A pair of shoes is always something a person will buy. Some people only buy one pair, but others buy a lot of them. Shoes are an important part of fashion, and there will always be a market for them.
But how do you buy a lot of cheap shoes so you can sell them online and make money? Today, we’ll help you learn about the different ways you can source. We will also tell you where you can go online to sell your shoes.
What’s the point of selling shoes?
Shoes are popular, and some people have even made millions of dollars by selling shoes online. The key to being successful is to know who to sell your shoes to and to know what the market wants. Men and women buy shoes, but you need to focus on people between the ages of 18 and 34.
People over the age of 65 don’t buy things online. Instead, they buy things like shoes in stores because that’s what they’re used to.
If you sell shoes, you also need to know how the styles change with the seasons. Don’t expect to sell loafers or flip-flops in the winter. It’s more likely that people will buy boots.
During the summer, the shoes that sell the most are sneakers and flip-flops. If you buy a lot of boots in the summer, no one will buy them, and you’ll just have a lot of cash sitting in your storage.
What kind of shoes you should sell.
There are so many different kinds of shoes you can sell, from shoes for babies to shoes for adults. When running a business, you need to look at data to help you decide what to do.
You can use Google Trend, but the statistics it shows are based on search terms, not actual purchases. You can find out more by going to sites like Statista.
Here are some things to think about:
- Outdoor shoes
Remember that your stock needs to match what’s popular. It would help if you only bought a few pairs at wholesale prices. Also, if you’re just starting out, it makes sense to sell shoes with classic designs first instead of ones with designs that will be out of style in a few months.
How to make money selling wholesale shoes
The best way to sell clothes is to buy them cheaply and charge a lot more than you paid for them. This high markup should cover your business costs, like your monthly subscription to Shopify or WooCommerce, taxes, or payments to freelancers who help you run your business.
Get the shoes from distributors.
The most common way to sell shoes online is to buy them from online wholesalers. From Hong Kong and China, you can find a lot of wholesalers, like HKTDC. In these kinds of marketplaces, each seller has a minimum order size that they must meet.
The best thing to do is order one pair first so you can see how good they are. You’ll need to make a deal with the wholesaler once you have them. You should be able to order more than one style. Some wholesalers sell one design by the box, which is not what you want because you would end up with a lot of stock.
The wholesaler will send the package to you after the sale. You need to sort the shoes and then store them in your house or a warehouse. Shipping the shoes is not free, and you have to pay duties to the Customs office in your country.
- The best deals are at the wholesale level.
- You keep track of your stock.
- You decide how good the shoes are that you send to your customers.
- You need somewhere to put your shoes.
- Money is lost on shoes that don’t sell.
- You should put money into your packaging.
- You have to put in more effort to ship your goods.
For this type of sourcing to work, you need to start small.
stock, and then slowly grow your business. Selling shoes has risks, just like any other business. If the manufacturer or wholesaler has a MOQ, or minimum order quantity, you have to ask if they will ship less.
Also, make sure that you only use payment methods that protect the buyer. If you don’t, you might get tricked. If a wholesaler doesn’t take AliExpress or PayPal, you should look elsewhere.
Dropshipping is a way to run a business where you sell other people’s goods without having to stock up on them. Here, you only order the product from the supplier after a customer has already bought something from your online dropshipping store.
This is how dropshipping works in a nutshell:
- You try to find a provider.
- You put the item from the supplier on your online store.
- You add a markup to your prices.
- You get an order from a customer.
- You place an order with the provider
- The item is sent to your customer by the supplier.
In dropshipping, you decide how much money you want to make. You need to add up the price of the item from the supplier and the cost of shipping. You can either pay for shipping yourself or have your customers pay for it.
- You don’t have to pay for stock.
- The only money you’ll need is to build a store.
- You don’t have to ship the item yourself.
- Very low-risk way to run a business
- You don’t have to buy any of the products you show, so you can show as many as you want.
- You have no say in how good the product is.
- You have to rely on the supplier’s shipping options.
- If you are competing with other dropshippers, you will have low profit margins.
For dropshipping to work, you need a supplier you can trust. You can only figure out how reliable a supplier is by ordering products from them. If you do this, you can find out how long it takes the supplier to ship an item and if the product is of good quality.
Shoes for Liquidation
Depending on where you are, you might run into businesses that have already closed. You can go to shoe stores that are no longer open for business, ask for the owner, and tell them you want to look at their stock.
The other choice is to look for liquidation markets online. Some examples are Liquidation.com, Quicklotz.com, GBYliquidations.com, and many more.
Shoes that are sold by the pallet can be found on these websites. A group or “lot” is another word for a pallet. You can’t choose what’s in the lot or pallet at a liquidation sale. A pallet of shoes is usually about 6 feet tall.
- Stocks can be bought for a penny on the dollar at sales of empty pallets.
- If you buy a lot of brand-name shoes, you might get lucky.
- You can’t pick the sizes of the shoes.
- There are both good and bad pairs of shoes on one pallet.
- Some shoes are so bad that they can’t be sold.
- You have to buy more than one lot.
If you go this route, you need to find out who you are buying from and what you are buying. If you can, ask the seller for a list of what you will be getting. It is smart to look for feedback because you might end up buying bad pairs that you can’t sell.
Ask the manager of the liquidation if the shoes are brand new or if they have been worn. Write down how much the pallet cost and how much it cost to ship, and then decide if you can still make a profit.
Buy in bulk from US companies
One of the best things you can do if you want to sell in the US is to look for US suppliers. This is because US suppliers are more expensive than those from other countries. The cost of labor in the US is high, so the shoes won’t be cheap either.
You can buy shoes in bulk from US suppliers or do dropshipping.
Here are some tools and places to buy them directly:
- This is a dropship directory for Spocket. You can use this tool to look for suppliers in the United States. These companies ship to the US and all over the world.
- NY Wholesale is the biggest supplier in New York, and it has a wide range of shoes, from boots to heels. Many pairs of shoes can be bought here for as little as $8. NY Wholesale doesn’t just sell shoes to stores in the US. It also sells shoes to the rest of the world. In the US, all shoes are sticks, but most of them are made in China.
- This company, Sandy’s Wholesale Shoes, has been around for 41 years. It is one of the oldest shoe stores in the United States, and it is in Miami. It’s a small business, and it doesn’t ship all over the world.
- This wholesaler is based in Los Angeles and has a showroom there. It has an online store where you can choose the shoes you want. It has a wide range of shoes and the best prices on the market.
- Everything comes from the US.
- Customers are more likely to trust US products.
- Shipping is not expensive; pay the shipping rates in your area.
- If you use Spocket, you can drop ship.
- Prices in China are too low to compete with.
- If you sell wholesale, you have to keep a stock, which adds to your costs.
If you only want to buy things made in the U.S., you should know that your profit margin will be very low. The good news is that you don’t have to wait as long, and you can proudly say on your website that the product was made in the United States.
Sell branded shoes
Even if you are not a distributor, you can legally sell branded shoes. There are a lot of companies that are authorized to sell brand-name shoes to smaller businesses.
BrandDistribution.com is a company you might want to look into. Most of what it sells is Italian fashion, but it also has shoes from brands like Adidas and Nike. You can also find shoes from Lacoste, Guess, and a lot of other brands here.
This brand-name wholesaler has been in business for more than ten years. It sells products from more than 120 brands and ships to more than 170 countries.
- People who only want to wear branded shoes are your niche market.
- Because your supplier is a licensed distributor, you are not breaking the law.
- Since the items are expensive, don’t expect sales to go through the roof.
- Because the item is expensive, people would expect faster shipping and better customer service.
If you sell brand-name shoes online, your credibility can be a big problem. People would naturally prefer to buy brand-name shoes like Nike from authorized sellers like Walmart or Target. It will take a lot of hard work to persuade people who visit your site that the branded shoes you sell are not just high-quality copies.
Sell used shoes.
Some people don’t mind wearing used or pre-loved clothes. If these are the people you want to sell to, you need to find suppliers who focus on this type of product.
Through Alibaba, you can find used shoes from China. Now, don’t be surprised by the price—most sellers have a minimum order requirement (MOQ) of 12 tons! About $12,000 is paid for each ton!
The good news is that if you look long enough, you can find sellers here with a minimum order quantity of only 25 kilograms and a price of about $3 per kilogram. Shipping, taxes, and customs duties are always extra costs.
- You have a bigger target market
- The price per pair is almost nothing.
- Profit margins that are high—really high
- You have to pay for tax and shipping.
- You never know what you’re going to get.
- Once something is sold, it can’t be bought again.
The best place to sell used shoes is in person, where people can try them on. You can sell them online, but the customer needs to know that they are used shoes so they don’t ask for their money back.
Where online to sell shoes
Now that you have shoes, where can you sell them? We’ll show you a few choices, and you can pick the one that works best for you.
If you choose dropshipping, the best way to sell is through a store that does dropshipping. You can do this by making your own website where you can add your supplier’s dropshipping app.
Shopify and WooCommerce are the two best ways to set up a store that sells items from other sellers. Expect to pay about $29 per month for Shopify. This is how much it costs to run and host your site.
Because it is free, WooCommerce is less expensive. With WooCommerce, you’ll run your website on the free platform WordPress.ORG. The only thing you’ll have to pay for is a web hosting service like SiteGround or Bluehost.
Find out more about dropshipping here: Dropshipping for Beginners: The Simple Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Started.
Make your own website.
If you want to buy things in bulk, you could build your own website. You can make your own brand and keep more of the money you make because there are no fees. Payment processing fees and a monthly cost for the website are the only fees you have to pay.
Since you already have the items in your house, building your site gives you more freedom.
Here are a few examples of website builders:
Most of these sites work with payment processors in some way. Pick one that can take all of the major credit cards. You can also use payment processors, who can give you a physical point-of-sale (POS) system, if you want to. With a point-of-sale (POS), you can take orders in person.
eBay and Amazon
eBay is one of the oldest and biggest places to buy and sell things online. Here, you can sell your products at a Buy It Now price, with a reserve price, or by waiting for the auction to end.
eBay charges fees to list items and to sell items. It also lets you do things like put your listing at the top of the page or make it stand out. All of these things cost money.
To give you an idea, here’s what eBay charges:
- Insertion fee: $0.35 of the sale price for each listing after the first 50, which are free.
- Final Value Fee: This can be free or between 2% and 12% of the final selling price, depending on the category of your product.
If you don’t want to build your own website, you can also go to Amazon. Before you can list your own items on Amazon, you have to fill out an application.
Here, you can choose to pay either a $39 monthly fee or $0.99 per sale. The $0.99 fee for each sale only applies if you sell less than 40 items per month.
As an Amazon seller, you can choose between two different plans. The first is the Individual Plan, which costs $0.99 per sale. The second is the Professional Plan, which costs $39 per month no matter if you make a sale or not.
The following things are good about the Professional Plan:
- Use Amazon tools like spreadsheets and feeds
- Have a lot of reports available
- Get your products to the top of the list of search results.
- Sell in more than 20 different areas.
- Sets up your own rates for shipping
If you use the Amazon FBA model to sell something, you have to pay the storage fee, the handling fee, and the shopping costs. All of these fees are in addition to the fee for selling.
How to get your shoes out there
Once you’ve chosen how to get your shoes and where to sell them, there are many ways to market them.
Here are a few you should definitely try:
- Facebook – Facebook is still the most popular way to use social media. You can reach a lot of different kinds of people on Facebook. All you have to do is make your own page. You can also choose to put up ads.
- Google Ads: let you place ads on Google and have them show up in search results.
- With YouTube Ads: you can build your audience by making videos and other helpful content. You can also use YouTube to advertise.
- Instagram: is great if you have amazing products that look great in photos. If you have photos of the shoes being worn in real life, that can work in your favor.
- Pinterest: is a very large search engine that relies a lot on pictures. Post pictures of your shoes on Pinterest to get people to visit your store.
If you love shoes, selling them online can be a great business. You need to be ready for the most common problems that customers have, like wrong sizes, wrong colors, and a lot more.
Shoes are great because they don’t wear out. But they go out of style quickly, so keep an eye on your stock or just do dropshipping to be safe.