Skateboarding’s New Growing Business: Consignment Shops

A small sample of what's available in Lance Mountain's collection.

A small sample of what’s available in Lance Mountain’s collection.

Time passes us by at such an accelerated rate that before you know it, you have a drawer full of unused laces, a combination of whole and broken bearings, and stickers from companies that no longer exist. Maybe in the next twenty years this won’t occur with the youth of today as often, but before the age of tricks straight to instagram, it was practically your duty as a skateboarder to hold onto everything. From ripped out ads plastered on your walls, to the additional information that was found atop the inside of your favorite skate shoe box, you had to keep it all. No question about it. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

It happens to the best of us, but I’m here to tell you that you’ll eventually have to get rid of everything that you’ve aimlessly collected over the years. Maybe moving out prompted your difficult decision, or taking a glance into your storage unit after a few years. Whatever the case, it’s an unfortunate truth that you should begin to accept as soon as possible. Ten years ago, your best bet was to direct all of these goods straight into the trash or donate it to a local skate shop or friend, but as this culture slowly rapidly finds its way into being categorized as a sport, the demand for memorabilia has grown astronomically. If that isn’t the reason why, this inexplicable movement has come as a result of simply having the stars aligned. As pros become more accessible through social media, and social media being a hub to advertise anything and everything, it explains why we’re seeing a growth in consignment e-commerce.

Of course, this movement hasn’t sprouted overnight. The landscape was built on eBay and has served as a swap meet for those who have been collecting skateboarding’s historical product for years. Amongst this growth in skateboarding consignment culture, there are two sectors:

  1. Skateboarders who buy based on nostalgia
  2. Hypebeasts who are willing to buy a FA t-shirt (and brands alike) for an insurmountable price

While this article is concentrating on the first of these two sectors, I know for certain that most skateboarders who do business on eBay are grateful for those who are willing to pay $80 for a t-shirt. For those selling on a nostalgia basis, there’s an insanely lucrative market there as well – one that’s somewhat difficult to understand at times but in all reality, not really. Time has once again played a factor in this game and has sprouted a market of adults who were unable to purchase select items as children or teens. Even if they’d been able to have these items, you’d want them again in your older years as a relic of your better days. Even if select items don’t come in your size, this illogical decision to purchase goods that don’t fit makes all the sense in the world somehow. For instance, if there’s ever a day that I see Emerica Templeton 4’s on eBay in the Vegan cheetah print colorway, you bet your ass that I’ll be broke and behind payments on next month’s bills due to their inflated, yet completely justified price.

Girl-Collector is a dedicated deck consignment shop, made up entirely of decks that you'd want to have.

Girl-Collector is a dedicated deck consignment shop, made up entirely of decks that you’d want to have.

There’s no need to question whether this growth is good or bad for skateboarding, as it is great. Consignment shopping will pair skateboarders with their most beloved items, a la “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” mantra, but what I’d love to know is how prices for these items are being determined. Obviously, the price is decided by the seller, but what’s the logic behind being able to buy a pair of slightly used Reynolds 3’s for $50 but then see a pair of knock off Zero Chucks for $150? Granted, the Zero Chucks are samples and any diehard fan of the brand would probably want them, but is there a secret formula in determining the price of a shoe? Should a sample really outweigh a well known production quality shoe in pristine condition? Other variables that should determine the value of a shoe could be the height of that pro’s career at a given time, the condition of the shoes and box, and of course, size.

The growth of this business could be entirely credited to those pros who’ve realized they possess multiple mementos that the general public drools for. In many cases, that’s the reason this community continues to grow. Sometimes, these items can cause an uproar, as they shouldn’t have been revealed. The most recent example of this is when Sean Malto’s exposed Adidas colorway was leaked and put for sale on Garage Day’s site. It looks like Sean was given samples of this skate model to entice him to sign with the 3-striped brand, but obviously the deal fell through. After the shock of realizing that Malto could’ve been on Adidas wears off, you’re thrown back again at their high price tag- a whopping $1200. Jamie Thomas has proven that a consignment market could very well exist within the walls of skateboarding and as a result, another pro has dipped his toe into the shallow waters of this ever-growing market. At that, with an even more impressive collection.

While Lance Mountain doesn’t have a site to direct you to all of his goods (yet), he has an Instagram strictly dedicated to all things on sale or to be sold. As of right now, his collection is probably the most impressive classic skate shoe collection that we’ve seen in sometime. He’s sold a sample Adidas model of his 4th pro model that never made production, DC Rick Howard’s and has a collection of shoes that will probably be sold by the time you read this. The list includes Mike Carroll’s first Vans pro model, numerous colorways of the Salman Agah Vans and more.

As skateboarding continues to have the appeal of both fashion and a sport, certain communities can justify paying $80 for a t-shirt.

As skateboarding continues to have the appeal of both fashion and a sport, certain communities can justify paying $80 for a t-shirt.

If the trajectory of the consignment market continues to grow, you could potentially see a pair of your favorite old school skate shoes going for upwards of $400. While this discussion has revolved solely around skate footwear, the market is wide open to all forms of memorabilia: stickers, t-shirts, posters, decks, even broken decks – everything and anything is up for grabs. Maybe you’ll be glad that you have to get rid of your collection when you’re older- could make mortgage payments a lot easier.

Comments

  1. widdly scuds

    March 28, 2016 9:15pm

    Good read, imo the value of an item is simply dictated by a median price of how much it is worth to the buyer and seller. Both parties value the item separately, whether it be their favorite pro model board, shoes etc. It’s interesting to see how much value memorabilia accumulates due to its rareness.

    Reply
  2. C

    December 20, 2016 3:17am

    Excellent.

    Reply

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