7 Helpful Tips for Starting a Sneaker Collection
Did you know that sneakers can be popular collector’s items? While many people only think of sneakers as popular running or sports shoes, there are plenty of collectors out there waiting with bated breath for the next big drop.
But with so many great brands and sneaker types to choose from, where do you begin? In fact, 23 billion pairs of sneakers are made a year. This gives you tons of choices for your collection, but also makes knowing where to start that much more difficult!
Are you interested in becoming one of those people and starting a sneaker collection? We’re here to help you get started. Keep reading for a few of our top tips.
1. Research First
Before you officially start a sneaker collection, you need to know what you’re looking for. Do your research ahead of time so you can “talk the talk” and navigate sneaker sales with relative ease.
Start by looking into a “Kicktionary”, or sneakerhead terms. This will give you a decent starting point so you can figure out what people are talking about when they’re discussing upcoming releases.
Then, try to figure out what makes a pair of sneakers special. Sometimes the sneakers that end up being the most valuable are unexpected. By trying to identify what’s “cool” about a specific pair, you’ll be able to buy the best sneakers for your collection before they get too hyped.
2. Know Your Budget
How much are you able to spend on sneakers?
Any true sneakerhead knows that this is not a cheap hobby. Sneakers can get expensive, especially if you end up relying on resellers. The initial purchase price of a pair of sneakers can be relatively affordable, like the Jordan 1 Lows, but once fans get their hands on them, expect their cost to double (or worse).
If you’re already living paycheck-to-paycheck, don’t expect to have a huge collection right away. Save a small amount of money from every paycheck that would otherwise go into your “fun” budget.
Remember, collecting sneakers should be fun. Don’t make it stressful by overdoing it.
3. Try to Network
Do you ever wonder how some people get new sneakers right away, seemingly before the hype even starts? They’re not psychic; they’re well-connected. They know how to network.
Learn how to navigate online communities of sneakerheads. There are plenty of people who are “in the know” that are happy to share their insider knowledge with the right motivation.
Even if you don’t end up getting any hot tips, getting involved with the sneakerhead community is a lot of fun. You’ll make friends with people with your shared interests. You may even find someone who lives nearby.
4. Navigate Hype
Try to remember that hype isn’t everything. Some sneakers will be hyped up for months, but end up being uninteresting to you, or end up with so many pairs that they aren’t really collector’s items.
Brands know that hype sells shoes. They’ve learned how to leverage this to increase their sales. By learning how to navigate false hype, you’ll spend less money and only purchase sneakers that matter to you.
That said, it’s not all about hype. There will be shoes that drop that you’ll want even if they aren’t popular. Don’t let people talk you out of a pair of sneakers because they aren’t “cool enough.”
Sometimes the best and most unique sneakers in your collection will be the ones that no one else wanted. As long as you like them, they’re good additions.
5. Check Out Resellers
The world of sneaker resellers is vast and sometimes confusing. Before you start buying, check out as many reseller sites as possible. You can find resellers on basic resale apps like Poshmark or Depop, but there are also sneaker-specific places to buy.
You may also see resellers on forums or your local Facebook marketplace.
Remember that not all resellers are honest. There are people who will upcharge an absurd amount, so look around and price shop before you commit. There are also many people who sell knock-off sneakers for the same price as real ones.
While knock-offs are fine if you’re not a collector, when you are a collector, you want the real deal. Learn how to spot fakes and scams from a mile away. To protect other people, make sure to report them.
6. Know Your “Why”
Why are you collecting anyway? Is this collection for you, or do you plan on becoming a reseller as well?
There’s nothing wrong with selling your shoes, but if you’re only collecting to sell, you won’t get as much out of it as a hobby. Trading shoes is more popular amongst hobbyists because they always get to hunt for something new.
If you’re not reselling, you can wear your shoes. Not all sneakerheads want to wear their shoes because they’re afraid of ruining them, so make your decision wisely.
7. Stay Clean and Organized
Once you’ve started your collection, where are you going to keep your new kicks? Give them a dedicated space where you can put them on display.
If you arent lucky enough to have a full walk-in closet for your sneakers, don’t worry. We recommend getting cubby shelves that allow each pair to have its own spot.
You can keep them in your closet or out in your bedroom.
You should also keep cleaning supplies near your shelves. Wipes and brushes will keep your sneakers clean even if you choose to wear them. Don’t let dirt linger on them for too long.
Are You Ready to Start Your Sneaker Collection?
Starting a sneaker collection can be a lot of fun. You can network with other collectors and involve yourself in the hype before a new pair drops. Make sure to use these tips so you can get the most out of your new collecting hobby.
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