By: Donna Razawi
No taxes. No one to answer to. A weekly based salary ranging from $80 to as much (or even more than) $1,300. Spending money to make money? Wanna know where to sign up?
Many boys starting from the age of 11 and 12, are finding the buying and reselling of sneakers and brand name clothing to be a growing business.
Some students mentioned the fact that girls are not as predominant in the business. Kiron Mitchell, or KJ, a sophomore at John Jay, claims girls are only a part of the business in order to impress their boyfriends not because of their own interest in sneakers.
“Guys sell, because they love sneakers and enjoy the whole process. We don’t see that too often with girls,” KJ said.
As the search for employment becomes difficult and many are searching for ways to make pocket money, teens are starting to build their own businesses by buying and selling. This strand of entrepreneurship is “easy money” and most find it enjoyable.
Timothy Campbell, a senior who started his business at 17, explained how he gets a hold of his sneakers.
“It’s not difficult to actually get the sneakers, you just need money and connections,” he said.
Connections grow when you stay in the business for a long time and you make friends who work at stores. Then you can find the exact day a sneaker drops or how many are being made. Connections are what give you the upper hand.
Jorge Morales, a junior, has waited in line for the release of the Jordan Retro 7 Olympic, “The Love of the Game” sneaker. He once camped out from Thursday 9 am until Friday at 12 pm. Luckily it was in August so he didn’t need to worry about the cold. However it did rain.
While some people call it crazy, Morales explained, “Not only do you get to say you scored the hottest shoe—something rare—but you make money.”
The shoe sold for $163.85, but Morales later sold them for $450.
Some students who sell on the side claim their salaries range based on the number of released sneakers. During the colder months from November to February, sneakers are released the most.
Due to the holiday season, stores know it’s the giving season. More kids have some extra pocket money to spend on new kicks. Some of John Jay’s students have earned as much as $1,000 on just one sale.
Sophomore Kevin Paz, currently unemployed, said the cheapest thing he’s ever sold was $80 for a hoodie, he pocketed an easy $40.
KJ isn’t new to the business. He started in the seventh grade and he keeps growing with it.
“It’s a lucrative business, you don’t have to pay taxes” he said.
Those who do buy and sell explain that the business is easy when you’re smart about it. They follow trends and keep updated on who’s wearing what. Rappers, fashions icons, and all-star athletes can make certain brands famous. Most follow the A$AP crew, Wiz Khalifa, and Kevin Durant.
The criteria for a “good” sneaker to sell is the brand, history, and hype. Certain brands can bring in more money:a limited quantity is sold so the rarity of the sneaker is important. Popular brands include Bape, Jordans, and Supreme.
However, Paz argued, you must know your customer and what they want to buy. Some sneakers are produced with a purpose; they commemorate a championship or are designed by a popular artist or basketball player. The “hype” refers to the popularity of the sneaker, how many people want it and overall the shoe being popular.
Besides connections, the way to get the hottest sneakers is by waiting in lines and winning raffles. Another way is by using the social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay in the loop as to what’s hot and who’s selling what. Facebook groups like “NYC Buying and Selling,” and hashtags such as “kicksonfire” help create traction.
Those who sell the sneakers don’t do it just for the money.
Ajay Pahuja, a sophomore at John Jay, got his first pair of sneakers at 12. His father bought them, and from there he started selling. There’s no one to teach you how to sell or what to buy, but rather you learn on your own by trial and error.
“You have to love this. There has to be a point where you just loved your shoes,” he said.
Since there are no punch cards and no hourly wage, buying and selling isn’t a job, but rather a lifestyle. There is no destined time for everything but rather, you go about your day and the work part comes in; when you hear your friends talk about a new sneaker, the way you dress, and what you see on Instagram.