Do you want to start a business and make money retailing shoes? If YES, here is a complete guide on how to sell shoes plus best places to sell shoes online.
Shoes are more than things to cover and protect your foot with, they are a fashion statement. The kind of kicks you are wearing describes the type of person you are, and sometimes, your income level.
This is why people always want to buy good shoes wherever they find them. If you are an entrepreneur at heart, and you love everything about shoes, then know that selling shoes is the right way to go even if you are new to the business.
If you are wondering how to go about making money from selling shoes online, we have outlined a few tips that can help you out as well as places you can sell your shoes online.
How to Start a Business Selling Shoes Online and Make Money
Selling shoes online is not necessarily listing them on your website and waiting to get bids. You can visit the various online shoe retail sites and post your listings there. You should know that using those sites is your best bet for selling as many shoes as possible, and in the shortest time possible, so that you will be able to turn a decent profit. Here are ways you can sell your shoe stock online and get good sales and profit.
- Get familiar with the trend
There are some types of shoes that sell quicker than others. You need to do your research to find out these types of shoes so that you do not get stuck with your stock for weeks on end. First of all, you should know that if the shoe looks relatively comfortable, it’s going to sell.
So brands like Aetrex, Alegria, Aravon, Dr. Comfort, Drew, Finn Comfort, Rockport, SAS Tripad Sandals, Vionic etc. should be your go to shoes, and you should be bold enough to price them higher.
If you are prepared to do your research, you can walk the extra mile to charity shops, bazaars and second hand markets, and buy in bulk knowing that you will be able to flip your item easily on eBay or other related sites. However, make sure that besides for shoe brands you are familiar with, that you stock the different styles and colours of footwear that are on trend at the time.
- Bait your keywords
As far as the internet is concerned, you cannot go far without the correct use of keywords. You need to make sure that your product description matches the most popular search phrases. If you do not know them, then you need to make some research.
- Choose an account
There are a lot of places you can sell your shoes online and have good patronage, while also making good profit. It now behooves on you to research the best platforms for the niche shoes that you will be selling, whether men, women, or kids shoes. It should be noted that some platforms cater to specific niches, so choose the platform that would give you the best. You may have to talk to people online to see where they are going the most.
- Start a new account
The next stage to selling your shoes online is to start a new account on any of the shoe selling platforms you have chosen. If you’re a fan of the free listings that come up with a new account, then perhaps start one. Note that if your product gets pulled because of compliance issues you’ll lose the chance to list for free.
- Take sharp and clear pictures
The only way buyers can know about the shoes you are selling is through your pictures. So you need to show your shoes in as favourable a light as possible, and remember, make sure any defects in the product are featured in the shot so that the buyer has no cause to complain.
Shoot front, back and overhead photos of your shoes, as well as the soles, so the customer sees what he or she is buying. Also, take time to improve your shoes’ look and appearance, which can raise their value. You may also want to tape a few sheets of white posterboard together to create a distraction-free background.
- Write your advert content
When listing your product online, note that you are advertising the said product. Ensure that you give as much detail as humanly possible. The more information you give, the more you educate the buyer. An educated consumer can now make an informed decision about whether or not to buy your item. If you post a one liner like “nice sneakers”, you will leave your potential buyer with too many questions.
Don’t keep customers guessing what you want to sell them. Enter the brand, manufacturer, size and year in the listing’s subject line, such as, “Men’s Air Jordan Sneakers, Size 12X, 1999.” Use similar listings as a guide if you feel stuck.
Then write a description summarizing your shoes’ best qualities and condition. If you never wore them, write DS, which stands for “Dead Stock.” Write VNDS, or Very Near Dead Stock, if you only tried them on, or wore them for brief periods.
- List the price low
As a newbie, this should be a great idea for you. You may want to start by setting your prices low, but not too low that you lose credibility. You want to set a price that people will be more comfortable bidding at. But this may not make sense if you have good quality shoes, here it is recommended that you set the right price.
Remember you are not selling the crown jewels, so you have to be reasonable with the price you attach to your shoes. You may want to do a little research first to see what similar items are selling for before you make up your mind on price.
Another way to decide on price is comparing them with what you bought the item for, that is assuming you buy shoes off others for sale. Here, you only need to add a little mark-up for inconveniences and profit and voila, you have your sale price.
- List your contact info
You have to choose a way your clients can contact you for the products you have on your online store. You can choose to leave your phone number or email address. If you are really particular about your privacy, then you can just leave a company created email address.
You can decide to give your number to your buyer later. It’s a good idea to include a short paragraph telling people to use the above email address to contact you.
If you don’t want to expose your email address to your potential buyers ever, create a disposable Gmail account (or some other free provider) to use strictly for your transactions, because once you reply to an email from them, they’ll see your real email address.
- Don’t sound superior
A lot of online sellers can get so quirky with their listings, and some can even use the phrase, “Serious inquiries only, please” and other similar phrases in their ads. This is wholly and totally unnecessary. Ensure that you avoid it if you do not want to appear petty.
- Marketing is everything
You need to focus on finding an audience on social media. You may have to work on building your following on more than one social media channel. As far as shoes are concerned, Facebook is your best bet. Facebook offers a wide variety of ad and post types for you to choose from – as well as the option to target specific demographic groups.
You can target users based on their age, gender, location, interests and more. Facebook’s behavioural targeting even let’s you target users that are more likely to purchase from you based on their past behaviours.
Your social media success will be dependent on your ability to connect with audiences of a particular niche and deliver them something that they can not get from major suppliers. This means creating interesting social media content and delivering it to your selected niche through Facebook ads and posts.
For organic exposure, your best bet is to explore pages, profiles and hashtags that are relevant to your audience. Take the time to understand what kind of content your audience enjoys the most. When building an audience, you want to focus on providing them with a reason to follow you.
If you’re selling shoes, having videos and images of your products in use are great, but they have to be interesting enough for people to want to watch. Try experimenting with different content types and see what resonates most with your audience.
- Watch Shipping Costs
Shipping costs are some of the costs that can eat deep into your profit. Your shipping cost would include the cost of buying packaging for the shoes, and what you have to pay to make sure that the item gets to the buyer. You may have to customize packaging to protect the customer’s purchase and your bottom line. Cut boxes and padded envelopes to size, and reclaim discarded packing materials from curbs and dumpsters.
Use rolled- or shredded-up newspapers, rather than expensive styrofoam peanuts, to prevent shoes from rolling around in a box. For thriftier customers, offer lower shipping on multiple purchases, and cheaper options — like Parcel Post — to save more money.
- Pay Attention to listing Fees
Listing fees are yet another fee that can affect your bottom-line. Stick with an economical listing approach or site fees fees will quickly dissipate your profits. Avoid add-ons like Launch Scheduler or Listing Designer, which each add 10 cents per item to your listing fee if you are using eBay.
Using your own design templates and entering listings manually will save $520 to $1,200 per year, according to eCommerce Weekly. Also, pick the single best category for your shoes. Otherwise, you’ll pay insertion fees on both items, and a final value fee — which cancels out the benefit of your 50 free monthly listings that eBay offers.
11 Best Places You Can Quickly Sell your Shoes Online
In addition to giving you tips on how to sell your shoes online and turn a profit, we also want to tell you the best places you can list your shoes online so that you can get patronage.
iOffer is an online marketplace for selling new and used shoes and other stuff. There are no listing fees with iOffer, and it’s free to open a store. This makes it a cheaper platform to use especially if your are a newbie. However, you will pay a commission fee of roughly between 8.5-10% once your item sells. You can also pay for “premium” listing fees in order to boost views.
As the seller, you are responsible for setting up shipping methods and payment methods.
Bonanza allows you to sell new or pre-owned shoes on their site. When you sell on Bonanza, you pay a 3.5% “base fee”. This is another good site that you can use. If you opt into their advertising program, your item gets more exposure, but you will also pay an additional fee of between 9% and 30% – depending on which program option you choose.
There are no listing fees with Bonanza, but the site is known to favor sellers with brand name shoes.
Although eBay does charge listing and selling fees, it’s still one of the most popular venues for selling new and used shoes and other types of clothing. Remember when you decide on your listing price, you must take shipping costs as well as eBay listing and selling fees into consideration.
So you need to be wary of these fees so your profits does not sink into it. Make sure to gain enough of a profit to cover what you’re going to pay to sell them, including your time and materials for boxing up and shipping them out.
Poshmark has a free app that makes it super easy to list and sell your shoes and other items. In fact, the site says it only takes 30 seconds to list your items for sale.
Once you sell your shoes on Poshmark, they will send you a prepaid shipping label to use to ship the shoes, and you can then box them up and drop off at a USPS location or have your postal worker pick the box up if they allow that in your area.
For all sales under $15, they take a flat rate fee of $2.95. For any listings $15 or higher, you’ll pay a 20% commission and keep 80% of the sales price for yourself. After the item is received by the buyer, you can request payment via direct deposit to your bank account, or Poshmark will send you a check.
Grailed specializes in selling high-end name brand men’s shoes and other types of men’s clothing. You can sell new shoes there as well as used, as long as the shoes are in excellent condition.
You simply list the shoes or other clothing items on their site, and wait for the offers to come in. You can even accept multiple offers as well. Whoever pays you first is the winner. Shipping costs are included in all offers, so it’s important to be aware of that when you list. After you sell, you’ll pay a commission of 6% plus applicable PayPal costs to Grailed, and the rest are yours. Your payments are given out through PayPal.
Heroine is the female equivalent of Grailed, specializing in helping you sell high-end name brand women’s shoes and clothing. Heroine works in the same way as Grailed as far as commissions and sales goes.
With both Heroine and Grailed though, you have to sign up to become a member of their communities before you buy or sell on these sites.
BuyMYHeels is for buying and selling designer shoes to and from people all over the world. There is no commission to sell on this site, but they do charge a listing fee of £5 which is equivalent to $7 USD.
They also have a strict rule on this site that no replicas or shoes that you aren’t certain are a particular name brand can be sold.
Kixify is a site that allows you to sell both new and pre-owned sneakers and other shoes. You have to set up a store in order to sell on Kixify, but the store set-up is completely free. There are no listing fees when using Kixify, but you will pay an 8% commission when you sell your shoes. It is not too bad if you compare with some others.
Kixify collects the money from your sale via PayPal instant billing and takes their cut right off the top. You as the store owner get to set your own shipping and return policies.
- Facebook Marketplace
In addition to being a very popular social media platform, Facebook has been expanding its capabilities to include a virtual marketplace. How it works is that you simply post your items online and connect with local buyers. Once you have agreed on a price with an interested buyer, you can meet up to pass off the shoes in person.
This is an extremely convenient way to connect with local buyers. If you are already a Facebook user, then just go to your newsfeed. You should find a link to the Marketplace in the left-hand column.
Craigslist is a great site for selling just about anything, including shoes. You can sell your used or new (and never worn) shoes, and you’ll never pay any listing or selling fees.
Be sure to take great pictures when selling on Craigslist. Also, a great description of your items helps too.
Be prepared to have to meet your buyer in person (a public place is best) or to ship the items if they’re willing to pay ahead of time via PayPal. Use other safety practices as well such as not accepting personal checks, and letting a loved one know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. The internet is not all that safe, you know.
- Varage Sale
Varage Sale is an “online garage sale” that allows you to sell your shoes and other items locally. Varage Sale is operational in all 50 united states (and in Canada) and is different in that it has some security features in place that sites such as Craigslist don’t have.
First, you have to sign up to become a member and have your identity verified and approved via your Facebook account. Once you’re an approved member you can sell your shoes and other items, however only other approved members will be able to buy your stuff.
This member requirement and verification is an effort on the part of its founder Tami, who wanted to create a safer space for people who feel hesitant to buy and sell on sites with no security measures in place. Varage Sale doesn’t charge any listing or selling fees – it’s completely free to use; good news for you. All fees, meetups, etc. are negotiated between buyers and sellers.
So, in essence it’s a lot like Craigslist and similar sites, however the membership requirement and verification make it a bit safer to use.
If you have followed the above rules and have completed your listing, but you noticed that your shoes are not selling, then you have to do a little bit of research. You need to find out if the price you listed is higher than what similar shoes have sold for previously. If it is, then you need to lower your price.
If you checked and your price is at par or even lower than others, then it means that you need to be patient till the sales start coming in. Again, you have to be sure that your shoes are being shown to the right people that have an interest in the kind of products you are selling, if not, you may not make much in the way of sales.