How Detroit-based StockX is Creating a New Marketplace

Josh Luber, CEO and co-founder of StockX, on disrupting the secondary market for sneakers, streetwear, and more
Josh Luber // Photograph by Rankin

Hour Detroit: How does the StockX platform operate?

Josh Luber: We’re a consumer goods market place. We connect buyers and sellers the way the world’s stock markets do. The stock market has been the most efficient form of commerce for 200 years. All we did was point it from stocks and bonds to new commodities: sneakers, streetwear, watches, and handbags. We are the platform that lets the market set the price for itself. The logic of the business [when the company started in 2015] was really sound.

How is StockX now disrupting the secondary retail market? 

StockX is a third market place model that never existed before. The first model is the eBay model. It’s really good for that one-off unique item. Then there’s the Amazon model — things that are purely commoditized. But StockX disrupts every other form of commerce around products that have a finite supply. It is illogical to price those products using an eBay or Amazon model. You price those products using supply and demand.

What are your users most excited about in terms of your offerings? 

The global sneaker and streetwear world is pretty homogenous in terms of the products they want at any given time. Yeezy, Nike, Off-White, Supreme — those dominate in every marketplace. For us, it’s about having the best experience to be able to buy or sell. We don’t really set trends. We’re the marketplace that enables trends to be played out in real time by buyers and sellers.

What processes do you have in place to determine if items are authentic? 

Most of the fakes we see are [from] people that generally don’t know they have a fake. They’re usually pretty good. If they’re comically bad, most people know not to send it to us because we penalize a seller. If you have a fake and you’re trying to scam, you’re better off going somewhere where people aren’t checking. There’s a training program before [authenticators] start. There’s mentorship. You have to really love sneakers. One sneaker authenticator can work on a couple hundred pairs a day.  

How do you plan to grow the company?

First is by selling the same products to more people through geographic expansion. Second is by adding other categories. We’re probably going to add art — art prints, collectible toys, skate decks, things that are serialized that have some liquidity. The third is working with brands to release products. Then the primary and secondary markets disappear and there’s just one market. 

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