Making Ends Meet During the Pandemic and Beyond
By Carlos Santos
To remain afloat during difficult times, CSI student Thomas Pretorius picked up the hobby of reselling sneakers like Jordans and Adidas and hasn’t looked back since.
“For a sneakerhead like myself especially, I believe this was one of the best decisions that I had ever made,” said Pretorius “I would highly recommend this to anybody, even if they just need a hobby or want some extra pocket money for a rainy day.”
In recent years, the sneaker resell market has quietly taken off. Many people are even going as far as being able to make a full-time living off it. Famous resellers like Rashed Belhasa and Benjamin Kickz have made a fortune off of it. Kickz had made almost $1million in sales by the young age of 16. Long-term Pretorius would love for this to become his reality, but until then acknowledges it as just a hobby of his.
The key to the sneaker resell market is all about supply and demand. You can buy one specific sneaker for a low price and once they become rare flip it. It’s all kind of one big game in a sense. Pretorius, who has been into this for about 5 years, says that he found this process very challenging but also fun.
For the last two years, sneaker reselling became less of a hobby for Pretorius and more of a necessity. The COVID-19 pandemic has made finding work more difficult than it was before, especially for part-time students. It’s hard juggling college with a part-time job and still trying to support yourself.
During the start of quarantine, he saw an opportunity and seized it. As the market for shoes like Air Jordans boomed in value.
The income this provided for him at the time was crucial “COVID hit me hard. Not only could I not see my family as much, but I also needed to find something to help more financially” said Pretorius. “In the meantime, I was able to use sneaker resells as a way to help me get my stuff together and pay the bills.”
Since then, New York state has turned it up a notch, with most workplaces requiring the vaccine and booster shot. Although Pretorius is vaccinated, for others finding ways to make money from home became all the more valuable. Flexibility may also be something that most people have valued about sneaker reselling. You can put in as many hours as you want to provide for yourself. Essentially you work as your own boss.
Having sold a ton of sneakers since then, he has seen how it served as a good alternative to the usual nine-to-five. It’s not for everyone as there are plenty of people who dread having to wake up for work in the morning.
Along with supply, the most difficult thing when it comes to reselling is getting the popular sizes. The sizes like a 16 or 4.5 are the big sellers but are so hard to get your hands on. It’s common to be stuck with a size 9 collecting dust. This may be most important for those just starting out to know about this market.
Pretorius also had many aspirations outside of the sneaker resale business, such as a sportscaster career. He dreamt of covering any of the UFC, NBA, and NFL. “In ten years, I’d like to see myself in a big house with a pool in North Carolina,” said Pretorius “I just want to be financially stable at the end of the day and I believe I can get there, whether through sportscasting, sneaker reselling or both.”