Tucked away in a decayed mall off Elizabeth Street in Chinatown, New York, sits Unique Hype Collection — a reseller shop with Supreme as its signature stock in trade. The owner Peter, who refers to himself as a “major flipper,” often waits until the items have sold out at Supreme’s stocklists, then marks up the price on those items in his shop and on eBay. The New Yorker recently caught up with Peter to further understand his line of work. “I’ve brought in seven figures a year for the last two years,” said Peter, a 30-year-old who refused to give his last name or be photographed. “I can’t show my face—I’m under a lot of eyes,” he said. An insightful read that’s worth your while, cast your eyes over the insert below and head over to The New Yorker for the full article.
Some of the people standing in the Supreme line are secretly Peter’s employees, mostly teenagers whom he recruits for the line-standing job while they mill around in his collectible-card store. “Everybody has a price,” he notes. “Sometimes it’s only fifty dollars.” The usual rate is a hundred dollars per day of waiting in line. There’s no bonus for inclement weather. He hires between ten and thirty people to stand in line each time Supreme releases clothing, which is generally every Thursday. How do the kids know what to buy? “They know what to buy cuz they been working for me for quite some time lol,” Peter explains via text message.
One major flipper, username “croatianstyle,” a friend of Peter’s (“I party with him when I go to Cali”), recently got a call from Nike after he bought a hundred pairs of Air Yeezy sneakers, the ones designed by Kanye West that can sell for upwards of five thousand dollars a pair on eBay. Peter was more careful: “I only got thirty-five pairs. He attracted too much heat. Too much attention.” Because Peter and other resellers deal in goods whose demand generally wildly exceeds their supply, they don’t compete with each other on price. “If they want to undercut me on price, go ahead. I’ll wait until they sell out and then sell them for even more!”