Sneaker resale apps fuel $1 billion industry

For "Sneakerheads," spending big bucks on the right pair of kicks is good for the sole. 

These dedicated shoe hounds hunt down vintage sneakers, often viewing them as an investment. "I think the most I've spent is $1,500 on one pair, but, I mean, there are pairs that are worth $30,000," Lucas Fracher, an avid collector, told CBS News,  

He now sells his private collection to celebrities searching for the perfect pair of sneaks.

For the rest of the sneakerhead community, getting your hands on a rare pair is now as simple as clicking an app. A multitude of online-based vintage and limited edition sneaker resalers have sprung up in recent years, attempting to capitalize on a global secondary market for the shoes estimated to be worth $1 billion

Consumers around the world use these marketplaces to buy, sell, and discover exclusive and coveted sneakers, such as Nike Air Jordan's or Yeezy's by Adidas. Most earn revenue by charging a commission fee on sales, and act as a go-between, verifying the sneakers' authenticity before the shoes are sent to a buyer.

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A shoe from the Jordan collection, bearing the "M" from Michael Jordan's signature, is displayed as part of the "Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture" exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York, Wednesday, July 8, 2015. 

Kathy Willens/AP

Sneaker apps include GOAT, which claims to have 1.5 million members. The mobile marketplace, which is backed by blue-chip venture capital firms such as Accel, lists over 45,000 pairs of sneakers for sale, with the average order on the site totaling $330. 

The StockX sneaker app adds real-time valuation data. Users are able to see the most recent bids and asks for a given sneaker, as well as the percentage change from the most recent purchase prices. The site even runs a "stock ticker" along the bottom part of the screen that updates continuously.

StockX recently announced it raised $6 million in funding and has attracted celebrity investors including Eminem and Mark Wahlberg, as well as noted music executive Scooter Braun.

Resale marketplace Throne, founded three years ago, now has 450,000 users and counting. Throne CEO Emeka Anen told CBS News that customers are often looking to invest because, he said, "Sneakers are an appreciating asset." 

Anen added, "At first we thought people wanted to exchange because they wanted sneakers at a lower price. What we learned is that people wanted to exchange because they wanted to express themselves."