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Ever thought about reselling shoes as a side hustle?
You might not know it, but there is an entire sneakerhead culture, complete with its own vocabulary and history. People who are into sneakers are often interested not just in what they’re wearing, but also the shoes they’re collecting.
Collectibles markets hold potential for profit. If you’re steeped in sneakerhead culture yourself—or simply love real-life treasure hunts—this can be a great side hustle or even a full-time job.
1. Making up to $100,000/year reselling shoes is not impossible.
When you resell sneakers, your profit will vary based on four factors:
- Your ability to purchase inventory at a low price
- Your ability to resell your sneakers at a higher markup
- The volume of sales you make
- Your overhead costs
If you go at this side hustle full time, you can make anywhere from $50,000 – $100,000/year. With zero initial client base, you can expect to be at the lower end of that range the first year.
2. Find inventory on manufacturer apps before it disappears.
Before you can resell shoes, you need to get your hands on some inventory. One place you can look is manufacturer and retailer apps. These apps allow you to find shoes that have just been released, and have never been owned by someone else. Here are some of the most popular:
Inventory on manufacturer apps goes extremely quickly. It’s good to know they exist, and buying direct can save you money. But, you’re likely to have more consistent luck finding shoes on aftermarket apps like GOAT and StockX.
3. Buy sneakers from retailers in person.
Another way to purchase shoes for your inventory is directly from physical retailers in your area. Common stores to check include:
Popular shoes go quickly, so you’ll have to be plugged into your local market to get your hands on sneakers before they sell out.
We tell you all about how to save up to 70% when you shop at DSW.
4. Don’t overlook discount retailers like Marshalls.
Discount retailers like Marshalls, Ross, and T.J. Maxx make money largely by:
- Purchasing sizes other stores don’t want to stock
- Purchasing directly from manufacturers at the end of season for a lower price
- Purchasing orders manufacturers never got paid for
So you might not always expect to find the latest drop at these stores. But…
In 2016, Marshalls made the news when it started selling some Fragment X Jordan 1s for just $60. Resale value was $1,800 at the time.
What most likely happened was another retailer never paid for their order. That gave Marshalls the opportunity to purchase the inventory from the manufacturer some months later. They then offered it to the public at an extremely low price, perhaps not recognizing the shoe’s value.
The point is, you can find gems even at discount retailers. But you shouldn’t expect to find them on the regular.
5. Find and resell shoes on apps like GOAT and Stockx.
One of the easiest ways to build inventory is to shop aftermarket apps. On the “aftermarket,” you’ll find shoes from other resellers. These sneakers have already been purchased once. You’ll be at least the second owner.
Let’s take a closer look at both StockX and GOAT to give you an idea how these apps work.
6. StockX’s bidding process can deflate shoe values.
StockX is an aftermarket sneaker resale app that shows buyers three prices:
- Last Sale: The last time your specific shoe sold on StockX, it sold for this price.
- Ask: This is the amount you’d like to receive as a seller. If someone offers to pay this price, you must accept their bid.
- Bid: If there’s a potential buyer who wants the shoe but doesn’t want to pay your full asking price, the highest bid will show up here.
This model can be problematic for sellers. When enough buyers bid low on a specific shoe, they can actually drive the value down across the app. Similarly, if another seller accepts a ridiculously low bid, it will show up in the “Last Sale” slot. This can also devalue the sneaker.
PRO TIP: While StockX may not always be the best platform for reselling sneakers, it can be a good place to find undervalued inventory for the same reasons.
7. StockX helps you save time, since you don’t have to take photos or write descriptions.
We all know that time is money. And it just so happens that StockX helps you save a ton of time during the listing process.
All the shoes sold on StockX must be “deadstock” — or brand new. Because you’re selling brand new shoes, you can just use StockX’s stock photos and descriptions rather than needing to write your own.
8. StockX is a level playing field for new sneaker resellers.
Both buyers and sellers are anonymous on StockX. That means it doesn’t matter how much of a following you have. When you resell shoes, you’ll have an equal chance of showing up in the search results right alongside more experienced resellers.
9. StockX fees start high, but get lower with volume.
StockX fees aren’t low, but they are relatively competitive as far as sneaker resale apps go. There is a payment processing fee of 3% on every order. Next, you’ll be charged a transaction fee. This fee varies depending on how much you sell:
StockX does not charge sellers a shipping fee in the US.
10. GOAT commission fees are from 9.5 – 25%, depending on your seller rating.
GOAT’s $5 seller fee is really a fee that covers shipping. And their 2.9% cash-out fee is used for payment processing.
The starting commission fees on GOAT are 9.5% for sellers with a rating of 90 points or higher. That rate is slightly lower than those for new sellers on StockX, but it can increase really quickly.
The good news is you can redeem yourself and get back to lower commission fees. Everyone starts out with 90 seller points. If you cancel a sale or GOAT comes across a verification issue with your sneakers, you’ll lose 10 points. For every positive sale that comes through, you’ll earn 2 points.
11. GOAT is a little more reliable than StockX, but check both.
GOAT is generally viewed as being a bit more reliable than StockX. Both companies put each pair of shoes through an authenticity check.
Perhaps because GOAT is punitive with fees when you send in a fake shoe, users often report their StockX orders get cancelled more often after the authenticity check than their orders through GOAT.
The difference is small, though, so you’ll want to check both apps for pricing before either buying or selling.
12. Resell sneakers on social media to reach a wider audience.
On social media, you can build a dedicated following. Whether you’re posting YouTube videos or simply posting your listings on Facebook Marketplace or Instagram, that following can convert into repeat customers.
13. Go for quick turnaround, not hype.
The shoes with the most hype are going to be the most expensive to acquire. When you turn around to resell them, you’re not going to turn a high profit, because your initial investment was comparatively high, too.
A good example of this is Yeezys, which can build value if you hold on to them for a long time, but often go for a loss if you try to flip them right away. This is the opposite of how reselling sneakers usually works, with a quick turnaround time to take advantage of hype.
14. Nike Air Jordan 1s turn a reliable profit.
Instead, you want to look at more affordable sneakers that can then be sold for a higher profit after the initial retailer inventory is sold out.
A good example is Jordan 1s, particularly Jordan 1 Highs. These are popular sneakers you can usually find for $100 – $200, but sometimes you can even find a pair under the $100 mark. They regularly sell on the aftermarket for well over $200.
15. Here’s the shoe size that sells the most.
Your shoe size usually correlates to your height. For men, depending on your height an average size would be somewhere between 7 and 12. If you’re reselling shoes based on volume, picking sizes from this average range is generally a good bet.
Women’s shoe averages haven’t been studied in as much detail, but generally speaking the average size is between 7 and 10.
16. But you’ll want to jump on rare shoe sizes, too.
Average-size shoes may be the best for volume, but they’re not going to pull in the highest profit. If you see a rare shoe size at a good price, you’ll want to scoop it up, as it will sell for a higher dollar amount.
According to StockX, shoes of these sizes sell for a higher amount:
- Men’s size 16 resells for 1.86 times more than retail value
- Men’s size 4.5 resells for 1.83 times more than retail value
- Women’s size 10.5 resells for 1.62 times more than retail value
- Women’s size 11.5 resells for 1.61 times more than retail value
Remember that while these sizes sell for a higher dollar amount, you’re not going to sell as many. There are not as many women wearing size 10.5 Ivy Park x UltraBoost OG ‘Night Marines,’ but those who do may be willing to pay a premium as they’re harder to find.
PRO TIP: This is where discount retailers like Ross and T.J.Maxx can serve you well. Because they stock sizes other retailers normally won’t, you may be able to find rare sizes more easily than at other retailers.
17. These sneaker sizes have the lowest resale value.
StockX also reports that certain half-sizes of men’s shoes bring in the lowest resale value:
- Men’s size 10.5 resells for 1.42 times more than retail value
- Men’s size 11.5 resells for 1.39 times more than retail value
- Men’s size 12.5 resells for 1.37 times more than retail value
In women’s sizes, certain sizes of wide shoes turn the lowest profit:
- Women’s size 8.5W resells for 1.21 times more than retail value
- Women’s size 8W resells for 1.18 times more than retail value
- Women’s size 7.5W resells for 1.16 times more than retail value
18. Don’t forget about shipping costs.
Shipping costs are incredibly important, especially if you’re not reselling shoes on an app like GOAT or StockX. These platforms come with shipping built in. But if you’re selling on another platform like Instagram or eBay, you’ll want to explore options like flat-rate shipping through USPS.
Conclusion: Reselling sneakers is so worth it.
Even with overhead costs like shipping and platform fees on StockX and GOAT, reselling sneakers is a worthy side hustle. Depending on how much time and expertise you bring to your craft, it can even turn into a good-paying, full-time job.
Ever dabbled in the sneaker aftermarket? Share your insights in the comments below!