How to Start Reselling Shoes: Guide for Beginners

When you think of the word “sneakers,” what immediately comes to mind? Is it limited-edition sneakers? How about all the products and tutorials out there for keeping your sneakers in pristine condition? Well, over the last decade or so, sneakers have become more than just footwear; there's a whole culture. 

In fact, sneakers have undergone such a remarkable transformation from a niche hobby into a global industry that’s worth billions of dollars annually. Just think about it, collectively, multiple countries throughout all hemispheres have this same view and the same celebrations of sneakers. It’s pretty amazing, right? But it’s not just sneakers; other shoes are getting popular, too, such as Oxfords and even high heels. 

On top of that, you’re probably more than aware that there is plenty of money to go around in this industry, right? If you’ve ever marveled at the skyrocketing prices of coveted sneakers or maybe even wondered if people are making a living from this - it’s pretty easy to see why. You’re not alone on this. Needless to say, there is an allure to all of this, especially for those who have a profound love for sneakers, too. 

But like all businesses, you can’t go headfirst into this; you’re basically doomed to fail if you go that route. There are countless shoe brands out there, and there’s more than enough competition, so you need to know how to properly navigate the terrain. But with that said, it’s not impossible, and even as a newcomer, you can absolutely monetize this! But where do you begin? Well, here is your guide to everything there is to know on how to start reselling shoes!

Researching Shoe Brands


Before you start diving into the shoe market, you’re going to have to first equip yourself with knowledge. Alright, so this is a dead giveaway and incredibly obvious, but regardless, this is the foundation. For any solid business, the foundation is knowledge, so there’s no choice but to start here. So you’re going to want to look into various types of shoes and their respective market appeal, and you’ll have to also go as far as understanding the intricacies of each brand, their history, reputation, and so on. Let’s dive a bit more into this. 

Knowing Your Brands

When it comes to this industry, especially the niches in it, you have to know your stuff right down to the finest of details. Sneaker culture is merely one example, but if you’re looking into getting into something like that, then you have to know the giants and the small ones. You have to know each unique style out there, the heritage, fan base, and so on. This even goes for iconic releases and collaborations with artists, athletes, designers, etc. It takes time to do this research, but it’s key.

Analyze Market Trends9

You’re going to want to pay attention to which brands and models generate the most buzz for collectors and enthusiasts. It’s going to help a lot to look into social media platforms, online forums, and even resale platforms, as all of these provide insight into emerging trends and even consumer preferences. 

Look into Brand Prestige

You need to keep in mind that not all shoe brands are created equal for collectors and regular shoppers. So you’ll need to start paying attention to the perceived prestige and even the cultural cachet that’s associated with each of these brands, since this can all influence the demand and the resale value, too. There are so many factors to look into, such as brand heritage, innovative technology, and even celebrity endorsements. 

Finding Reliable Suppliers


One of the most critical aspects of running a successful sneaker reselling business is the power of relationships. All businesses, regardless of size and industry, need solid relationships, and this one isn’t any different in the slightest. You want to have reliable suppliers, and they want to know you’re reliable too. They need to be authentic, have a steady stream, and, of course, the quality needs to be high quality, too. 

It’s up to you whether it’s through manufacturers, authorized retailers, or other resellers, but regardless, there needs to be some legitimacy behind this. So, here are some ideas for finding reliable suppliers. 

Brand Stores and Authorized Retailers

This is pretty straightforward. It can be as simple as buying through established retailers like Foot Locker or Finish Line. You will need to keep a close eye on release calendars and sign up for notifications for restocks and releases. But keep in mind there is loads of competition for this. 

Direct from Manufacturers

You’re going to want to monitor channels from manufacturers, as this is going to be the best way to get limited edition and exclusive access to products. Some manufacturers have authorized reseller programs such as bulk purchases and discounts, but you’ll have to do extensive research on which ones do. 

Networking with Resellers

Building strong relationships is so important, and this might be one of the best ways to get valuable inventory, especially rare shoes. It’s not always the easiest to network, but you can look into Facebook groups, forums, Subreddits, and other online communities (even Discord has a few channels). 

Consignment Shops and Boutiques

Both of these specialize in curating rare and hard-to-find shoes, so these are perfect for getting some unique inventory. Again, you’ll have to create a strong relationship if you’re wanting exclusive info and releases. 

Online Marketplace and Auction Sites

Online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace, eBay, GOAT, and many others provide a great platform for both buying and selling shoes to individuals worldwide. So, if you’re looking for something very niche, then be sure to look into high ratings and positive reviews. 

Attend Conventions and Events

This is mostly geared towards sneakers, but chances are high that there are other shoe-related events for other types of shoes. But this is perfect for bringing collectors, enthusiasts, and resellers on a global scale all under one roof. It’s perfect for both networking and getting more info. 

Setting Up an Online Store


Nowadays, you have no choice but to be online for your business. In fact, having a strong online presence is basically essential! So, with that said, setting up an online store is going to allow you to showcase your inventory and connect with customers, and you’ll be facilitating transactions far more efficiently. 

Choose the Platform Wisely

Selecting the right e-commerce platform is going to be the first step in setting up your online store. There are plenty of options out there, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce, and all of these offer a range of features and customization options to suit your needs. These are only examples, so be sure to look into what would be the best fit for you. 

Think of the Design for Your Online Store

Setting Up Online Store for Sneaker ResellingThere needs to be an aesthetic to it, so be sure that the design or template you use is a good fit for your brand; of course, the shopping experience needs to be considered, too. It’s up to you whether you want to hire someone or use a template, but think about this wisely. 

Set Up Payment Processing

It’s all going to vary based on the platform you’re using, but be sure to integrate a secure payment process solution that accepts payments from customers. Most businesses use PayPal, Stripe, and Square since these accept a wide variety of payments, and they’re known for being pretty simplistic, too.

Implement Shipping and Fulfillment 

Something else you’re really going to want to do would be to just establish efficient shipping and fulfillment processes to help ensure the timely delivery or orders to your customers. There’s a lot that goes into this, like shipping rates, delivery methods, and packaging options, and the list keeps going on and on. 

Think About SEO

You need to consider that you have to be discoverable on search engines like Google. So, make sure you do what you can to improve visibility, such as using relevant keywords, meta tags, product titles, and so on, since all of these help out with enhancing your store’s rankings. Also, you’re going to want to regularly update your content and product listings since all of these help keep your website fresh and engaging for both your customers and the search engines.

Marketing and Promoting Your Products 


This is pretty obvious, but by all means, you need to have an effective marketing strategy for your products. There needs to be a solid strategy, and no, it’s not as simple as posting videos here and there on Instagram. This is a business, so you need to market your wares like a business would. 

Develop a Marketing Strategy

A comprehensive marketing strategy needs to be put into place, such as what goals you’re hoping to achieve, the target audience, key messaging, and so on. What channels and tactics would work best? What is your budget? How would you like to advertise? There are so many options, from email campaigns to social media marketing, influencers, SEO, SEM, and so much more. But this needs to be clear and well-defined. 

Offer Promotions and Discounts

It’s really important to entice customers, and what better way than with discounts and exclusive offers? It’s important to foster customer loyalty, and this is one of the best ways. 

Monitor and Analyze Performance

It’s going to be incredibly important to track and analyze the performance of your marketing campaigns, so what this means is that you’ll need to identify areas for improvement. 

Managing Inventory Orders


It was briefly covered earlier, but this is critical; if you don’t have this under control, then you don’t have your business under control. The process needs to be seamless, and this can help you out in getting a competitive edge in the market, too. 

Organize Your Inventory

This is obvious, but it never hurts to lay it down again. You should categorize your inventory by brand, model, size, and condition for easy access. It’s going to be a smart idea to also use inventory management software or even old-fashioned spreadsheets for tracking stock levels too. 

Invest in Packaging and ShippingSneaker Reselling Managing Inventory

You should get the best of the best when it comes to packaging materials; you need to think about minimizing shipping costs while at the same time lowering the environmental impact. If you can, you might want to consider branded packaging because this just leaves a lasting impression on customers, and it shows that you’re the real deal, too. 

Communication is Key

Customers want to know their tracking info; they want to have an idea of when it’s going to be delivered, so make sure to address any inquiries and concerns they may have.

Know How to Manage Returns and Exchanges

You’re going to have to be sure that you establish clear policies and procedures for handling returns and exchanges; this is all going to help with lowering the chances of disputes. 

Providing Excellent Customer Service


Delivering exceptional customer service is paramount. Don’t forget this! If you want to have a successful shoe reselling business, then you have to start right here. Customer satisfaction is always going to be number one because this shows that you’re reliable, and it’s going to build up trust, which eventually leads to loyalty. 

Sneaker Reselling Customer ServiceResponsive Communication

You’re going to want to provide multiple channels of communication like phone, email, and, of course, social media too. Another thing is that you’ll have to get back to everyone ASAP; the longer you take, the worse it looks on you.

Transparency is Key

Another thing to think about is transparency, so you’ll have to establish clear and transparent policies with them, such as shipping, exchanges, customer interactions, and the list can keep going on and on. 

Post Purchase Support

This is what really keeps customers staying with you, so by all means, be sure to offer post-purchase support and assistance. They need to have a hassle-free experience so you can provide guidance on product care maintenance and address questions and post-purchase inquiries.

Scaling Your Business


It’s going to get to the point where you’ll have to scale this, which means you’ll need to eventually expand your operations, increase your market presence, and do what you can to maximize profitability. It’s important to take your business to a whole new level whenever you’re able to. 

Expand Your Product Offering

You’ll need to go ahead and start by diversifying your product offerings, such as other types of shoes, accessories, apparel, and even collectibles. Some examples of this could be cleaning kits, shoe inserts, or even branded merchandise. 

Explore New Markets

This could mean a new geographical location, a new target demographic, or finding untapped markets or emerging trends that could work. 

Scaling Sneaker Reselling BusinessInvest in Marketing

Chances are, you’re already doing this, but you’re going to want to go above and beyond for this, too. It’s going to be a really good idea to just invest in targeted advertising campaigns across various channels, including social media, search engines, and influencer partnerships, to reach your target audience effectively and maximize the impact of your marketing efforts.

Establish Strategic Partnerships

Now, this is where you can really take your store to new heights. You’ll want to leverage suppliers and industry stakeholders and, of course, leverage their resources and expertise, and there needs to be a mutual benefit, too. On top of that, you're going to want to form partnerships with reputable suppliers, logistics providers, and fulfillment centers to streamline supply chain operations and reduce overhead costs. It might even be a good idea to explore co-branded collaborations and joint marketing initiatives to expand your reach and attract new customers.

Invest in Technology and Infrastructure

You’re going to want to upgrade your e-commerce platform, buy better analytic tools, invest in cloud-based solutions, and overall do what you can to allow for a larger sales volume. You’ll need to try and do what you can to keep up with technological advancements in this competitive marketing. 

Hire and Train Talent

You can’t expect to do everything yourself; in fact, you’d be sabotaging your business if you keep that mindset. So understand that at one point in time, you’ll need to expand your team with other skilled professionals. But it’s not just about hiring as much as it is about training them, too.

Monitor Performance and Adapt 

Even though looking into trends and analytics can be horribly boring, you still can’t skip out on this whatsoever. It’s a huge part of scaling for the future. You’ll need to look into sales data, customer feedback, and market trends, and all of these are going to help you with making informed decisions about resource allocation, product development, and finding a solid strategic direction.

Tips for Success in Show Reselling


It’s so important to understand that this isn’t some sort of cakewalk; there’s a lot of work that goes into all of this. When it comes to succeeding in the competitive world of shoe reselling, there needs to be a combination of industry knowledge, strategic planning, and relentless determination. All businesses need these qualities. So, what can you do?

Expand Your Horizons

When it comes to the resale market, a lot of resellers will venture into related industries to diversify their revenue streams. One pretty big opportunity would be ticket reselling, and this has a pretty low barrier to entry. There is potential for a nice return since there isn’t any physical inventory. So, if you want to expand your horizons (since you need to make money to earn money, especially for business expansion), then be sure to look into Lysted since this provides a user-friendly and accessible platform for getting started. 

Think of it this way: Lysted helps streamline the process for listing and selling concert tickets, which then helps enable aspiring resellers to tap into the thriving market. As a business owner, one market might not always be steady, and there are going to be some highs and lows, which is why expanding your horizons might be best. 

Stay informed with Industry Trends14

Even in this niche industry, you can count on there being changes in the market dynamics, consumer behavior, and even what the latest trends are. So, it’s going to help to look into sneaker blogs, news outlets, and social media influencers, as this will help give you an insight into said changes. 

Scale Gradually

Get it out of your head that you need to start big; you don’t need to do that whatsoever! Just go ahead and start small and slowly build up; even if you’re starting out tiny, you can still expect business, and it still shows how authentic you are. 

Price Competitively and Strategically

There needs to be a delicate balance because you need to stand out from the competition, but you need to also get customers to choose your business. So be sure to consider factors like condition, rarity, and even market demand when setting up the prices. 

Quality and Authenticity are Everything

You’re going to want to maintain the integrity of your business and prioritize authenticity and quality in all of your transactions. You’re going to want to authenticate all inventory rigorously to ensure that you’re selling genuine products to your customers. 

Embrace Automation

By all means, you’ll want to leverage technology and automation tools as these can help streamline your operations and improve efficiency, and this is also going to scale your business efficiently. Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to do this; for example, you can schedule posts on Facebook, plenty of e-commerce platforms have automation tools, and the same goes for inventory management software.

Learn from Mistakes and Iterate

It’s so important to not see yourself as a failure; instead, try to view setbacks and challenges as opportunities for growth and learning. It can be hard at first but try to embrace the mindset of continuous improvement and iteration. You need to be willing to learn from mistakes, experiment with new strategies, and adapt based on the feedback and the insights you’re getting.