A College Student Taking the Resale Industry By Storm Since 16

You can thank Kanye.

Shoes that are high in demand but made in a low quantity is the name of the game. For Kris Papa, he has made a substantial business out of the reselling industry— and it all started with one pair of Yeezys. Although his career in the market started out unintentionally, it lead to him selling shoes for A-List celebrities, traveling the country, throwing insane thousand dollar parties in high school and recently paying his own college tuition.

With the streetwear community and industry rapidly growing, a way that people utilize its popularity is by reselling sneakers. The sneaker community demographic has reached a large audience, as young as high school. For Papa, he began his crazy life of reselling his sophomore year of high school.

It all started with the Yeezy 350 in Oxford Tan. It was December 2015, and Papa had just turned 16. After spending $20 for access to a sneaker forum, spending $225 (the retail price) for the Yeezys and selling them for $750, this young entrepreneur has never looked back.

The reselling industry has been on a rise since the release of the Yeezys. “The common trait between all the shoes is that they’re low in supply and high in demand” Papa says. The name of the game is to purchase the shoes at retail price and since these shoes are so sought after  , the resale price that people pay create a profitable margin to up to 300 percent and higher on return on investment. According to Business of Fashion, the resale marketplace being estimated 1 billion dollars  and because of that people involved in this industry are able to make a substantial amount. In the case of Papa, starting out young worked to his advantage.

From one pair of Yeezys sold, it soon became hundreds sold. Papa truly created an empire. With his knowledge and hacks from the sneaker forum, Papa uses computerized programs to aid him with his business. “Eventually when I wanted to get 50-100 pairs, that’s when I started using bots,” Papa says.

His first big sell was one that he’ll always remember. In 2017 Nike was dropping this shoe that was reminiscent of the Back to the Future shoe called the Nike Hyperadapt. Except this shoe was much more accessible and at an attainable price. The talk about this shoe was up in the air, “no one knew how there were going to go, but I was like it seems profitable because I was checking sales and it was three grand, and the shoes itself was $700,” Papa says. In order to purchase these shoes, you had to secure a reservation on the Nike website, which Papa was able to get, but there were some complications. “My Nike account was in my mom’s name for some reason… so I needed my mom to pick it up with me, and it was a weekday so she had to take off work,” Papa explains. He paid his mom $100 to take off work so she could pick up the shoes with him, “she obviously didn’t want to, she said, ‘you’re crazy no one is going to pay that much for a shoe,’” he says. Believe it or not, he paid retail for the shoe and flipped it the same day for $2,100. “My mom couldn’t believe it either, it was one of the first shoes that I sold for a lot,” Papa says.

His parents are very supportive of his business. Although they were skeptical at first, once they saw how much money Papa was bringing in, they were on board. “I never asked them for money after I started selling shoes, so they knew I obviously had some money coming in,” Papa says.

Papa has made such a substantial amount and statement within the resell industry that he was able to work his way up. With his business he was able to make major connections. Papa was able to resell shoes to A-List celebrities such as: Odd Future (Tyler the Creators Team), Chance the Rapper and Lil Yachty.

What does he do with the money you ask? Back in high school he threw extravagant parties worth thousands of dollars. From renting out executive suites and mansions, he made sure he and his friends all left with a memorable crazy night. Recently he’s used his earnings towards high fashion clothing, food and paying for his entire tuition as the University of Southern California.

His dreams is to work within the music management industry. With his reselling business and the connections he has made with such high profile people, that dream is closer than ever for Papa.