Brett Nilsen | October 6, 2022
Earlier this week, Twitter user @archbyccb reported that individuals who sold the infamous Cherry 11s on StockX received emails saying their sales were canceled, the payout was clawed back, and their shoes were being destroyed or given to the authorities.
This comes weeks after TWENTY (!!!) Nike trucks transporting upcoming holiday releases were robbed in Memphis, Tennessee. Soon after the robbery was reported, sellers were flooding Instagram and Facebook sneaker groups with “Early Pairs” of the Cherry 11s that are expected to release on December 10th.
There is already plenty of controversy surrounding early pairs as they are typically obtained through backdooring retail stores (if not just fakes). Yet, there has never been a release prior to this one where a marketplace platform stepped in, canceled the sale of early pairs, and then disabled users’ ability to sell the pair ahead of the release.
Even after the New Balance 2002R Protection Pack debacle earlier this year, we saw no major response from any platform.
(If you don’t remember or aren’t familiar with what happened: after the first pair of the New Balance 2002R Protection Pack was released and performed really well in the resale market, lots of hype started to generate for the blue colorway that was queued to release next. Several individuals purchased early pairs off of Goat ahead of time, but once retail pairs started to deliver, they realized the size tags on the early pairs were completely different from the retail pairs. Goat’s reaction to the influx of complaints from the early pair purchasers was nothing much more than a shrug and ‘I don’t know what to tell ya.’)
Obviously, much more global attention has been directed to this specific shoe, given the mainstream news reports of the heist. There had to be some sort of a response from these trading platforms, but this was not one that anyone had expected.
First, StockX’s Josh Luber had always been fairly vocal about the company’s interest in collecting and providing as much market data as possible. What is more valuable than market data on a shoe before it has even been released?
I cannot speak to whether or not StockX has deals in place with any major brand to provide pricing data on their items, but I would imagine a brand like Nike would love to get a sense of the hype and value that the general population is placing on a shoe before they really start marketing it themselves.
We have also seen Nike removing their “Suggested Retail: “ stickers from their boxes along with implementing price changes on popular SKUs on a dime, so maybe they are paying more attention to data like this to better price their shoes.
Hell, maybe Nike and other brands are putting pairs out into the market on their own hoping people will sell them and start to formulate a market value for them. Wait, what if Anne Hubert and Joe West Bricks were a part of this all along an– nevermind… I’ll take my tinfoil hat off for now.
Nonetheless, I guarantee that if you have ever resold a shoe before, you have definitely pulled up StockX prior to a release to check what the current Highest Bid and Lowest Ask are on that shoe to determine if it is even worth going for. (And if you are not doing that, and instead just blindly going for new releases, I highly suggest you do …you could probably build a house by now with all of the bricks you’ve collected these past few months).
With this latest move, StockX could be setting a dangerous precedent for future releases. I doubt many more Nike trucks will be hijacked in the near future, but if I am a seller with a solid Nike connect sending me early pairs of hyped shoes, I would think twice about going to sell them on StockX out of fear of getting reported or banned.
If StockX remains consistent with its new policy, it will not only lead to fewer sales, but also less significant market data that they, and you, can track before the next big release.