Today we announce the launch of Tradeblock. It’s the culmination of many long months of hard work, and we are beyond excited to finally put it in your hands.
But before we get into all that, I want to start with a story…
When I was 18 years old, I looked down the barrel of a gun for the first time in my life.
I was with my best friend, Dylan, at the time. He’d spent the past few months buying and selling Jordans on Craigslist, and had bit on a deal that, in hindsight, was too good to be true. The jack boys took our wallets, phones, and the $800 in cash my buddy had brought to buy the 6 pairs of retro J's he thought he’d be getting in the deal.
Thankfully, they left us with our lives.
That was 2010, when the resell market was still a wild west full of scammers, price-gougers, and other bad actors looking to take advantage of sneakerheads and collectors at every chance they got.
A lot has changed since then, most notably the growth of resell platforms like StockX and GOAT. While we, and some of you, may have our issues with how they do business, we also acknowledge the immense value they’ve created.
They provide an important service by bringing visibility and security to the resell market.
But that being said, the sneaker game is about so much more than just buying and selling.
It’s about exploring other people’s collections to discover new and old kicks you either want now or have forgotten about. It’s about competing with the homies for whose collection is the dopest. It’s about securing your grails without breaking your bank, and of course, it’s about trading kicks that are less meaningful to you for kicks you’ve always wanted, but haven’t been able to get.
When we first started working on Tradeblock, we were hyper-focused on that last piece: creating a fun and engaging way for people to trade their shoes. That is, and will always be, a major part of who we are.
But as we started talking to more and more sneakerheads like yourself, we realized that the opportunity was much, much bigger than just trading.
Tradeblock is a celebration of collectors and their collections.
Sure, trades are the ultimate goal of the experience, but the real richness comes from all the experiences that lead up to a trade: exploring the thousands of kicks within the community, discovering different collectors and browsing their unique closets, offering and countering different trade deals (like you would with fantasy sports) to build out the ultimate collection… The list could go on.
We want Tradeblock to be a place where all sneakerheads feel the spirit, energy, and passion of being a sneaker collector — even if they never actually trade on our platform.
Today’s beta release is the beginning of that journey, and we simply cannot express how grateful we are for everything you’ve done to help get us to this point. Many of you have been rockin’ with us since the early days, when we were just a couple of guys with an idea working the lines at SneakerCon Los Angeles.
But the journey is just beginning.
There’s still a lot of work to do, and we’re counting on you — the people who are the heart and sole of sneaker culture — to help us shape Tradeblock into the ultimate destination for sneaker collectors and the sneaker community.
So don’t hold back! Tell us what you love and what you hate. Tell us what features you’d like to see added to the platform and which ones you never use and send us your big ideas for taking Tradeblock to the next level.
Because at the end of the day, we’re building this for YOU.
With love and gratitude,
Mbiyimoh Ghogomu Co-founder + CEO, Tradeblock