A lesson in failure

I have been 100% into the Wotherspoon AM 1/97 hybrid since I first saw the design in the Nike Air Max month Vote Forward event last year. I posted about it and voted for it daily. Then I tracked every leak and pic of the shoe as it was in development. As most people know, my fave sneaker is the Air Max 1 and my favourite Air Max 1s feature a multi-sole. This sneaker includes that, plus the hybrid ’97 elements AND corduroy uppers that fray over time.

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Obviously, the Complex Con launch was not an option for me, nor was the in-store launch in Virginia (which had it’s own challenges anyway). Since those launches I have kept my eyes on all the usual sites looking for a pair in my size at a price I am willing to pay.

This month I finally started seeing pairs reach my price point and I prepped by selling some sneakers to build my budget. I started on Grailed. There were three pairs (two 7s and a 7.5) I was interested in. One seller just never messaged me back at all. The next seller engaged in a conversation with me and agreed to the sale but never sent a PayPal invoice (and didn’t have it enabled on their listing). The final seller got back to me after a week and let me know that they had a high offer of $100 over the listing price and were holding out for more. Note: Those listings are still currently active on Grailed at the prices I was willing to pay.

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Current active listings on Grailed (that aren’t actually available)

About a week later, I saw listings on StockX and on Goat start to hit my price. I reached out to a friend in the US who agreed to middleman (to help me avoid pricey duties and taxes at the border). Now the ‘fun’ really begins!

First we put in a high bid, a few bucks off the high ask on StockX to try to get the seller to come down. Instead, the seller immediately increased the price by $200. Next we tried to actually buy another size for about $50 more but the system wouldn’t accept it. After this frustration I saw a listing on Goat and we put in a high bid (again, to see if the seller would move on price). After a day or so with no movement, we bought the Goat listing. Great news right?!?! No. Yesterday night we got the notification that the purchase was being refunded. Note: There are currently listings for my sizes on both Goat and StockX priced the same or even lower than what I already tried to pay. I don’t expect that either of these listings is real.

So what’s going on? Right now I have three theories:

  1. Sellers were trying to move UA pairs and got scared
  2. Buyers were ‘listing’ Wotherspoons at lower prices in an attempt to bring the market down and rejected attempts to buy (because they don’t actually have the shoes)
  3. Sellers have the shoes but are listing them low to attract attention with no intention of selling at those prices

I guess another theory is that everyone selling Wotherspoons right now is completely incompetent but I don’t think that’s it. I am not sure what the end-game is here either. We all know that there is going to be a wider release in March and that the increased supply will drive the price down. These sellers have a limited window to sell at a premium and that window is closing rapidly. Getting these sneakers I love a little early has value to me, but that value diminishes the closer we get to March.

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I can only admire from afar. Need to stop picturing them on my feet for a while lol

I have purchased a LOT of sneakers on the resell market; hyped DS stuff (life Off-White, older Air Max, old Jordans, but I have never encountered this level of shadyness. At this stage I am not engaging with the resell marketplaces for these sneakers anymore. I am going to have to save my money and spend all my time strategizing for a busy and expensive March. It would have been nice to check these off the list and focus on the Atmos pack (which I want even more than these) but we don’t always get what we want. Time to learn the lesson that never seems to stick for me and listen to the wise words of @laizey_bones, “if they are meant for us, we’ll get them eventually”.