Inside the Big World of Console Resellers

“Since I started a new family, I’ve been trying to find other ways to make ends meet,” she said. “I feel like I understand the sneakerhead and streetwear culture where I invest in things and resell them at a higher price compared to stocks, because I’m not familiar with stocks. This is my version of stocks. ”

Patel also entered the sales industry thanks to sneakers, at the end of 2016 when he was a junior in college. At the time, he was teaching and earning $ 10 per hour. He worked for three weeks to raise money to buy a pair of shoes he could flip — some Adidas Ultraboosts that he said he got for just under $ 200 and his friend helped him sell back on $ 275. “Maybe that’s why I get addicted so quickly,” Patel said. “Because it’s not easy money, but it’s great to be able to make a lot of money from just one shoe.”

With the profit from one pair of Ultraboosts, Patel continued to flip the shoes one at a time until he reached two at a time, and so on. Years later, he still sells shoes along with other items like gaming consoles and graphics cards. The day before I first spoke to him, he had bought “north of 300 pairs” of shoes. Yeezy Day, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., which dropped to $ 100,000. “I’m so tired,” he said.

Perfect Side Hustle or Moral Dilemma?

While spending $ 100,000 on exclusive shoes with the intent to resell them would certainly make it difficult for people to get a pair at a fair market price, there is a positive side to the sales industry — one that is bound by the morality of individuals. and ethics. the industry sets for itself.

“If it’s an important thing, I don’t think it’s fair to bot that and sell that,” Patel said. “I’ve known some people who have scripts for Walmart to just buy bathroom paper in the early pandemic when it’s too hard to get. I personally have a problem with that kind of stuff and I don’t i -bot something like that.I especially hate people who sell things like that because it’s just important to survive.

“Meanwhile, if you tell me you need a PlayStation to survive, I’ll doubt it. That’s where I get the line.

Since he started selling in 2016, Patel says he has earned upwards of $ 750,000. His entry into the industry could not have come at a better time. After graduating from college in 2017 he paid for 95 percent of his living expenses and tuition for his master’s degree through sales. Then, in 2019, he had to go to the hospital for a second operation on his kidney. While the total fee is in the lower six figures, he estimates that insurance only covers about 70 percent of the cost and the sale pays for the rest. “I have no doubt that my mom wants to pay for it no matter what,” he said. “But just having the ability to say‘ Don’t worry, I can cover this ’also took a lot of stress on his head … it was probably the best part. If it weren’t for the sale, there’s no way I could cover that. ”

Looking to the Future

The reality of the retail industry is that manufacturers and sellers are still paid, leaving consumers to decide whether they pay the marked prices or not for the item. While most reselling frustration is directed at resellers and bots, others are also leveled at retailers, who don’t always let the public know what they’re doing to counter botting or deter resellers. For consumers, what they usually see is the reCAPTCHA system, but obviously there is more to it than that.

“Retailers, in general, work very hard to ensure that the legitimate buyer — their customer — can actually buy from them,” said Patrick Sullivan, CTO of Security Strategy for Akamai, a global cybersecurity and edge services company. “It’s not the indifferent attitude of ‘We don’t care who gets it — if it’s a bot operator marking the price we don’t care.’ There is a legitimate concern on the part of most retailers. People are working hard to try and prevent bots from consuming all the inventory. ”

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