For those who know me, I’ve always grown up with an interest in fashion and understanding what makes clothes unique and worth the price tag. Traditionally, quality clothing meant it was made with top notch materials, sewn with complex stitches (ex. French or flat-fell seams), and embellished with detail and care, hence the high price tag. Now with the rise of fashion houses, those values are still valid, but in many cases the high prices are more for the brand name.
It’s no surprise how fashion has changed from glamorous details and high end materials to more comfort-based clothing that translates from every day wear to dressy casual in some cases. Simply put, most of us would rather slide on a jacket, tee, and pants than a tux or gown. Many of the pioneers like Off-White, Balenciaga, and VETEMENTS earned favor with the elite and famous because they’d rather be sporting comfortable, well-made hoodies and tees off duty without worrying about said items falling apart after a few wears.
Yet with the rise of brands doing limited drops like the former or brands such as Supreme and Anti Social Social Club, one has to wonder where the line is drawn when numerous units go up on eBay and resale sites for double, triple, or quadruple the original price. I know there are cases where someone buys something with the intention of wearing or using, only to receive said item and it doesn’t fit/look right or it’s not what the buyer expected. If the brand doesn’t except returns, the item ends up on a resale site to get back some compensation for what one paid for originally. But it feels like the majority of listings are those who buy to turn around and make a profit on the unlucky who missed out the first time.
It’s just business as the old saying goes. Hold on, is it really? A prime example is the Off-White Converse high tops that completed Virgil Abloh’s TEN collection with Nike, which dropped suddenly this past Tuesday online and in physical locations today. A quick scroll through Twitter and Instagram reflected many bitter fans who attempted to nab a pair for their personal wardrobe, with a majority of those scoring pairs saying that they’d be on eBay shortly for those who missed out. Original retail was $130 USD. Scroll through eBay and Grailed, you’ll find pairs starting at $450 and going as high as $1200. Seriously? Many users cried foul on those charging 5 to 10 times higher than original retail and remarked that they hoped the resellers would suffer some form of karma payback for taking advantage of unwitting buyers who weren’t fast enough. There are, of course, those who are so eager for a pair that they simply bit the bullet and paid the prices to have the shoes in their closets.
Regardless of whether the items are sneakers or rare memorabilia, one will always find those who buy simply to make a profit off those who couldn’t obtain the item. It’s a catch 22 – you’re paying for the convenience to own the item without fighting tooth and nail in person or online to own it but you’re paying more for the item in price and shipping. Is it fair? Yes and no. I’m one of those people that buys something because I want it and want to use it. If in the off chance it isn’t for me, it goes online or elsewhere for resale, but I never start it at or above retail, knowing that I tried it on and may or may not have used it for a short period of time.
What about my readers? Chime in on the comments below.