The world is big enough for more than one sneaker pawn shop. We catch up with Antonio Aguirre Jr., owner of sneaker pawn shop Sole Slam Concept Store based in Manila, Philippines.
When did you start your sneaker pawn shop?
I started the sneaker pawn shop in June 2012. We currenly have two sneaker pawn shops.
What made you want to start the business?
Our family has been in the pawn shop business since the early 1970s and I’ve been involved in it since I was 15 years old, so it seemed right that I combine the pawn shop business with my passion for sneakers.
What’s worth noting about your sneaker pawn shop?
Our interest rates are very low, as low as 5% every month, for 90 days maximum. Also, our starting capital for each pawn shop is a minimum of $125,000 per location.
Without having to give away too much of your trade secrets, how does a sneaker pawn shop work?
Basically, we assess pairs which we think, if unclaimed after 90 days, can still be sold at retail. We pay one-third the value of the sneaker to the owner, and hand out a low interest of 5% every month due only on the 29th or 30th day. Failure to pay interest on those dates will result in penalties.
What kind of licensing is needed to start a sneaker pawn shop?
Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) requires pawn shops to have a minimum capital of $125,000, or Php 5,000,000 equivalent, per location and a walk-in vault for all pawned items plus capital insurance for $200,000 worth of goods. There are other requirements, but these are the major ones. It’s similar to the requirements of traditional pawn shops (Antonio’s family owns more than 65 branches in the country).
What were your thoughts when you read the NYPost article, “Teen opens world’s first pawn shop for $15,000 sneakers“?
From what I understand, it seems more similar to a consignment store.
Have you reached out to Chase Reed, or the NYPost?
I really don’t have the time to do that, to reach out to them. If they reached out to me, I can make time for that. Everybody’s gotta do what they gotta do. At the end of the day, it’s just business, and it’s just about shoes.
What are some of the common fakes that people have tried to push to you, and how do you reject them?
We have not seen any fakes being pawned to us, to be honest. They’re probably too scared to even attempt to do that to us. We get offers for all the legit pairs.
Putting yourself in the shoes of a customer, which of your sneakers would be the last you’d pawn off if you’re in need of some dough?
OG Jordan 1’s. They’ll stand the test of time longer than any pair of collectible sneakers. I’d always pawn off Lebrons, Kobes and KDs plus most non-OG retro Jordans, the hype on them really dies out fast and you’re left with shoes that you can’t even sell for below retail. Same with the new SB’s and Foamposites. SB’s just fell off the face of the earth in recent memory plus Foams started declining ever since they started sporting prints (Jet fighter, Camo prints, Galaxy, etc) on the shoes. Remember when Galaxy foams sold for $5,000 and up when they came out and after 2 weeks, it would be hard to sell them for $800? The best foams are still those in solid colorways.