If you happen to pass by your local Foot Locker, Footaction, or just about any store that sells sneakers today, you might notice a trail of people camped out in front of the store. No, it’s not an Occupy Foot Locker movement, but it is people waiting in line to purchase the first pairs of Kanye West’s new Nike Air Yeezy II sneakers.
Kanye’s Yeezy II sneaks won’t actually make it on to store shelves until June 9th, but we’re seeing several “camps” set up in front of Foot Lockers and various other sneaker stores around New York City. The sneakers will retail for $250, that is $50 more than the 16GB iPhone 4S on contract.
Armed with Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, beach chairs, and blankets, there are nearly 100 individuals camped out around Manhattan on sidewalks. And much to our surprise, we were shunned and screamed at, and told to take our cameras and go away when we went to check them out. Apparently, Yeezy II fans are not at all like the iPhone and iPad fans that similarly line-up days before a new device launch to guarantee that they go home with one. Those Apple geeks, err, fanboys, generally love the sort of attention that camping out days in advance of a launch gets them… but these sneaker dudes – not so much.
Fortunately, we finally convinced one of the Yeezy II campers to talk to us. However, he requested to be left unnamed. He explained that last year, he was able to sell Kanye’s first Yeezy sneakers for $3k a pop. Currently, he has 15 people in his crew who are all taking different shifts while waiting outside of the Footaction store. This is in order to guarantee that they each get one of the first pairs of Yeezy II’s that come in on the 9th.
“I’ll be making more money this week then the average American makes in a whole year.”
This young entrepreneur also boasted that last week he had a similar scheme in place for the LeBron 9 Elite sneaker launch. He was able to resell those sneakers for $1500 a pair on the same day they launched.
When we noticed that many of the chairs in his section were empty, he went on to explain that many of his “employees” were on breaks, and had gone home for a few hours to shower and clean up.
And while the money earned from this sneaker launch will certainly keep this sneaker scalper going for a few months, you have to just wonder, who is willing to buy a $3000 sneaker? When I’m waiting in line for the iPhone 5, I’ll be sure to contemplate that.