How Do You Resell Sneakers?

Learn the basics about how the sneaker resale industry works and how you can enter the space. Here are five steps to kickstart your journey as a sneaker reseller.

How Do You Resell Sneakers?

How Do You Resell Sneakers?

The sneaker resale industry is estimated to be worth $2 Billion in the US alone, and is projected to reach $30 Billion globally by 2030. Right now, the resale market is booming and entrepreneurs are making profits due to the hype around sneaker culture.

How Much Does A Sneaker Reseller Make?

Your success as a sneaker reseller is partially dependent on market conditions, which, like any market, can fluctuate over time. Big sneaker resellers can generate millions of dollars in annual revenue. Smaller sneaker resellers can make thousands of dollars a month in revenue. Like any business, making profits is not guaranteed. How you run your business as a reseller, in addition to other external factors, dictates your ability to achieve financial success.


What is Sneaker Reselling?

In recent years, sneaker resale has seen a spike in popularity. Sneakers, like many collectibles, can be seen as an investment. And like many investments, reselling sneakers can potentially lead to high returns.

Sneaker reselling is the process of purchasing a specific pair of sneakers to sell at a higher price on the secondary market. Typically, resellers purchase at retail price directly from a brand. While this may appear to be a fairly simple process, the reselling market is quite competitive.

The overall sneaker resale market is predicated on the fact that major brands like Nike and Adidas intentionally (or sometimes unintentionally) release a limited supply of sneakers that is outstripped by demand. Therefore, if people are unable to purchase sneakers at retail, they will look to buy them on the secondary market from resellers.

Other sneakers that generate demand on the secondary market also include hype-driven shoes released in collaboration with cultural figures like Travis Scott. The multi-billion dollar sneaker resale market does not directly contribute revenue to the major sneaker brands, however the industry helps drive hype that keeps sneaker brands relevant and valuable.

Sneaker resale is most lucrative for the resellers themselves. While brands can benefit from their sneakers sold on the secondary market, there is a constant back and forth with companies like Nike or Adidas in either supporting or condemning the overall resale market.

How To Become A Sneaker Reseller

Reselling sneakers is a fairly straightforward act of meeting market demand. However, choosing the right sneakers to invest in is a mixture of art and science. Here are five easy steps you can take to move closer to your goal of becoming a sneaker reseller.

1. Understanding The Sneaker Industry

Like any investment, it’s important to have a deep understanding of the industry. You should begin by learning the basics of the sneaker world. This includes knowledge on the history of important sneakers, the popular brands, and the current trends in today’s sneaker market. It is important to fully immerse yourself in the different releases, understanding why they’re important, and what made previous drops successful. This is all useful information as you search for prospective sneaker investments.


2. Studying The Sneaker

Once you have developed a foundational understanding of the broader sneaker industry, next you can find a specific shoe worth investing in. It is important to remember that not every shoe is guaranteed to resell at a profit and not all drops are equally important. When searching for a new sneaker drop, there are a few key factors to keep in mind.

To start, keep in mind that there are a few brands that currently dominate the resale market. This is not to say other brands won’t have successful drops, but right now the brands to keep an eye on are Nike, Jordan, Adidas, and New Balance. Furthermore, specific silhouettes within each brand are most sought after - like Air Jordan 1s or Yeezy Boost 350s.You should also consider the sales history of a particular model, their scarcity, and a shoe’s relevance to culture - i.e. the shoes that are most talked about on social media.


3. Purchasing The Sneaker

Actually buying hot sneakers off a website or in-store can be a difficult process, which makes reselling them a lucrative business. The most sought after sneaker releases are often sold through raffles, which can happen on a brand’s website, app or in-store. If you are closely following drop calendars, you could go to the website and add the sneaker to your shopping cart. However, purchasing sneakers at retail price is extremely competitive and many drops sell out within a matter of seconds.

Do research on when sneakers are being released, the quantity of sneakers being dropped, and if there are any restrictions to purchase. Some drops will limit the quantity each person can buy or even limit the purchases to a select list of clients. Once you have determined the sneakers you want to buy, devise a plan. In order to have a realistic chance of getting a major sneaker drop, you either have to be lucky in a raffle or use a sneaker bot. Given the current state of the resale market, unless you are extremely lucky then using tools like sneaker bots are your best bet to acquire sneakers at retail price. Again, sneaker drops are fast paced and you sometimes won’t have time to fill out your shipping and payment information. Whether you use autofill or a sneaker bot to make your purchase, be sure to set it up the night before the drop. Additionally, it can be helpful to watch relevant online spaces (i.e. Discord servers, social media accounts) for crucial updates.


4. Selling The Sneaker

When you decide to resell the sneaker you have purchased, you can find buyers on the secondary market both online and offline. The primary way to resell sneakers online is through using trusted online marketplaces like StockX, GOAT and eBay. To resell sneakers offline, you can sell to sneaker consignment stores in your local community or connect with people directly who may want to buy sneakers off you.

One of the advantages of using an online marketplace is that they can provide seller protection, facilitate payments, perform a sneaker authentication service, and connect you with buyers. Using a marketplace also allows you to see what other people are paying for a particular sneaker, giving you a better idea of a sneaker’s market price. If you want to build out your brand as a reseller or grow your reselling business, it’s important to cultivate a network of customers and followers. Most people use social media to demonstrate their stock as a reseller and develop trust with potential buyers. Discover, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and Twitter are amongst the most used social media channels for sneakerheads.


5. Shipping The Sneaker

The final step of the resale process is actually delivering the sneaker to the buyer. Depending on what platform you use to sell, your shipping process will be different. Using a trusted delivery partner is important to ensure the packaging is safe, undamaged, and timely.

When selling sneakers, bear in mind that tax and duties vary based on locations, both within the United States and internationally. If you are just starting off as a sneaker reseller, building trust and ensuring customer satisfaction is a key part of the process.

As the sneakers you sell will most likely be valuable and of limited quantity, you should ensure they are properly packaged and handled with care. Any complications or errors with the shipping could damage your reputation as a seller, making it harder to make future sales. It’s important to consider storage, climate conditions, delivery partners, and every step of the logistical supply chain between seller and buyer. As a seller, aim to have a clear process for customers to give you feedback, whether good or bad. Good feedback could strengthen your reputation and on the flipside, critical feedback could allow you to improve your service.
Like any good business owner, your job doesn’t end when the product is shipped but when the sneaker is actually delivered and the customer is satisfied.

These five beginner steps should kickstart your adventure as a sneaker reseller. For information on the sneaker industry, specific drops, and advanced educational content, learn more at