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The Bolt

Reselling 101

Christian Ramos, Staff Writer

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Imagine being able to create your own business before getting a driver’s license. In the past years, several students from ODA did just this using the growing online strategy of reselling.  

“E-commerce is the future of business. Anybody of any age can achieve success through e-commerce. All they need is a phone, internet, and a product,” says sophomore, Max Hall.

From sneakers to clothing, these pioneers take an early leap into the world of business, earning a few bucks along the way through a strategy of reselling merchandise.

These entrepreneurs get involved for the money and also for the love of challenge. Most say they also find it fun to resell them. These young business people are sometimes called “sneakerheads” or “hypebeasts.” They’re people who follow what’s “hot” in limited release sneakers, and resell them at a higher price. 

Best yet…these students are making substantial profit.

“I made like 7k so far this month, like low six figures yearly. I can work anywhere, anytime.” says Hall.

Junior Taber Chadwick also earns a substantial supplement each year. Chadwick started reselling in eighth grade. He’s always liked shoes and realized there was a way to make money off of his passion. Starting with selling a few pairs a month, his business has grown tremendously. He now sells multiple pairs every day. The demand in this market way surpasses the supply and these people take advantage of it. Building clientele is critical.

“Once you have a reputation, people will come to you,” says Hall.

Teenagers, being surrounded by “the culture” 24/7,  are optimal sellers of these products. They see, feel, and can sometimes even predict what’s going to be in style.

Being a teen doesn’t give you the golden ticket though. Being a teenager just tells you what’s popular now. In order to be successful, you have to know what’s going to be popular later.

“You gotta follow the right accounts. You gotta read the right blogs. You gotta know what’s up,” says Senior Trevor Gorgi, another ODA reseller. 

There is a sort of sneaker culture, the general scope of what’s popular. If you know your stuff, then you can pretty accurately guess whether it’s worth buying a release. Sneaker culture is a dynamic system that gives life to the reselling business. 

Recently, the culture shifted from signature sneakers such as KDs, Kobes, and LeBrons. Yesterday someone may have coveted the Air Jordan collection (1-31). Today someone might be more focused on Adidas, mainly Ultraboost, nmd, EQT, and the enduringly popular, high-priced Yeezys.

But the business itself can be hard. Reselling can go through difficult times, where it’s very difficult to get the product. The challenge in these instances can spell big profit. Knowing strategies in for selling is critical.

One popular method of getting the hottest new releases is by using the apps of local athletic chains. In these apps, there is a “Launch Calendar” populated with the date and times of the upcoming releases.

Stores like Champs and Foot Locker will use apps to offer “head starts” to its best customers. These programs allow the buyer to enter the store a few minutes early depending on their status. If you spend $300 in store, you become a Platinum VIP, which allows you to enter ten minutes early to the store via the app.

The highly awaited releases are sold out before the general public has access to them, allowing the resellers to be able to sell the limited release at a higher price. Both Champs and Foot Locker are piloting a new system, where Platinum VIPs can reserve a pair via the app and come in store any time and pick it up.

“Max and I used to be able to wake up at 8:00 on weekends and go to Champs, pickup the weekly Jordan release, and resell them that day and make a few hundred dollars doing so. Now it is mainly Adidas, specifically Yeezys. Not as frequent and not as easy to get, but if you know the right people it’s not too hard,” said Taber Chadwick.

Joining sneaker resell groups on Facebook can also help you know what is going to drop and what is going to sell.

Knowing where to find information about upcoming drops is critical. Complex magazine has a substantial number of sneaker articles that reveal where the next major drops will be.  Also apps like the Champs app, SNKRS+ app, and Foot Locker app help keep you informed of coming drops.

Knowing where to sell once you have the goods is the next step. Ebay and social media are safe bets, and depending on the shoe, websites designed for reselling such as stockx.com, solehub, kixify, and goat, could occasionally make better platforms.

Shoes aren’t the only hot commodity. There is also a huge market for reselling clothes, specifically brands like Supreme, Palace, and Louis Vuitton. It’s generally easier to know about these drops, but harder to know which ones are going to resell well and harder to obtain them than the sneaker reselling business.

Using a tool called a “bot” is another important consideration when reselling clothing. Bots buy the items you select at release time, often beating out buyers trying to work manually. When you buy a bot, you enter your payment information and select the product you want to buy. Then the bot gets to work securing the purchase.

Supreme NYC, an elite online clothing retailer, does a drop every Thursday at 11:00 a.m. But it can be hard to get the items, and hard to know what to get. This knowledge comes with experience on many types of items, and involvement with potential buyers.

“There’s hype around every item that will resell for a large amount. Everybody’s talking about the item before it releases. As long as you follow Supreme, you know what to buy,” says Gorgi.

Gorgi also advises to stick to the brands you know best. He doesn’t have as much experience with Louis Vuitton as Hall does, so he sticks to what he knows. Hall doesn’t resell the brand Palace for the same reason. Supreme generally sells out in in less than five seconds, you blink and you miss it.

The way to know about drops on Supreme is by following resellers on Facebook and Instagram. These insiders help to spread the word about hot new items. Supreme will often collaborate with a big name brand, such as Louis Vuitton, to release a new item, like a hot new belt. When these resells happen, the resale value will be through the roof. When the release is super hyped, the item will only be available through things like pop-up stores in major markets like New York, Miami, or LA.

“Max and I have been buying Louis Vuitton for years, so we have definitely been talking to some employees and trying to pull some strings,” says Taber Chadwick.

“I will get my hands on Supreme X Louis Vuitton. It will be hard to get, since only top spenders will get it. But I will get items no matter how much I have to pay. There will be a huge secondary market for it,” said Max Hall.

But the creative reseller knows that there are other ways to get hot items as well. Some buy items, particularly clothes and shoes, at thrift shops and Goodwills.

Sophomore Clayton Watson says that when people think of Goodwill, they think of old used cheap clothes that have no value. What they don’t know is that people who have a lot of really nice things will donate some of the stuff they don’t use anymore to Goodwill. For example you can find a gently used leather jacket, worth $120 at Goodwill for like $28. Resell at a discounted $70, and you have a $40 profit.

After enjoying some success and building their confidence, Chadwick, Hall, and Koffman started up an online store called snkrspot.com in 2016.

“We started it for fun, a lot of our friends were doing websites and they were getting 10-20k view on the site a night so we thought we might as well try something. It went really well for the first month then we just couldn’t keep up with buying inventory. We were running out of inventory and it was hard to manage it along with school at the time,” says Chadwick. While it lasted, the endeavor was extremely profitable.

“It definitely taught us many lessons about the market and e-commerce,” added Hall. Their snkrspot business was so successful they got mentioned in The Observer.

Starting and maintaining a profitable business is hard. But once you brand yourself and make your mark, the work can be fun and bring in some serious cash.

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