Sneaker Bots, or computer programs that users can use to purchase rare and limited edition sneakers, have reached a point in this market of becoming unavoidable by consumers, retailers and brands alike.
Let's recap exactly what I'm talking about here, before we go any further. Sneaker Bots are computer programs that individuals can use to help them purchase rare and limited edition sneakers online. Essentially, these programs will purchase sneakers for the user within seconds leaving regular consumers, without these programs, to see that the product they were attempting to buy, has already sold out.
Rare and limited edition sneakers can sell out in as fast as a few seconds and these Bots are one of the main reasons for that. Sneaker Bots can purchase items on hundreds of different websites extremely fast, and much faster than a human could make the purchase on their own.
The reason I wanted to bring up these points and make this discussion, was due to the fact that one Sneaker Bot in particular has become so coveted that its current value has reached over $6,000. This Sneaker Bot is called CyberAIO.
Over the past year, a marketplace (operating similar to eBay) called BotBroker emerged which allows consumers to buy and sell Sneaker Bots online safely and securely. CyberAIO is one of the bots available on their site and has reached prices of over $6,000. The retail price of this Bot is about $350. The reason for the giant markup in price is the Bots limited availability and proven track record to allow consumers to buy limited sneakers. Here is just one instance of a user showing what they were able to purchase while using CyberAIO. In this picture is over 30 pairs of Kanye West's Adidas sneakers which retail for $220 and sell on the secondary market for at least $300, but some for as much as $1000+.
Now, the thing with CyberAIO, is that it's just one of the many Sneaker Bots that exists in the world, however it is the one of the most well-known and has some of the best performance. CyberAIO is currently sold out and has been for years, but they will occasionally restock some copies of the bot to consumers online. They currently have over 80,000 followers on Twitter and one of the largest followings on social media for a Sneaker Bot, so being able to purchase a copy of the bot from them, is anything but easy.
Last week, CyberAIO held a restock of their bot and publicly announced its release. What they typically do, is release copies of their bot at a random time to their Twitter followers, but similar to the rare sneakers it is able to purchase, the Bot sells out in seconds.
This time around, CyberAIO publicly announced the date and time of their restock and put a livestream up on their Twitch channel with a countdown timer to its release. The takeaway from this restock is not the fact that they did a restock, but what took place on their Twitch stream.
In the minutes before the release, sneaker fanatics raced over to CyberAIO's Twitch stream and the stream had over 30,000 people watching and likely about to attempt to purchase the Bot on the restock. Mind you, this restock likely only had less than 100 copies of the Bot available for sale.
The magnitude of this release created for CyberAIO's Twitch stream to be on the Top 10 most viewed streams at the time on all of Twitch's platform.
It goes without saying that this is an extremely big crossover to have the niche community of sneaker enthusiasts end up on the most viewed page on Twitch.
So, what does this mean for sneakers and Sneaker Bots? For now, it's simply noting what has happened and preparing to see what the future holds for all of this technology and excitement within the market for rare sneakers. Although, it is pretty amazing to see a product reaching 17x its retail value and being shown to a completely different group of people than its intended audience.
Sneaker Bots are a difficult topic within the market for rare sneakers as retailers do everything in their power to give regular shoppers the ability to purchase their limited products, but it seems like technology moves faster than the retailers, and for now, Bots are not going away any time soon.