How to Resell Sneakers and Streetwear
Part 1: Getting Started
Part 3: Buying
Part 4: Selling
Part 5: What now?
This is a multipart guide aimed to bring value to all kinds of resellers. Whether you’ve been in the game for years or you’re just getting started, this should be useful. If you’re 13 or you’re 30, there is always more to learn.
“Reselling streetwear” refers to buying limited sneakers and streetwear items and selling them to others for a profit. It doesn’t matter when or how you buy the product if you can buy something and sell it for more than you paid you are reselling.
While reading, keep in mind the lessons in this guide can be applied to more than just limited streetwear.
If you’re going to resell anything, the first step is actually buying the item. You can’t “resell” something without buying it first. This guide will focus on buying things online. If you are near a physical store that gets limited releases, you should be trying to make connections with the people working there in order to potentially secure limited items in the future.
A lot of resellers are located where there aren’t many stores or where buying from stores isn’t practical. You will need to make connections online in order to secure the products you want to sell. You have a few options when buying online:
- Purchase items online for retail from authorized retailers, such as Footlocker or Adidas
- Purchase underpriced items from resellers
- Purchase items from a bulk reseller that is willing to discount bulk purchases
Purchase items online for retail from authorized retailers
This should be part of your plan regardless of what else you are doing. Purchasing items for retail from authorized retailers will be good for a number of reasons. You’re guaranteed to receive the product as advertised, you don’t have to worry about scams or shady business, and your potential profit margin will be as high as possible.
We’ve actually written a detailed guide on how to cop multiples of any release for retail – check it out. This guide covers product research, getting a bot, securing the shoes, and how you can actually get multiples of each release. Most sites will follow a “One per customer” rule, where you will be limited to buying 1 limited item per address/card. There are ways around this that allow the serious reseller to ship dozens, if not hundreds, of the same item to a single address.
Purchase underpriced items from resellers
There are many different places online you can buy shoes/streetwear from. Here are a few:
- GOAT App
- Sneaker Twitter
- Facebook Groups
The idea behind this strategy is simple. You want to find items being sold far enough under their actual value that you can buy the item and resell it while maintaining a profit. This is called arbitrage.
Here’s an example:
You find someone on sneaker twitter selling a pair of Jordan 1 “Banned” from 2016. They’re asking $275 shipped via PayPal invoice. You quickly check StockX and realize the same shoe is selling for roughly $420.
For some reason, the seller is asking for way less than the shoe’s resale value. Maybe they need quick cash, maybe they don’t realize it, maybe they know something you don’t and believe the price will shoot down soon. Regardless, you have an opportunity.
You buy the shoe for $275 and the seller ships them. Two days later you receive the shoes, list them on StockX for $420, and they sell immediately. That’s a quick $145, right? No. In reality, you have to pay a seller fee to StockX, a PayPal fee, and the cost of shipping.
Assuming a total seller fee of 12.5%, you have to pay $52.5 to StockX. You’re left with 367.50, then it costs you another $17.5 to ship. In total, your net profit is $75 on a $275 investment. That’s a 27% positive return in roughly 3 days.
Let’s look at another example:
Rewind to 2013. You find a seller that is selling the Jordan 5 “Oreo” a week before the release. Somehow they got them early, and they’re asking $270. Well, the shoe doesn’t release for another week. On eBay, pre-orders are going for $325. You’ll have the shoe in hand 5 days before they’re even out! Surely you can sell them for $350 and make a nice profit.
Let’s break that down. You buy the shoe for $270 and receive them 5 days before the release. You list them on eBay for $350. A big baller wants to rock the Jordans before they’re out so they actually buy at your price of $350. You ship the shoes and they’re delivered to your buyer 2 days before the release date. Win-win all around, right?
No. eBay charges a 10% fee for every sold listing. On top of that, you have to pay PayPal a fee of 2.7% and .30 cents. You’re paying roughly 13% of the total sale in seller fees. You’re left with around $305 after fees. You also have to ship the shoes – that’s another $15. Assuming everything goes smoothly, you made roughly $20 on this deal. That’s a 7.4% return on a $270 investment.
Seller fees and platforms will be covered in depth in part 4. It’s important to memorize how much the seller fees are for each platform so you can quickly do the math and figure out if what you’re trying to do will be profitable. This strategy is certainly possible but it requires some experience and research. If a deal you find seems too good to be true, take a step back and analyze the situation. Does the seller have good feedback? Are they communicating well with you? Is there anything happening that would cause the resale of the item to drop?
If there is a big release coming up people may be looking to sell items below their market value to get quick cash. If there is a major restock happening, people may be selling the items restocking in anticipation of the price going down. You need to be up to date and aware of what’s happening in the market if you want to successfully follow this strategy. Take your time, be patient, and eventually, you will have a better understanding of how and when to execute this.
Find a bulk seller
This strategy plays off the previous one. Bulk sellers usually have connections that allow them to secure large amounts of each release. Typically a bulk seller will have a few regular customers and will only look to move in bulk to them. You want to become a regular customer once you find a good bulk seller.
A bulk seller will secure the items in BULK. This could mean anywhere from 20-200 pairs depending on the release. They then sell the items at a bulk price below market value. This makes sense for bulk sellers because they would rather unload the bulk items in a few transactions instead of dozens. This allows them to move inventory quicker and generate profits faster.
A bulk buyer has 100 Yeezy Boost 350 v2 “Bred”. You offer to pay $350 a pair and spend $35,000 to do so. You know you can sell each pair at $550 and return roughly $150 profit for every pair you sell. The bulk buyer probably invested $25-29,000 into securing the 100 pairs. In a few days, that money has turned into $35,000. That’s a 20% return within a few days! It takes you a month to sell all 100 pairs, but in the end, you net $50,000. That’s a 40% return over a month.
This can be very profitable especially if you take the time to build a regular customer base. If you are securing items in bulk every release, the same customers will keep coming back to you. This allows you to build up an infrastructure so it takes maybe 1 week to sell 100 pairs instead of 1 month.
This strategy requires some capital, but if you have capital available it can a very profitable solution. Spend time building connections and don’t rush to do business with anyone. Be patient and you’ll be able to find like-minded individuals that you can work with successfully.
It is possible to get in contact with pretty much anyone online if you actually try to. Try to reach people through Instagram DMs, Twitter DMs, emails, comments, etc. Most bulk sellers will be more than happy to work with you if you have the cash, don’t waste their time, and are interested in a long-term business relationship.
This is part three of a five-part guide on How to Resell Sneakers and Streetwear. Part four will be linked to this article once it is complete.
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