The world of sneaker reselling has long fascinated techies; but it has been largely impenetrable to those on the outside. We sat down with some established sneaker resellers to try and get a better idea of what it takes to turn a passion for sneakers into a money-making opportunity. What they told us was very revealing. If you are considering breaking into this market then this is what you need to know.
Choosing the Right Shoes
If you want to make money reselling sneakers, you need to buy the right sneakers to begin with. No business can sell stock that other people do not want, and if you are buying up shoes that no one else has an interest in then you aren’t going to have anyone to resell them to.
Luckily, it’s relatively simple to identify the shoes that are going to make the most money. Limited edition sneakers and shoes that have celebrity endorsements should be your priority. Several of the sellers that we spoke to specifically highlighted Nike Jordans as being a reliable choice.
Choosing the Right Tools
Sneaker bots are the automated scripts that professional resellers use to automatically buy, and in some cases sell, sneakers. The bots on offer are constantly changing. The more popular any individual tool becomes, the more of a target it is for sneaker retailers. While many sneaker bot developers are good at staying one step ahead, not all of them are.
One seller that we spoke to, who goes by the name of Sam, had this to say: “There are plenty of sneaker bots that people can choose from. Personally, I would not recommend any individual tool. Instead, I would suggest that anyone who wants to buy and resell sneakers investigate each one individually and choose one that has a proven track record for regular updates and good customer support.”
Sneaker retailers are actively working to prevent users from using bots to buy their products. It is therefore essential that you have confidence that any tool you use is going to be kept regularly updated.
Always Use a Proxy
According to all of the resellers we spoke to, your choice of proxy is just as important as your choice of bot. Sneaker resellers should look for a proxy service that offers rotating IP addresses. This means that, as far as any websites that you access are concerned, every request you send will appear to come from a different user. More importantly, the IP addresses associated with each of those users will be for a residential address. This makes it much harder for retailers to identify and block the IP addresses you use. A rotating proxy will regularly switch your IP address for a new one.
If you try to use a buying bot without a proxy service, you can expect to have your IP address blocked very quickly. With a rotating proxy in place, if one IP address that you are using is blocked then you can simply move on to another one.
Where (and When) To Resell Your Shoes
Sarah has been selling sneakers online for a number of years now. When we asked her what she thought most sneaker resellers were overlooking in their own approaches, she pointed to the reselling platforms themselves.
“Lots of people just look online for a sneaker reselling platform and then jump on the first one they see,” she told us. “But the platform that you choose will impact everything. It will determine what sort of people see your listing, the ease that buyer and seller will have in making the transaction, and your chances of reselling your sneakers at all.”
There are numerous prominent reselling platforms. For example, GOAT, Grailed, and stocks are all popular and trustworthy platforms. However, if you are willing to look beyond the obvious choices, there are plenty of other opportunities you can take advantage of. Of particular note is the r/sneakermarket subreddit. Reddit does not have any native buying and selling tools, but the sneaker market subreddit has emerged as one of the best places to buy and resell sneakers, thanks to the way it is moderated and maintained.
Customer Service Is Everything
Just like with any other business, if you want to reliably make money from reselling sneakers in the long-term, you need to pay attention to your customer service. Some people are under the mistaken belief that because the sneaker reselling market is something of a grey market, they don’t need to observe the usual rules of business.
But, as with any other business, if you don’t show your customers an appropriate level of love and respect, they won’t want to do business with you. Two of our sellers were able to highlight what they considered to be the most important tenets of good customer service when reselling sneakers.
One of the most common complaints buyers have when buying sneakers is that they can take some time to arrive. As a sneaker reseller, you should be looking to ship your sneakers out as soon as possible.
As one experienced sneaker reseller put it, “Lots of the sneakers that people are reselling are limited editions or rarities. This can make buyers nervous at the best of times; if their sneakers take ages to arrive, then it doesn’t take long for this to develop into full-blown worry.”
Respond to Questions and Concerns
“While most of the people who are buying and reselling sneakers are pretty tech-savvy, their customers aren’t necessarily,” explains Annie, a sneaker seller from Colorado. “Resellers who are in it for the long haul need to get used to answering common questions from people who aren’t as familiar with the technology side of things.” The more responsive a seller is, the more customers will trust them.
There is more to sneaker reselling than initially meets the eye. The biggest takeaway from our discussions with experts was that the more sneaker resellers treat this as a proper business venture, the more success they will have.
*The opinions in this post are those of the author and not those of SmallBizDaily.
Ebbe Kernel is a Swedish data gathering analyst and consultant. He has been working in the field of data intelligence for over ten years and have advised hundreds of data providers and large companies on in-house data acquisition solutions. Read more about him at ebbekernel.com.