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Should You Buy to Flip? The Next Step is Not the Premium 11 or Black Cat

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AHN (ARCH x Housakicks Network) is a media company that is building a resource for sneaker lovers to learn and discover more about the culture that we all participate in, collecting, wearing, trading, buying and selling kicks. Since redesigning the AHN sites and delivering daily content we have seen the shift in the culture. The sneaker market is returning to its OG status of the 90s. You can walk in any store and find recent “hyped” releases sitting on the shelves. Any release that isn’t limited is readily available and if you can’t grab it at retail, there is a markup of around 50-100 dollars on that shoe you really want to get.

This has created a big problem for the casual resale person.There is an ongoing question of trying to figure out which kicks will pop? Which kicks will do well on the resale market that are general releases?

In the last two weeks I completely ignored writing a Should You Buy To Flip? for:

Kyrie 2 What The

The Doernbecher Series 2016

Air Jordan 3 Retro Wool

Yeezy Boost 350 V2 Black/White

Air Jordan 11 Retro Heiress

I’m not even contemplating writing a post for these upcoming releases:

Nike SB Dunk Black Box Purple Haze

Air Jordan 16 Retro Midnight Navy

Air Jordan 1 Storm Blue

Air Jordan 6 Black Cat

Air Jordan 11 Retro Premium Grey Suede

Adidas UltraBOOST Waves

It’s not that I’m not inspired to do the research, it’s that in the land of resale, experimentation is out of the window. Taking a risk on a shoe is counterproductive and could lose you a lot of money very quickly. Even if you have the connect, you could potentially sit on a shoe that should perform well. While this sounds like I’m being dramatic and I’m saying flipping is now flopping, that’s not the case. The reason I didn’t write anything on the first batch of shoes above is because it’s straightforward. DBs always pop. They are limited and people covet the limited kicks. The Yeezy was going to immediately go for twice its price and the Retro 11 Heiress was a GR and a big release, but it was less available than the Space Jam so people were going to drop a bill over retail right off the top.

A quick check shows these numbers on the DBs: Kyrie didn’t pop, it’s going for about 50-100 over. The Retro 7 DB is double. The Yeezy has leveled off (I said this would happen in this article) and the Retro 11 Heiress is going for 350-390 or like I said 100+ over retail. This actually makes the Air Jordan 11 Retro Heiress (a girl’s shoe release) the best Jordan Flip of the season. Nike really doesn’t have a reason not to drop a women’s signature release now.

The problem is why I’m leaving the second batch of upcoming shoes alone? Easy, the 11 Premium is already a “flip” price at retail of 400.00 dollars. You’re asking kids to pay 600 or more for a pair of 11s. Not many kids will do that this XMAS with the amount of NMD XR1 dropping. The other Jordans are just meh, and the only shoe that will bring in a return equal to that of the Premium Suede 11 is the Waves, but it will be limited.

The name of this post is figuring out the next step. It’s not figuring it out for me because I no longer flip like this. I spend a lot of time doing research on consistent, daily sales. I do get a few e-mails asking me should I grab this shoe or that, and I want to answer so I still research like I’m flipping, but the next step in flipping is looking at the average price of the “traditional” shoes that were flipped and recognizing that the shoe that has “room” will be the best option. What do I mean by this?

Take the average of the Retro 11 Premium, Black Cat 6 and Jordan 16 (which is going to be a very slow mover like the Air Jordan XX was this year.)

400 + 190 + 250 = 840/3 = 280.00 This average price of 280 for the “traditional” flips is a justification for spending 280.00 dollars on a release that will be more comfortable and more on trend. The shoes that are more on trend for this season are the NMD XR1. People are going to be willing to drop 50-100 over retail for the NMD XR1 Camo Pack. Checking eBay the Camo has already dropped below 250 and is hovering at 220.00.

Now if you take the Premium Air Jordan 11 Suede out of the picture and you average out the “traditional” shoes that would have been flipped in the past, the Retro 16, Black Cat, Storm Blue Retro 1 and you get: 250 + 190 + 160 = 600/3 = 200.00. This means that the flip price of almost every shoe released will average 200 or for Jordans right at retail, and for Adidas, you will be in Tier 1 territory which makes Adidas a better option for flipping because of the 120-180 price.

The next step is realizing that strictly buying to flip right now will only happen when a shoe is super limited. There won’t be a lot of Tier 3 general release shoes anymore. 

*** New addition to the rating system: Tier 1: 0-25% = +1    Tier: 26-55% = +2     Tier 3: 56% and up is +3

If you are going to look at flipping just know that most of your time will be spent on Tier 1. This is not a bad thing. It’s the new normal. Every now and then a Yeezy, or Heiress will show up and boost you into the Tier 2 return, but Tier 3 is for the guys who are willing to really grind it out and make every connection from tipping the connect, to linking with people who have employee discounts… but trust me you are going to pay for that and when you do, your time will bring that Tier 3 back down to a Tier 1 or 2. This is the new normal.