AFP.- They can cost thousands of euros on real stock exchanges that have spread from the United States to China. Out-of-the-ordinary sports shoes have created a multimillion-dollar market, between speculative fever and the fight against imitation.
In the early 90's, this market was reserved for a few passionate collectors, but resale
"About 10 years ago, we were about fifty or one hundred each time a new pair was released. We are now almost 10,000 ”in France alone, says Julien Ogea, also known as Larry Deadstock, one of France's leading Parisian sneakers.
Proof of this is the latest Air Jordan, born of a collaboration between Nike and American rapper Travis Scott, which arrived in stores in mid-October. They were sold for € 250 to a handful of randomly selected boutique people in Paris, and a few hours later they were resold to more than € 900 on the US StockX platform.
Faced with this explosion of price, for counterfeiters the "temptation" is big, "admits Scott Cutler, who directs this" bag "for resale, valued at more than $ 1
StockX now plans to launch in the full-scale Chinese market.  The Chinese Poizon resale platform, for example, has an annual turnover of 15,000 million yuan (just over 1,900 million euros), according to the specialist company iiMedia Research.
that the Shanghai branch of the Chinese central bank warned in October of the risk of excessive speculation.The profit on resale of a particularly desirable pair of shoes could reach 5,000%.
"The stock market is risky and the real estate market is frozen, so investors are turning to speculation with consumer
This is the case with Nike's "Air Jordan" or Adidas's "Yeezy" with rapper Kanye West.
Against these amounts, the operators of these "shoe bags" are very aware of the risk of fake models breaking into their platform.
"Our image depends on our ability to maintain trust with buyers," said Cutler, who says he identifies several thousand false models each year.
StockX has set up five certification offices in the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, where hundreds of employees track imitations.
Identifying Imitations  To identify counterfeit products, check the boxes, seams, labels, soles, links and some specific details of each brand. The smell of leather and plastic is sometimes checked.
In China, Poizon and Nice, another well-known platform, also employ specialists. According to Nice Vice President, Sun Qi, only 0.01% of the models sold on his platform are copies.
In a sign that this trade is booming, the US-based investment firm Cowen recently wrote a note that was published in US media, saying it could represent $ 6,000 million in 2025 in North America, compared to 2000 million today.
In France, Rakuten's sales platform explains that it receives visits from "big brands" who share production secrets to better identify counterfeit products.
Imitations are also encouraged eventually by some users. "Some people don't mind using imitations, but others don't know how to differentiate them," says Tex Lacroix, a Nike collector and former consultant.