Here’s how people in Kansas City make money from sneaker culture

Business

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As a college athlete, Presley Mackelburg has to get creative when it comes to earning cash.

Mackelburg’s found quite the side-hustle in buying and reselling high-end retro sneakers from Nike and Adidas.

“I either make personal connections or sell through eBay. That’s the easiest way for me. I make the most profit that way,” Mackelburg told FOX4.

Like many other so-called “sneakerheads,” Mackelburg scours online auction sites, sneaker apps and limited-edition raffles to snag rare creations that can fetch a pretty penny.

“The most I made on one sneaker was about $400, and that was on a Yeezy foam runner,” Mackelburg said.

The 21-year-old is one of thousands who make frequent visits to shops like Reset KC in Westport.

“The foot traffic is hot for sure. We see probably 50 people an hour,” said Garrett Pulliam at Reset KC.

A steady clientele comes in to buy, sell or, sometimes, both.

“The shoes that they win on raffles or online, they’ll bring to us and sell them to us instead of selling them through the online marketplace because it’s easier,” Pulliam said.

One of the priciest pairs of kicks at Reset KC sells for $1,950. The “Nike Union” is a collaboration between the Air Jordan brand and “Union LA.”

So is anyone worried that the sneaker bubble will burst?

“No it’s just going to keep on going up,” Pulliam said. “Right now, the sneaker industry is worth $70 billion. In 2025 it’s going to probably be $130 billion.”

That’s a lot of Air Jordans.

“The whole sneaker game is a little bit of luck,” Mackelburg said. “You just have to be lucky sometimes.”

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