As the resale market continues to win customers, a new e-commerce site is helping sneaker lovers find a bargain.
SneakerCycle.com, which launched last month, stocks lightly used and refurbished performance and lifestyle sneakers for men, women and kids. It has more than 33,000 pairs in its inventory from dozens of brands, including sneaker giants Nike, Adidas, Puma, New Balance and others.
But it’s not your typical sneaker resale platform, which aims to sell coveted shoes at above-market prices. On SneakerCycle, almost all shoes are under $100 and the average sale price is $45.
“We provide a more economical value game for the community,” said co-founder Steven Salstein. “Our site provides an opportunity for people who may not be able to afford a $150 or $180 shoe and allows them to keep coming back and get great value and execution. on this product.”
Salstein is certainly no stranger to the footwear industry. He is the fourth generation to work with the family-owned Miami-based liquidation business, partnering with retailers and brands to manage their returns and struggling inventory. Six years ago, he and his childhood friend, Eric Mesa, created GotSneakers, a for-profit crowdsourcing platform that collects used athletic shoes from individuals and organizations.
Its sourcing approach is similar to ThredUp, though GotSneakers pays for items at a flat rate rather than on consignment. “People are signing up to recycle their athletic shoes. We will send them collection bags, they will throw them in the bags, give them to FedEx, and then we will receive this product,” Salstein explained. “In our warehouse, we sort each pair and then based on the quality and quantity of their product, we issue them monthly compensation checks for their collection.”
The company currently stores its goods in a 40,000 square foot warehouse in Miami, and its team includes 10 cleaning and restoration specialists, as well as sorters, photographers, fulfillment specialists and general managers.
In addition to individual contributors, GotSneakers partners with over 400 retailers, in some cases placing collection boxes in their stores (retailers are paid), and provide fundraising opportunities for local civic organizations, organizations nonprofits and businesses.
Previously, GotSneakers sold its collected inventory to overseas markets, but Salstein said when export markets closed in 2020 due to the pandemic, the company began listing items on eBay under the SneakerCycle banner. “We don’t have any retail experience, but we started taking pictures of the best product and it kind of took off from there,” he recalls. “Now we have the #1 eBay store for used men’s and women’s athletic shoes under $80.”
After finding success on this platform, the company decided this year to go it alone by launching the electronic communication site SneakerCycle. Mesa said the move was to “further grow the SneakerCycle brand and build brand awareness, gain control and improve the customer shopping experience, capture first-party customer data, and create a base customer data, and drive more profit to our bottom line by avoiding eBay selling and promotion fees.
However, the partners still maintain a presence on eBay, and in fact SneakerCycle.com inventory is tied directly to its eBay store through third-party software.
“EBay remains a crucial part of our e-commerce business, but we’re excited about the opportunity to grow the SneakerCycle brand and build a loyal customer base that cares about the environmental and economic benefits of second-hand shopping,” said Mesa. .
Beyond its value proposition, the founders noted that SneakerCycle may appeal to eco-friendly shoppers who want to help keep products out of landfills.
But the partners are quick to point out that they are not trying to whitewash their business. “We don’t really know yet what we’re doing from an impact perspective,” Mesa admitted. “That’s why, about a year ago, we hired a sustainability consultant who helped us analyze our business. We used the Allbirds Carbon Footprint Calculator as a guide, and what we learned was that we are actually carbon footprint negative. But there is still more to quantify.
GotSneakers has begun the process to be certified as a B Corp, and Salstein said it aims to work with others in the industry to address circularity and find new ways to recycle or dispose of shoes and shoes. distressed materials so as to protect the environment.
“I think we’re providing a really good solution for the business community and the eco-conscious community that wants to buy, reuse, or pre-love shoes,” Salstein said.