Of course Nike have heard the talking – that whole thang about the online sneaker reselling business becoming a billion dollar industry that mainly profits off Swoosh and Jordan Brand products. It's good for them because it feeds the hype to keep their limited releases selling out, but is there a way they can eat even more of this pie that they actually baked? Big ticket companies have infiltrated scalping markets by supporting companies like StubHub, but could sneaker brands run similar premium services, perhaps offering inflated price pre-sales? There's a compelling article over at Five Thirty Eight investigating this, with suggestions that Nike are considering the prospect, as they pull in personnel from eBay to their board. Here's an excerpt, contemplating if Nike would lose customers if they increased supply or retail prices to make the reseller market simmer down...
The answer depends on several things. First, how much do the retail customers care about price? The more price-sensitive they are, the more Nike risks losing them if it charges more. Second, how much do these customers care about that gap between what the sneakers cost and what they’re worth? The more they care, the better the chance Nike would scare them away with higher prices or more supply.
And the third but perhaps most important issue: How critical are these intensely loyal retail customers to Nike’s business? Could Nike stand to lose some of them, but potentially gain a lot of other customers — perhaps a much bigger group of people — who aren’t willing to wait in line?
Read the rest of the piece here.