Why Sneaker Trades don’t usually work


As a seller, I get this request quite a lot and i’m sure we all shared the same experience at some point in our sneaker selling career.  Over my 4 years in the business I’ve done countless transactions in buying and selling, but when it comes down to trades I probably successfully transacted less than a half a dozen.  To put things in perspective, conservatively speaking i think i have completed over 5,000 buy/sell transactions over the 4 years and only 5 or 6 of these were a result of of trades.   Numbers don’t lie and when it comes to sneakers trading the fundamentals don’t deviate from basic economics.

So why don’t trades work you may ask?  As a seller, there could be various reason as to why you’re selling a certain shoe.  It could be because you need money for an emergency or you simply don’t wear them anymore so you rather make room and use the money towards a new car.  However the general consensus is, most of us sell because we just want cash back because CASH IS KING!  So when you get potential messages such as “Hey, do you accept trades for your RO Yeezys? I got some Adidas Ultra boosts and Jordan 2016 WC4 i’m willing to trade + $1800 cash”, most of us generally ignore it.  So if you’re the guy that’s asking this question, here’s why you don’t get a reply…

First off, trades often incurs unnecessary transaction costs and deadweight, which often requires shipping costs that goes both ways.  However, the single most important factor that most people forget is that if you’re the guy asking for a trade, you better be prepared to offer MORE value in making the trade happen.  In human psychology/behaviour we often are biased to think that our possessions are worth more than others that hold the exact same item- this is called endowment bias (google it if you want to understand more).   Using the above example to illustrate my next point.  When you list a pair of RO Yeezy 2s for sale, you don’t have to do much marketing…because the god damn thing sells by itself.  Countless potential buyers will be flooding your inbox with inquiries and offers.  On the flip, when you’re trying to sell some Adidas Ultra boosts or GR Nike Jordan WC4s, you better be whoring yourself out there trying to find potential buyers.  If you’re not about that whore game, then your price better be attractive enough to have potential buyers be even slightly interested in them.

In summary, if you’re ever offering sellers with trades you’re probably better off just trying to sell what you have for cash and using that cash to buy whatever pairs you want. Trust me! In this game if you got cash, it just makes life a lot easier when it comes to closing deals.  Sellers are more willing to work deals with you if you’re willing to pay cash out right.  The final question you should always ask yourself is…what would i do if I was the seller?  More than often or not…stuff you are trying to get rid of in trades probably means stuff you don’t like…and what you don’t like more than likely means stuff that others won’t like either.   So next time you send out your trades +cash offer…you’re probably better off spending the time in getting potential buyers for your own stuff first.  Time is precious…so don’t waste it!

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