Between brick-and-mortar stores and a range of online retailers, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a way of grabbing the latest sneaker or streetwear drops in Australia – it might just require a little bit of planning and some patience.
Whenever Kanye West’s Yeezys arrive in Australia, there are huge queues for stores across the country. Some people even wait overnight so they’re the first ones to grab the latest release.
If you’re keen to get your hands on the latest drops too, here are some tips and tricks on how to buy limited-edition releases in Australia.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
First things first: you’ll need to know exactly what you want. The Complex website offers a weekly update on which sneakers are being released in Australia, while HYPEBEAST, Solelinks and Sneaker News list international drops. You can then just search for specific news on that drop in Australia. Another option is to follow your favourite brands or retailers on social media for updates on when something new is arriving.
WHERE, WHEN, HOW?
The next step is to see if that particular item is being sold in Australia, and if it is, whether it’s an online-only drop or if it’s going to be released in-store. If it’s coming to stores, look online to see which stores will have it in stock and when. For example, Foot Locker has an online release calendar that lists what is coming out and which Foot Locker stores will stock each item.
You can also check social media accounts for streetwear stores in your city to see if they’ll be selling the item. The same goes for online; search for which online retailers will be stocking the item you want and when it will be released, and sign up for updates if you can. Often, websites will post articles listing exactly where you can buy certain things in Australia, such as GQ’s piece on where to buy the 2018 Nike x Off-White Air Force 1.
Some brick-and-mortar stores will use raffles when selling a limited-edition item. These are fairer ways of distributing stock, and they let you avoid having to queue for a long time – you just need to make sure you’re early enough to get a raffle ticket, as they are usually limited to a certain number. Sometimes, you won’t have to be present for the raffle draw – the store will simply contact you to tell you whether you’ve won the chance to buy. With other raffles, tickets will be drawn at a set time while you wait, and you purchase the item then and there.
For some limited-edition, super popular releases, you might find people queuing overnight in front of stores. While we wouldn’t recommend this, if you do decide to queue, it might be a totally unique way of meeting fellow international sneaker-heads. Load up with supplies such as food and water (as most stores in Australia close between 5 and 9pm), make sure there are open public toilets nearby, and invest in a comfy camping chair – you’ll be sitting there a while. Once doors open, if you’re one of the lucky few close to the front, you’ll be able to buy the item you were after.
Purchasing online is usually the most convenient way of ‘copping’ new release items, although it can be stressful. Online retailers will often use raffles or online queuing systems on their sites to give people equal opportunity for purchase. For the best chance of getting a limited-edition item, do some research beforehand: what time will the item be released online (remember to check time zones and adjust for Australia if you need to, i.e. if it’s releasing 12am ET, what will that make it in Melbourne?) and on which websites? Once you are prepared for sale day, you should ensure you have auto-filled your online payment details (card or PayPal) and your shipping address so you don’t waste time typing these in with items waiting in your cart.
If you didn’t have any luck buying your item when it was in stock, you might consider checking resale websites. These will be much more expensive, but a viable option – you just need to make sure the sale is legitimate. The biggest online resale websites are StockX and GOAT, but they come with hefty shipping fees to Australia. PUSHAS is the Australian equivalent, but items can be heavily overpriced. Cheaper alternatives include streetwear-specific Facebook groups or marketplaces in your city, so you can buy shoes in-person and save on shipping fees, or Underground Society, the leading group for reselling in Australia.