Students Share Hobby of Buying and Selling Shoes

Students Share Hobby of Buying and Selling Shoes
Photo Credit: Melly Murphy

In humanity one thing is universal, collecting things. Some people collect rocks, some collect music, even drifters collect memories. Such collections do not usually give anything back, however, sophomores Graham Pack and Hawden Sarnowski’s collections earn them a decent haul while letting them do something they love, having good style and shoes.

Pack and Sarnowski collect shoes, buy them, and resell them.

“If you’re buying and reselling shoes that means you’re getting shoes for a blank price, like a lower price, we sell them for a higher price not only to make profit but you can also have nicer shoes,” Sarnowski said.

They call themselves “Sneaker Heads” , a culture that involves buying, reselling, collecting, and of course wearing a variety of expensive shoes. They sell the shoes to make money for college and other expenses they have. Pack has a goal of around $10 to $15 thousand by the end of the school year, a massive undertaking. Although Sarnowski expects less from it does not mean that he is not determined.

“I’d be happy with $5,000, but I’m going for 10,000,” Sarnowski said, ”If I’m able to make that much for a living, well not really a living but that much for not only hustling but also part-time, it could help influence others to do the same, like a discal stock market”.

They find these shoes through meetups where they will decide on buying one or a few pairs of shoes.

“There’s also huge events where you can buy and sell shoes, tables of pairs of shoes that are like thousands of dollars,” Pack said.

At these events you can also buy and resell shoes along with people who are all trying to do the same thing, or they could be bought in a much more casual setting like a thrift store. Hawden is making attempts to up his game by finding used or destroyed shoes and cleaning them, making them look brand new again.

“I bought a pair of Jordan 5s that were pretty beat up, and they were speaking, the bottoms were falling off,” Pack said.

Sarnowski claims anywhere you can find a used shoe you can find an expensive used shoe, Goodwill, a closet, even an attic. Pack and Sarnowski make about $120 to $300 per sale depending on how much they got it for. However there are shoes that may sell for much more if you get lucky. Sarnowski mentions the Nike SB Paris’s, of which only 200 were made, and can now be sold for up to $200 thousand.

“Lots of shoes have different values. Aren’t there shoes worth like 50K? Just because of the rarity of the shoe, what years it was from, the production cost.”

To find information like this, Pack and Sarnowski use apps and websites to look up the shoes to find its average sales price, and where the margin gets better. Pack thinks shoe collecting does not make a really good living unless you are really into it.

“You have to have a huge collection, more or less have a huge fund to, been doing it for a while in order to make a real living off of it,” Sarnowski said.

Sarnowski wants to take his love for shoes to a new place. 

“When collecting, many people don’t have a box, for example, the shoes I’m wearing don’t have a box for them like at home,” Sarnowski said, “I would love to make a company where you can buy just the box. For people who are like ‘Hey I’m not really into the box,’ you can sell it to the company, but for the major collectors you can buy the box, or a similar box”.

Pack explains how having the original box or even the original wrapping paper the shoe came in can increase the shoe’s value.

“Most people would just skip over it, throw it away, but it has value to people,” Pack said.

Pack and Sarnowski so far have done more collecting than selling, however, Pack has come to the point where he owns a lot of shoes he does not wear and so is considering putting them into the market. Sarnowski gives advice to those who would like to start collecting shoes, to find someone that restores shoes so you can buy them cheaper.

“Buy a good shoe cleaner, maybe get some shoe glue, some stuff like that is really important, maybe get some shoe cleaner,” said Pack, “You can up the value of a pair of shoes if you just clean them if you get the dust off of it, the scratches and scuffs out of it and it can be worth a lot more because they’re refurbished”.

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