How to Resell Sneakers and Streetwear

Part 1: Getting Started

Part 2: Business Basics, Ethics, and Tips

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.

Selling

Overview

This part of the guide assumes you have something to sell. Refer to Part Three – Buying if you don’t have anything to sell yet.

Assuming you have secured item(s) to sell there are a few ways to do so. As the sneaker industry has exploded the last few years more selling platforms have opened up and become viable options. These options include, but are not limited to:

  • eBay – The biggest consumer-to-consumer marketplace out there.
  • StockX – “The stock market of things”. Consumer-to-consumer marketplace designed specifically toward sneakers, streetwear, and other high-end items.
  • GOAT App – Similar to StockX, exclusively for sneakers.
  • Grailed – Consumer-to-consumer marketplace for streetwear and sneakers.
  • Facebook groups – Groups of people interested in buying and selling sneakers/streetwear. Provides a community of potential buyers and sellers.
  • “Sneaker twitter” – Twitter users specifically interested in sneakers/streetwear and the reselling of limited supply items.
  • Consignment shops – Physical shops that receive a lot of traffic. Will cash out your shoes or sell them for you at a cost.
  • Local customers – Local individuals in your area that will make purchases through in-person transactions.
  • Independent sales site – E-commerce store built by an individual or a business intended to attract customers and sell products.

When determining which platform you’re going to sell on there are a few questions you should ask yourself.

  1. Am I subject to pay a fee for using this platform?
  2. How much traffic is my item going to get on this platform?
  3. Is my target market being reached on this platform?
  4. Am I able to grow my business by using this platform?

Am I subject to pay a fee for using this platform?

Understand that the business plan of any selling platform is to take a small percentage of every completed user transaction. Each platform offers you a place to make safe transactions and in some cases, provides the audience necessary to make sales.

Platform fees –

  • eBay – 10%
  • StockX – 8-9.5%
  • GOAT App – 9.5% + $5
  • Grailed – 6%
  • Facebook groups – Free
  • “Sneaker twitter” – Free
  • Consignment shops – 20% (Flight Club)
  • Local – Free
  • Independent sales site – Free

Keep in mind that PayPal, Stripe, and other payment methods also charge a fee separate from the selling platform. When using eBay, StockX, and GOAT, fees can add up quickly and eat into your profits.

How much traffic is my item going to get on this platform?

You could have the hottest shoe of the year listed under market price. That doesn’t matter – if you’re trying to sell it where people won’t see it, you will struggle. eBay receives roughly 50 million visits every single day. StockX receives over 200,000 visits every single day. Take advantage of this!

A conversion rate of 10% or more is considered great in the e-commerce world. That would mean for every 100 views, 10 people will make a purchase. It’s a numbers game – the more traffic you receive, the more likely it is you’ll find a buyer.

Example – conversion rates of a Shopify e-commerce store

One other thing worth mentioning – most platforms reward people for getting traffic. When a platform such as eBay or Twitter sees a post getting lots of traffic, they assume it’s something people want to see, so they drive even more people toward it.

When you search something on eBay, the first results are always the “hot” items getting the most traffic.

Tip: When selling on Twitter, try to get influencers within your market to retweet or interact with you and your posts. Most influencers on Sneaker Twitter are willing to retweet your for sale post + help connect you with potential buyers.

Is my target market being reached on this platform?

Traffic is great. Relevant traffic, that is. Getting thousands of views from avid cat lovers won’t help you sell your shoes. Sure, there are probably some cat ladies out there rocking the latest J’s, but for the most part, you’re not going to get much out of irrelevant traffic.

Do the research and see if you’re advertising to your target market. Your conversion rate will be higher when you’re getting views from your target consumers. There’s a reason you don’t see a Louis Vuitton store in North Dakota, yet there are 4 Louis Vuitton stores located within a few miles of each other in downtown New York City. Louis Vuitton understands this is where they can get the most traffic from their target market.

Your target market is people interested in the item you’re selling with the money to pay for it. If you’re selling a sold out item, you’re actually doing them a favor because they likely missed out on it and want to buy it at any cost.

Tip: Get a little crazy. Find some sneaker related pages on social media and find out who’s interacting with the account. Check out individual accounts and see what they’re saying, what they’re posting. You want to figure out what’s currently grabbing the attention of your target market, and find a way to divert that attention to you.

Am I able to grow my business using this platform?

This is a crucial question to ask, and it depends on what goals you set back in part one. If you want to build a good reputation, gain repeat customers, and ultimately grow your business, you should be looking at every transaction and interaction you make as a potential way to do so.

A perfect example of a well run eBay profile. Notice how there is only positive feedback?

Customers that enjoyed doing business with you are more likely to leave positive feedback on your profile or vouch for you in the future. Customer feedback is super important, especially if you plan to build an individual site down the road. When other people see that customers trust you and were happy with their purchase, they will be more comfortable giving you their business.

A happy customer could turn into a bulk buyer, or refer you to a bulk buyer. They may be so impressed with your business they put their foot down and say “I’m only shopping with you from now on.” They may turn into a frequent customer that spends thousands of dollars a week. Positive customer experiences lead to positive things.

Negative experiences can also help you grow. You got scammed, or someone left bad feedback and said your customer service sucked. Well, what can you learn from that? It might feel unfortunate at the time, but looking at every situation, good and bad, as a learning experience will help you in the long run.

Quick Tips

Let’s get technical. There are a number of things to watch out for and keep in mind while selling.

General – 

  • Use the “sold items” section of eBay to try to figure out the market price of an item and determine demand.
  • Once you determine how the market feels about an item, decide if you want to hold it for long-term gain or make a quick sale before the price goes down.
  • Frequently sellers will undercut each other to make a quick sale.
  • Don’t lose out on profits trying to make your money back right away.

Scams 

  • Never ship to an unverified PayPal address.
  • Never ship until you’ve received the payment in full from the buyer.
  • Watch out for fake payment emails.
  • Check out customer feedback when possible before continuing with the transaction. Have they bought shoes before? Be wary of negative reviews from other sellers and past transactions.
  • If a customer asks you to ship to a different address than the one matching their payment method, don’t.
  • Watch out for window shoppers – don’t let them waste your time!

Shipping

  • Take pictures of the item before you ship it in case anything unexpected or shady happens.
  • Provide clear and concise information about the service you plan to use (USPS 2-4 Day Priority Mail is standard).
  • Double box the item – don’t tape up the shoe box and throw a label on it. You need to put the box in another box to avoid damages.
  • Provide tracking information after shipping. (USPS and UPS can help you find this information if you need help)
  • Calculate profits after you know the cost of shipping.
  • Preprint labels to save time waiting in line at the carrier.
  • Insure packages worth more than what you’re willing to lose. (If you ship enough, you’ll lose a package eventually. Be prepared and make sure it doesn’t cost you).
  • Track your packages and follow up with your customers once they’ve been delivered.

While this section contains a lot of useful information, you won’t be able to fully understand it until you actually apply it. Go out and start selling, learn through experience!

This is part four of a five-part guide on How to Resell Sneakers and Streetwear. Part five will be linked to this article once it is complete.

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