The Art of Balling on a Budget
Your bank account is haemorrhaging, you’re counting down the days to your next pay cheque, you’re avoiding your landlord like the Ebola virus and, worst of all, your favourite mumble rapper just announced a new Nike collaboration, and you need it.
Let’s face it: you have a problem. You collect sneakers. However, the first step to fixing the problem is realising you have one. Now, before you take your dad’s hand-me-down Rolex to the local pawnshop, just stop and take a deep breath. You don’t need to live like this, man!
Being a frugal sneakerhead isn’t easy, but there’s definitely ways you can cop kicks without it costing your life savings (and dignity). Let us help you – check out our thrifty tips below.
5. Know What You Like
Just because something is hot, doesn’t mean you have to make the cop. Before you start blowing your budget on freshly released heat, think about what you’re about to do. Ask yourself: is this new pair of kicks something I actually like? Are they really worth all these dollarydoos? Or am I just super-hyped and want to flex?
Just remember, you don’t have to buy everything. Have your own sense of style, know what kicks you like, and figure out what looks good on you.
4. Don’t Rush, Be Patient
Did you miss out on a crazy drop that’s just calling your name? Well, one way to deplete your account balance is to jump the gun and pay an exorbitant amount on the resale market directly after a release. Be patient. We understand that sometimes you’re going to have to pay a tad over retail but, if you absolutely must, take your time and find the right price. Resale values almost always dip a few weeks after a release. So, take your time. There’s really no rush.
The same rule also applies for GR releases that you may be looking to scoop up. Before you pull the trigger just chill, they may go on sale. With the amount of kicks that are hitting shelves today, local Foot Locker employees are walking around reducing fresh sneaks left, right and centre.
3. Be a Social Butterfly
The emergence of Facebook Marketplace and sneaker resell groups has made it easier than ever to cop DS and used sneakers, and there are plenty of bargains to be had if you join the right communities.
Search around and you’ll be able to find groups that cater to your specific tastes. Whether you dig classic Jordans or luxury loafers, there’s bound to be someone out there who’s willing to sell you a pair for an attractive price.
Warning: There’s plenty of oxygen thieves within these online communities looking to scam or exploit naïve buyers, so make sure do your due diligence to avoid an unexpected L.
One of the best ways to join the frugal fraternity, yet remain a dedicated sneakerhead is to use your networks. From getting a job at your local sneaker boutique to having a homie flying high in the industry – free kicks and discounts are only some of the perks.
If you aren’t that dude, and lack those valuable sneaker connections, there are a few ways to get the ball rolling. Get to know the owners and staff of the store you frequent most, head to events, get chatting, and apply for a job within the sneaker industry. You never know what might happen. And remember, don’t be afraid to politely ask for free kicks – the worst they’re going to say is no.
1. Go Low, But Don’t be a Low-Baller
When given the opportunity to make an offer for a sneaker, don’t be afraid to go lower than you expect to pay. Now, we’re not saying you offer a seller $50 for a pair of Off-White x Air Jordan 1s, but you can certainly throw out a figure below the going rate. The success rate with these wishful bids will be low. However, more often than not, the seller will come through with an attractive counter offer. At the very least, you’ll be starting the negotiation process with the buyer.
The ‘Best Offer’ function on eBay is another platform where this strategy comes into play. You won’t even need to communicate with the buyer one-on-one, so this is good option if you’re looking to avoid small talk.
Just remember, there’s nothing that turns a seller off more than a bad-mannered low-ball offer. Don’t be an asshole – if you want to be taken seriously, make sure you’re polite and build a rapport with whomever you’re dealing with. A little kindness goes a long way, especially if you’re competing with another would-be buyer.