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Reselling Shoes: How I Make $10,000 a Month Flipping …
This contribution comes from JV Ortiz, who found side hustle success in the world of buying and selling sneakers. He’s been at this business for two years and actually quit his job to pursue this venture full-time.
(And at $10k a month, I don’t blame him! )
JV lives in Brooklyn, New York and when he’s not out hunting for shoe deals you can find him running, surfing, and working on self development.
At his site,, he’s written a 100-page guide on how to break into the sneaker flipping game. You can use code SIDEHUSTLENATION to take 40% off.
Take it away, JV!
From $1 T-Shirts to $1, 000 Sneakers: My Reselling Story
As someone who always had an entrepreneurial ambition and a hustler’s mindset, I was craving the right environment to really reach my potential.
I had seen documentaries about such environments that were meritocracies like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, where formal education didn’t matter at all. In this realm, people were paid based on their trading performance, making millionaires out of some from blue collar backgrounds.
Buy Low, Sell High
Because I was so inspired by traders, I first tried my luck trading stocks — but ultimately lost money.
Still the opportunity to make money like traders do, by buying low and selling higher, made a lot of sense to me.
I decided that, rather than dealing with speculating market forecasts (i. e. actually gambling), I should sell things that real people actually buy. And I was attracted to the idea of reselling as a hustle because there is no need to build a brand from the ground up.
Instead, you can piggyback on the popularity of existing brands. With this new strategy in mind, I headed for the clearance racks at local discount clothing stores and thrift shops, looking for brand name items that I could sell at a profit on eBay.
I started to develop an idea of what brands resold for, and realized that on eBay, brand new items were selling below retail prices, so to make a profit with my used inventory I would have to find a steep discount.
My First Profitable Flips: Starting with $1 T-Shirts
At thrift stores, I could pick up t-shirts for $1 or $2 and sell them for about $10.
I was able to make money doing this, but it was nowhere near enough to reach my goal of matching the current paycheck. (At the time, I was looking for a better way to make money in college than working a retail job that paid slightly more than minimum wage. )
At best, I was making a $10 profit for each item I sold, and at the peak was selling 5 items per week. It’s good that I was making some money on the side pretty consistently, but I became hungry for more and started to brainstorm ideas.
Applying the 10x Rule
Thinking back again to the successful commodity traders, I recognized the obvious fact that the reason that these traders became millionaires is because they were trading in large quantities of money.
I had also been watching the TV show Million Dollar Listing at the time, where real estate agents made as much money selling one house as the average American would earn in a year. They did basically the same amount of work as the typical real estate agent but made ten times more simply because they were selling houses that were ten times more.
I was selling $50-$100 items and making about $10 per sale and $50 per week, so I thought, why don’t I sell items that are priced at $500-$1000 and make $100 per sale and $500 per week?
A similar amount of work for 10x the results.
I had saved some money and was ready to start flipping more expensive items but wasn’t really sure where to start, so I searched for higher ticket items to sell. I knew luxury items were expensive, so I researched high end designer items and expensive watches.
Through my research though, I found that it was nearly impossible to make money reselling name brand luxury items. In fact, they were almost universally selling for less on eBay than they were in the store, even when they were on clearance.
Every now and then, I would find a luxury item on deep clearance at the mall and see on eBay that I could make a profit, but that the margin would be too thin and the sale too slow to justify the upfront investment.
Dealing with watches could be profitable but required a great deal of capital, knowledge, and reputation. I was stuck and didn’t know what to do.
Discovering the Sneaker Aftermarket
Searching through eBay, I filtered strictly by price and not by brand name. I was searching for items that were selling for around $500-1000 that I could make a profit from.
To my surprise, in the $1000 realm, among the name-brand luxury bags and other obviously expensive items were a pair of Nikes.
It was February 2015 and the shoes were the Air Jordan 2 Just Don.
Little did I know that this discovery would open the door to my most profitable flipping venture yet, and the one that would match and replace my job income.
I saw that many pairs were selling for nearly $1000 with a lot of bidding action. After doing some research, I found that these shoes were available at retail at $350. Instantly I knew that I wanted to start selling shoes.
Not only did these mark the checkbox of an item that sold for $500-1000, it exceeded my profit goal of $100 per item: I could make over $500 per shoe I sold!
I would only have to sell one shoe per week to make my $500 per week goal, and I could even make $1, 000 in a week if I sold 2 shoes — maybe even $1, 000 in a day.
Nick’s Notes: eBay takes a 10% fee on each sale.
My mind started spinning and I became super driven to learn all that I could about the shoe reselling game.
After spending hours of research and using the little money that I had saved, I bought my first pair of shoes to resell. It was a pair of Jordans that I bought for $190. I sold them hours later for $300 — an $80 profit after shipping and fees.
It was the quickest and easiest money I had ever made. I had finally found a product that met all of my criteria: high ticket items with good margins that sold quickly. Sneakers checked those boxes very nicely.
Nick’s Notes: You may be able to add to your profitability by taking strategic advantage of credit card rewards programs. If you’re buying inventory to flip, it’ll be easier to hit the minimum spending requirements for fatty sign-up bonuses. Here’s a free guide to how these programs work.
Scaling Up the Sneaker Flipping Operation
I kept reselling pairs in that range until I had enough money saved to buy a pair of shoes for $900. After a few anxious days of waiting, I was able to flip them at $1200 for a profit of about $200. I also began to learn how to secure these $1000 shoes (called Yeezy’s, made by Adidas) at retail for insane profit margins of over $500 per shoe.
I started as an absolute outsider and 4 months in I cleared $10, 000 for the month.
Once you know what you’re doing and you take the time to build your reputation and stay on top with sneaker news, the consistency and ease of selling aftermarket sneakers amazes me to this day.
The Shoe Reselling Industry
Forbes estimates that the resale market for sneakers is estimated to be over $1 billion annually.
Nick’s Notes: By carefully and expertly hyping each new product launch, the manufacturers cater to loyal fans — and strategically never quite make enough to fully satisfy the demand. It’s that constant shortfall on the supply side that fuels the resale market.
This is also trend that doesn’t appear to be slowing anytime soon. That same Forbes article notes that the international sneaker market is up 40% since 2004.
Even though only an estimated 4% of sneakers end up being purchased for immediate resale, the market has attracted side hustlers and entrepreneurs. At the top of the heap, some resellers are moving more than $2 million in inventory a year.
What Shoes To Buy?
One of the most common questions I get is how do I know which shoes to buy? Which brands and models will be profitable?
To get an idea of what is hot in streetwear, follow sneaker and fashion publishers like Hypebeast or High Snobiety.
Immerse yourself in your local sneaker communities by attending a sneaker convention and getting an idea of what people are wearing and what people are talking about.
Learn about the Jordan brand. Begin to follow Instagram accounts that have to do with sneakers and sneaker news, so you’ll automatically be doing research every time you’re killing time on the ‘gram. Combine all of the above with checking aftermarket prices on sites like eBay and calculating your estimated profit.
Nick’s Notes: In the advanced search, you can check the box just to see completed listings to see how much items are actually selling for.
I suggest starting small with one or two pairs so you don’t have a huge risk.
Where Do You Buy These Shoes to Resell?
I like to buy older models either through eBay or Facebook groups and sneaker conventions.
For new shoes, you’ll go directly to the brand’s website (,, etc. ) and either press your luck right on the release time or you can utilize a sneaker bot to greatly increase your chances of securing a pair at retail price.
There are also authorized retailers that stock desired shoes, like FootLocker or Eastbay, but it’s best to go with lesser-known sites like Mr. Porter and END to increase your odds of getting the shoes at retail.
Where’s the Best Place to Resell Shoes?
I’ve done most of my reselling on eBay, but it seems like apps like GOAT and StockX are picking up so I’m selling on those more now as well.
Still, I love the feeling of doing in-person deals either through Craigslist, sneaker conventions, or Facebook/Twitter groups.
Obviously, selling in person requires extra precautions, but if you use common sense and deal with good people through networking, you’ll get the best prices from in person on the buying side because online sellers are paying for shipping and fees to the platform that they’re selling on.
Some Common and Costly Mistakes
Although I had done my research, I was still in over my head and had a lot to learn. After my biggest month, I made some preventable mistakes that nearly caused me to lose everything I had earned.
First, I ended up with some fakes and it was a mess trying to get my money back from the seller or PayPal.
Nick’s Notes: As you might expect with shoes that sell for $1000, there’s a thriving black market for counterfeit sneakers.
The other issue I ran into was with my PayPal account itself. They weren’t used to me taking in such large amounts of money per month, so PayPal put a hold on my money. Since I relied on reinvesting that income into more inventory, that hold took me several months to recover from.
I think I could have avoided that if I’d warned them in advance that I would be taking in as much money in a month that I used to take in in a year, but then again I had no idea that I would make so much money so quickly!
Fortunately, I made a recovery and have gathered more knowledge than if it had been smooth sailing from the very start.
How Do You Deal with Fakes?
Although there are plenty of fakes on the market, there are also plenty of resources that will educate you on fakes and how to spot the differences.
As a buyer, you can ask for detailed, tagged pictures (i. with written proof of ownership, often the day/time on a piece of paper next to the shoe in each picture. ) and compare them to the numerous tutorials on YouTube or on sneaker forums that will give you a good idea of whether they’re authentic or not.
Also, if it’s a new release, only deal with people who include the receipt from the store that they purchased. That way you’ll know they’re real and also if it’s your intention to turn around and resell them, then you can prove to buyers they’re the real deal as well.
Another issue when dealing with fakes is selling authentic shoes but having the buyer try to claim that they’re fake. This can be solved by including a receipt as mentioned previously, or you can take detailed pictures as you’re shipping to prove that you are in fact shipping authentic shoes.
Be sure to include tracking with signature required and insurance so the buyer also cannot claim that he or she never got the kicks.
How Do You Manage Inventory?
The short answer is I don’t — I try and sell each pair as quickly as I buy them!
When selling shoes, it can be easy to amass a bulky collection that you have to keep somewhere. To avoid that, I focus on brand new releases or shoes that are really hot classics I know will sell quickly.
This strategy translated into less headache and hassle storing and tracking the inventory, and also let me turn my cash over to reinvest in the next flip faster.
For anyone that wants to get a side hustle going but doesn’t know where to start, selling sneakers is one of the best ways to learn valuable entrepreneurial skills in real life, like customer service, profitably managing inventory, and learning to set and achieve goals.
These skills I have learned through selling shoes have given me gifts that I never got in any kind of formal education.
What Else Could You Flip?
While sneakers are some of the best items to flip if you have a sense for what’s hot, there are certainly plenty of other options to buy low and sell high.
Suggested Playlist: Flipping Profits
Buying low and selling high is the fastest way to multiply money. Here’s how to get it done.
Add to Spotify
Used Shoes and Boots
Nick’s Notes: The resale market for shoes goes far beyond just these limited-edition sneakers. In fact, even gently-used regular name brand shoes and boots can be flipped for profit.
In this case, it’s a game of spotting deals at thrift shops and yard sales. A typical purchase price might be $5-15 for a pair, but those can sell for $50-300 on eBay depending on the brand and condition.
Check out this online class to learn more.
Another flipping business that might be worth exploring is simply buying clearance items locally, and reselling them for a profit on Amazon. This is known as Amazon FBA clearance arbitrage or retail arbitrage.
It may not be as flashy as the sneaker business, but may be easier to source inventory and begin to multiply your money. Click here to learn more about how to get started, or listen in below:
And head over here to join Jessica’s free 7-day course on getting started selling on Amazon.
Flea Market Finds
Another flipping business I want to share is my friend Rob’s — he runs Flea Market Flipper and Flipper University ( use code SIDEHUSTLE100 for $100 off).
The guy has some crazy awesome stories about the random stuff he’s found and then re-sold for big gains. And he’s turned it into a full-time, 6-figure business!
Check out my interview with Rob to learn more, check out his free webinar, or listen with the player app below:
And finally, there’s an entire industry set up around flipping books. One guest of mine reported earning up to $4000 a month re-selling used books.
Stocks and Options?
Another Side Hustle Show guest reported making $1000 a day trading stocks. She didn’t hit that level right away, but through education and practice turned her unique flipping business into a full-time income stream (and then some! ).
For more on this side hustle, be sure to check out JV’s site at and use the code SIDEHUSTLENATION to take 40% off his 100-page sneaker flipping guidebook.
Another resource worth checking out is KickFlips, a free newsletter for potentially-profitable sneakers and streetwear to be on the lookout for.
*********Stock photo by New Africa via Shutterstock
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Is It Legal to Buy and Resell Items? – Entrepreneur
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Generally, it’s not illegal to resell an item that you have legitimately purchased. Once you have purchased something at retail it is yours to do with as you choose. Manufacturers tend to have little or no control over a product past the first customer they sell to.
However, if you are planning to do this as a business, a couple of issues arise. First, you will have warranty issues. If you run this business not as an official reseller but as an “under the table” reseller without an arrangement with the manufacturer, you risk invalidating the warranties that they provide to the first consumer, but not to the customers to whom you’ve resold the goods.
Second, there are trademark issues. If you’re using manufacturers’ logos to advertise the products you’re reselling, you need their permission. Without it, you run the risk of getting embroiled in a trademark infringement lawsuit — especially if your business does well and no longer flies under the radar.
Third, there are sales tax issues. With your current business model (buying retail and then reselling), you’ll have two levels of sales tax. You’ll need to pay to obtain the goods, and your purchaser will need to pay when you sell the goods. You could look into getting a reseller’s permit, but to get a reseller’s license you first have to enroll with your state tax department, which involves getting a sales tax ID number. And messing up on sales tax can involve penalties and interest being inflicted on you personally. You can’t hide behind your corporate entity if they arise.
In short, you have some thorny legal and accounting issues here. If you’re determined to move forward, be sure to get sound professional advice so that you’re protected.
How to Become a Sneaker Reseller to Earn Extra Income – Financial Wolves
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase or sign up through my links, at no cost to you. Please read my disclaimer for more eaker resellers have quietly been making massive side hustle income as a result of taking advantage of a huge market opportunity. Here is how to become a sneaker reseller to make extra money.
Sneakers are a fashion statement. The kind of sneakers you wear describes the sort of person you are. But do you know, you can make a tremendous amount of money reselling sneakers?
Already, several entrepreneurs are making an astronomical amount of cash. It’s a great way to avoid work from home scams and get into a real entrepreneurial business.
If you’re also planning to start your own sneaker reselling business, here is a complete guide for you. I use Personal Capital to track all my side hustle income and money earned online.
It’s a great free way to keep everything organized, so I can focus on growing my businesses. Read more about it in our Personal Capital review.
However, before we get started, let’s have a quick look at the sneaker reselling market.
Sneaker Reselling Market Over the YearsHow to Start Sneaker Flipping for Profit1. Conduct Comprehensive Research2. Choose The Right Platform to Sell Your Sneakers3. Set The Right Price4. Shipping Preparation5. PackingConclusion on Flipping Sneakers
Sneaker Reselling Market Over the Years
Sneaker flipping is one of the proven ways to make money in a short period of time. In comparison to some other businesses, the sneaker resale market is quite profitable.
According to a report, the global sneaker market was around $58 billion in 2018 and is projected to grow at 7% during 2019-2022.
Over the years, the sneaker market has opened up itself to more people, thanks to various online channels. The good thing about this business is that it is incredibly scalable.
As per your goal, you can start this business to make a side hustle or 6-figure salary.
Why? Because sneakers are one of the easiest items to flip for profit in today’s age.
It would be right to say that in sneaker reselling, there is a tremendous opportunity and a big market that you can always find your place in it.
It’s one of the more lucrative ways to make money online as long as you have a plan and know what you are doing.
How to Start Sneaker Flipping for Profit
Now let’s find out how to become a sneaker reseller.
1. Conduct Comprehensive Research
To build your brand as a sneaker reseller, you must have a sound knowledge of sneaker reselling. It is essential to know the kind of shoes to buy and resell as every day a new shoe model is emerging in the market.
Also, you must know which old classic models are holding importance in the market.
After all, sometimes older models help you get a high profit.
When you conduct extensive research, it helps you identify opportunities, make the right choices and ultimately avoid flops.
Also, you better get to know how to make a lucrative deal.
Always do a thorough analysis and try the business with one pair of shoes and sell on one platform, at least in the beginning.
2. Choose The Right Platform to Sell Your Sneakers
There are plenty of platforms that allow you to sell sneakers. You can create your seller account on different platforms. Thus you will get profit from selling across every single platform. Moreover, you will come to know about the best platform to sell.
Before finalizing a platform, don’t forget to weigh factors like fee, how long will it take to sell the shoes or get paid, how you will get paid, and more.
You may also consider starting a blog where you can sell your sneakers directly. Blogging is more comfortable and straightforward than various selling platforms available.
Don’t forget; the flipping sneaker is all about collecting your margin quickly. However, for that, you don’t need to hold onto a lot of shoes at one time. Try to predict the market and make a decision accordingly.
Some of the popular platforms that you may consider to sell sneakers include:
StockX is a popular Detroit-based eCommerce platform founded by Dan Gilbert and co-partners Josh Luber and Greg Schwartz in 2015. The platform emphasis on the sneaker resale market and works on the bid-based model.
On StockX, you place your shoes for whatever price you want, and it’s entirely on buyers whether to accept it or not.
Buyers are allowed to list their costs as well, and if the seller is comfortable selling their sneakers at that price, they close the deal.
The platform lets you drop or ship the sneakers to one of the nearby Flight Club locations. After that, you will have to contact the staff at Flight Club to know the price. You can agree upon the rate based on the previous selling rate.
The shoe will be listed and displayed on their website. Once your sneakers are sold, you can then pick up a check from Flight Club or have your money deposited directly into your account. There is an 80/20 split.
Note: The store holds the right to refuse any sneaker.
Facebook & Instagram
Over the years, social media accounts have turned into the best online selling platform for most entrepreneurs. For example, on Facebook, you can look for “buy and sell” sneakers group, interact with potential buyers and sell your product directly without involving any mediator.
Instagram is another great platform that you can use to market your sneaker reselling business. You can promote your Sneakers deals through your personal Instagram account using appropriate hashtags.
The good thing about selling via social media platforms is that there is no fee incurred. The money you will earn won’t be distributed to any third-party eCommerce platform.
Moreover, you and your buyers can agree upon any payment process both parties are comfortable with.
See Related: List of Easiest Items to Flip for a Profit
Stadium Goods came into existence in the year 2015 and has quickly become one of the biggest marketplaces for sneakers. The platform allows you to set the prices based on market values. As soon as a buyer purchases your sneakers, you get your payment.
Stadium Good does a weekly payout with 80/20 split. Stadium Goods occasionally runs sales offers on their website.
See Related: 11+ Weekend Jobs to Increase Your Income
eBay is another popular eCommerce platform to sell your sneakers. The platform is quite user-friendly. You simply need to take images of your product and create a product listing. People can immediately buy at the asking price. With eBay, you get 50 free listings per month.
To add products above that, you will have to pay as per their plan.
The good thing is that eBay accepts almost all types of payment options such as PayPal, credit, or debit card.
See Related: 14+ Gig Economy Jobs to Make Extra Cash
3. Set The Right Price
For beginners, it can be a little tricky to set the right price for the sneakers. However, you can easily overcome this issue with proper guidance. You can hire a professional to create excellent product images that will help you sell your sneakers for the right price.
Always avoid underpriced online markets because it can affect the sneakers’ resale.
See Related: Can You Make Money Selling Jewelry Online?
4. Shipping Preparation
Preparing your products for shipping can be another big challenge. It is advisable that before you start shipping, you may consider creating an account with USPS (United States Postal Service).
They give a 20% discount on your labels. Moreover, they allow you to pick up from your home and office. Avoid going to the post office to pay there.
Not only will it save you time but also your money. You might want to save more money, use these tips to save money.
See Related: How to Make $1, 000 Quick
As per the demand, you may have to pack and label up tons of shoes. It is important to have a streamlined process right from the beginning to avoid any hassle. Don’t forget that when you take more time to prepare your product, it makes shipping process delay.
And any delay in product shopping may put an adverse effect on customer satisfaction and your overall business.
Don’t forget that a slow shipping process may turn your customers jump to your competitors. When you have a streamlined process, you can easily send your products to buyers on the very same day.
Not only will it help you win your customers but also gain a network of loyal customers.
See Related: Best Part-Time Jobs for Income
Conclusion on Flipping Sneakers
Flipping sneakers is a profitable business. People are concerned with the kind of shoes they wear, and the sneakers are the preference of most people nowadays. You’ll be on your way to making extra money and earning some side hustle income.
If you’re planning to start a business that can give you a sure success in less time, you should definitely consider sneaker reselling business.
Looking at the market, it would be safe to say that it is the right time to be a part of the flipping sneakers industry.
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Frequently Asked Questions about how to start buying and reselling shoes
Is it legal to buy and resell shoes?
Generally, it’s not illegal to resell an item that you have legitimately purchased. Once you have purchased something at retail it is yours to do with as you choose. … If you’re using manufacturers’ logos to advertise the products you’re reselling, you need their permission.Apr 19, 2013
How do I start a shoe reseller?
How to Start Sneaker Flipping for ProfitConduct Comprehensive Research. To build your brand as a sneaker reseller, you must have a sound knowledge of sneaker reselling. … Choose The Right Platform to Sell Your Sneakers. … Set The Right Price. … Shipping Preparation. … Packing.May 18, 2020
How much do shoe resellers make a year?
Reseller SalaryAnnual SalaryMonthly PayTop Earners$260,000$21,66675th Percentile$120,000$10,000Average$95,190$7,93225th Percentile$33,000$2,750