Search

How to Resell Sneakers: Your Simple Guide to Big Profits Flipping Shoes

By Shane Dayton |

The process for how to resell sneakers is pretty simple. You find used or new sneakers with a high resale value. You then buy multiple pairs at a competitive price. And then seek out the best place to resell them to sneaker enthusiasts for a healthy profit.

Reselling sneakers can be a pretty great way to make money.

In this article, you'll learn how to go about this. Plus you'll learn important information like:

Learn How to Resell Shoes

As a heads up, if you want to learn from the true expert and get much more in-depth on how to profit in the sneaker game, I recommend checking out the Six Figure SneakerHead – HypeMaster Playbook Here.

Learn How a SneakerHead Makes Six Figures Here

Use code NICHEMONEY to get an extra 10% off.

How to Resell Sneakers for Beginners

The sneaker flipping business attracts hustlers of all ages. From the schoolyard and the streets to online marketplaces, sneaker enthusiasts connect over their passion for fashion and make a quick buck.

Compared to some other options for how to make extra money online, the sneaker resale market is actually very profitable. It's currently valued at around $1 billion.

While only 4% of shoes and sneakers are purchased upon release for resale, the market benefits from side hustlers and entrepreneurs who operate in different channels.

The sneaker market has expanded and grown exponentially since online channels began gaining traction though.

Back in the day, people had to scour through thrift stores and flea markets looking for buried treasure (shoes far below their retail value).

Others would run to their nearest Foot Locker to get the latest pair of shoes.

In these days, news spread through word of mouth and Eastbay mail catalogues.

Now you just need to hop onto Hyperbeast, Stock X, Highsnobiety, Sole Supremacy and many other sites to keep track of the sneaker fashion market.

Many of these extensively cover the needs of sneakerheads at all levels.

And if you want to connect with fellow sneaker lovers in person, try SneakerCon.

How Much Can You Make Reselling Shoes?

The short answer? Millions.

JV is a guy making six figures a year reselling shoes. He got his start flipping sneakers as a side gig while working retail. After 4 months in, he was clearing over $10,000 per month.

He'll teach you how to do the same thing he does, clear the big bucks, in his online course. If you add the code NICHEMONEY, you can get an extra 10% off. 

Reselling shoes isn't a rare phenomenon. People are making life-changing amounts of money fully focused on reselling shoes.

However, this isn't easy to do. Arguably the most successful sneaker reseller is Benjamin Kapelushnik. Also known as Benjamin Kickz and owner of the sneaker marketplace Sneaker Don, he started in the business at 13 in 2013 and made it big two years after.

He rose to fame as the shoe supplier to DJ Khaled who referred him to his friends in the music and entertainment industry. He made his first million in 2016 and had been reselling rare and expensive shoes and sneakers to high-ticket clients ever since.

Sneaker collecting is very much a thing. And for individuals who can get a good deal on rare sneakers like a limited-released pair of Nike Air Jordan 2 Just Don or the Nike SB Dunk, the reselling sneaker business can be ridiculously profitable. 

But keep in mind, unless you know someone like DJ Khaled, it will likely be impossible for you to make that much money in two years. But that doesn't mean you should stay out of the sneaker resale game, though! If you follow the process of flipping shoes, you can profit around $80-100 per pair for starters.

You can work your way to generating higher margins if you get better sneakers to resell, potentially up to $500 per pair.

This is not a bad way to make money, and you'll learn the exact process later on.

If you want to take a look at what some of these shoes are selling for, take a quick peek at eBay. Type in “Limited edition sneakers.” Some of those options sell for hundreds of dollars!

How to Buy & Sell the Most Expensive and Sought-After Shoes and Sneakers

The most expensive and sought-after shoes and sneakers

Ever since the 70s, there are only two brands that mattered to most sneakerheads: Nike and Adidas.

Both brands have produced lines of sneakers and shoes for athletes and artists. Some of those lines withstood the test of time and exponentially increased their value since their release.

Below are some of the most hyped sneakers in the resale market pioneered by the two big brands:

Most Popular Expensive Shoes to Resell
  • Air Jordan 12 ($100,000+) – Michael Jordan needs no introduction. Aside from his accomplishments as a basketball player, he established the Jordan brand that comprises his line of Nike shoes.
    • In fact, you can quickly make a list of the most expensive sneakers based on his shoes alone.
      • The most affordable pair of Jordan shoes could go for $4,500 (Jordan III OG) on resale.
      • However, the Jordan 12 collection is easily the most expensive pair of shoes in the Jordan line.
        • In particular, the Jordan 12 Flu Game shoes, where he willed his body to score 38 points in a pivotal game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, tops the list at a whopping $104,000.
  • Nike Air Yeezy 2 “Red October” ($6,000) – Kanye West is one of the most popular artists to date. His fame prompted Nike to launch their first non-athlete collaboration pair of sneakers.
    • Released in 2009, Red October was initially sold for $250. Their resale value is now between $5,600 to $6,400.
    • West also collaborated with other footwear such as Louis Vuitton, BAPE, and Adidas. The latter started their partnership with West that ended up being the Adidas Yeezy Boost line.
      • In fact, a pair of Yeezys is some of the most coveted shoes in the market outside of Jordans.
  • Nike Air Mag Back to the Future ($10,000+) – Inspired by the sneakers worn by Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) in Back to the Future 2, there are only 1,500 pairs manufactured by Nike.
    • However, none of them made over to stores as all pairs were sold through auction. Proceeds went to Fox's foundation for Parkinson's disease research.
    • The pair has glowing LED panels and upper contour.
  • Travis Scott Air Jordan 1 Nikes ($4,000+) – Originally a pair sold at a retail price less than $200, these sneakers now have a resale price anywhere between $2,000 to well over $4,000. 
    • The collection is notable for its reverse swoosh and hidden pocket. And of course for their connection to rapper Travis Scott.

But there are other up-and-comer brands with pairs of sneakers worth looking into.

Thanks to Stephen Curry, Under Armour's stock is rising. And while Big Baller Brand built their brand around hype, the $500 pair of kicks they're selling is interesting to say the least.

Louis Vuitton has even released sneaker collections for those affluent and interested. 

That being said, when you're starting out reselling sneakers and learning about the resale market for popular sneakers, you should stick with the most popular brands.

In the beginning, learning about the sneaker resale market, secondary markets, and spotting fake sneakers will take up plenty of time and energy. You don't need to be speculating or searching for a rare sneaker until you dive deep into the sneaker culture!

How to sell sneakers 101

While earning over a million dollars for reselling shoes at this stage is still possible, there are lots of obstacles you must overcome to reach that goal.

The competition nowadays is fierce and it'll take time to establish a client base as a beginner.

And besides that, you also need to find out where the best places are to find and acquire the most sought-after shoes. Places where your competition is likely already very familiar. 

Therefore, you need to immerse yourself in the sneakerhead culture and apply yourself 100% to have a fighting chance.

Sneaker collecting has never been more popular. So while there may be more competition there's also means more opportunity, especially if you niche down. 

We've already discussed the sneaker industry in general above. Now, it's time to dive into the actual process of reselling shoes and sneakers.

How to Find Shoes to Buy and Sell

Before you can even begin finding shoes to buy and then resell, you need to understand the market.

Reselling shoes are similar to the stock market. There are pairs of shoes that don't start out too hot but eventually accumulate value later on. Conversely, some sneakers generate lots of attention in the beginning only to fizzle out as time goes by.

Want even more step-by-step details on how to find great shoes you can sell for a profit? Check out the Hypemaster Playbook for a great course into the shoe reseller world.

To truly benefit from learning how to resell sneakers, you need to purchase products that are sold on the cheap but have lasting value in the long run. One way of doing so is by buying the sneaker on release day at retail prices, which is often where they are at their most affordable.

Best places to Buy and Sell Shoes

Creating an account on a consignment shop like StockX by Josh Luber is a good start. It serves as a middlemen between buyer and seller. Sneakerheads can bid or ask for shoes for resale. Therefore, you can buy and sell directly through the website. 

When selling you simply send the sneakers into StockX when you've chosen the highest bid, and they will take care of the rest for a seller fee.

Sites like StockX are convenient ways to sell your shoes and insures buyers that they won't be duped by fake sneakers.

On the flip side, you don't get the personal touch from consignment stores that go with seller-to-buyer transactions. However, if you're not much of a salesman or a people person, then this perfect.

If you want the traditional way of reselling shoes, you can always go the way of Facebook marketplace or Facebook Groups, Craigslist, and eBay. These all allow you to put your personal touch on your sales process. 

As a best practice, you need to be descriptive and detailed as possible about the sneakers. Leave no stone unturned and make sure that you are honest in your description.

Assuming that you're a new seller, it'll take time before buyers warm up to you. Therefore, you need to keep working on gaining the trust of buyers and continue marching forward. 

How to assess the value of resale sneakers

A new pair of valuable sneakers can come far and few in between. To make money in reselling shoes, you need to find pairs sold under reseller price so you can profit off them. But how can you know how much a pair of shoes cost?



StockX

Again a site like StockX will be very helpful. The site shows how much the shoes and sneakers cost over a 12-month period.

Just like a stock market index graph, you will see the range of how much the shoes are sold in the market over time. Which in turn will help assess which shoes to acquire for reselling. 

You'll need to check the trend and volatility of the sneakers to come up with a price that will make you and your buyer happy.

The market dictates the price, and an unfair price is the one that no one will buy. 

It's a good idea to start small when you buy and sell shoes. This keeps your initial investment low, allows you to learn the game. Plus your buyers will be more likely to take a risk when their investment is low too.

When it comes to your inventory, you may want to reinvest your earnings on another pair or pairs of shoes. Don't cash out early in the game just yet. Do your research and find available shoes that you can purchase even before you have the money to buy them.

How do Sneaker Resellers Get so Many Shoes?

These days, instead of lining up for hours in front of a mall, many shoe flippers are using technology to help. This means to compete you'll likely need to use a sneaker bot. 

This is software designed to help you snatch up limited availability stock in fractions of a second.

There are a ton of these options to help automate the process of finding the shoes that you want to purchase and flip. But one you can check out is AIO Bot.

Once you install it on your computer, you can choose which shops you want to buy from. Enter the shoe you're looking for, the size, and color and the bot will take care of searching the sites for you.

This is one of many bots designed to help you efficiently find shoes for you to increase your chances of finding one without having to look for it personally.

However, before you get help from a bot, you may want to roll up your sleeves and also check manually. A quick search on eBay for Air Jordan 12 yield these results:

ebay air jordan 12
There's a chance you will see shoes way below market reseller price and sell them more than 10x you bought for them. Between the AIO Bot, checking the price on StockX and buying/flipping on eBay, you can get started right now.

So your sneaker reselling journey has begun. But how do you know that those aren't fake sneakers?

How to Determine if the Shoes Are Fake

The last thing you want is to buy (or sell) fake shoes.

This is a problem that pervades online marketplaces without a middleman like Amazon or eBay.

Like most things in life, if the price is too good to be true, then it's probably fake. But before making that conclusion, you need to learn how to find out if the sneakers are legit or not.

Below are ways that you can check if a pair of sneakers or shoes you're trying to buy is genuine or not:

Criteria to Determine if Shoes are Fakes
  • Ask for tagged photos – The price should normally be enough to persuade you whether to purchase an item. However, you need to consider other factors that go into the sale of the sneakers.
    • Tagged, hi-res pictures of the item are one way to check if the kicks are legit or not.
    • Ask the seller to take multiple photos of the sneakers with the latest edition of the newspaper to see if it's for real.
    • You can then cross-reference the pictures with the actual version of the shoes on their official site.
    • Also you can refer to Fake Education on Instagram to find more tips and information on how to spot fake ones.
  • Ask for the receipts – For new purchases, you must request the receipt of the item to verify the authenticity of the sneakers.
    • The receipt proves that the shoes were acquired from the official stores.
    • It'll also help you sell the sneakers since you have tangible proof that the shoes are indeed real.
  • Do your research – For Amazon and eBay sellers you can check their seller rating on their profile. Anything lower than 95% should be avoided.
    • Also, read the comments and reviews of other buyers. Some may just be complaining about relatively trivial stuff like slow delivery time and those that have nothing to do with the actual shoes.
    • Lastly, check if the reviews were from real buyers and not profiles that were created to help hike up the seller's rating. Or perhaps negative reviews created by competitors. 
  • Trust your instinct – If you do your homework and everything adds up, but the seller rubs you the wrong way don't proceed with the transaction.
    • At first, you probably don't have the intuition yet to determine if there's something wrong with the shoes or the seller.
    • But over time and with enough practice of buying and selling, you will be able to discern red flags much easier.

While these tips will help you avoid purchasing bogus shoes, it's not foolproof that you will entirely avoid such purchases. Just make sure to be careful and alert enough to keep these provisions in mind when buying.

Shoe Reselling Tips and Things to Remember

Below are a few more tips for reselling shoes for top dollar. 

We'll also quickly review some of the dark sides of selling shoes and a few mistakes to avoid when you are getting started.

Things to keep in mind when reselling shoes

With more personal, informal selling like in Facebook Groups and even in Sneaker Con, expect to encounter shady people.

Like all hustles, sneaker reselling attracts all kinds of self-interested characters. You need to discern which among your potential buyers are trustworthy. And you need to be very careful when sharing personal information. 

There are also more tools that you should look at including the GOAT app. This app is great for buying and selling sneakers and is huge among sneaker resellers.

It's another place where authentic sneakers can potentially be bought or sold, making this a great tool to find sneakers you couldn't find in the secondary market or to sell your inventory.

The goal is to create an efficient and scalable process. As you upgrade to more expensive items you can exponentially increase your income. If done successfully, you can start buying in bulk and multiply your earnings even more!

The Cons of Reselling Shoes

As a hustler, you need to be aware of the potential problems you will be facing with every venture you undertake.

As profitable as reselling shoes can be, there are areas that you need to know before diving deep into the sneaker business.

Below are some of the more pressing issues:

Cons to Consider when Reselling Sneakers
  • Complicated marketing – Apps that let you reserve shoes and sneakers before their release date and social media contests and raffles are just the tip of the iceberg.
    • Over time, new ways of marketing to resellers will increase and become more complex, and there's nothing you can do but keep up with the changes. 
  • Unfair advantages – Sometimes your competition will have an unfair advantage. That's the case at least in instances where someone has direct access through certain connections.
    • Longtime VP of Nike North America Ann Hebert resigned in 2021 because of this.
      • Her 19-year-old son was running a million-dollar reselling business sometimes making purchases with his mom's credit card. This is more high-profile than most but there are tons of other examples out there. 
  • Sneaker violence – Resellers need to be aware of the constant violence that surrounds sneakers.
    • Due to their high price tag and increasing value of sneakers, some people will resort to violence to get ahead. It will likely be impossible to remove malice and violence from the equation.
      • It is something that comes with the job and a burden that every reseller selling directly may have to bear.
  • Sneakers as an investment more than footwear – Given the nature of reselling shoes, this question comes to mind: who is the market for sneakers?
    • On the one hand, some consumers have a passion for sneakers and use them to promote their fashion sense. On the other, resellers try to get their hands on the most hyped shoes and resell them above their retail price.
    • There's nothing wrong with reselling as a hustle, but it potentially robs people who are genuinely interested in the kicks and plan on collecting and wearing them. 
      • In other words, the sneaker reselling business robs collectors from pursuing their passions righteously. Especailly as retailers do more marketing and promotional campaigns geared to resellers.

How to Resell Sneakers while Avoiding Common Mistakes

While it's important to be excited and have the energy to really jump into the sneaker resale game, sometimes you need to slow down.

Of course you should jump on good deals. But again, any time you feel that something is off or there's a red flag – listen to those instincts.

Even the top shoe reselling hustlers have been taken in by fake sneakers before. While in theory PayPal or other services have a money protection guarantee, getting your money back can be a hassle.

For anyone who has ever dealt with PayPal returns, it's not a guarantee, either. Try to avoid getting into a “he said, she said” argument with the seller of fake shoes. PayPal customer service reps are not the ones you want making a final decision on hundreds of dollars.

Another common mistake is not warning PayPal about a surge in transactions.

If they're not used to seeing a lot of movement in your PayPal account, many transactions in the thousands of dollars for used sneakers could get your account flagged. This is a headache, but it is one you can workaround.

If you have to upgrade to a business account, so be it. It's better than losing out on deals. Or having your hard-earned money frozen in your account.

Finally, have a plan for management.

Do you have a good bank-roll and plan on buying a large number of authentic sneakers before selling? Are you planning to buy shoes and then flip them quickly? You need to know how much space you have, have a plan for tracking inventory as well as expenses and profits, and manage your process.

Taking the time upfront to make sure you have the space, tracking setup, and a backup plan in case things go sideways will save you a lot of headaches in the future.

Are You Ready for the Rigors of Reselling Shoes?

This post offers a great overview, but you will need additional information if you're getting into the game of buying and selling sneakers.

You don't want to start in this kinda business too naive to the processes.

Without a mentor, your chances of losing money and wasting time are higher since you're competing with experts.

If you're ready to learn how to become a successful sneaker reseller, you'll want a mentor to speed up the process.

How to Learn More About Reselling Shoes

I recommend taking a look at the Six Figure SneakerHead – HypeMaster Playbook Here.

Make Up To six figures a month reselling shoes

Use coupon code NICHEMONEY for an extra 10% off.

Reselling shoes is a fun way to make money on the side, if not as a full-time income regardless of your age. If you are into sneakers or if you have experience in flipping items before, then you may seriously want to consider getting into this hustle.

If you're still hungry for other ways to make some money, you may want to consider buying and selling concert tickets.




Side Hustles | 3 comments

By Shane Dayton

Shane has been a full-time writer since 2005. Shane has a degree in English & Creative Writing from Coe College (2002) and an MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction Emphasis) from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (2007).

Shane spent years using his online writing skills to earn a living online and live the life of a digital nomad. After learning about affiliate marketing and SEO he has since created several niche sites to further increase his business income.

Want to learn step-by-step how I built my Niche Site Empire up to a full-time income?

Yes! I Love to Learn

You may also like

View all

3 Comments

Conversation

P V Ariel

Hi Chris,
What an informative piece.
Well written with lot of history and activities. Thanks for sharing.
Keep writing. Have a wonderful weekend.
Best Regards
~ Philip

Shehbaz

Well. this is a brilliant piece of information.
In today`s fast trending world, an individual and firm always looks for new ways to make money and this ideas of making miney with the old shoes by reselling it is very interesting and eyes catching. the history given can really boast the confidence to take this business on and to progress further,

Joseph

Hey,

Thanks for a well written and informative post.
Your posts are always easy to understand and Helpful.

Recent Posts

View all