If you’re a sneakerhead — or just someone who loves sneaker culture — you’re in a great position to a make your passion a lucrative side hustle. Limited-edition sneakers are like any other collectible:
If you find and hold onto a pair of one-of-a-kind kicks, you can resell them to a world of sneaker aficionados for a handsome profit.
Making money reselling sneakers will take a lot of work and strategy. Here’s a simple beginner’s guide to ensure your success:
Before You Begin Your Sneaker Resale Business
Know the Basic Rules of Sneaker Resellers (Buy Low, Sell High!)
Major sneaker companies put out only a small number of limited-edition styles each year. As a sneaker reseller, your profit motive is to ensure that you buy inventory for as low a price as possible and scope out the ideal conditions to sell at a premium. This may mean reselling right away or holding out for a prettier payout down the line. Attending a sneakerhead conference like SneakerCon can give you more insight into this world.
Consider Your Business Model
To the untrained eye, the sneaker market can seem pretty straightforward — you buy a pair of sneakers, then you sell it. But there’s so much more planning and strategy that has to happen before you build your inventory. Here are a few business models for you to choose from:
- The “Flip” Model: Only buy true classics like Air Jordan I, Air Jordan II, or Air Jordan III. Then flip them for at least three times the purchase price.
- The “Size” Model: Corner the market on a hard-to-find sneaker size. Size 13, anyone?
- The “New to the Market” Model: Focus on new releases like the Air Jordan 4 Royalty.
- The “Regional Market” Model: Focus your selling efforts on a certain country, province, or city. For example, Hong Kong’s sneaker culture is exploding. Last year alone, retail sales of sneakers in the city totaled almost $55.9 billion.
How to Acquire Your First Kicks for Resale
Once you have an idea of what sneakers you want to sell, the next step is to acquire your items. These strategies have been used by top Jordan sneaker resellers:
1. Camp Out
Once you hear about the release of the sneakers you want to purchase, you can pitch camp in front of a store so that you’re one of the first people in line when the store opens. If this aspect of sneaker culture doesn’t suit your taste, you can always pay someone else to wait in line for you.
2. Stalk Sneakers Online
Seasoned sneaker resellers set up Twitter notifications so that they don’t miss out when online sneaker retailers announce restocks. Retailers also leverage Twitter to provide lines to product pages during launch time.
3. Buy a Bot
If you’re serious about copping your sneakers of choice before the competition, you can invest a few hundred dollars in a computer program that will scour websites and complete checkouts faster than any human could.
How to Resell and Deliver Your Sneakers
Once you buy your sneakers, the next step is to get the word out that you have the hottest items in stock.
1. Use Social Media
Social media can be a powerful, profitable marketing tool to promote your resale business. Srijan Sharma, a full-time student and the owner of Trunxs Kicks, uses Instagram and Twitter to resell sneakers. After he posts pictures of his newest additions, he waits for his fans to make their bids. Payments are processed in real time via Venmo or PayPal. Once he receives the payment, Sharma ships the coveted sneakers.
2. Find Legitimate Consignment Shops
If you’re not interested in interacting with customers directly, leave the process in the hands of someone else. Vetted sites like Grailed and Flight Club will help you sell your sneakers and take commissions of up to 20 percent.
And there’s good old eBay, where you may have to do a little more legwork than with consignment stores, but will have a lot of buyers to choose from, improving your chances of closing the deal with a sizeable profit margin.
3. Use an App
There are a number of reputable apps that facilitate sneaker resale with some great pics and smart pricing. The Goat app, for example, is one the safest ways to buy and sell sneakers. It offers free verification services on all purchases, ensuring that your sneakers are authentic and as described. Slang is another great app for sneaker resellers.
The Bottom Line
There are tons of opportunities to make some serious money reselling sneakers. Using these guidelines, you’ll be in the business sooner rather than later.