DETROIT – Collecting sneakers used to be a hobby, but now it's a billion-dollar business.
They're called sneakerheads, and they're after limited-edition shoes, no matter the cost.
StockX CEO Josh Luber has a passion for shoes.
"I have a very reasonable collection for a sneakerhead," Luber said.
He owns about 400 pairs of sneakers, but he said that's nothing compared to others.
"There are people that have thousands," Luber said.
Buying and selling collectible sneakers has become a major business. The StockX concept is simple: collectible sneakers come in from sellers and go out to buyers. But unlike a marketplace such as eBay, StockX employs a team of authenticators to spot counterfeits. Professional sneakerheads make sure buyers are getting the real thing.
If you want to sound like a sneakerhead, you should know that the Kanye West Yeezy gives Michael Jordan serious competition. People will stand in line for hours to enter a raffle for a chance to spend $200 to $300 for a pair of the sneakers.
But in reality, most people won't come close to buying a pair of Yeezys because it's all about who you know. Lifelong sneakerhead Jason Hall is connected. In the regulated world of high finance, that might be called insider trading, but in the freewheeling world of sneakers, it's part of the game.
StockX is for people who aren't so well connected. It offers a fair opportunity to buy shoes that are authentic.