Not A Typical Salesman: Monde Thrives in the Nike SB Shoe Biz

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Not A Typical Salesman: Monde Thrives in the Nike SB Shoe Biz

Will Monde '11 sits comfortably amongst his emense collection of sneakers. | Photo by Madeline Hardy '11

Will Monde '11 sits comfortably amongst his emense collection of sneakers. | Photo by Madeline Hardy '11

Will Monde '11 sits comfortably amongst his emense collection of sneakers. | Photo by Madeline Hardy '11

Will Monde '11 sits comfortably amongst his emense collection of sneakers. | Photo by Madeline Hardy '11

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Will Monde '11 sits comfortably amongst his immense collection of sneakers. | Photo by Madeline Hardy '11

Unlike the price of a conventional running sneaker, Nike SB (skateboarding) shoes are priced based on the hype and the quality of materials used on a given pair of shoes.

Will Monde ’11, a newcomer to this buyer-seller market, entered this entrepreneurial escapade with little knowledge, but with a great passion.

“One of my friends had a pair of Heinekens [Nike SB shoes] which are $700,” Monde said. “I liked the shoes and then I bought a pair that I knew was cheap.”

From that moment on, Monde knew that he found a great job: finding, purchasing, wearing and reselling the high priced shoes that he loves.

Buying cheap and selling high is the craft of all business-related activities. The Nike SB shoe market is no anomaly. After beginning about one year ago, Monde has already seen profits of $1,500 to $2,000.

“I pretty much buy a pair that I know I can sell for more,” Monde said.

For instance, Monde found a pair of “Unlucky” black hightop Nike SB Dunks, that were priced at $300.

Knowing that he could get the shoes cheaper than what the seller wanted, Monde offered $215.

The buyer, now desperate to sell this pair of shoes, accepted Monde’s offer.

This is the part of the transaction where Monde makes his money. “Unlucky” SBs are actually worth $350 as this is the naturally occurring market equilibrium price, meaning Monde could resell these shoes for a $135 profit.

“Most of [the money I make] money goes into gas, clothes and more shoes. It’s like feeding the system,” he said.

So why would any seller offer a pair of shoes less than what the market is demanding for them? According to Monde, the seller may be anxious to get rid of his or her shoes.

It is also possible that the seller simply does not like those shoes anymore and wants money to buy a different pair.

“It’s about hunting the good deals that I can make money on. I only buy shoes that there is a 100 percent chance that I will make money on,” Monde said.

Monde knows what shoes are being sold cheaply, based on several Nike SB forum sites. One site, www.superkix.com, compiles the prices of many vendors currently selling their Nike SBs.

“If I don’t like them [the shoes], I assume other people don’t like them. Therefore I don’t buy those shoes,” Monde said.

In addition, Monde considers the three most important characteristics of Nike SB shoes: the materials, the market’s hype, and the quality of the shoe.

One of Monde’s favorite pairs of shoes, “Cali,” has extremely “buttery” smooth suede. Thus, the market price for this shoe averages $500. But rarer shoes that have a great deal of hype and are made of high quality materials, such as “Floms,” can cost up to $2,000.

The quality of a seller’s shoe is quite important to Monde, as he does not want to purchase a heavily worn shoe.

To avoid this, Monde checks photos of shoes he is considering to buy. He looks for the amount of heel drag (how worn down the backs are) and likewise on the front of the shoe.

Monde gets his enjoyment from selling Nike SBs from the hunt of purchasing shoes and then turning the purchase into a profit.

“Some people like breaking open the new box, smelling the new shoes, lacing the fresh laces, collecting the shoes,” he said. “I like to do that too, but usually it’s making the money that is fun for me. I get to do both, which is fun.”

Monde’s parents, though supportive, don’t understand how he can buy such expensive shoes.

“When you spend more money, the risk is greater,” Madeline Monde, Will’s mother, said.

Monde’s mother plays a role in the shoe selling process as she ships and wraps the shoes via UPS.

Monde plans to continue selling shoes through college and possibly longer.

But for now, Monde is hunting for new deals to pounce on.

“In two weeks, the “Blackpacks” would be gone, the “Unluckys” would be gone. I would be up $400 and have two more pairs of shoes,” he said.

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