Randy* still remembers buying his first pair of real sneakers, the Air Jordan 13 Flint. Ever since then, he's been a sneakerhead.
Being a collector while growing up in south Florida wasn't easy. Randy couldn't easily get to a bigger city to buy sneakers in-store, so he was stuck buying online. But he was too slow, and he always lost out. Eventually he started using browser extensions that would put sneakers in his online cart the second they went on sale.
Then he hit the goldmine: bots.
"It's like putting a Lambo next to a Toyota Corolla," Randy said, comparing bots and extensions. "A bot was quicker. It would do everything, add to cart and check out. You could set up information and put your credit card info in."
Eventually Randy quit his day job at the batting cage for a more lucrative career of reselling sneakers.
Take the much-desired Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2, Kanye West's sneaker. If you were lucky enough to grab a pair of the Zebra colorway at retail, you'd pay $220 plus tax. At sneaker consignment store Flight Club, it's between $1,250 to $2,500 a pair. Ebay has a pair for $1,750. And at on sneaker stock market site StockX, the 52 week high was $3,072 a pair.
"I do feel bad, but I don't mind reselling," Randy explained. "It sucks because as a collector, you want to have the shoe and not pay overprice for it. But, at the same time, it's a hustle. People are out here flipping shoes. That is literally their job."
"People are doing a lot worse things out here," he added. "I'd rather sell shoes than sell drugs."