Since the turn of the century, collecting sneakers has gone from a niche hobby to an unstoppable phenomenon.
Most people used to have one or two pairs in their sneaker collection. But these days, certified sneakerheads are filling their closets with kicks in every style, color, and design imaginable. When they can afford to, that is.
Amassing an impressive sneaker collection isn’t quite as unobtainable as collecting classic cars or Fabergé eggs. But if your limited budget is holding you back, we got you! With the right knowledge and smart shopping tactics, it’s more than possible to collect the best sneakers without breaking the bank.
Want to know how? Keep reading to learn more with our ultimate sneaker collection guide!
1. Categorize Before You Collect
Rather than adding any old sneakers to your collection, you should aim to collect the best sneakers according to your personal style and preferences. The best way to do this is to keep your collection minimal but meaningful by considering what categories of sneakers you’re interested in.
For example, tech running sneakers styles like the ZX line by Adidas Originals are a must for most collectors. But, it’s important to get the info first to see which of the many designs are the right fit for your collection. This way, you won’t blow your budget on a purchase you’ll regret later.
2. Wait Until the Hype Dies Down
Do you have your eye on the latest drop of the coolest sneakers around right now? Well, so does everyone else. And that kind of hype and buyer interest means paying out big bucks to get those kicks in your collection. Unless, of course, you’re prepared to wait.
Often, you can buy the exact same sneakers a few months down the line for much lower prices. This won’t be the case with expensive or rare collector’s editions. But, for most sneakers that are new to the market, resisting the urge to splash out as soon as you can will save you a lot of money in the long run. Money that you’ll be able to put toward other pairs of sneakers!
3. Sort Online Catalogs By Price
Browsing online retailers can feel clinical in comparison to shopping for sneakers in-store. But if you want to collect sneakers for the lowest price possible, sorting through tons of sneakers and filtering them by price will make your budget go a lot further.
Most online sneaker catalogs display their products by placing the newest releases or their best sellers at the top. To change your sorting criteria to the price, alter this filter so that you see the sneakers they have on offer ranging from the lowest to the highest-priced.
Rather than trawling through pages of sneakers to see if you can spot a bargain, this will allow you to see the site’s cheapest options straight away. Often, certain colors of sneakers are cheaper than others, so you’ll also be able to see the cheapest options in your chosen designs and brands with this same sorting tool.
4. Take Advantage of Promotional Deals
If you’re new to a site, there’s a good chance that they’ll invite you to sign up for their newsletter. If so, do it! Subscribing to newsletters is usually an instant way to save money as you’ll often receive an email giving you a percentage off your first order as soon as you sign up.
Newsletters will also let you know about special online promotions, such as tax-free days, Black Friday deals, and special savings for members. So, if you’re in the market for a new pair of sneakers, make sure to browse a few different sites to see where you can get the best deals and save the most money.
5. Try Secondhand Sites
It’s normal to feel wary about buying sneakers secondhand from sites like eBay, Depop, and Vinted. After all, there’s always the possibility that the sneakers are in a worse condition than advertised or even total fakes.
But, by checking seller feedback, asking questions, and requesting more photos if necessary, you can be more sure that you’ll get a good deal. These online resale sites are often where sneakerheads go to sell off their unwanted pairs. As such, it’s more than possible that you’ll find great deals on exclusive sneakers in great condition.
6. Check Out Thrift Stores
Yes, it’s a long shot but if it’s possible to find an original Picasso or a diamond ring worth a cool half-million in a thrift store, why not some cool sneakers?
This is an especially good tip for those of you who wear a smaller size. Often, people donate items to thrift stores that they’ve outgrown so searching around for some size 4 or 5 sneakers could prove very fruitful. The sneakers in question are also more likely to be in good condition since the previous owner wouldn’t have had time to wear them down too much.
Cool and trendy neighborhoods and cities tend to have better collections than other parts of the US so be sure to check out thrift stores in any new areas you visit. And, if you’re ever in cities like Tokyo, Paris, or Stockholm, their thriving thrifting markets are far more likely to be full of gems like retro sneakers and vintage high-tops.
Your Guide to Collecting Sneakers for Less
As this sneaker guide shows, collecting sneakers is a very achievable passion even if you’re living on a budget.
Sure, you might have to wait to get your hands on new styles and save up for more expensive models. And you’ll definitely have to spend some time searching for the best deals online. But, every time you look at your blossoming sneaker collection, it’ll all be worth it!
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