As the world mourns the sudden loss of basketball icon Kobe Bryant, the prices of Kobe-related merchandise from sneakers to autographed jerseys have surged on resale marketplaces.
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Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Giana along with seven other people died Sunday in a helicopter crash. The basketball legend was 41.
Fans have been searching for merchandise to honor the former NBA star’s memory but have found it harder to find jerseys as resellers in the multibillion-dollar global market hike up the prices amid the tragedy.
A pair of Adidas Crazy 97 “Kobe Bryant Slam Dunk Contest” shoes surged as much as 600 percent on resale marketplace StockX for $1,199, the Business of Fashion reported. A jersey signed by Bryant on Amazon is on sale for close to $6,000, and the purple-and-gold Lakers jerseys with Bryant’s former numbers 8 and 24 were selling for $300 on the NBAStore.com Monday after previously going out of stock. Sales of other jerseys from the likes of Shaquille O’Neal, meanwhile, are selling for much less at $130. StockX, the NBA Store and Amazon did not immediately return a request for comment.
Some businesses refused to allow sellers to hike up the prices on products being sold in consignment shops out of respect for Bryant and his family.
“People wanted to price change shoes selling for $200 up to $600 to profit off of his death, which we absolutely did not allow,” Jonathan Meza, a manager at Urban Necessities, a consignment store based in New York and Las Vegas, told FOX Business, adding: “We made sure that no items can be sold for more than what they were going for before his passing.”
Nike sold out of all of its Bryant merchandise from Nike.com, and the brand is re-evaluating how it will roll out Bryant's shoe series, company sources told ESPN.
Bryant's signature No. 8 jersey was the top-selling jersey at the NBA store from 2001 to 2003, and his No. 24 jersey sold the most in the league in 2007, 2009 and 2010, according to NBA data.