Sneaker pawn star

Teen opens shop to hock shoes (with sniff test)

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Weekend Life - ROSA PRINCE

A New York teenager has cre­ated the world’s first sneaker pawn­shop where street­wise young­sters can de­posit their valu­able sneak­ers in re­turn for cash.

The store spe­cial­izes in high-end de­signer mod­els and “dead stock” — limited-edi­tion sneak­ers no longer be­ing made — which can sell for many thou­sands of dol­lars, and is the brain­child of Chase Reed, a 16-year-old from Har­lem.

All shoes brought into Sneaker Pawn must also pass a smell test be­fore their own­ers re­ceive cash. They can redeem them later, or al­low them to be sold. Own­ers have first re­fusal be­fore any sale and re­ceive 80 per cent of the pro­ceeds if they al­low it to go ahead.

Cus­tomers usu­ally bor­row around $100 US per pair of lightly-worn sneak­ers, al­though one was lent thou­sands of dol­lars af­ter tak­ing in a pair of soughtafte­r Nike LeBron Crown Jewels and two pairs of Nike Air Jor­dans. They must re­pay the loan at a rate of 20 per cent.

Chase came up with the idea for Sneaker Pawn af­ter ask­ing his fa­ther, Troy, to lend him $50 days af­ter be­ing bought an ex­pen­sive pair of sneak­ers. Troy told the New York Daily Post: “I was like, ‘Are you se­ri­ous?’ I’m hold­ing these sneak­ers un­til I get my $50 back.”

Chase raised the seed money to open Sneaker Pawn by sell­ing his own 200-strong collection of sneak­ers. He works in the shop af­ter school and at week­ends, while his fa­ther mans the tills dur­ing school hours. As well as pass­ing the sniff test, Chase and his col­leagues check that sneak­ers brought in to be pawned have re­tained their colour and do not have ex­ces­sive wear on the soles.

Troy said: “Young kids don’t have jew­elry. They don’t have cars. But what they do have is thou­sands of dol­lars worth of sneak­ers in their house.

“Af­ter we eval­u­ate them, we’ll give the kid, say, $100 for the sneak­ers. If he wants them back, he’ll pay the $100, plus $20 for stor­ing the sneak­ers.”

Among the shop’s cus­tomers have been a young­ster who pawned his valu­able sneak­ers to pay for his brother’s fu­neral and two teenage girls who wanted cash to buy prom dresses. The owner of the LeBron Crown Jewels used the money to move to the Bronx from Brook­lyn.

Sneak­ers have be­come big busi­ness in re­cent years, with young­sters fre­quently queu­ing all night out­side shops such as Nike and Ree­bok to buy the lat­est re­leases, and swap­ping shoes at huge sneaker con­ven­tions.

There is a lively trade on auc­tion sites such as eBay, where limited-edi­tion sneak­ers can rise in value far above their orig­i­nal re­tail price, par­tic­u­larly if they have a celebrity en­dorse­ment.

Orig­i­nally bought for $270, LeBron Crown Jewels, named af­ter bas­ket­ball star LeBron James of the Mi­ami Heat, are now worth around $1,400.

Nike Air Yeezys, de­signed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the singer Kanye West, cost $263 when they were re­leased, and are cur­rently on sale on eBay for be­tween $1,700 and $15,000. Ear­lier this year, a teenager turned down an of­fer of $98,000 for a pair that had been signed by the singer.

Puma is push­ing the en­ve­lope by putting its ath­letes in one pink shoe and one blue shoe. Ap­par­ently, this will make it eas­ier to tell which foot that player de­liv­ers goals with: Pink is right and blue is left. Look for Spain’s Cesc Fabre­gas and Italy’s Mario Balotelli in the boots. “I have to be hon­est, the first time I saw the Tricks boots, I thought the Puma guy was mad,” Balotelli is quoted as say­ing. “But when I re­al­ized he wasn’t, I was al­ready ex­cited.”

Shoes or socks?

Nike’s state­ment for the World Cup is its new Mag­ista and Mer­cu­rial soc­cer boots that use the com­pany’s fly-knit tech­nol­ogy, which ba­si­cally looks like cleats at­tached to a pair of socks. Cris­tiano Ron­aldo is go­ing to be wear­ing the Mer­cu­rial Su­per­fly, a high-top ver­sion with a cool name. “The way we think about prod­uct in­no­va­tion is re­ally about serv­ing ath­letes and re­ally about how we can help people reach their true po­ten­tial,” said Phil McCart­ney, vice-pres­i­dent of global soc­cer for Nike. “I think the prod­uct we’re go­ing to have on the pitch in the World Cup is a re­ally good ex­am­ple of that.”

Adi­das goes retro

Adi­das is of­fer­ing the backand-white Bat­tle Pack collection of four dif­fer­ent cleats, fea­tur­ing prints that are sup­posed to pay homage to Brazil — the only pop of colour is the trade­mark three stripes in neon or­ange. An ex­cep- tion was made for Lionel Messi, who gets the star treat­ment with his own de­sign and a bit of added Ar­gentina blue on his F50s. “It’s the big­gest tour­na­ment on the big­gest stage. It’s win or go home.

It’s black or white. So that’s why you see the black and white ex­e­cu­tion on the shoes,” adi­das mer­chan­dise man­ager Peter Hong said.

Golden boot

The top goal scorer at the World Cup re­ceives the Golden Boot award. But at least one player will al­ready have his

YouTube

Six­teen-year-old Chase Reed came up with the idea for the sneaker pawn shop.

Cal­gary Herald/Files

Nike Air Yeezys can fetch be­tween $1,700 and $15,000 on eBay.

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