Sympson starts shoe reselling business

Daniel Gonzalez-Arevalo, Newtonian Sports Manager

In a period where the internet has become an integral part of the daily lives of many people, it has become increasingly simple to find things that you are interested in online. The internet offers a wide range of opportunities for many people including shopping, social media, access to music, streaming services and even business opportunities. For senior Ethan Sympson, the internet has presented him with a window of opportunities to grow his sneaker business. 

Sympson has spent the majority of 2021 developing and growing his very own sneaker reselling business. Something that Sympson claims started as a hobby has proven to be a new source of income. 

“I was picking sneakers up for personal use,” Sympson said. “Then every once in a while I’d sell a couple. Once I realized that there was real money in it, that’s when I actually started [the business].”

The increased cultural influence sneakers have had in the past decade additionally influenced Sympson. He says seeing sneakers on the feet of famous celebrities often catches his attention.

“Seeing them on a lot of big celebrities, I thought they were really cool,” Sympson said. “So I started researching them and I ended up buying them and then I started reselling them.”

Other resources such as YouTube were of great help to Sympson. The ability to learn from others who were already involved in the business allowed Sympson to know exactly what to expect starting out.

“[One of my inspirations is] Harrison Nevel, he’s a big sneaker YouTuber,” Sympson said. “I started watching him, and he also helped get my brain ready to go in sneakers.”

Sympson states that he did not begin to take sneaker reselling seriously until he was a couple months in. With sneaker collaborations between famous celebrities and sneaker brands, Sympson was able to make a large amount of money from selling a single pair of sneakers. 

“I probably made close to one grand,” Sympson said. “[My most profitable shoe was] the Travis Scott Jordan 1 lows. I think it was like six to seven hundred dollars.”

The collaboration between Scott and Jordan brand released on Aug. 13 and is worth up to $1500 now. This pair of sneakers is just one of the favorites Sympson has had the opportunity to own. 

“I really like the Off-White collabs that I get and I even have a pair of Off-White Dunks,” Sympson said. “Actually, I have two pairs of Off-White Dunks right now, and I just think that the Off-White collabs are really interesting because they’re deconstructing a sneaker. The Travis Scott Jordan 1’s are sick too and I’ve had a pair of the lows before, but not the highs yet.”

The process Sympson goes through to acquire his sneakers is something that many are not familiar with. Sympson purchases his sneakers for the standard retail price and resells them at a higher price in order to profit from the sale. He usually uses social media to acquire his shoes but when needed he uses other sneaker selling apps. 

“I mainly go online with Instagram people as well as if there’s a good price on sneaker reselling apps [such as] Grailed, Stock X and Goat, which doesn’t happen often because the taxes, and the fees do take out a lot, but those are the main ones,” Sympson said.

At the moment, the business Sympson runs is still growing as he mainly uses Instagram to promote his shop. His current handle is @solestreetks but he has goals of establishing his very own shop in Kansas City one day. 

“I mean I want to continue making my own shoe shop,” Sympson said. “Hopefully in like Kansas City, somewhere that has a lot of foot traffic.”