- Teens are obsessed with Supreme, a skater brand that has seen mainstream success in recent years.
- Supreme has garnered a lot of attention in the last week after copies of the New York Post with Supreme ads on the cover flew off the shelves. Almost all Supreme products sell out instantly.
- There is a huge market for reselling Supreme products because of the extremely high demand. Some fans who shared their stories with Business Insider said they are able to make hundreds of dollars a week by flipping products they’re able to buy before they sell out.
Supreme was founded in 1994 by James Jebbia and has since grown from a skater-centric brand to a mainstream apparel brand with its own cult following. The brand ranked seventh among upper-income teens’ favourite brands in a spring 2018 survey by Piper Jaffray, and in 2017, Supreme received a roughly $US500 million cash infusion from The Carlyle Group, which valued the brand at $US1 billion.
Last week, loyal fans snatched up copies of the New York Post that featured a wraparound Supreme ad on the cover. The papers, which typically costs $US1.50, flew off the shelves. Copies of it are now listed on eBay for many times its normal listing price.
There’s a huge market for reselling Supreme products because of the extremely high demand. Some fans are able to make hundreds of dollars a week by flipping products they’re able to buy when they’re released in product launches called “drops.”
But because of how quickly products sell out, people who flip them have to prepare.
“During Supreme season, I’m constantly researching, buying, and selling – it usually doesn’t stop until the season is over,” 21-year-old Supreme fan Jake Morell told Business Insider.
Morell says he typically makes as much as $US600 per month throughout a season, which includes one drop a week from August to December.
We spoke to two Supreme fans who flip products and make hundreds of dollars each week. Here’s how they do it:
Supreme has two seasons: Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. New products are released in events called “drops” every Thursday throughout the season, and they usually sell out within seconds online.
Source: Business Insider
Before drops, people who flip Supreme typically do hours of online research to see what products will be coming out, what products people like or dislike, and what is predicted to have the highest resale value. One website fans use is Supreme Community, which leaks the details of product releases before they happen and allows users to vote on their favourite products.
“On the Supreme Community website, when you look at each drop, they have a voting system – underneath each picture of an item, you can see if it has thumbs-up or thumbs-down ratings, like on Rotten Tomatoes,” Christopher Young, a 21-year-old who says he makes as much as $US300 per week flipping Supreme products, told Business Insider.
“That gives you a general idea of, ‘Oh, this is something that people really like, or this is something people don’t really like.'”
Because of how quickly products sell out, people who flip Supreme products practice using the website to make sure they can buy the most-wanted items before they’re gone.
“You have to go on in advance and figure out what section your item is going to be in – is it going to be in ‘tops’ or in ‘t-shirts?’ Is it going to be in ‘accessories’ or in ‘bags?'” Young said.
Morell said that he is usually on the computer, waiting, at least 30 minutes before everything goes on sale.
Checking out can be a scramble — products can sell out even when they’re already in your cart, so many people only buy one product a week to make sure they get something to sell. Even if you’re buying just one product, you can turn a profit of as much as $US300 a week throughout a season.
“It’s an interesting game,” Young said.
“Sometimes you’ll be really happy with it, and sometimes you’ll be super disappointed.”
Part of why it’s so hard to actually buy anything before it sells out is the use of automated bots. Some people who plan on reselling reportedly spend as much as $US150 on automated bots that can be programmed to automatically buy products in certain colours or sizes in seconds.
Supreme did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment on that reported practice.
“I remember there was one jacket that I really wanted, so I clicked on it on the website at 11:00 a.m., and it was already sold out by the time the page loaded. Stuff like that happens all the time, and it’s very obvious that it’s bots,” Young told Business Insider.
Typically, small items like pins and stickers are under $US30, while shirts, bags, and hats will cost between $US30 and $US100. Jackets, hoodies, and pants usually cost between $US100 and $US300, with a few outliers.
Within minutes of going on sale, the most popular products can end up on eBay for many times the original price. One of the most popular items from week one of the season — a Madonna t-shirt — cost $US48 at Supreme, and within hours of the in-store drop, it was listed on eBay at a starting price of $US250.
Another popular reselling website is Grailed. Within 45 minutes of Supreme’s online launch, products like backpacks, t-shirts, and bags were listed on Grailed for more than twice the retail price.
Most sellers wouldn’t even have the product in hand at this point – as long as an order confirmation is posted, people will buy it. It can take as little as 15 minutes to turn a profit.
Morell told Business Insider: “I set a budget for myself every week, which usually ranges from $US300-$US500. As soon as I get a shipping confirmation email, I immediately post the items I want to sell on Grailed. I usually receive a ton of offers within the day, and bargain with them as much as I can.”
Results from flipping can be pretty hit or miss. “I got a lot for the Supreme Zippo last season. It retailed for $US60, and I ended up selling it for $US150. I remember being super shocked by that,” Young said.
“The lowest amount I ever got was retail value on a sweater. I once sold a bag very quickly, and made twice the original value of it – the bag was $US70, and I made $US135,” he said.
And profits aren’t always guaranteed. “My biggest Supreme mistake was buying a Kayak for $US480. Predicted resell was over $US1,000. I went ahead and copped one, only for it to lose value immediately when it went on sale. I ended up selling it for $US470 after fees and shipping,” Morell said.
Though the sellers we spoke to typically make under $US1,000 a month, some sellers are able to make much more than that from just one item. For example, a big-ticket item like the Supreme/Louis Vuitton Box Logo Tee — originally $US495 — goes for well over $US1,000 on eBay.
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