That demoralising feeling of taking an L may feel the same, but the ways you can take them have certainly evolved over the past few years. The art of the line-up isn’t dead just yet, but the emergence of the e-commerce juggernaut has certainly made it a less attractive option when planning your next prized cop.
Sneaker marketplace apps are now among the most popular options for buying sneakers, both new and used. And while the online shift has also brought fresh challenges – most notably those pesky bots – the convenience of copping on your smartphone sure beats the hell out of lining up overnight in the cold.
Much like the sneakersphere, the app market can appear a little saturated and daunting for those new to game. Lucky for you, we’ve got some expertise in the field. Here are the five best apps for buying sneakers.
StockX have stamped themselves as the go-to platform for sneakerheads searching for secondary market cops. Specialising in sneakers, StockX also deals in the latest streetwear, accessories, and even handbags.
Importantly, peace of mind is assured, with the team’s ‘specialists’ authenticating all goods traded via the platform.
Like its name suggests, the platform functions as a stock market where sellers place asking prices and buyers place bids. When a bid and asking price meet, a transaction is put through instantly – easy as pie!
The ask/bid structure has also led to StockX becoming a first point of call for checking average resale prices, all of which are tracked on the app’s interface.
Forget economics – this is sneakernomics.
BUMP is an up-and-coming marketplace for all kinds of hyped sneakers and streetwear. With hefty clout in Europe, the platform already has close to two million registered users.
The app is unique in that it encourages community engagement and social sharing. The interactive approach has led to the app becoming most popular among the Gen Z sneakerheads out there, with the average user age quoted as 15 years old.
Unfortunately, the lack of authentication process can result in the occasional fugazi cop – an issue the BUMP team are continually looking to improve. That said, the app’s community always has your back, calling out shifty sellers and potential fakes. And if something phony does slip through the cracks, you’ve always got PayPal protection to fall back on.
GOAT live up to their namesake by offering arguably the biggest and best sneaker marketplace to its users, with over 125,000 pairs of sneakers up for grabs.
One of the OGs when it comes to the secondary market, GOAT pride themselves on a simple user experience and product authenticity. A free-of-charge verification service is included with every pair sold, allowing you to cop without apprehension.
You can buy sneakers at sellers’ nominated rates, or leave a bid and hope to get lucky. Once you’ve scored your pair, it’ll be sent to a GOAT verification centre for an authenticity check before being shipped out to your address. This process can result in longer delivery times, but waiting a couple of days longer sure beats receiving a pair of counterfeit ‘Red Octobers’ in the mail.
Kixify call themselves the ‘world’s largest sneaker marketplace’, and they’ve shifted focus from their desktop platform to their app in recent years.
Using a commission-based sale framework, sellers from all over the world use Kixify to flip sought-after drops. The inventory is huge, but be sure to do your due diligence when it comes to authenticity.
To combat scammers, Kixify have introduced ‘Select’, which guarantees your kicks are legit – similar to initiatives from StockX and GOAT. Products purchased from Select are acquired directly from the platform’s inventory, with an in-house team making sure the product checks out first hand.
Offering perhaps the most unique shopping experience of the bunch, NTWRK makes use of watchable shows featuring the biggest sneaker and streetwear brands. Products drop exclusively via ‘episodes’, with limited edition and rare sneakers often appearing among the app’s inventory. The NTWRK Drawings aspect of the app also allows you to enter raffles for the more coveted items.
A coming together of entertainment and retail, NTWRK has brought on plenty star power to level-up their content, with the likes of Billie Eilish, Juice WRLD, DJ Khaled, Odell Beckham Jr, Eddie Huang, Blake Griffin, Alexander Wang, Jonah Hill, Gary Vee, A$AP Ferg, Wu-Tang Clan, and Doja Cat among some of the special guests.
Copdate are a relative newcomer to the sneaker app landscape, rising to prominence in 2020 off the back of the Nike SB renaissance. Retailers can use Copdate as a platform to roll out the latest sneakers releases, with skate shops making use of the app for many of the latest Dunk drops, most notably the 4/20 ‘Reverse Skunk’.
Essentially, Copdate aims to take away the crowds, lines, and hassle of the hyped sneaker drops, allowing the stores to deliver releases straight to the smartphones of hypefiends worldwide. Expect more shops to adapt the Copdate approach in the future.
When it comes to app-based retail experiences, Nike continues to lead the way with SNKRS. The app gives users exclusive access to the latest launches, with plenty of product storytelling to boot.
You can also sign up for raffles, and all transactions are done seamlessly in the super-chic app interface.
To combat bots and improve user interaction, SNKRS have introduced a number of innovative ways to cop, most notably through augmented reality. The AR approach means you may need to leave the comfort of your home to cop a sought-after release, but it’s a small trade off to avoid paying resale.
If you’re a US-based sneakerhead and you haven’t installed it already – just do it.