Some people don’t know if they can start a shoe resale business simply because they don’t have an example to relate to. That’s why in this post, we will be profiling two different sneaker resellers/business owners that a wider audience can relate to: 15 year old student Ethan Cohen and 29 year old Kevin Royal.
Both of these stories are from 2019, describing some self made participants in the billion dollar sneaker market who come from all different walks of life and different ages .
Let’s begin with Ethan Cohen, who created a six figure resale empire from nothing at 15 years old.
His incredible step-by-step story breaks down the beginnings of a young dreamer to a successful sneaker slinging entrepreneur.
Ethan is the founder of hasterestocks.io (@hastrestocks on IG), a now very well known and respected presence in the sneaker resale community with six figure revenues.
To give you an idea of his current success, I actually got off the phone with Ethan last week on his 15th birthday weekend where he reported having made $9,000 from SneakerCon in Ft Lauderdale on February 2 2019. This isn’t his first multi thousand dollar weekend: he’s made $8,000 in 24 hours selling memberships to his private group, and over $19,000 selling software.
All of this entrepreneurial success came from his interest in sneaker reselling and his endless pursuit at crushing it in that arena.
Turning $50 into $10,000 per month+
We’ll only have to go 2 years back to see exactly where his story started.
In 2017 at just 13 years old, his drive to make money was incredibly strong, and he was open to anything.
His money compass was drawn to the world of sneakers, initially with a pair of Yeezy’s (here’s our 2018 post discussing whether or not these are “dead”.)
Learning that a $220 pair of shoes generated $800 in profit with tons of buyers worldwide, he did everything that he could to learn about the world of sneaker reselling as a young outsider.
At just 13, Ethan didn’t have the money to buy a pair of shoes worth $200, even if he knew how to get them. So he had to work hard to raise this money on his own, starting with just $50.
He actually hadn’t resold anything before, so he had to get the muscle going with something simpler and a smaller investment.
Gifted with good insight combined with tons of proper research, he was able to take the $50 to flip various rare streetwear items including Supreme and even Kylie Jenner Lip kits that sold for nearly double the retail price.
To give you an idea of how profitable hyped streetwear can be, here’s a post breaking down a $10,000+ streetwear month.
Snowballing the $50 into $200, then $200 to $400, and eventually $5,000 then $20,000 and more, Ethan is true proof that one can make a self made sneaker business with the correct information and drive.
A Lifelong Passion for Sneakers
Not everyone out there slinging shoes is a teenager who is a tech whiz.
Some are people with much different backgrounds and life goals who have more of a history and passion for sneakers and are happy that the resale market exists as a tool to simply fuel passion and to actually change lives in some cases.
At another side of the sneaker market spectrum, Kevin Royal is a 29 year old teacher and coach who also runs a New Jersey/New York City based business named Royal Feets (@thesebroseaintroyal IG and @Royalty1290 on Twitter).
He first got into sneakers at a young age, thanks to his mom dressing him in the coolest athletic wear since he was just a kid.
At just 2 and 3 years old he was already rocking OG Retro Jordans.
The seed that truly planted his personal passion for sneakers comes from a vivid memory in 1995 at just 5 years old when his dad gifted him with the original Nike Retro Jordan 11 “Concord”.
From that point on, he carried the interest for Jordans into his teenage years, where in his first years of high school beginning in 2004 he began to take matters into his own hands and make his own money to buy these shoes which are otherwise quite expensive.
A Defining Moment
Kevin’s good friend Pat was running a surprisingly successful business selling shoes, primarily as a reseller on eBay, which inspired him and other friends to take the game more seriously.
In 2006, Kevin was motivated by the release of the Air Jordan Retro 6 + 11 “Defining Moments” pack, which really opened up which were worth $1,000 at the time and today hold that value and up to $1800 on flightclub, generating $700+ in profits nearly immediately for those who bought them.
From then until now he’s secured many thousands of dollars in rare sneakers, some of which he keeps for his collection and others which he sells to help fund his lifelong passion for these sneakers today through his sneaker business Royal Feets LLC, known for its solid customer service and responsiveness.
More than just dollar signs
There’s more to this business than just money though: Kevin’s biggest reward isn’t just having the extra cash to rock the shoes for himself, it’s in his ability to help others.
As a teacher and coach of middle school boys, he was able to recently give away a pair of proper basketball shoes to one of his students who had formerly been playing just in Vans because he couldn’t afford an upgrade.
“It’s awesome to be able to wear nice shoes and all, but it’s an even better feeling to be able to bless others!”, Royal said.
Tips on getting shoes at retail
Kevin admits getting shoes at retail is tough, but describes how people can participate manually (without the use of a sneaker bot, which intimidates most first time users) and still build a nice shoe resale business:
“You have to be aggressive. You can’t just think that you’re going to go online (or in store) and cop a pair. You’ve gotta have friends and family involved in raffles, app reservations, etc. There are multiple different avenues you can go when trying to get shoes for retail. Just make sure you are on your toes about everything and enter for all the opportunities presented to you.”
His words are solid advice that will help you in all areas of life: be aggressive when it comes to going after what you want, it’s better to work as a team, and be sharp enough not to let opportunities go unseen !
For those that are in for another cool story about someone starting a business from scratch, check out our story on Alex here if you have not already.