Sneaker collecting is now a multi-billion dollar industry. Spending your hard-earned money on sneakers isn’t the hobby that it used to be; it’s a legitimate investment. As long as they’re well-kept, your sneakers could easily appreciate and become a valuable asset in the future. Building a sneaker collection isn’t as easy as it might sound, however.
With so many sneakers hitting the market, it can be tough to figure out which ones make sense as collectibles. You also have to lay out some ground rules so that you’re not spending too much money on something that might not be worth it.
If you’re interested in becoming a sneaker collector, let us help you get the ball rolling. Keep reading this helpful guide and you’ll be able to put your best foot forward in the quest to find the best sneakers in the world.
Learn the Sneakerhead Lingo
Your foray into the world of sneaker collecting won’t go well if you don’t research first. The whole culture around sneakers and collecting them has its own way of speaking that you’ll have to get used to.
It’s primarily derived from the early online forums that developed into the wider community we see today. Terms like “Drop”, “Silhouettes”, “Grail”, and “Colorways” should all become part of your vernacular.
There are plenty of online resources you can use to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of sneaker collecting. Online publications like Complex and Hypebeast can help you get up to speed.
Knowing Where to Look for the Best Sneakers
Now, putting your collection together isn’t as easy as it sounds. Even if you’re up on the latest trends and know what’s dropping, and when, you’re going to have to beat other collectors to the chase. Online bots cause their share of problems as well.
The whole thing behind sneaker collecting is scarcity. In this way, it’s very similar to the NFT market. Sneakers that are hard to get are the ones most sought after by collectors around the world, so you can’t necessarily just head to your local sneaker shop to wait in line.
Just as you’d go to an NFT marketplace like superrare.com to get your crypto art, you’d go to various online distributors to find rare sneakers. To beat the crowds and the increasing number of bots, choose a few sites to input your credit card info into so that you waste no time once you find a new pair.
Trends and Methods
Sites like Sneaker News, Sole Collector, and Drop Date each help collectors understand what new sneakers are coming out and where they’ll be available. You can also use these sites to keep your ear to the ground on the latest trends in the sneaker game.
Your calendar is going to be your best friend. Marking down all of the various release dates will be essential in your ability to build the collection that you really want.
It’s also helpful to embed yourself in the sneaker community. The more people you know the better, so being active on message boards and social media will allow you to build a network of fellow collectors.
Setting Yourself a Budget
On a more practical note, it’s absolutely crucial to set a monthly budget. It’s so easy to get carried away shopping for sneakers. The fact of the matter, however, is that a rare pair of sneakers can easily get into the $1,000 range.
If you’re not careful about your budget, you might end up having to sell off some of your most prized sneakers. There are countless budgeting methods out there, so choose one that works for you and stick to it.
Sneakerheads use the term “doubling up” when you buy two pairs of the same sneakers. You keep one in your collection and you have a second pair to sell to another needy collector – hopefully, at a significant profit.
This brings us to the resale market, which is an important aspect of sneaker collecting. Whether you’re selling one of your doubles to fund your next big sneaker purchase, liquidating your collection because you messed up your budget, or buying sneakers from a private seller, navigating the resale market is a skill you’ll need to learn.
You’re unlikely to find rare shoes on your local listing site, but there are plenty of sites dedicated to reselling. Some of the big auction houses have even developed divisions dedicated to selling sneakers.
Part of working the resale market in your favor is being able to spot fakes. A lot of problems can arise when you’re buying your sneakers via private listings. A good rule of thumb for buying sneakers is that if the deal seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is.
You’ll need to do your research so that you understand exactly what each pair of sneakers looks like before they go into your collection. When dealing with a private seller, make sure to request lots of detailed photographs. Look for SKUs, QR codes, production dates, and tag placement as well.
Caring for Your Sneakers
There’s no point in having an amazing sneaker collection if you don’t know how to properly store them. If you live with a significant other, there might be plans to stuff your sneaker collection in the garage or basement. There are right and wrong conditions for sneaker storage.
First of all, you need stable humidity and temperature. The materials on the shoes can crack or become moldy if they’re exposed to temperature swings or too much humidity. Store them indoors, away from sunlight, and consider purchasing a dehumidifier for extra safety.
It’s also really important to keep the original boxes, as this is part of ensuring the sneakers hold their value.
Start Building Up Your Sneaker Collection
Sneaker collecting is definitely an addiction. It can take over your life, which is why budgeting is such an essential tip. If you follow this guide, however, you can build yourself a sneaker collection that’s up there with the best of them.
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