You can do it in Harlem now.
A 16-year-old kid with 200 pairs of sneakers had the idea. It works about like any other pawn, which is to say, if there is a market for used goods, a pawnbroker somewhere will make a loan on them.
As we say at our Maui pawn shop, we’ll take in anything that doesn’t eat. And no doubt somewhere in the world there’s a pawnbroker who does take livestock, we just haven’t heard from him yet.
At Sneaker Pawn, there is a bit of a different wrinkle. If the shoe owner wants to sell, instead of making a straight purchase, it operates more like a consignment: Sneaker Pawn makes the sale and splits 80/20 with the seller — 80% to the seller.
Biggest drawback from the pawnbroker’s point of view: He has to sniff each shoe.