scorecardA sneakerhead who made nearly $7 million in sales last year reveals his secrets to tapping into the exploding multibillion-dollar resale market
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A sneakerhead who made nearly $7 million in sales last year reveals his secrets to tapping into the exploding multibillion-dollar resale market

Shoshy Ciment   

A sneakerhead who made nearly $7 million in sales last year reveals his secrets to tapping into the exploding multibillion-dollar resale market
Retail2 min read

If you can figure it out, selling sneakers can be a gold mine.

The global sneaker resale market could be worth $6 billion by 2025, a Cowen & Co. analysis estimated earlier this year. Sneakers on resale marketplaces like StockX and Stadium Goods have gone for as much as $20,000, and a lot of more rare designs and colorways have the potential to explode in value over time.

Sneakerhead Adeel Shams has hacked the sneaker resale market. Shams said his fleet of four stores earned $6.9 million in sales last year, marking a 103% increase from 2017 to 2018.

But his journey in the industry started in 2008 with a yard sale and a lot of passion.

After buying and then quickly selling a pair of Air Jordans at a yard sale, Shams turned his passion into a business and opened a store in Richmond, Virginia, in 2014, the same day he started graduate school at Virginia Commonwealth University.

"Ever since then, I've had a passion of just collecting sneakers," the 27-year-old told Business Insider.

After graduating in 2016, Shams sold his share of the Richmond store, moved to Los Angeles, California, with around 500 pairs of sneakers, and opened up Cool Kicks. Unlike traditional resale marketplaces like StockX and Stadium Goods, Cool Kicks is a brick-and-mortar shop that owns every item in the store. Instead of acting as a middleman between merchants and buyers, Cool Kicks specializes in buying, selling, and trading new and used sneakers.

The store holds an array of coveted shoes like Air Jordans and Yeezys, which can resell for thousands of dollars.

Today, Shams has three stores in Los Angeles and one in Springfield, Virginia. He's launching a subscription-based app that he says will work to offer subscribers sneakers for less than market value.

We asked Shams for his top tips for breaking into the sneaker resale market and for making the most money.

Here's what he had to say:




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