Kicking Up the Hype: A Deep Dive into Sneaker Reselling in Korea
Sneaker reselling in South Korea has witnessed significant growth in recent years, reflecting a global trend in the booming sneaker reselling market. This phenomenon is largely driven by the crossing of fashion, streetwear culture, and the rise of sneaker enthusiasts. South Korea, with its vibrant street fashion scene and tech-savvy youth culture, has become a notable hub for sneaker reselling.
The Boom of Sneaker Reselling in Korea
One of the key factors contributing to the growth of the sneaker reselling market in South Korea is the influence of K-pop idols and celebrities who often showcase their unique sneaker collections on social media platforms. This has fueled a desire among fans to mimic their favorite stars’ styles, driving demand for exclusive and limited-edition sneakers.
The concept of limited releases and collaboration between sneaker brands and artists has further fueled the hype around certain sneaker models. Sneaker releases from brands like Nike, Adidas, and Yeezy (RIP), among others, often generate immense buzz, leading to long lines outside sneaker stores and online releases that sell out instantly. Resellers take advantage of this scarcity by acquiring these sought-after sneakers and then reselling them at a premium.
Factors such as inflation and the aftermath of COVID-19 may have initially led some sneaker collectors and resellers to step back from the market. However, recent trends indicate a resurgence, particularly in the Korean sneaker reselling market. Currently valued at approximately 500 billion won ($346.2 million), the South Korean resale market is experiencing growth, with projections suggesting a continued rise. According to Statista, South Korea’s sneaker segment is expected to generate $0.96 billion in 2023, showing a 4.39% annual growth rate from 2023 to 2028.
Top Sneaker Reselling Platforms in Korea
Online platforms and marketplaces have played a crucial role in developing the sneaker reselling market in South Korea. Dedicated sneaker marketplaces, social media groups, and resale platforms provide a space for enthusiasts to buy, sell, and trade sneakers. Although international, popular platforms like StockX have also gained traction in the South Korean market, providing a transparent and trusted platform for sneaker transactions. Explore the top 3 online sneaker reselling markets in the region.
KREAM has rapidly emerged as a prominent sneaker reselling platform in South Korea within just three years of its launch. Notably, the platform has achieved an impressive annual growth rate of over 230%. Beyond its online presence, KREAM offers a unique experience through its showroom in Sangsu, Seoul, providing a sneaker exhibition-like atmosphere. The company is actively pursuing international expansion, targeting markets in Japan, Singapore, and Thailand.
For sellers on the platform, there are associated costs, including a delivery fee of 5,000 won and storage costs. Additionally, sellers are required to pay up to 5% (excluding VAT) of the sneaker’s value. Buyers, on the other hand, incur costs of up to 3% of the product’s value and 3,000 won for standard shipping. Opting for fast delivery incurs an additional fee of 5,000 won. I guess nothing comes cheap these days..
The growing popularity of sneaker reselling in Korea has led to increased competition among platforms. One notable competitor is SoldOut, which launched in 2020, the same year as KREAM. Created by Musinsa, South Korea’s largest multi-brand online fashion store, SoldOut temporarily closed earlier this year, reopening on October 11. Impressively, the platform has successfully raised $33 million in the current year. SoldOut has expanded its presence by establishing a physical store in Seoul, offering customers both in-store and online sneaker-buying experiences. The store features an exhibition-like setting, showcasing some of the most limited sneakers, and includes a dedicated room for sneaker authentication, enhancing the overall customer experience.
Last but certainly not least on our list is StockX. The globally renowned sneaker resale marketplace stands out as one of the premier reselling platforms in Korea and worldwide. Recognized for its commitment to enhancing the buying and selling experience for limited edition sneakers, StockX has established authentication centers in countries with high demand, including South Korea. This, in turn, offered customers many benefits, including lower fees and faster deliveries.
Sellers on StockX face transaction fees ranging from 7% to 9%, determined by their level, and all transactions include a 3% payment processing fee. For buyers, fees vary based on factors like item size, type, and shipping costs, reflecting StockX’s efforts to cater to the diverse needs of its user base.
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