August 22, 2012
The Internet has been in mild uproar over the past day or two on the news that Nike is selling a pair of these Lebron X Olympic Edition shoes for $315:
Even though the idea of paying that much for a pair of sneakers sounds insultingly dumb to me, I can think of a few good reasons why Nike would think it can get away with this price:
1. Margins. If half as many people buy these shoes for $315 as the amount that would pay $150 for them, Nike makes more money.
2. The $190 “stripped down” version of the shoe that doesn’t include sensors to, according to USA Today, track quickness, vertical leap and explosiveness seems reasonable by comparison.
3. The secondary market for specialty Nike designs is insane. Recently, fans waited in line at a sneaker boutique in Royal Oak, MI for over a week for the right to pay a 400% mark-up ($1,000 for shoes that retail for $245) for Air Yeezy II’s. These shoes and others like it command astronomical prices immediately on Ebay.
If the market exists, why should Nike leave money on the table for re-sellers?
To borrow an adage from my old summer camp, though, if a million people believe in a dumb idea, it’s still a dumb idea. Shoes–and especially these ugly shoes that will get scuffed up the first time you wear them outside–aren’t worth anywhere close to that much money. If you have $315, in disposable income, here are 5 better ways to spend it: