The Company That Treats Sneakers Like Stocks

by MR Magazine Staff

You can practically see the traders scurrying across the floor chasing the flickering green and red lights like moths. AJ1-YYBLK is down—sell! ADIULBST-ALLWHT is up—buy! Suddenly there are a thousand calculations to be made: What does this mean for the individual investment? How does this affect the trader’s firm? And how will the ripples spread out and impact the whole market?
This is the world dreamt up by StockX, one where sneakers are a commodity, and where ticker symbols like AJ1-YYBLK and ADIULBST-ALLWHT refer to Air Jordans and Adidas. Where the traders in question aren’t concerned with the latest earnings report from companies around the globe, and for them, inside information looks more like an Instagram post detailing what pair of sneakers Kanye’s wearing today. Sneakers, the platform suggests, are just as worthy of your money as stocks and gold and beholden to the peculiarities of their own respective markets. And investments need to be treated with a level of seriousness. If you can become a millionaire selling Supreme, StockX asks, why are you still doing it in the same marketplace where people search out solar eclipse sex? Josh Luber launched StockX in 2016 with a simple question and answer: Is there a better way for the estimated $1.6 billion sneaker resale market to operate? Luber, who’d previously launched a platform called Campless—”the Kelley Blue Book for sneakers,” he called it—while working as a consultant at IBM, thought there was a better way. Luber and his new platform ask slightly more complex questions from there: Can we treat these things as stocks? Can we legitimize an entire industry that subsists on sliding into sellers’ DMs? Can we turn lowly resellers into suspendered day traders? Can we get people to put money into sneakers, watches, and handbags the same way they do gold? Can we create an entire commodities market around sneakers? And the biggest question of all: Can we ascribe a true market value to, well, everything? Read more at GQ.