Welcome to the world of luxury MetroCards.
A high-end streetwear company’s branded MetroCard loaded with two swipes is reselling online for nearly 18 times its worth.
Supreme’s recently released MetroCard — a collaboration with the MTA worth $5.50 — is already popping up on eBay with asking prices upward of $100.
The limited-edition product is the latest from the skateboard brand’s list of oddball accessories. Last year, Supreme released a $30 clay brick that now commandeers high prices on eBay. There are also crowbars and floodlights that bear the Supreme logo; each eyebrow-raising accessory consistently sells out, becoming instant collectibles among the company’s die-hard fans.
“It’s funny because there’s a joke that they could slap Supreme on anything and people will buy it,” said Mike Chua, 26, of Castle Hill in the Bronx, who was waiting in line Monday to get into the company’s flagship store on Lafayette Street. “I think it’s a cool novelty for people who are not from New York … We do have the best subway system.”
Even though the cards have sold out in New York, according to a store representative, fans waited for hours in a line that wrapped around the entire SoHo block to try and get their hands on Supreme’s new spring collection. For those who have missed out, the Supreme MetroCards will also be available at select stations chosen by the company, according to a tweet from the MTA on Monday. That includes machines in stations at Broadway-Lafayette Street, 125th Street, Queens Plaza, Marcy Avenue, Atlantic Avenue, Prince Street, Spring Street and Union Square.
Sebastian Barreto, 14, of Woodside, Queens, thought the card was a cool idea, but said he wouldn’t spend more than $20 or $30 for it.
“I hope they keep (the card’s release) really limited,” he said. “If it’s everywhere, the ‘coolness’ of it drops.”
The MTA has been selling advertising space on MetroCards since 1995 as a means to find new revenue sources. Five years ago, the agency allowed for ads to encroach on the front of the card.
This Supreme MetroCard features the company’s signature red and white box logo on the back, with the traditional yellow and blue MetroCard design on the front. It was promoted in a company video called “South Ferry.”
Typical advertisers include institutions like NYU and Mount Sinai but buyers of MetroCard space have ranged from Domino’s Pizza to Gap. MetroCard designs also commemorate sporting events and anniversaries of city landmarks. Most recently, the MTA produced black MetroCards to celebrate the opening of the Second Avenue subway.
Naturally, the various designs have fostered a community of collectors. Special edition MetroCards, either individual cards or full design sets, are routinely auctioned on reselling websites for high prices — with bonus value for cards preserved in their plastic wrapping.
“I don’t judge how anyone spends their money on eBay,” said MTA Spokeswoman Beth DeFalco.
The MTA doesn’t disclose specifics of advertising deals, including price of advertisements or quantity of cards purchased. And the agency warned that there’s no guarantee a customer will get one of the cards if they use a machine at a listed station.
Supreme has not responded to requests for comment.