The other day, I read a very well written article by one of the major sneaker consignment stores in Sydney about how the best experience for buying sneakers is through a physical brick & mortar store.
And you know what? Not only do I respect them, but I agree with them.
I know how you're reacting. "Wait, Justin... are you out of your mind? Aren't consignment stores your competitors? And now you're saying that consignment stores are a better?"
Hear me out.
I actually DO believe that brick & mortar stores are objectively the best. There is no doubt about it. BUT they're not for everyone.
Furthermore, I DO NOT believe that services like PUSHAS and brick and mortar stores are actually competitors. Instead, they provide both buyers and sellers with a unique experience and are addressing a different market.
Let me explain.
AirBNB & Hotels Analogy
This is similar to how people falsely believe that Hotels and AirBNB are competitors.
Sure, AirBNB has encroached upon the hotel business and has taken a lot of their market share. But what most people fail to realise is that AirBNB has only taken business from the low to medium-end hotels.
Do you think hotels such as the Shangri-la and the Four Seasons are worried about some person's apartment down the road? The Shangri-la and the Four Seasons provide a level of service that even the best AirBNB hosts cannot match, such as room service. And that's why a premium is paid.
The same concept applies here. PUSHAS is the AirBNB of sneakers. We provide a great service and elaborate infrastructure to help empower sneakerheads to sell their kicks. For most buyers who just want a pair of sneakers, know what they want, and want to be empowered to purchase a pair with peace of mind, PUSHAS is the way to go.
However, if they want to pay more to get the extra level of support (whatever the equivalent of sneaker room service is), we recommend they go support their local sneaker consignment store. That's not to say we don't provide excellent support. But just like AirBNB, our support is limited to online channels.
Empowerment & Efficiency
Another distinction between brick & mortar consignment stores and sneaker marketplaces such as PUSHAS is in our inherent business model.
Again, I draw upon the AirBNB/Hotel dichotomy. The business model of hotels is to provide accommodation services. The business model of AirBNB is to provide tools and infrastructure to empower every day people to provide accommodation themselves.
Consignments stores actually sell the sneakers on your behalf instead.
We are technically not a consignment store at all. We provide a legitimacy service and infrastructure to empower sellers to sell their sneakers - we don't sell them on their behalf. We take care of distribution, fulfillment, and payment processing through Card, PayPal and AfterPay.
In doing so, we make the buying and selling process more efficient.
Sellers are able to use these services to 'be their own boss' and earn extra income by selling their sneakers through us. We know a few sneakerheads who are generating more than 4 figures a week through PUSHAS.
Different Customer Segments
In this day and age, buyers are much more informed. Gone are the days where store owners and staff are the complete gatekeepers of knowledge. And rightfully so. The internet has greatly democratised information.
There are now TWO segments of customers.
- Customers who want a purchasing experience where they want to be told what to buy.
- Customers who have already done their research and know exactly what they're buying.
We believe that we are targeting the second set of customers.
For the first set of customers, the brick and mortar store still makes sense.
How many times have you seen normies not know the difference between a pair of Yeezys and Ultraboosts and are complaining why one pair is triple the price? Brick & Mortar stores are there to convert these normies to fully-fledged sneakerheads like yourself. And to be completely honest, they're not the customers that PUSHAS want anyway.
But for the second set of customers, the purchasing journey is really not efficient at all. They must be thinking, "I'm busy. Why should I go out of my way, to commute to the store, just to pick up something up at a premium when I already know what I want?"
This is where we fill the gap in the market. Buyers are able to get the same functional services, assurances and shopping experience from a brick and mortar store, without the added niceties on top that they won't need. If anything, being able to purchase sneakers anywhere in Australia at a lower cost without having to leave your house is even more convenient.
The second set of customers are those who it is our mission to serve and this is where we shine.
What about Gumtree and Facebook Groups?
Many of you would be asking, then why use PUSHAS? Why can't I just buy and sell on Gumtree and Facebook groups?
The answer is TRUST. We provide a brand name, and a level of trust that is difficult for individual sellers to build without investing a lot of time and effort. Would you trust hiring out a place to stay from some random on Gumtree or Facebook?
No, you go straight to AirBNB. Why? The answer is simple:
- You trust that all AirBNB hosts are verified, and should something go wrong, you can turn to AirBNB.
- AirBNB also makes payments and organising your stay 10x better than if you had to do it on your own through Facebook groups or Gumtree.
- As a buyer, you get all your listings in one place. As a seller, you're exposed to a LOT of people who would book you.
Same applies to us.
- Buyers are able to TRUST that the sneakers that go through our platform are meticulously inspected for legitimacy and that we're here to help should anything go sour.
- Our payment processing, AfterPay, free shipping for sellers, and infrastructure makes it 10x better than if you had to waste time and sell sneakers yourself.
- As a buyer, you get to see and browse all sneakers in one place without having to scroll through endless posts in Facebook. As a seller, you're exposed to the 10,000+ Australians to visit our site a day.
PUSHAS & Stores Partnerships
At PUSHAS, we're all about win-win scenarios. If it was up to us, we would partner with local brick and mortar stores. Ideally, we would direct customers who need that level of service to them and they would direct customers who know what they want to us.
I truly respect sneaker consignment stores, their hustle, and their passion for sneakers. My vision is that we could all work together. The sneaker stores in the US who are really intelligent are already doing this. If we really want to push the Australian Sneaker Scene into the future, this is exactly what we need to do.
So here's a call-out to any sneaker stores in Australia: if you want to partner with us, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Justin PUSHAS