The secondary sneaker resale market is worth an estimated $1.2 billion, and Yuanrun Zheng is one of the many businessmen reaping the rewards.
Zheng, better known in the sneaker community as “23Penny” or simply “Z,” is the face behind 23penny.com and its numerous spinoff stores. In a new mini-documentary titled “Sneaker Broker,” Zheng breaks down the business behind reselling in-demand footwear, explaining how he went from a part-time job at KFC to becoming a full-time reseller.
“Since the releases of the Adidas Yeezys, I’ve been getting emails — almost one every day — asking me to lower the price on the Yeezys so they can buy a pair,” Zheng says. “Some people are very pissed because they think that everything should be fair. But they should just really be pissed at themselves for not putting in enough effort. Sorry I’m the bad guy, but that’s the truth.”
Zheng also gives his thoughts on disgruntled sneaker seekers who try to paint him as a villain for profiting from kicks. “If they had access to 10 pairs — maybe even just five — they probably would have done the same thing. At the end of the day, I sleep well at night,” Zheng says.
“Sneaker Broker” was directed by Benjamin Skipworth of Inkwell Films, which is based in Nashville, Tenn. Watch the clip below.