Online bids for limited edition Adidas sneakers top $70,500
This screengrab shows just one eBay listing reselling the Blackburn SPZL shoes for thousands more than they were originally sold for.
Published Monday, October 7, 2019 11:39AM EDT
TORONTO - A line of special edition Adidas sneakers that debuted in a limited release at a charity event are now popping up on resale sites online, with some listings asking for as high as £43,000 -- or $70,500 Canadian.
The sneakers were featured as part of an Adidas exhibit of shoes that was held Friday, at the inaugural British Textile Biennial in Blackburn, England.
Only 200 pairs of the Blackburn SPZL shoes were sold at the event, for £100 each. Guests, some of whom had lined up for days, were only allowed to purchase one pair.
The proceeds from the sneakers went to a local homelessness charity, Nightsafe, which provides support to people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are experiencing homelessness.
A shoemaker and customizer was also on hand to add an embossed rose emblem to some of the shoes.
Less than 24 hours later, however, shoes sold at the event started popping up on eBay.
One listing has been driven up to £9,000, or around $14,700 in Canadian dollars. Another is currently sitting at the equivalent of $54,200 Canadian, and includes a promotional T-shirt that came with the shoes.
Another listing, with 38 bids, is now around $70,500. While the photos of those shoes posted to eBay feature a limited edition tote bag provided at the event, the fine print on that sale notes, it “does not include Hanon bag.”
But if you can fit into a U.K. size 9 men’s shoe, you can snag the shoe, insoles, a “red leather limited edition swingtag,” and a “lucky token,” -- no, the description doesn’t fully explain just what that means -- for the relative bargain price of around $32,700 in Canadian dollars. And hey, the seller of that pair says they’ll “even throw a green sleeping bag in,” presumably because you’ll need to lie down when you realize how much money you’ve spent on a pair of shoes.
Selling high end sneakers at a higher price than they were purchased for is common, particularly when a line of footwear is limited edition or has a special name or event attached to it.
But what’s the ethics on resales when they were originally purchased at a charity event?
Not everyone has forgotten the source of the shoes. Although most listings make no mention of returning some of their proceeds to the charity organization that was the reason they were able to get a pair in the first place, one listing asking for a modest $200 U.S. says that they will donate half of the proceeds back to Nightsafe.
The exhibit as a whole involved more than just the launch of new shoes. Attendees got to see “the evolution of adidas footwear past and present,” according to the festival’s website – more than 1,200 shoes were on display, curated by Gary Aspden. Aspden is a brand consultant for Adidas, and also happens to be the designer of the coveted Blackburn SPZL shoe. He lived in Lancashire for “much of his youth,” according to an Adidas press release, and the green and red of the Blackburn SPZL is modeled after the Lancashire rose.
If you loved the look, missed out on a pair of shoes and don’t have thousands of dollars to spend, the good news is that a green and red shoe listed as “Blackburn SPZL Shoes” is set to go on sale on Adidas’ website on October 21. The listed price? Only $160.