THE DOCTOR AND HIS SHOES
words by tsaqif
photography by iqmall
Tell any Asian parents that you wish to dabble into buying and selling sneakers for a living and you would probably be met with a ‘good try son, now go get your degree.’ While his peers worry about military conscription and life after polytechnic, Benjamin dove headfirst into the perplexing world of sneaker reselling on his very last day of school. An interest in SBs fuelled his passion for buying and selling shoes which eventually cropped up the birth of Sneakers Clinic in 2014.
Despite most of Singapore discontinuing the SB line, he is dead set on bringing it back, together with other famous sneakers which have gone under the radar. The one-man company works around the clock to ensure that he abides by his vision of providing the people with coveted shoes at affordable prices. It is not as simple as just buying shoes and selling them at higher prices. Tons of work (and of course money) goes into this sophisticated ‘game’ of reselling and his work ethic is very much similar to that of a trader – studying buying patterns of consumers, predicting the future market, etc. His plugs are scattered all around the globe and easing up for just a minute could ultimately mean an L on the latest drop.
With pairs like Lance Mountain Jordan 1s and the Nike Air Max Moon Landing in his treasure trove, Sneakers Clinic is that guy who sells sneakers we never knew we wanted. Sneaker reselling is the epitome of spending money to earn money and it was indeed a financial strain for Benjamin bringing in exclusive sneakers at the start. With every pair of exclusives sold, the money goes to funding the next exclusive pair. It is a never-ending cycle and if that’s not stress-inducing enough, tax issues when shipping overseas is a major pain in the ass. Patience is a virtue that aptly describes a resellers job – from holding back on the listing of the shoe on Instagram because the price point isn’t quite there yet or waiting on customers who are late to pay their pre-order deposits, it is indeed a test of your patience.
“It was a lot of trial and error at the start with sole swapping but I can confidently say that your shoes are safe with me”
As the name suggests, Benjamin has also treated worn-out shoes by giving them the very much needed ‘medication’ of sole swapping. No doubt that it is risky business – one mishap and you’re left with a pair of bottomless shoes. But after going through dozens of shoes, trying to perfect the complicated process of it all, you can be guaranteed a successful operation at his clinic. And it doesn’t end there for him as he has his sights set on having a studio as well as expanding the company.
Sneakers Clinic debunks the stigma that all resellers are just leeches wanting to suck your money, as he explains how he always tries to find the perfect price point such that it is a win-win situation for both him and his customers. At the end of the day, he too has to pay the bills and we should all just stop hating on resellers just because we want a shoe but are not willing to pay for it. As Benjamin cleverly puts it, “You can get any shoe you want in this world, it’s just a matter of if you’re willing to pay for it.”
Sneakers Clinic is shaping out to be one of the hottest booths at Culture Cartel 2019 and if what they’ve teased to us is just the tip of the iceberg, we’re going to be in for a treat. Tickets on sale here.