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Do Executives’ Kids Get Edge over Other Resellers?

Do Executives' Kids Get Edge over Other Resellers?

A Nike executive stepped down today after her teen son’s sneaker reselling business caught the media’s attention – particularly his use of his mother’s credit card to purchase his inventory of highly desirable Nike sneakers.

Bloomberg Businessweek profiled the executive’s son in a recent cover story about how he started reselling streetwear in high school and now flips hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of shoes each month.

The executive, Vice President and General Manager of North America, had been with Nike for 25 years and had disclosed relevant information about her son’s business, West Coast Streetwear (WCS LLC), to the company in 2018, Bloomberg reported.

The Portland Business Journal said criticism is mounting about Nike’s ability to police increasingly frenzied resell activity, “which makes it hard for collectors to get the most coveted shoes at retail price and risks souring consumers on the brand.”

Sneakers have become like the Beanie Babies of the 2020s – perhaps it is apt that Nike’s CEO John Donahoe had been the head of eBay for 7 years.

Current eBay executive Harry Temkin frequently speaks about his own son’s sneaker reselling business, but it may give him better insight into the challenges sellers face – as long as his son is not given special treatment over rank-and-file sellers.

The lesson for executives at brands, retailers and marketplaces: make sure your relatives who operate resale businesses are playing by the rules and that you disclose pertinent information to your firms.

It’s hard enough for online sellers to navigate an often unlevel playing field – there’s no room for nepotism.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

3 thoughts on “Do Executives’ Kids Get Edge over Other Resellers?”

  1. I just saw a judge judge episode about Nike sneakers. Seller A bought his Nikes from a Facebook seller. He claimed they were authentic. Seller B went to FB and bought the Nikes from Seller A for $400. They even took a flashlight to inspect the Nikes. Paid for them, got the Nikes home and realized they were fakes. Tried to get a refund from Seller A. No can do, per judge judy. I foresee a lot of these Ebay, FB, AMZ cases going to TV judges. It gives a good insight into how these young guys are making money.

    I go thrifting every week and always see 1-2 people who scoop up a cartful of sneakers. To me, they’re nasty and dirty, and I wouldn’t want the task of cleaning them. Plus, like above, they could be fakes.

  2. The Auction Professor posted an interesting comment regarding Harry Temkin’s son’s sneaker business and the fact that the sneaker category has a $0 final value fee for all sneakers sold at more than $100. How is this not favoring his son? There was a comment in this same video that Harry Temkin has admitted in the February seller meet and in writing the he is also a partner with his son. I wonder when his son started his business and if the change came into effect around that time.

    The Auction Professor goes on to add that at there is also an ebay executive who worked at reverb who used to deal in guitars which coincidentally has had the lowest rate of fees for years.

    While many sellers struggle with constant fee increases, it would appear that others are favored based on whether they have relatives that work at ebay.

    It therefore appears that ebay is favoring certain categories based on people who work there.

  3. Harry in ebays Feb meet said he was a partner in his sons sneaker business..it seems to be a conflict. Its like insiders trading but more sophisticated

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