Browse all

Solebox vs. resellers

The Berlin-based store forces customers to wear shoes out of the shop

Solebox vs. resellers  The Berlin-based store forces customers to wear shoes out of the shop

Reselling is becoming a bigger and bigger issue in our times, as limited availability of certain fashion items, particularly sneakers, has meant getting a hold of the most coveted sneakers drops has almost become impossible without an inside track, or paying big bucks on a sneaker reselling market. What earlier was a premise for streetwear, that it wasn't a luxury and available for the man on the street, has now permanently changed, and on certain levels started to mirror the unattainability of certain luxury goods, to the great dismay of many consumers. Berlin's branch of the sneaker store Solebox recently came up with an idea to fight this practice, that is both simple and ingenious in its premise. At the latest drop for the highly coveted Parra x Nike Air Max 1 sneakers, customers of the shoe were forced to wear them out of the shop, altering their pristine condition so as to limit its attractiveness for the second-hand market. Of course, for every rule, there are always those willing to try to break or bend it, and sharp-witted resellers started tiptoeing out of the store, to avoid creasing or walked out and immediately began cleaning them upon exiting the store. 

Image credit: Laro Lagosta


The policy has naturally stirred up quite a bit of debate on whether this in the first place is completely legal, to force customers to wear shoes, taking away their right to return them, though most sales are always final in cases regarding such hyped sneakers, and one could also argue that anyone buying the shoes for the love and ultimate intention to wear, should have no problem to slip them on straight away. 

As slightly humorous as the sight of tiptoeing resellers all sounds, the nature of this form of parallel selling is a big issue that is mirrored on the higher fashion markets on an incredible scale, particularly with the extreme growth in thirst for designer goods from particularly the Asian markets. It becomes a catch 22 where the limited availability and hype makes certain sneakers incredibly coveted and thus next to impossible to get, leading to outlandishly high prices of resales or in the worst cases counterfeiting in certain countries. The subject holds a great interest here at nss and we can mention that we will be diving much deeper into this in the near future.