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Episode 584: What The LeBron?

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Episode 584: What The LeBron?

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Episode 584: What The LeBron?

Episode 584: What The LeBron?

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/365010888/365302617" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Shirod Ince stood in line for more than two days to buy the Lebron 11 "What The LeBron." He bought the sneakers for $250 and instantly sold them for $500. Rebecca Greenfield/http://www.rebeccagreenfield.com/ hide caption

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Rebecca Greenfield/http://www.rebeccagreenfield.com/

Shirod Ince stood in line for more than two days to buy the Lebron 11 "What The LeBron." He bought the sneakers for $250 and instantly sold them for $500.

Rebecca Greenfield/http://www.rebeccagreenfield.com/

Nike is a smart multi-billion dollar company, but some sneaker fans have figured out how they can get a better price for Nike sneakers than Nike can. Some pairs trade like stocks — selling for double, quadruple, 12 times their retail price after they leave the store. Even used sneakers.

Josh Luber, of sneakerhead data company, Campless, estimates that Nike let resellers walk away with 230 million dollars in profits last year — that's money that did not go to Nike.

Campless.com
The graph showing the resale price of some popular Nike sneakers.
Campless.com

Today on the show, why would a multi-billion dollar company give up its profits to some scrappy guys on the street?

To read more and see an animated graph on the rise and fall of high-end sneaker prices, check out FiveThirtyEight.

Music: Nelly's "Air Force Ones." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify/ Tumblr.