July 20, 2019 | 85° F

Student makes bank by selling sneaker purchases


The start of this story is not uncommon, as it begins with a young boy when he gets his first pair of Air Jordans. But, in the case of Dane Gill, it actually helped him to fly. 

Now, a vastly successful buyer and seller of street wear products, he began in the 6th or 7th grade with a love for whatever sneakers he could get his hands on. It was only a few years later, at the start of his high school career, when he realized he could actually make real money selling his sneaker collection.

By his junior year of high school, he had about 100 pairs of Air Jordans, Nikes, and other brands — you name it. He used sources such as Ebay and Facebook as sales forums until he built up a client base, which now allows him to never even go outside of his direct clientele for sales.

Gill’s success has only skyrocketed since high school as he now buys and sells thousands of products a month. His role is purchasing products or collections when they are released. He takes his bulk deals and sells them to his list of clients that buy in bulk and they’ll get back to him with a price for how much they want of his stock. Gill doesn’t tell the buyers how much he actually paid for the products. The buyers then go on to individually sell whatever they purchased from Gill to make a profit.

“Least work, most money,” Gill said on his role as the middleman.

 Even though his life off campus is both demanding and exciting, Gill is still very involved on campus. He is a sophomore in the Business School as well as a brother in Theta Delta Chi, a fraternity here at Rutgers.

In an environment plagued by the struggles of student loans, Gill admits he feels divergent from the pack.

“It’s a blessing to be able to make this kind of money,” Gill said.

Within his circle of friends and brothers, he tries to help where he can by giving them income opportunities. Opportunities include accompanying him to a drop off at the mall for two or three hours.  For the average college student, making $30 an hour for a portion of their day could mean the world. For Gill, though, he could make as much as a $1,000 in those two or three hours.

“Everyone can make a little money, but no one can make as much money as me,” said Gill. 

Why Gill has the power to be the highest breadwinner in the room is because of what he would define as a passion and a love for fashion. Not just anyone can think they can make money off selling sneakers and the next day be a high-roller in the market.

It can be said that it takes a certain "je ne sais quoi" to be able to be successful. That "je ne sais quoi" for Gill is a love for sneakers, fashion and aesthetics, as well as a respect for the time it takes to build success. 

Although not everyone can be an entrepreneur in this market, it doesn't take much to practice an appreciation for street wear. Gill has experienced a culture existing everywhere for street wear.

At Rutgers, he feels it’s different due to the mutual college student experience of a small bank balance. He has people who reach out to him over Instagram frequently asking him about his products, or people who have reached out to him because they’ve heard about him around campus.

“I don’t sell to anyone at Rutgers,” Gill said. 

He said he doesn’t have a need to sell to anyone around Rutgers due to his loyal list of clientele that has been established for years. Gill does agree the presence of fashion prominence mostly exists on the Livingston campus over the other four. The difference, though, is the fashion that's worn. He has mostly seen students on Livingston wearing brands like Saint Laurent and Givenchy, but for Gill these brands are not valuable.

“My wardrobe is a bank account,” said Gill.

The young entrepreneur says he will never find himself in a situation where he misses an opportunity to earn money.

He has even began the process of starting his own personal street wear brand. This past summer he saw a pair of high-end jeans out of his price range and recreated them himself out of a pair he already had. After posting it on a Facebook forum for comments, Gill found himself with dozens of order requests. Now he's in the works of taking it a step further — to make his own line of products. He’s unsure where it’s going, but we’re all waiting with breath that is baited when he does.

“Being an entrepreneur or being anything — the first thing you have to do is love it — I love Jordan's and I love sneakers and I always have.”

Brielle Diskin

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