The latest edition of Michael Jordan sneakers — a pair of which can easily top $200 — tends to send sneaker lovers into spasms of delight. It's also triggered many complaints about the sky-high price of sneakers, many of which carry the names of marquee athletes such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant.
For that reason, some might be surprised to discover there's a secondary market for signature sneaker collections — and a pair often fetch a king's ransom that's far higher than the prevailing retail prices. One of the more popular sites is Flight Club, which recently landed a pair of "Eminem x Carhartt" Air Jordan 4 sneakers (pictured), the result of a collaboration between the Detroit-based rapper and a brand from his home state of Michigan.
The collaboration sneaker priced on eBay for more than $23,000, and Flight Club is selling a pair for a whopping $30,000. So what makes secondary market prices so frothy?
"Supply and demand play a huge factor in determining a shoe's selling price in the secondary market," Flight Club spokesman Steven Luna told CNBC, who added that demand and popularity for specific sneaker brands "rise exponentially. "But ultimately, it is the consumer that buys the shoe to collect, or to wear who validates a sneaker's worth."
In fact, Flight Club has sold "thousands of pairs" of the wildly popular Kanye West "Yeezy Boost 350" — which sells at a retail price of $200 — for an average price of $1,250, Luna said. When it first launched in October, the Yeezy 950 version (or the "duck boots") sold for $585.
CNBC has composed a list of some of the most expensive kicks on the secondary market, which may make some sneaker heads thank their lucky stars they only had to shell out a few hundred dollars for a pair.
--By Steven Hanley, special to CNBC.com
Posted 19 Dec 2015