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The Evolution and Future of Reselling

It’s no secret that reselling has become one of the hottest ways to make money. For some, this is a side hustle that brings a little extra cash in every month, while for others, it’s a full-time job. Between sneakers, vintage clothing, and collectibles, you can pretty much find every item under the sun available for resell (including reselling hotels–hello, Hoken!).

 But it wasn’t always this way. In fact, reselling didn’t begin until the middle of the 20th century, when hobbyists began taking an interest in trade cards. The history of the evolution of reselling is quite an interesting one. That’s why we’re breaking it down to show you how we got to where we are today and what we see for the future.

The Evolution of Reselling

Trading Cards

When you think of trading cards, you probably think of baseball or Pokémon. But these cards date all the way back to the 1600s. Trading cards were first created in the form of “visiting cards” during the 17th century in Europe, primarily as a way to announce one’s arrival at a social gathering. These cards were decorated with art, coats of arms, and other designs. As printing technology improved, the cards began to feature portraits of notable figures and other popular designs.

However, the popularity of card didn’t really start picking up until the 1800s The use of trading cards as a means of advertising started in the mid-1800s with the inclusion of cards in packs of cigarettes. These early cards often featured actresses, sports stars, and other popular figures. By the early 1900s, sports cards had become more popular and were being produced by various companies.

During World War I and World War II, the production of trading cards slowed down significantly as resources were diverted towards the war effort. However, the late 1940s saw a resurgence in the production of cards, particularly in the sports industry. Companies such as Topps and Bowman began producing baseball cards, which quickly became one of the most popular collectibles in the world.

In addition to sports cards, trading cards featuring popular characters from comics, movies, and video games have also become popular in recent years. The rise of online marketplaces has made it easier than ever for collectors to buy and sell cards from all over the world.

Despite occasional market slowdowns, the popularity of trading cards continues to endure. Fans of all ages continue to collect cards featuring their favorite sports stars, characters, and other popular figures. With new designs and collections being released regularly, the world of trading cards remains as vibrant and exciting as ever.

The Rise of eBay

eBay is arguably still the biggest reselling platform out there. With everything from new clothes and the hottest tech to vintage clothing and antiques, it’s no surprise that the site is beloved by many. And because it was the first of its kind–founded in 1995–it quickly became a household name.

The internet was a game-changer for resellers, and eBay gave people from all over the world the ability to expand their markets exponentially and enable resale at a much larger scale. In June 1996 (less than a year after being created), there was already $7.2 million worth of goods sold. By the second half of 1997, a millionth item was sold. Needless to say, the site picked up steam extremely quickly. Now the company is worth over $22 billion.

 In addition to being a popular platform for reselling items, eBay has also become a hub for small businesses and entrepreneurs to sell their products. Many individuals have started their own successful businesses on eBay, using it as a launching pad for their reselling ventures.

Over the years, eBay has faced competition from other reselling platforms such as Amazon and Etsy, but it remains a dominant player in the industry. The site has also expanded its offerings beyond just physical goods, now allowing for the sale of services and digital products as well.

Despite its continued success, eBay has not been without controversy. In recent years, the site has faced criticism for its handling of counterfeit items and fraudulent sellers. However, the company has taken steps to address these issues and maintain the trust of its users.

Camping for iPhones

Now that there are over 1.5 billion active iPhone users worldwide, it’s not hard to see why camping out for iPhones became so popular when the phone first came out. It’s safe to say that Apple could’ve never guessed that their phones would create such a buzz, and keeping up with the initial demand was pretty much impossible. But it didn’t matter to them because people proved that they were doing whatever needed to be done to get their hands on one of the hottest pieces of technology.

When the iPhone first came out in 2007, people were camping out for days in front of Apple stores, just to be one of the first to get their hands on one. The hype surrounding the iPhone release was so big that it was covered by major news outlets worldwide. Apple’s launch of the iPhone was a major milestone in the history of smartphones. It changed the way people thought about mobile phones and revolutionized the tech industry.

As demand for the iPhone grew, so did the number of resellers trying to profit from the craze. Scalpers would purchase as many iPhones as they could and then resell them for a higher price to those who were unable to get one. This led to a rise in the number of people trying to buy iPhones, even if they didn’t need one for personal use. This trend of reselling hot-ticket items continues to this day and has extended to other products such as sneakers and limited-edition merchandise.

Resellers began seeing this as an arbitrage opportunity. If they could get their hands on multiple phones, why not sell them to those who weren’t so lucky? Although Apple has since increased the supply to match the demand, this era shifted the way people got their hands on inventory to resell–which we now see with sneakers, but we’ll get to that in a second.

Pawn Stars and Storage Wars

People are often influenced by the media, so when Pawn Stars (first aired in 2009) and Storage Wars (first aired in 2010) began, it’s no surprise that people became obsessed with the ideas of flipping and reselling. Both shows showcase sales that, oftentimes seem like a dud, bring resellers hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. This idea of the element of surprise tied in with large profits brought in millions of viewers and put reselling front and center in mainstream culture.


The popularity of these shows inspired a wave of new resellers to try their hand at flipping items for profit. They saw it as an easy way to make money, but many quickly found out that it wasn’t as simple as it looked on TV. While there are definitely valuable items out there waiting to be discovered, it takes a lot of knowledge and research to be successful in the reselling game. It’s not just about finding something that looks cool, but knowing its true value and finding the right buyer for it. Nonetheless, the influence of these shows can still be seen today with the rise of social media reselling influencers and the continued popularity of reselling platforms like eBay and Poshmark.


If you’ve ever tried purchasing a pair of exclusive sneakers, you may be familiar with just how hard it can be to snag a pair. Thanks to Michael Jordan and the creation of Air Jordans, we’ve now seen multiple big-name brands create limited-edition lines. And if you’re not on the site hours before they go live, chances are you won’t get a pair. The resellers will probably get there first.


The significant surge in interest between 2010 and 2020 created a world where “drops” are culturally accepted–even sought after. The first come, first serve market has only made the sneakers that much more appealing to many, creating a worldwide sneaker market valued at almost $100 billion. What began on eBay has quickly spread to sites like Grailed, StockX, and KLEKT. The combination of fashion and profits spread, with resellers picking up vintage clothing on top of the footwear. And with more and more gen-z’s and millennials opting for pre-worn clothing, it doesn’t seem like this trend is going anywhere.


The demand for limited edition sneakers has given rise to a sneakerhead culture, where enthusiasts collect, trade, and showcase their exclusive collections. This subculture has brought forth many sneaker events, conventions, and even documentaries that shed light on the sneaker world. The sneaker industry has become so popular that it has attracted collaborations with popular artists, musicians, and even other brands. The collaboration has resulted in some of the most iconic and valuable sneakers in the market. With new drops and collaborations happening frequently, the sneaker industry continues to grow, with more people getting into the reselling game. However, the exclusivity and high prices of limited-edition sneakers have led to controversy, with some accusing the industry of being elitist and exclusionary.


We’ve seen trading cards, auction platforms, and reselling everything from tech to clothing. So what’s next in the reselling world? Hotels. Thanks to sites like Hoken, you can now merge experiences with profitability. And the best part? You don’t have to worry about holding inventory, shipping costs, or verification concerns. Book a hotel at a low price (especially in big cities during large events) and sell it for a bigger profit if you can no longer attend or you just want a little extra cash.

 The concept of reselling hotel reservations isn’t entirely new, as people have been doing it on their own through online forums and classified ads for years. However, Hoken offers a more organized and secure platform for buyers and sellers.

 These platforms allow people to recoup their losses when they need to cancel a non-refundable hotel reservation by selling it to someone else. It’s a win-win situation for both parties as the seller gets some money back, and the buyer gets a great hotel room.

 With the rise of these types of platforms, it’s clear that the reselling industry is continually evolving and adapting to meet new demands. As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more innovative ways to resell products and services in the future.

Ready To Start Reselling?

Looking to make a little extra income or make the most out of that vacation you can no longer take? You don’t need to spend hours finding sneakers or trading cards. Instead, focus on the future of reselling–hotels. And with Hoken, it requires very little effort to get started anytime you want. Let us help you buy and sell your hotel rooms by signing up today!


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