to-use “bid/ask” platform.
“There are three fundamental principles that we apply: anonymity, transparency and authenticity. All products bought and sold on StockX are physically authenticated to make sure they are real. We also provide historical sales data for every transaction that crosses the site, ensuring that people know the true value of the items listed in the marketplace.
“For comparison’s sake, think about the process of purchasing an item on eBay–you’re provided with the name and rating of a user and you’re bidding on one of potentially thousands of listings on the same product. This process is fine for some items, but when it comes to goods like sneakers and streetwear, it makes it nearly impossible to determine what a fair market price is for that specific item, which is why our three key tenets are inherent to the business. And, it’s working, we surpassed eBay in the number of sneaker sales over a year ago, and we’re just getting started. I anticipate StockX revolutionizing the online retail space. Sooner rather than later, we’ll be in a position where when you think ecommerce, you think StockX.”
Snobette: What percentage of StockX customers are women? Has that percentage changed since you launched?
Luber: “Over the past three months, roughly 10 percent of our app users and 25 percent of our website users have been women. Compared to 2017, the percentage of female StockX users has increased by roughly 20 percent.”
Snobette: Women were upset about the recent Jordan Retro 1 Satin Shattered Backboard release with many saying the launch was taken over by resellers with bots. Do you think it’s feasible for brands to hold women-only launches? Do you think bots are still a big issue or have brands managed to eliminate them?
Luber: “A women’s-only launch is an intriguing idea. However, it’s difficult to imagine how this would work, in practice.
“In some ways, the problem of resellers and their bots affecting the women’s sneaker market is simply a consequence of that market’s success. Resellers are only drawn to products that have a reasonable chance at reselling above retail. We’re seeing more and more women’s sneakers selling well above retail on StockX. In 2017, the average price premium for women’s sneakers–that is, the increase in resale over retail prices–was just 16 percent. This year, the average price premium rose to 54 percent. The Jordan Satin Shattered Backboard, the most popular women’s exclusive to date, has had an average price premium of 140 percent. As long as that profit opportunity exists for women’s sneakers, resellers will seek to capitalize.”
Snobette: Speaking of brands, which ones do you think currently are doing the best job of creating product that speaks to women?
Luber: “It’s not clear that any of the major brands have fully figured out how to market to women. That said, Nike and Jordan brand have had a number of extremely successful women’s releases recently, including the Jordan Retro 1 “Season of Her” collection, the Jordan Retro 1 x Aleali May, the Jordan 11 Rose Gold and the Jordan Retro 1 Satin Shattered Backboard.
“The Shattered Backboard, which launched in early May is far and away the most popular women’s sneaker on StockX. It was the No. 1 best-selling sneaker on our marketplace for much of the first week after its release, beating several big-name men’s sneakers.”
Snobette: On the topic of resellers, what percentage of them are women?
Luber: “We don’t identify sellers by gender, so it is difficult to estimate the percentage of resellers on StockX. We can, however, identify the percentage of women’s sneakers sold on StockX.
“Thus far in 2018, women’s sneakers account for roughly three percent of StockX marketshare: that is, three out of every 100 dollars spent on the StockX sneaker marketplace in 2018 were spent on women’s sneakers.
“Recently, the percentage has increased dramatically. Over the past 30 days, women’s sneakers have accounted for over seven percent of StockX marketshare. This increase was driven in large part by the recent release of several popular women’s exclusive colorways. Currently, two of the top five sneakers on StockX are women’s exclusives: the Jordan Retro 1 Rebel XX Top 3 and the Jordan Retro 1 Satin Shattered Backboard.
“Overall, we’ve seen a dramatic increase both in the volume of women’s sneakers and the average resale prices of women’s exclusive colorways. In 2017, women’s sneakers accounted for just one percent of the StockX sneaker market, and had an average resale price of $185. Women’s market share has increased threefold in 2018, and prices have risen by 50 percent to $273 per pair, on average.”
Snobette: If you could provide women one tip on improving their chances on launch day, what would it be?
Luber: “There’s no secret weapon for beating the odds on launch date. However, to maximize your chances, make sure to be on the site or app at least a few minutes prior to launch time; have all your info stored in your account; for non-Nike purchases, use Chrome auto-fill. And if you don’t luck out on launch day, make sure to visit StockX to find your item!”
Snobette: When buying on StockX, when is the ideal time to buy a shoe relative to its launch date?
Luber: “Typically, resale prices move in a predictable pattern. They tend to be highest prior to the official release, when supply is most limited. After the release date, when supply hits the market, prices decline significantly. Then, at a certain point, prices start slowly rising again. As more and more people wear their shoes, the supply of deadstock pairs available on the market declines, which causes prices to go up. If you are a buyer who is willing to wait, you can typically expect prices to be lowest shortly after the official release. But don’t wait too long because eventually, prices will start going up again.”
Snobette: What is your hottest luxury bag at the moment?
Luber: “Fanny packs are a hot trend right now. We’ve seen a lot of sales of the Chanel VIP waist bag, which has a lower price point than many other luxury bags. The Gucci waist bag is another hot item right now, as is the Gucci Marmont matelassé–a shoulder bag that doubles as a waist bag.
“The Louis Vuitton Neverfull and Pochettes are also extremely popular on StockX. These items are sold together at retail, but we’ve created a bit of a market for the two to be sold as separates, which we’re seeing is a growing trend relative to our users.”
Snobette: What upcoming sneaker launches should women have on their radar?
Luber: “We’re keeping a close eye on Nike Air Max 98 Blue Nebula and Nike Foamposite One Particle Beige as well as the Jordan Retro 11 x Maya Moore “Rook to the Queen.” All three silhouettes are dropping on either May 24th and May 25th.”
And now for the top five…one qualifier to note: StockX uses outside analytics to profile overall usage by gender, but doesn’t track that info internally for its buyers/sellers. Thus, the rankings of its top five shoes are limited to women’s silhouettes. And yes, while the woman buying the men’s Nike x Off-White Presto is left out and at the same time the male reseller who bought the women’s Jordan Retro 1 Satin Shattered Backboard is included, nonetheless, the list provides a very dope feel for the women’s shoes that are truly popping.
StockX top five women’s sneakers thus far in 2018 are:
1. Jordan 1 Retro High Satin Shattered Backboard
2. Jordan 11 Low Rose Gold
3. Nike Air Max 98 Gundam 2018
4. Jordan 8 Valentine’s Day
5. Jordan 1 Rebell XX Top 3