Fake merchandise has been a huge problem for any designer. Markets are flooded with fancy Rolexes, all for a couple of bucks, and knock off DKNY handbags, which are a tenth of the price. But, did you know that the knock off market is infiltrating BJJ?
Shoyoroll have been the victims of a big black and grey market problem for a number of years now. Due to their limited releases, clever marketing and big name sponsorships, Shoyoroll have cemented themselves as one of the most desirable designers in the sport, in fact I don’t think i’ve ever seen it in any other sport where products were desired as much as Shoyoroll.
However, success comes a few prices to pay…
The black market
Do a search on Alibaba for Shoyoroll and take a look a the amount of factories willing to do cheap knockoffs for a fraction of the price. Often these are factories that make other BJJ or Judo gis in the industry, they just happen to want to make a bit of money on the side. Fancy 10 Shoyoroll Gi‘s for £500? Considering most Shoyorolls go for at least £300 on eBay, for a lot of people this a easy money.
Unfortunately the black market has also infiltrated one of the biggest Shoyoroll reseller groups on Facebook. A big name within the group has been exposed for selling on a number of fakes to a lot of people and generally leaving a sour taste in some mouth as they were trusted to legitimate.
This happens to be Shoyoroll’s second biggest problem, and one which also allows the black market to infiltrate so easily.
The grey market
The grey market a.k.a the reseller market is probably Shoyoroll’s biggest problem. Due to their desirable nature, this has caused a supply and demand problem where supply severally is diminished and demand is at an all time high. This has caused inflated 2nd market caused by resellers who buy up Gis on release day to resell for double the price, it’s the same basis as ticket touts and these people are frankly scum. A classic example of this is the Shoyoroll illest collaboration, these gi’s can resell for around $1000 because they’re like gold dust. Sadly if people are willing to pay the marked up prices then they will continue to buy and sell to make extra money.
Unfortunately all of this is a catch 22 for Shoyoroll. If they stay as a limited release company their desirability will remain at an all time high, or if they start regularly supplying gi’s an apparel their popularity will diminish. They are a victim of their own success and they’re doing their best to stamp out this problem, I just hope the problem hasn’t already grown out of their control.