Sneaker Analysis No. 1: Air Jordan III True Blue – A Lasting Market – Roger

In the first blog post of my sneaker analysis, I am going to introduce one of my favorite pairs of sneakers, Air Jordan III True Blue.


First, let me define a few words you will often see in my future blogs about sneakers. OG, referring to “original,” represents the first group of sneakers released according to a certain model, while Retro refers to the latter groups of releases of the same model of sneakers. DS, “Deadstock,” refers to a pair of sneakers that is brand new in box without being used, while “Used” and “Pre-owned” refers to those sneakers that have been worn. For pre-owned sneakers, there is usually a scale for the measuring of the condition according to the number of scratches and flaws. I will explore it later when we come to specific examples.

Air Jordan III True Blue OG was released in 1988 while Michael Jordan was still an active basketball player. It was designed by Tinker Hatfield, one of the leading designers back then for the Jordan brand. The famous Jordan logo on the tongue and the Elephant Print design made them a classic right after the sneakers were released. Michael Jordan played a few games in this pair, but not a lot because the blue color does not fit with Chicago Bull’s team color, which is red, well. However, it instantly became a very hot pair of sneakers on the market.

Air Jordan III True Blue was first released as a Retro model in 2001. Then it was re-released in a small amount in 2009. In 2011, the latest version of Air Jordan III True Blue Retro was released. And just like the OGs, the Retros have also got a great amount of attention, which makes Air Jordan III True Blue a true classic and gives it a lasting market to explore.

The graph below is an analysis of the price fluctuation of Air Jordan III True Blue Retro, especially the 2011 version, in the recent 1.5 years.

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 11.38.17 AM

From the graph above, we can easily tell that the price of this pair of sneakers has a relatively large  scale of fluctuation. However, there is a clear trend that the value of this pair keeps rising over time. According to ShoeFax, a professional sneaker analysis website I love to use for my research project, the average price of sale is around $367. But before we analyze how to make profits off the market of Air Jordan III True Blue, let’s observe another set of data from Campless, another primary website I use for my research.

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 11.47.10 AM

From the data collected above, we can conclude that the price for DS Air Jordan III True Blue Retro of 2011 ranges from around $250 to $420, while the average price is around $350. According to Campless, there are 951 pairs sold last year while generating $212,174 for the industry. Since the retail price of the sneakers was $150 back in 2011, the value of this pair has actually doubled over the course of the years, and now people are all expecting the next Retro of this classic pair of sneakers.

So how can we make profits out of the prosper market for Air Jordan II True Blue? I have dealt with two pairs of this model over the two years I have been involved in the sneaker business. The first pair was a pre-owned one that had a rating around 8 out of 10 because of several minor flaws. I invested in them for $105 while selling them afterwards for $140. Another pair was also pre-owned while having a rating around 7 out of 10. I bought them for $100, wore them for a few times, and then sold them for $110 recently. If you want to invest in this pair of sneakers, I would suggest you to look for DS pairs for under $250 and lightly used pairs for under $130 on eBay and other premiere sneaker trading websites and pages. The potential of this pair of sneakers has decreased because it has been four years since the latest release. However, as the value of the sneakers seems to be increasing in 2015, it is still a great choice for resellers and sneaker collectors to cop it when they can find a pair at a reasonable price.

Last I want to provide several useful websites for you if you are also interested in exploring the sneaker market. Besides the two websites I mentioned above, Campless and ShoeFax, Sneaker News is another website where I collect latest news in the sneaker world. The Youtube Channel “Nice Kicks” is also one of my favorite sources of inspiration. If you are interested, you should go check it out.

Next week I will be talking about another classic pair of sneakers on the market right now while this weekend I will post my second blog entry on entrepreneurship. Stay tuned. Peace out.

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3 thoughts on “Sneaker Analysis No. 1: Air Jordan III True Blue – A Lasting Market – Roger

  1. willmanidis

    Thank you so much for your introduction into a world very foreign to me. While I new sneakers were somewhat of a commodity, I didn’t realize how much of an industry and an economy was built up around them. Is this a recent phenomenon? do you believe this growth is stable? are we in the midst of some sort of sneaker bubble?

    1. realrowo Post author

      Thanks for your reply Will, and I am glad that my blog posts introduce a new world to you. For your questions, I do have my own opinions. Indeed, the rise of the sneaker market is a recent phenomenon. I believe that it started to prosper in 2009 and has been prospering for several years. To be honest, the stability of growth can go either way. Right now it seems that the sneaker industry is growing pretty well; however, I am afraid that the monopoly by Nike and Jordan may someday bring such growth to an end. Especially for the resell market, it is getting harder because Nike keeps raising the retail price of their sneakers, and as a result, the space for profit maximization has shrunk.


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