"Certified Pre-Owned…Shoes?”

By Jeffery Bellant May 17, 2021 296
 Nike Dunk Mid SB HDR; cosmetically flawed, circa 2008 Nike Dunk Mid SB HDR; cosmetically flawed, circa 2008

Nike is taking a page out of the auto industry with its latest program: Nike Refurbished.

The sneaker titan reported in April that it would start selling used shoes in select stores ,

In its announcement, Nike stated that – through its Nike Refurbished program – returned shoes would be “tidied up” and resold.

Right away, I imagine fitness instructors or retired marathoners walking the shoes through an auction lane.

But I digress.

If you think it sounds like a CPO program for shoes, listen to the rest of it.

After a pair of shoes is returned, eligible footwear is added to the Nike Refurbished lineup. Each pair is inspected and refurbished by hand. Using different products and tools, the shoes will be brought back to “as close to new condition possible.”

So far, so good. Then…

Nike Refurbished will expand the life of three types of footwear: “like new” for shoes worn a day or two; “gently worn” for shoes wore a little longer; and “cosmetically flawed” for those with manufacturer defects. 

Uh oh.

You see where this is going?

The shoes are then given a “condition grade.” The price will be based on the footwear type and condition grade.


Condition report writers everywhere are thinking, “Good luck with that, pal.”

Will every shoe be rated a 3?

Also, I wonder what the margins will be for Nike Refurbished.

Used cars provide retail dealers a bigger profit margin than new cars, but can Nike’s profit margin get any wider?

At about the same time Nike made its announcement,   lululemon made a similar move.

The manufacturer of high-end athleisure is also entering the resale market.

“Athleisure.” Good grief! 

I thought lululemon was just a women’s apparel store, but I learned it also sells to men.

That’s when a picture of John Gotti in a tracksuit pops into my head.

Some might be irritated that overpriced footwear and athletic clothing companies are also going to make money in resale.

But I say, more power to them.

Think about trying to recon used men’s gym shorts and used gym shoes!

I lived with baseball players in college and trust me, they stink. I wouldn’t want to touch their clothes, let alone buy them to wear!

In the words of that great boxing promoter and salesman, Don King, “Only in America.”

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Last modified on Tuesday, 18 May 2021 13:09