New Survey from vIRL Reveals Sneakerheads Concerned with Fraud

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The sneaker industry is worth roughly $55 billionglobally. Aficionados will wait hours and drop thousands of dollars on new releases. This craze has led to a booming resale market where enthusiasts can get rare sneakers after they are released – estimated to be worth over $1 billion.

However, the secondary sneaker market is especially vulnerable to fraud due to a lack of transparency within the industry. To understand more about the sneaker resale industry, vIRL, the easiest way to trade products like sneakers, electronics and other collectibles, surveyed 1,000 sneakerheads and found a growing concern over authenticity in the marketplace and opportunity to solve it.

While the large majority (81%) of those surveyed primarily purchase their sneakers online, avid collectors are gravely concerned with the authenticity of online marketplaces and the sneakers being sold. According to vIRL’s survey, 69% said they worry about purchasing fake sneakers online and roughly a third (31%) have been scammed. Of those who were scammed, 73% purchased a counterfeit item under the impression it was an authentic pair of sneakers and 41% purchased an item they never received.

Of those surveyed by vIRL, half said they have flipped sneakers for a profit.  This subgroup of collectors is even more cautious about buying sneakers from online marketplaces, 8 out of 10 said they worry about purchasing inauthentic sneakers online and they’ve been scammed 2.5x more times than more casual buyers. This segment is also more active in the sneaker trading space overall, as they trade 3x more than other sneaker aficionados and over half (54.2%) trade internationally. In addition to trading more frequently, those who flip for profit spend 3x more money on shoes than those who purchase causally. This group views their sneakers as an investment, as two-thirds believe their shoes will be more valuable in the future.

As the secondary sneaker market grows, e-commerce sites will need to meet the demand for a trusted marketplace. Of respondents, 82% would be more inclined to purchase sneakers online if the website could guarantee the items were authentic, and almost two-thirds (64%) said it’s important for a pair of sneakers to have a certificate of authenticity from a trusted third-party. Blockchain’s immutable and transparent nature is ideal for ensuring authenticity in the sneaker marketplace. Once a pair of sneakers is authenticated, its ownership and transaction history cannot be altered due do blockchain’s chain of custody tracking thus ensuring the sneakers will always be authentic on the marketplace. With blockchain, transactions are instant and there is no need to wait for shipping or processing until they’re redeemed to a buyer.

vIRLs trade on the WAX Blockchain. The Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX)™ has created a free and instant peer-to-peer marketplace that exceeds the demands of this growing industry. With vIRL, customers can create digital versions of their sneakers and other apparel and confidently sell or trade to anyone, anywhere in the world instantly on WAX’s Blockchain. Customers can see an item’s transaction history, view high-resolution 360º images of an item and be assured of its authenticity using WAX’s third-party authentication which includes blacklight inspection. WAX gives anyone the necessary tools to create a global marketplace, making it easier for buyers to find coveted rare items and much faster for sellers to match with suitable customers. This could be the answer that the community has been asking for.

Recently, the vIRL team partnered with the go-to sneaker authenticator, Yeezy Busta to verify sneakers. “Packing and shipping deadlines make reselling impossible on the go,” said Yeezy Busta. “vIRL holds it, packs it and ships it – which means you can sell from anywhere. It’s just better.”

To join the vIRL beta program, visit https://try.govirl.io/virl-beta-program/.

Other interesting facts:

  • Nearly 37% do not trust independent resellers on eBay or Amazon are selling the authentic shoes they claim
  • Sneakerheads who flip for profit spend 3x more money on shoes than other enthusiasts
  • Sneaker flippers primarily sell their shoes on social media (33%) followed by eBay (27%) and Amazon (15%)
  • Roughly 40% Sneaker flippers buy shoes at least once a week
  • Of those who do not trade with other sneakerheads, almost half (49.3%) cited the hassle as the primary reason they don’t and 45% said they are worried about being scammed

SOURCE vIRL