Business-Savvy Teens Tap Dynamic New Collector's Market: Designer Sneakers

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Former Staff Writer
2 min read

Are shoes becoming the new stocks? For a budding community of teenage sneakerheads, the answer is unequivocally, "yes."

Like cards, comics and dolls before them, a trading market of sorts has established itself at sneaker conventions across the country, where designer basketball shoes are being bartered and sold by high schoolers with the gusto of stockbrokers and at eye-opening prices, according to a report by The New York Times.

In mint condition, Nike’s Michael Jordan-branded footwear can fetch thousands of dollars -- as can limited edition designs only available in foreign countries. In one instance, reports the Times, a young trader turned down a $98,000 cash offer for a pair of Nike sneakers designed by Kanye West.

“I know I could buy a house with this kind of money,” the 18-year-old vendor said. “But I’m a huge Kanye West fan.”

Related: These Entrepreneurs Raised Almost $40,000 for Their 'No-Sock' Socks

While the cultural craze itself is a huge draw for many teens, those possessing a sharpened entrepreneurial eye are also aiming to trade up. For instance, the Times profiled a 13-year-old from New Jersey whose collection grew by four pairs and $815 after a flurry of 20 transactions in one day.

In addition to conventions held at hotel ballrooms and high school gyms, this business is booming online, as social media-savvy teens can showcase their wares on Instagram and Facebook.

And when they do in fact choose to wear the shoes instead of merely investing in them, special precautions are taken. While some only sport their shoes in the summertime in order to avoid weather damage, others have perfected the art of walking like a duck in order to avoid creasing, the paper reports.

Related: A 'Smart' Pair of Shoes With a Noble Purpose

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