How To Solve Limited Nike /Jordan Release Sneaker Launches: Preorders

Limited sneaker releases can be a major headache.  Knowing the launch time / date doesn’t give you an advantage of getting the shoes, you have to have programs to help you secure a pair, friends looking out for you, or be willing to pay market price for the sneakers on launch day sometimes commanding 4x the retail cost.

What if there was a better way?  What if you could secure a pair a couple months before launch officially with Nike, not through an unauthorized site?

This is a solution that I thought of over a year ago, and although it isn’t perfect, it could help the supply and demand of some of these sneakers: Preorders.

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Now a preorder is not a new concept, but it is one that could be beneficial to our sneaker culture for a number of reasons.

1- A preorder can cut out many overpriced “unauthorized” sellers from the picture.  If you can get an authentic pair from Nike through a preorder, why would someone want to pay $300 for a shoe they can get for retail directly from the source?

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2- Cut out the middle man.  If Nike sold preorders for some of the releases, they could potentially sell more directly to the consumer without other companies like Champ Sports / Foot Locker, in turn, making much more profit.  When Nike Sells product to footlocker at wholesale, they only pay roughly 1/2 retail price per pair, so Nike can really capitalize on focusing on direct to consumer sales.  We could win in the long run because if they have a larger profit margin on sneakers they could use high priced materials or lower prices.

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3- Cut out the heartache.  That feeling when you wait 3 months to try copping a pair of limited sneakers or a favorite retro, then you find out the she is SOLD OUT.  We have all been there.  If we had the chance to preorder, we could live life much more stress free.

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How would they make this preorder system work?

That is a question i definitely don’t have all the answers to, but here are some suggestions that I thought of.

1- Limit the preorder.  Similar to the Xbox One and PS4 preorders, only allow “X” number of preorders to be filled, once that mark is met, then any extra ones made can be released as normally done. The preorder will just allow you to help identify demand and you may be able to control the demand more with a preorder system.

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2- Supply vs Demand Balance.  If you were planning on making 10k pairs of shoes, but you can get preorders for 20k, why not make the extra 10k pairs?  People always complain and say “if only jordan brand made more shoes”, well what if they did?  There is a fine balance here however because the is a desire by Jordan / Nike and the consumer both to have a limited sneaker.

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3- Nike Snowboard Boot LunarEndor QS example.  This is the first time I have seen a process for an official preorder done by Nike!  This boot retails at $500 and I am assuming could be a financial risk if they miscalculate the supply vs the demand on these.  So you can see you “preorder” just like you would any other nike product, and you can secure the pair for release Dec 15th!

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In summary I think a preorder system can help keep the customer happy by being able to purchase the product they want, as well as create more profit for the company supplying the product.