- StockX is an online reselling platform with $690 million in venture funding.
- The company authenticates sneakers, streetwear, and other collectibles sold through the platform.
- Exec Nate Wells is creating a delivery experience to match the rarity of the items StockX delivers.
When Nate Wells showed up to his first day of work at reselling platform StockX, he received humbling feedback right away: His kicks were not going to cut it.
The logistics veteran’s loafers had been a perfect choice when he worked at FedEx and XPO Logistics. But StockX has fueled its meteoric growth by reselling coveted sneakers and streetwear. The platform is quickly diversifying into categories like electronics and other collectibles, but it’s best known for authenticating sneakers in a seamless process between sellers and buyers.
Wells joined StockX as the head of global logistics in May 2021 to make the transportation and delivery process match the cachet of a $70,000 Louis Vuitton trunk or a $17,000 pair of Yeezy ‘Red Octobers.’ It’s not just style that matters for StockX. Sneakers are increasingly viewed as an asset class, and so they increasingly demand a higher standard of delivery than the common parcel carrier drop on the doorstep.
Raising tracking to all-star level
For sellers using them as an investment vehicle, Wells said shoes can be “like a baby in their family.”
His number-one priority is to find ways to provide StockX sellers and buyers with minute-by-minute tracking of their items. Every item sold through StockX goes from the seller to one of the company’s 11 warehouses via traditional package carriers, to be authenticated. Wells wants both parties to be able to see every moment of an item’s journey, from seller to authenticator to buyer.
“There’s a buyer on our platform right now that has $17,000 for that shoe. I want to treat it like a baby and I want them to be able to see it throughout the system,” he said.
Right now, logistics companies like FedEx, UPS, and DHL provide updates whenever a package is scanned in a new location. Between scans, the customer has no way to know where the package is.
Live tracking requires more technology. One option Wells is considering is locator tags that can send a signal from each package along its way.
“I want to give them the comfort that they could see it if they want to. If they want to stare at their phone and see it move, I would love that” Wells said. “Only when you get to this level of true traceability do people feel super duper confident in just doing more — trading more.”
To find new options and rethink existing logistics services, Wells keeps in touch with specialized startup incubators, including Plug and Play Supply Chain and Dynamo Ventures, to get an early view of new technologies coming to market.
“I think between the next 18 months, there’s going to be a technology out there that’s going to help close the gap on this one,” Well said.
Meet sellers where they are
In addition to real-time tracking, Wells is focused on finding new ways for sellers to hand off their items to StockX.
Wells envisions a custom service where pickups and dropoffs for high-value items are handled by someone within the reselling scene who can “talk shop” and create a sense of community. It’s the kind of logistics service usually reserved for furniture that needs to be carried all the way into the home.
“We’re looking at potentially doing that white glove delivery execution as well,” he said.