- Matt Marzahl
- Sneaker resale has never been hotter.
- One 15-year-old, Jake, told Business Insider he has made six figures reselling sneakers. He says many of the sellers he meets are between the ages of 17 and 20.
- The global sneaker resale market could be worth $6 billion by 2025, a recent Cowen & Co. analysis estimated. Sneakers on resale marketplaces like StockX and Stadium Goods have gone for as high as $20,000.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Forget about a college degree. This teen has made six figures reselling sneakers – and he doesn’t even have a high school diploma.
15-year-old Jake, whose last name has been omitted in order to protect his privacy, sells merchandise on the online sneaker resale marketplace StockX. Now a high school sophomore, he started reselling via Instagram when he was in eighth grade. Less than three years later, he says he’s made over six figures.
“It’s just supply and demand,” Jake told Business Insider when asked for his thoughts on the booming sneaker market.
“Everyone wants shoes, and there’s always someone who will spend an absurd amount, so it’s just about getting those pairs and building the right connections and understanding the market.”
The global sneaker resale market is expected to be worth $6 billion by 2025, Cowen & Co. analysts recently esitmated. High-profile celebrity releases and limited drops fuel the hype.
“It’s one of the best things that I can do right now,” said the teen, who is currently spending his summer vacation growing his business full-time. “And I love it.”
Jake earned his capital by doing yard work around his neighborhood in California. It was a short-lived business venture that was supposed to help him pay for a $600 drone that he wanted. But when his friend in school mentioned the investment value of Supreme, a streetwear brand with products that can resell for triple the original price, he decided to go for a “drop,” an event where the brand releases its latest items.
His first turnaround earned him a $250 profit.
“And then I just did that every week and it escalated from there,” he said.
- Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
In the early days, Jake was selling merchandise via Instagram. He was mostly buying and selling Supreme and Yeezy, Kanye West’s collaboration with Adidas. Eventually, Jake got connected with similar entrepreneurs and started selling sneakers through StockX.
During the school year, Jake spends four to five hours a day working on the business, in addition to eight hours of school, plus homework. He quit sports to have more time to work, and he often stays up all night when a new pair drops.
But this teen has no regrets. Financial gains aside, Jake has made valuable connections in the growing industry and has picked up some friends along the way as well. Most of the people he works with are between the ages of 17 and 20, he said.
His most expensive shoes sold for $7,000 – they were the 2011 Nike Mags based on the pair worn by Marty McFly in “Back To the Future Part II.” To get them, Jake traded 18 pairs of Yeezys, worth an approximate value of $3,800.
- Reuters/Danny Moloshok
This year alone, Jake has sold thousands of pairs. He once had a buyer drop nearly $120,000 with him in one night. However, his personal collection isn’t overwhelming, totaling no more than about 15 pairs. Jake prefers to reinvest everything he earns into his business with hopes to gain enough capital to move into the real-estate sector.
The teen might be making bank for now, but to Jake, this whole venture has essentially been a labor of love.
“I really can’t describe it,” Jake said, referring to the way he feels when he makes a sale or nabs an exclusive drop.
“Everything pays off at that point,” he said. “And that’s only the beginning.”
- Read more stories in our Sneaker World series:
- Shoppers are now willing to drop hundreds of dollars on sneakers – and they might need to spend even more in the future
- A company that bills itself as a stock market for sneakers is worth $1 billion. Now it wants to abolish fixed prices for collectibles altogether.
- Photos show the rise and fall of Nike’s iconic Air Jordan sneakers – and how the shoes are making a comeback 15 years after Michael Jordan’s retirement
- Here are the most expensive Air Jordans to sell on StockX and Stadium Goods, where rare pairs have gone for as much as $20,000