A 17-year-old entrepreneur made nearly $500,000 reselling sneakers during a quarantine. Here's a look inside his pandemic-proof business model.
Danny Hasbani makes thousands of dollars a month reselling sneakers. The 17-year-old said he generally sells over 1,000 pairs of sneakers a week through resale apps, consignment shops like Fight Club and Stadium Goods, and via major deals to bulk buyers. "Through this quarantine, my business has actually been thriving," Hasbani said. "More people are buying from resellers since stores are closed and a lot of shoes are being sold online." From how he buys his merchandise to who he sells it to, here's how the teen entrepreneur runs his business. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
For, Danny Hasbani, even a pandemic couldn't slow down the momentum of his business. The 17-year-old student resells sneakers during his spare time — and he's already made nearly $500,000 this year, according to receipts and pay notifications viewed by Business Insider. Perhaps most impressive, the teen has managed to keep his business successful in spite of a global pandemic and mass stay-at-home orders. "Through this quarantine, my business has actually been thriving," Hasbani, a recent high school graduate who has been reselling sneakers since he was a high school freshman, told Business Insider. Though the sneaker industry initially saw major headwinds from the pandemic, including dropping sales and stunted sneaker production, it has evolved to adapt to new marketplace reality. And while much has changed, one thing is clear: sneakerheads still want their shoes. Virtual drops and releases have been successful, and resellers have managed to keep their businesses profitable and safe amid the pandemic. Mass store closures have also pushed much resale activity to primarily online platforms. And for Hasbani, who mostly conducts his business through resale apps, consignment shops, and via his relationships with bulk sneaker buyers, this has been helpful. "Sales have been really good," Hasbani said. "[There have been] a lot of local sales because a lot of people are texting me because they can't walk into Foot Locker anymore." Hasbani is also a co-owner of Brick Chat, which is similar to a standard sneaker "cook group," in that it charges users a monthly fee for information related to different sneaker releases. Hasbani's business tends to stay away from rarer, hyped sneaker releases. Instead, the teen focuses on selling more mainstream, less valuable pairs that can be bought and sold in bulk. These types of sneakers are generally referred to as "bricks." According to Hasbani, his extensive list of regular bulk buyers in one of his biggest assets in the industry. But he also attributed much of his success to a rigid work ethic and a clear set of goals. "The harder you work in this business, the more money you're going to make," Hasbani said. "And there's a lot of luck in it," he added.SEE ALSO: Exclusive sneaker resale groups make millions by paying insiders to leak information on valuable sneaker releases before they happen. Here's a look inside one of these members-only forums. Hasbani mostly sells "bricks," or shoes that are not worth very much individually
"Brick" is a term used for less-hyped shoes that aren't worth very much but are reliable sellers, such as Nike's Air Force 1 sneakers, which generally go for about $90 at retail. Hasbani said that while he initially started out focusing on selling more expensive hyped pairs, he quickly realized the benefit of selling bricks in bulk. Read more: A 14-year-old entrepreneur makes thousands of dollars a month as a top-rated sneaker seller on GOAT. Here's how he got there. "Instead of waiting on line all day for one shoe, I can get five pairs of not so hyped shoes," he said. While a reseller might make $100 to $200 profit on a rare sneaker that takes longer to sell, Hasbani said he can make about $20 a pair on certain bricks, which he can quickly sell in bulk orders of hundreds of pairs. The teen purposefully diversifies where he sells his merchandise
Hasbani said he generally buys around 1,000 pairs of sneakers a week and then splits up where he sells them. "If you sell 1,000 pairs of the same shoe on an app, you can crash the market very easily," he said, noting the basic supply and demand principle that generally dictates a sneaker's value. Hasbani said that if he gets 1,000 pairs of one shoe, he will usually split them up evenly among StockX, GOAT, a consignment shop, and a bulk buyer. One of his biggest assets is a well-developed list of buyers
Hasbani said one of his biggest assets in the industry is his well-developed list of buyers. "The hardest thing in this business is finding buyers to buy thousands of pairs of shoes a week," he said. Though some of his buyers might opt for one pair at a time, a bulk of Hasbani's business comes from the large-scale buyers. Hasbani said these clients are generally store owners in the US or people who ship shoes to sell in China. For payment, Hasbani said he generally uses PayPal and wire transactions. Hasbani stays up to date on the latest trends
Like many sneaker resellers, Hasbani compares the resale business to the stock market in that it's constantly changing and somewhat unpredictable. To stay on top of the latest trends, Hasbani listens to his buyers and keeps an ear to the ground to learn what people are interested in. It takes some work and experience — and a bit of luck — but in this industry, knowledge is power. "You just have to be in the community and aware of everything," Hasbani said.
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