Benjamin Kapelushnik is the founder of Sneakerdon.com which is an online sneaker resale marketplace that caters to fans of high-end exclusive, rare and limited sneakers. With a roster of celebrity clients including DJ Khaled, it’s estimated Kapelushnik brought in about $1 million in 2016. Dubbed the “Sneaker Don”, Kapelushnik is only 18 years old and his self-made sneaker resale business is on its way to $2,000,000 in sales this year. These aren’t just any sneakers that he is selling. The most expensive pair of shoes he has ever sold went for around $20,000.
He started gaining a large following on social media after he began appearing on the Snapchat account of one of his biggest customers, famed music producer and rapper DJ Khaled. The relationship between the two blossomed after a mutual friend introduced them, and Khaled became a loyal buyer. Kapelushnik’s celebrity clientele has now grown to a number of high profile rappers and athletes. These clients mostly go to him for rare sneakers before they are available to the public.
Kapelushnik saw an opportunity to make a profit from reselling sneakers way before the market reached a point of fame. He didn’t have the money to afford sneakers because his parents didn’t want to fund this hobby. He had ventured in reselling shoes in order to fund his hobby and made business out of it.
His business wasn’t built overnight. He first started realizing it could be a legitimate business when all the kids at school wanted his shoes, so he used to pay people to wait in lines to get them, which he would then resell. However, he never made a business out of it until later on when he saw that he could make a lot of money from it. Kapelushnik started buying in bulk and then reselling on his website.
The business profitable ability comes from getting rare sneakers, like Air Jordans or Kanye West’s Yeezt brand before they are available to the public, from his carefully cultivated connections. He also goes by the nickname “sneaker plug” because of how plugged in he is to the industry, and his ways of getting rare sneakers before their release date. He would buy the sneakers in bulk and sell them on his website. These sneakers are usually sold for a minimum of a 40 percent price. Furthermore, he can get these sneakers at retail price and profit margins can be upwards of 1,000 percent.
This young entrepreneur has quantities and sizes that nobody else has. This is because he gets them before the release date. Therefore,he is able to set the pace of their price, but the market sets the price. Having an 18-year-old son running a lucrative business might be a lot for some parents to handle. That’s why it took a little time for his father to come around to the idea. When he was in 8th grade Kapelushnik bought a shoe for $800. This act made his dad to tell him that he was out of his mind and that money will be lost. However, he wore it and sold it for more.
Kapelushnik has big plans for his future. This plans are inclusive of opening up stores and chains to sell shoes to go along with his website. He still has plans to finish college despite running a successful business at just 18 years old.