MANALAPAN, N.J. – Dominick Ruiz sat at the kitchen table in his parents’ townhouse and held up the Kanye West Adidas 750 Boost – size 8 – like they were crown jewels. He bought them from a friend for $2,000. He thinks he could resell them for twice that, or even more. But, man,http://cheapjordanshoesfreeshipping.com/, are they comfortable, so he’s keeping them for himself.
âI’m lucky to have this shoe,cheap real jordans,â Ruiz said.
Ruiz, 16,cheap jordan shoes, is an up-and-coming star in the sneaker resale market, an estimated $1.2 billion-a-year industry in the U.S., where sneakerheads buy and sell rare shoes through social media and at trade shows like baseball cards or stocks.
It is not a typical summer job. He is on his cell phone at all hours. He drives hard bargains. He is desperate for respect in an industry where his peers can flash sharp elbows and attitude. And sometimes it can go horribly wrong. His mentor and best friend Jamal Gaines was killed in a robbery last February at East Coast Boutique, a sneaker store in Rahway. Gaines was 21.
Ruiz was shattered. But he pressed on, drawn to the connections he has made, energized by the challenge – and the money – by tracking down the right shoe in the right size.
âHe’s trustworthy,â said Joseph Diorio, 37, the owner of Solexchange, which hosted a convention Saturday and Sunday at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus. âHe has a very good reputation. If he says he’s going to get you a shoe, he’s going to get you a shoe. If you don’t have trust in the community,cheap jordans, you don’t get anywhere.â
Ruiz is going into his junior year at Manalapan High School. He lives here with his father, David, and mother, Elaine. He has an older brother, David. And his attraction to sneakers isn’t complicated; he said he simply likes fashion and what shoes can bring to his appearance.
When he was 12, he went to Foot Action at the Freehold Raceway Mall and bought a pair of Nike Air Jordan Doernbecher 4 for about $200, using the money he made from chores he did around the house. He tired of wearing them and went a couple of years later to a sneaker show in Manhattan, where he ran into an attendee who offered him $800 for them to give to his girlfriend.
It was a tidy return – 300 percent – on an investment he didn’t even know he made. He kept going to shows, making connections with savvy traders like Diorio and Gaines,cheap retro jordans, who told him he,cheap air jordans, too,cheap jordans for sale, could cash in.
And he got help. He worked at East Coast Boutique, taking photos for the store’s Instagram account, which has 100,000 followers. Gaines suggested Ruiz include a picture of himself – and his own Instagram address – in one of the posts, and he took off. Ruiz now has 24,200 followers who can see his latest products: Nike Air Jordan Shadow 1 for $300; Nike Air Jordan Royal 1 for $500; and photos of himself sporting his favorites.
âWhen I first started, I never thought I would have $10,000 worth of sneakers,â Ruiz said. âI didn’t think it would become this big sneaker world where people are paying $5,000 for a sneaker. I never would have thought that would have been me. But now I go to sneaker events and spend that.â