As more people shop secondhand to save money and be more sustainable, many of them are looking to eBay for their favorite brands and styles at a fraction of the retail price. If you’re looking for a way to get in on the action, selling shoes on eBay may be the perfect opportunity for you. In this blog post, I will discuss how to make money selling shoes on eBay and provide some tips that will help you succeed in this venture.
While there are a lot of people talking about making hundreds or thousands of dollar selling highly desirable sneakers, that’s not what this post is about. That is definitely a profitable venture if you know what you’re doing, have the money to invest, and have the contacts, but it’s not for everyone. Instead, I’ll be talking about how to make money selling your average used shoes on eBay that sell for maybe $25 to $50, not hundreds of dollars. So if you’re looking to start selling shoes in 2022, here are a few tips to get you started.
Note: This post is sponsored by Vendoo and contains affiliate links. As always, all opinions are mine, and I only work with companies I genuinely recommend.
Is reselling shoes still profitable?
Reselling shoes is definitely still profitable! The rise of secondhand shopping has been well documented over the past few years. Consumers are becoming more conscious of the environmental and social impacts of fast fashion, and as a result, they are increasingly turning to secondhand retailers like eBay, Poshmark, Mercari, etc. for their clothing and accessory needs.
This trend is only expected to continue in the coming years, which is good news if you’re looking to start or grow your reselling business on eBay. Think of it this way: everyone needs shoes. There are people who want certain brands or styles, but don’t necessarily want to pay full price for them so they look to getting them secondhand at a lower price on websites like ebay. So as long as you can source and list shoes that people want, there is definitely profit to be made.
Finding which shoes sell for a good profit
If you’re going to be selling shoes on eBay, you’ll want to focus on finding shoes that will sell for a good profit. Don’t be fooled into thinking that anything sells and that if you can find a pair of shoes for $1, it’s automatically a good buy.
You don’t necessarily need to find the most popular or expensive shoes, but you do want to find ones that are in demand and will sell relatively quickly. A good way to do this is by looking at completed listings on eBay to see what’s selling and for how much. I have a blog post here outlining how to look up sold items on ebay so you can do your research before you buy an item to sell. You can also use Terapeak, which is a research tool provides sellers to insights into what’s selling on eBay.
The biggest key is doing your research and always expanding your knowledge. Even though I’ve been reselling for over 10 years, I still look up new brands and items so that I know if that’s something I should be looking out for.
How much money can you make as a shoe reseller on ebay?
As with anything, there is no easy answer when it comes to how much money you can make reselling shoes on eBay. It really depends on a number of factors like how much you’re paying for your inventory, how much they’re selling for, etc.
But I like doing math and it’s fun to look at numbers so let’s look at some realistic, hypothetical numbers for a part time seller on eBay. Let’s say that your average cost of goods is $10 per pair and your average sale price is $40 per pair. After fees and cost of goods, you’re looking at around $24 in profit per pair. If you sell 10 pairs a month, that’s $240 in profit, if you sell 100 pairs a month, that’s $2,400 in profit!
Obviously, these are just made up numbers, but it’s always a good idea to run some likely scenarios before starting a business to make sure it’s worth your time!
Where to find shoes to sell
There are a many different places where you can find shoes to sell on eBay. You can look for them at thrift stores, garage sales, online consignment shops, etc. I’ll talk a little bit about a few of the best places below, but it’s a good idea to always keep an eye or ear out for opportunities!
Thrift stores are a great place to start when you’re looking for shoes to sell. Even if you live in a small town, you likely have one or two thrift stores near you. There are plenty of people out there who don’t bother reselling their items when they’re no longer in use, so they just donate them to thrift stores. Thrift stores, especially those for charitable causes, are always at the top of the list when it comes to finding shoes to resell online.
Personally, I think yard sales might be the best place to find shoes to resell. Now don’t get me wrong, not every yard sale is going to have what you’re looking for. But I always say that some people will have a yard sale before they donate the rest to a thrift store, so sometimes you can find amazing items that don’t make it to the thrift store. The best part about yard sales is that most people are just looking to get rid of items cheap and if someone has one good pair, they often have several good pairs so you can score a few good pieces of inventory at a good yard sale.
Facebook Marketplace is a great tool for finding shoes to resell. You can search by keywords or brands so it’s a very targeted way of looking for inventory. The nice thing about Facebook Marketplace is that you can take a look at all of the items that person has available and see if they have multiple pairs listed and will give you a deal on them. A lot of people selling on Facebook marketplace locally are just looking to make a few dollars and move things out of their house, so you can get some good deals.
Consignment and buy sell trade stores
If you have any consignment stores or buy sale trade stores near you, it can be a great place to source shoes to sell. Most of the time you’ll pay a little more than if you’re shopping a thrift store, but because these items are handpicked by the store, they’re usually in good condition and have a decent resale value.
Friends and family
I used to be shy about telling people that I was a reseller, but after a few people have given me car loads of items to sell that they were planning on donating, I tell everyone! You never know when someone might be looking to clean out their closet and would be happy to give you their old shoes.
Discount stores like Marshalls, Ross, and TJ Maxx are great places to find shoes to resell. They often have a good selection of name brand items at a fraction of the retail price. The downside is you’ll pay a lot more than at a yard sale or thrift store, but these are all new items so you can usually sell them for a higher price.
Tips for making money selling shoes online
Now that you have a good understanding of where to find shoes to resell, it’s time to start thinking about how to get started. Here are a few tips:
Look for quality inventory
The first step is to find quality inventory. Finding shoes made from good quality materials are likely to get you more money. These items will be easier to sell, and you’ll be able to get a higher price for them.
Keep your cost of goods low
This means you’ll want to look for shoes that are priced low, so you can sell them for a higher price and still make a profit. Buying a pair for $20 and selling them for $30 isn’t going to be enough profit after fees and all of your efforts, so paying attention and keeping your cost of goods reasonable will help ensure there’s enough room for profit.
Always consider condition
When you’re looking at shoes to buy, always consider the condition. Shoes that are damaged or have major wear and tear should be avoided. Always look over each pair you’re ready to buy to think about if they have enough life left in them for someone to spend their money on them.
Don’t be afraid to clean shoes
If you’re buying shoes secondhand, they might not be in the best condition. Don’t be afraid to clean them up before listing. A little bit of elbow grease can go a long way in making a pair of shoes look presentable and new again, which will likely allow you to sell them for a higher profit. In addition, a lot of other resellers will skip over shoes that need to be cleaned so if you’re willing to take a few minutes to clean up a pair, you can find some great deals.
Take really good pictures
Taking really good pictures is important when selling shoes online because people can’t physically see the shoes before they buy them. Good lighting, multiple angles, and closeups are key to taking great product photos.
Cross list to other marketplaces
In order to reach the most people and make the most money you should cross post, or cross list, your items to multiple marketplaces. I personally use Vendoo to quickly cross-post all of my items to three platforms: eBay, Poshmark, and Mercari. However, if you want to, Vendoo actually has 10 different marketplaces you can cross list your items to. The more places you cross list to, the more eyes you can get on your items and the better the chances you are of selling them!
If you want to check out Vendoo, you can click here for a 25% discount on your first month.
Now that you know where to find shoes to resell, how to get started, and some tips for making more money, it’s time to put your skills into practice! Get those first few pairs listed and continue to learn and grow, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful shoe reseller!