Who else could come up with the idea of selling his sneakers to increase his weekly allowance, making it on the Forbes 30 under 30 list? Chase Reed, a 16-year-old Harlem high school sophomore who, in tandem with his father, opened the world’s first sneaker pawn shop, Sneaker Pawn Shop, a heaven for people to pawn or buy fancy Air Jordans and other footwear brands.
They couldn’t come up with a better idea even if they tried, given that they’re living in NYC, in a country where the basketball sneaker market is booming (Capital Markets reported basketball footwear sales hit $4.2 bilion in 2014 in U.S.).
It’s funny because everything started when Chase’s father asked his son for $50 back, threatening to hold his sneakers hostage.
So, if it’s true that “young kids don’t have jewelry or cars,” as dad Troy Reed said, “they do have thousands of dollars worth of sneakers in their house” – and some of these shoes – for example a pair of Nike Air Yeezy Red October sneakers – are on eBay at prices ranging from $1,700 to $15,000 – and up.
And they are profitable because everybody can earn quick cash. Two teenage girls liquidated their sneakers to pay for prom dresses, and a clever guy sold a pair of LeBron Crown Jewels and two pairs of Jordans using the thousands in profit to pay for his move to The Bronx from Brooklyn.
But how does everything work?
If someone walks into the shop with a pair of shoes, they have to pass the qualification test (i.e. rubber not yellowing or soles not excessively worn) and they will purchase them for $100. If the prospective seller wants their sneakers back, he will have to pay $100 plus $20 for its storage cost. But if a buyer wants to purchase the sneakers, they will make an offer and the original owner will be notified. The original owner keeps 80% of the profit and 20% percent goes to the Sneaker Pawn Shop (via).
To generate cash to open a physical store, in 2013 Chase sold his 200 pairs of sneakers for $30,000.
Whether you live in NYC or not you can try your luck by going to the store – 27-29 Lenox Ave. 120th Street Harlem, 001 (917) 403 0990 – or surfing on the website.
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