China: 'Sneakerhead' pawns 283 pairs of Nike Air Jordans to buy an apartment

A Chinese man, who gave the English name Mick,  looks at the 283 pairs of shoes he pawned off to make down-payment on an apartment.

Story highlights

  • A Chinese man has pawned 283 pairs of limited edition Nike Air Jordan sneakers
  • He plans to use the $160,000 loan as a down payment on an apartment
  • He has been collecting Nike Air Jordans since he was 14 years old

(CNN)Faced with sky-high real estate prices in the Chinese capital, one Beijing man has sacrificed his shoe collection to get a foot on the property ladder.

The man, identified only by an English name, Mick, pawned 283 pairs of limited edition Nike Air Jordan sneakers in exchange for a $160,000 loan, which he plans to use to cover the down payment for an apartment to share with his new wife, the pawn shop said.
    Wang Xiaoyu, the vice president of marketing at Beijing World of Pawn Co told CNN that a very small number of the sneakers had been worn but most were in pristine condition, wrapped in their original packaging.
    It was the first time the company had accepted sports shoes as collateral for a loan and they had to find an expert to evaluate them. He valued the shoes at 2 million yuan ($320,390), but Mick only wanted a loan for 1 million yuan.
    Mick told local media he started collecting sneakers more than a decade ago when he was 14 years old. An avid basketball fan, he particularly liked watching Michael Jordan matches.
    One of the most expensive pairs in his collection, valued at 110,000 yuan ($17,600), is a pair featuring the signatures of all the players in the Chicago Bulls team led by Jordan that won the 1993 NBA finals, reports said.
    Mick said he plans to pay back the loan within two months and reclaim his beloved collection.