Because of its low barriers to entry and user friendly interface, eBay is an excellent starting point for those in their entrepreneurial journey trying to make their very first dollar online. Selling shoes on eBay can be an excellent way to make a living. With this in mind, make the jump straight to starting by creating an eBay account right away.
It’s better to start with a strategy than none at all, and here we will layout a strategy for noobs. After reading this, ideally you will get started in this niche, hopefully with a good amount of expected success. If you’re in for a 160 page read that includes all the ins and outs of this popular shoe market, you can get the number one resource here.
However, for those new to the reselling game, it can be overwhelming to sort through a bunch of stuff to figure out what to sell on eBay, or better yet, what the best items are to list on the platform.
Here are 3 criteria for finding an item to sell on eBay.
- Proven market
- High margin
- Uniquely accessible (competitive advantage.)
We will now see how sneakers check all of these criteria with flying colors:
1. Proven market
You want to sell something that has a proven market. EBay has long been and continues to be a place for collectors of a broad spectrum of items. Comics, video games, and cult fan memorabilia are some of the first things that come to mind. You may be surprised to learn that sneakers sell incredibly well on eBay and move at a $250 million+ annual volume.
Those who buy sneakers often allocate the bulk of their disposable income towards the hobby, not hesitating to flinch on a $500 purchase even when their income is only $30,000 per year. The sneaker brands as well as pop culture and fashion trends have done such a good job marketing with combined forces from all angles that there’s a growing frenzy around the sneaker market in 2018 with signs pointing towards its continuation.
A lot of these buyers are so in the consumer mindset that they never take the time or effort to acquire the shoes in such a way that they could make a profit.
2. High margin
You want to make a profit on the items you’re selling. A lot of powersellers on eBay have high sales quantity and volume but not much of a dollar amount. It only takes $12,000 yearly gross sales to be considered as a power seller on eBay.
Many people are not making money on eBay because they’re dropshipping items from china like phone cases or other cheap trinkets, and netting maybe $0.10 per sale.
The high margin dropshipping opportunities quickly disappear as more and more people are buying the same item and are competing by offering a lower price. This price war that is common not only on eBay but on Amazon for generic items is what kicks a lot of resellers out of the game.
Selling a high ticket item is a better bet. High ticket and high margin is ideal. Rare sneakers, like Nike Air Jordans meet these qualifications by being high ticket (about $200 retail) and high margin (often selling at a 100% margin). You can make the same money selling a single pair of shoes as you would dropshipping over 500 phone cases on slim margin.
3. Uniquely accessible
When selling generic items from a site like Aliexpress, you’ll soon find competition because anyone with a computer can log on to the site and buy the exact same thing you’re buying. It’s a mindless process.
You can follow the traditional reseller advice of making trips to your local discount clothing stores, but you’ll find that with discount stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Ross Dress For Less that many other sellers are selling the exact same items as you are online, and that price wars drive your profit margin down to slim or none after eBay fees and shipping.
Maybe you’ll scour the shelves of your local Goodwill or other thrift store instead, but not only will this be a frustrating process of finding a needle in a haystack, you’ll find that you’re competing with a lot of other local resellers who are way better than you at getting the best items to resell.
Even though sourcing from local thrift stores is a uniquely accessible process, it doesn’t scale well and luck is too much of a factor to reliably bet on making a living off of it.
I used to make thrift store trips hoping to find items for a profit, yet instead of walking out with tons of items worth money on eBay, I would walk out empty handed more often than not.
When I did find items that I saw had sold in the past on eBay, they would often sit around longer than I’d hope, and my inventory turned into a “death pile” (i.e., an affectionate reseller’s term for their unsold goods), and it took up way too much space in my living situation which at the time was a small 1 bedroom apartment.
Buying sneakers falls in the ideal range of being both scalable but at the same time uniquely accessible.
Because it is a trickier process, not just anyone can go on and buy a pair of shoes to sell.
Additionally, many people remain unaware of the opportunity, and a lot of people that do struggle to find the best resource for learning all of the intricacies of shoe reselling, which is why the sneaker market remains high margin.
When you get the shoes for retail on their release day, you will sell quickly to a proven market, so you won’t ever have to worry about dealing with a death pile of unsold inventory like most eBay sellers do.
As an online shoe seller, you’ll also have a competitive advantage as there is a steep learning curve and high level of dedication that comes along with being a shoe reseller on eBay and other sites, but it can pay off big. As Jordans become harder to buy in 2018, the outlook for sneaker resell opportunity remains bullish.
For those who want to delve deeper into this world of flipping kicks, continue to browse the many articles on this blog or check out the numerous free and awesome resources online to get a competitive edge against everyone else in this hot market.
Here is an exclusive guide that will walk you through everything you need to know for reselling sneakers, including the history, best models to sell, how to sell them, and how to scale your profits to new heights while avoiding fakes and making money along the way.