Ethical dilemma in the sneaker resell market

Ethical Dilemma


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The ethical dilemma I will discuss in this essay is the sneaker resell market that makes profit from Kobe related sneakers after he passed away from an air crash. Especially for the company StockX, a sneaker buy and sell platform for sneakerheads and resellers to make deals by supply and demand. StockX was facing an ethical dilemma about having sales with Kobe merchandise on its platform. Sneaker resellers were facing an ethical dilemma about whether selling Kobe related goods after his death is unethical or not. Most of Kobes fans were facing an ethical dilemma about whether a good way to honor Kobe was to pay high prices for his products. The role of StockX is to control the market and prevent unethical actions that resellers make profit from someones death. And the role for the buyers is to stop accepting unreasonable prices for Kobes merchandise. Lastly, resellers should conduct business with good moral manner and not make profit from deaths. This is a controversial topic that continues to debate for a few months after his death.


The difficulties of this ethical dilemma is Kobe is a basketball legend that influences our generation a lot from his mentality. He has a personal product line under the Nike brand that comes into the sneaker community and became a part of the culture, so there is a huge demand for his merchandise. His death is unlike our ordinary people, thus his product has a certain amount of value. As usual, no one would sell their family members belongings to make money after their deaths. Keeping these belongings is a way to honor a passed person, so if a person sells these belongings would be considered an unethical act. Most importantly, the came out of StockX platform provides people an easier way to resell sneakers than they used to. But some of the resellers might argue that selling shoes is a way for them to make money and no emotions should be involved in their business. For StockX, I think the best choice for them is to ban the Kobe related sneakers for sale on its Platform. This could help them build a healthy public image and an advertising effect to consumers. For buyers and those Kobe fans, they should refuse to buy or switch to another way to honor Kobe. For resellers, they should sell the shoes for retail to those true Kobe fans and think about it as an ethical standard in conducting business. Recently, we can still buy Kobe shoes from StockX, and the prices are going more decently. I think buyers play an important role in this marketplace and refuse to pay high prices. StockX should take action in the first place as its proactive role in this ethical dilemma.

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