• A behind-the-scenes look at Justin Truong and Sandy Li business PUSHAS, which they started to solve a problem they were struggling with. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Setting up a platform to trade second-hand sneakers has seen Justin Truong and his co-founder Sandy Li tap into the resale sneaker market worth an estimated $1 billion.
Philip Ly

19 Nov 2017 - 5:35 PM  UPDATED 8 Feb 2018 - 11:01 AM

Having a deep understanding in a niche community and meeting its needs can lead to success in the most unexpected markets

Justin Truong and Sandy Li had a strong obsession with sneakers, but they struggled to find authentic shoes. So, they found a solution.

“PUSHAS is a sneaker market place for people to safely buy and sell sneakers online and at any one time we could have 300 to 400 sneakers up there,” Justin said.

The website stocks sneakers ranging from $200 to $2000, ranging from casual to luxury and boutique brands such as Balenciaga.

“They’re like trading cards – once a sneaker becomes older, they gain vintage status and are worth more,” Justin said.

The business model relies on a strenuous vetting process where resellers, who act as suppliers, send them their shoes to resell.

“Once the sneakers come through to our platform, we check everything from the uppers, lowers, insoles to make sure everything is authentic … because there are a lot of fakes out there,” he said.

In turn, he and Sandy are able to reap 13.5-16.5 per cent of the sale profit.

He said as a business, they need to trust their sellers who basically act as suppliers.

“Our sellers range from everyday fanatics,” he said.

“We have a few sellers who are 35, married and have kids but fill their houses with sneakers and could have anywhere from hundreds to thousands of pairs sitting at home.”

Like some retail stores, they do a weekly ‘drop’ of new sneakers on their website.

“We might get anywhere from 800-2000 people on the website every day,” he said.

Using social media and influencers to market their brand is a core part of the business.

And even though it’s been difficult he said: “it’s a matter of having goals and pursuing those goals.”

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