Naperville Sneakerhead Turns High Tops Into High Profits

Where Did The Love For Shoes Begin?

“So probably three to four years back when I was in Cleveland, my friends and I went to a shoe store called [The] Restock Cleveland and that’s where my love for shoes began,” said Will Wagner.

Shortly after, Will’s love turned into a hobby – collecting exclusive shoes and merchandise. He eventually saw an opportunity to turn his passion into a source of revenue.

Hobby Turned Business

“I can sell this pair for $540, this pair for $900-$950, this pair for $1,100. This pair I got offers for close to $800, and I have offers for over $1,000 for this pair,” said Wagner about potential shoes he could sell.

You heard right, those five pairs of shoes have a combined value well north of $4,000. Potential profits like this prompted the young entrepreneur to create his own small business, Relaunch Soles.

Using a makeshift photography booth he posts photos onto Instagram where buyers can purchase his shoes.

“I always have to make it look good or else it just bugs me,” said Wagner. “Sometimes I’ve taken up to 50 photos just trying to get the perfect shot.”

How Re-selling Works

Will compares his business to trading stocks. He buys limited shoes at retail prices and sells them at a higher rate in the secondary market.

“These I paid $270 and just sold them today for $550. These I paid $950 for and now they’re sitting at like $1400-$1500,” said Wagner.

He sometimes dives into the secondary market for his own collection.

Getting the shoes at retail is the hardest part because shoe apparel companies like Nike release desired limited shoes on their website for everyone to buy. But luckily, Will has some helpful hands.

“I have an app on my phone and he has it all setup with what size he wants. And typically [shoes release] at 9 a.m. of course he’s at school and he can’t do it. So he’ texting me saying ‘don’t forget the shoes are going to drop’. I basically just have to hit a button and then if I get them, I get them. And I have to do the capture and that’s the hardest part,” said Will’s mother, Celeste Wagner.

It’s Not Just Shoes

Will’s business doesn’t just include shoes, but also clothes and items like supreme stickers that can sell for $100.

And the sneakerhead sees himself growing into even bigger shoes.

What’s Next for the Naperville Sneakerhead?

“Where do I see myself in a few years? Probably in college either reselling on the side or having a good job at a sneaker store. Or having a good business experience from this to create my own business and be successful from there,” said Will.

In total, Will has spent around $50,000 on buying shoes but has made over $65,000 selling them. Not too bad for a 16-year-old.

Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.

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