How to flip shoes for a profit

Shoe flipping is a fun hustle that you can easily start to make a little (or more) cash on the side. If you’ve got a keen eye for kicks and a taste for treasure hunting, then you’re ready to join the ranks of successful sneaker resellers. The truth is, flipping shoes is all about the thrill of the hunt, the quick turnaround, and the satisfaction of turning a stylish pair of sneakers into cold hard cash. And that’s how you flip shoes for a profit.

First things first, get yourself educated. It’s time to deep-dive into the sneaker world. You need to know what’s hot and what’s not. Brands, models, colorways, release dates – start filling that brain of yours with as much sneaker trivia as it can hold. Reddit is a goldmine for this type of information. You’ll find many subreddits filled with passionate sneakerheads who are more than happy to share their knowledge. When you’ve gathered enough intel, it’s time to source your inventory. Look for underpriced shoes that you can flip for profit. Some people find success in thrift stores, others in retail clearance sales, while others still score big in online marketplaces. Always be on the lookout for bargains, whether it’s a pair of Air Jordans at a garage sale or Yeezys on eBay. Just be careful to avoid fakes – a keen eye and some research can prevent a costly mistake.


Now comes the fun part – selling! Consider setting up shop on platforms such as GOAT, StockX, Grailed, or even Reddit itself. Take high-quality photos of your kicks, write detailed descriptions, and price competitively based on your research. Remember, presentation is everything. Your buyer can’t touch or try on the shoe, so you need to make it as appealing as possible through your listing.

Lastly, remember to have fun and stay engaged with the sneaker community. Shoe flipping can be a rewarding hobby that puts some extra cash in your pocket, but it’s also a social activity. Stay active on Reddit, keep up with the latest releases, and you’ll find your reputation and profits growing steadily. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a successful shoe-flipping business. Keep grinding, and who knows, maybe one day you’ll be the one setting the trends.


In this article, we will thoroughly explore how to flip shoes for a profit with a focus on maximizing profitability. We will delve into the following aspects in greater depth:

  1. Footwear market outlook
  2. How to flip shoes for a profit
  3. Where to flip shoes for a profit

Footwear market outlook

The allure of fresh footwear isn’t lost on us, especially during major shopping events like back-to-school and holiday sales. Shoes are more than just a stylish accessory; they’ve morphed into sought-after collectibles. Whether you’re looking to round off a sleek ensemble or you’re the kind of person who buys sneakers with the intent to flip them for a neat profit, shoes occupy a significant place in our lives. Hence, mastering the art of shoe flipping can prove to be a lucrative avenue for budding entrepreneurs or those looking to bolster their resale game.

It’s even predicted that by 2025, the global sneaker resale industry will surge to an impressive $6 billion.¹ The resale value of sneakers is intrinsically linked to the supply furnished by retail giants such as Nike and Adidas. If the market was flooded with these coveted kicks, the competitive fervor surrounding their resale would simmer down considerably. Another factor contributing to the value of shoes is their rarity. Over time, certain models can become scarce on physical and digital store shelves, thereby enhancing their value. Of course, the accessibility of specific sizes, brands, and colors plays a pivotal role too.

Only a few items can resell at prices higher than their original retail value in the secondary market, and shoes, particularly sneakers, fall into this category. This phenomenon can be attributed to two crucial factors that drive the sneaker resale market: scarcity and exclusivity. According to StockX, sneakers sold on their platform have an average markup of 48% compared to their initial retail prices.²


Specific sneakers, especially those designated as “limited release,” are intentionally produced in limited quantities. Consequently, with the right promotion and hype, the demand for these sneakers far surpasses the available supply. This creates a lucrative opportunity for you to flip shoes for a profit. Depending on various factors such as size, gender (men’s or women’s), supply, brand reputation, collaborations, and timing of the release, you can potentially generate significant earnings.

How to flip shoes for a profit

Follow these steps to flip shoes for a profit.

1. Research to know the market

Knowledge is power, and in the sneaker-flipping world, keeping up with shoe releases is necessary. You need to be on the ball, ready to snatch up those new releases as soon as they drop. Here’s how you can stay in the know:

  • Conventions. Sneaker Con isn’t just a fun day out; it’s a golden opportunity to buy, sell, and trade coveted kicks with thousands of like-minded folks.
  • YouTube. Sneaker-focused channels command a loyal following and serve as a fountain of sneaker news, reviews, and even direct sales from their own collections.
  • Social Media. Twitter (@SNKR_TWITR) and Instagram (@deadstocksneakermarket) are your best buddies here. They offer thriving communities where sneakerheads can connect and share the love.
  • Hypebeast and Highsnobiety. What started as simple blogs covering streetwear and fashion have now become primary news sources for sneakerheads, dishing out updates on everything from luxury brand partnerships to broader cultural trends.

So there you go. Get out there, flex those research muscles, and start building your sneaker empire!

3. Start with a few

Start with one solid pair if you’re itching to flip shoes for a profit. Stick to popular brands – they’re easier to price, and you’ll have a better shot at spotting any sneaky fakes. You can’t go wrong with time-tested players like Nike and Adidas, but pay attention to the specific models and colorways – some sell faster (and for more cash) than others.

4. Master the Art of Buying

If you’re all over release drops like a hawk, you can snatch up those new kicks atthe  retail price before they hit the resale market and prices skyrocket. This is especially true for collaborations and limited editions; chances are, you’ll never find them cheaper than on release day. So, it’s time to build your battle strategy on when and how to buy. Here are some handy tools to get you started:

  • Release tracking apps. Apps like Copdate are your best bet to secure those hotly anticipated drops without enduring the nightmare of long queuesYouou make a reservation for upcoming launches, and Copdate handles the rest. Grailify, on the other hand, acts as your release calendar, tracking sneaker news from the first whiff of a rumor to the official release and final restock.
  • Bots. A lot of seasoned resellers use bots to automate the shoe-finding process. They scour retail sites for the perfect size, color, and style, so you don’t have to. However, if you’re just getting your feet wet in the resale world, I’d recommend doing the initial searching yourself.

However, while bots and apps make your life easier by securing orders without you having to face any physical lines, they’re doing the same for your competitors. The sneaker-flipping market is a jungle, and you need to stay sharp if you’re hoping to make a decent profit.

5. Turn eBay into your shoepedia

Nobody flipping shoes for a profit can ignore eBay. It’s the holy grail of buying and reselling. You might be asking yourself, “Are sneakers a thing on eBay?” Spoiler alert: Absolutely yes. Justtypeg in “Limited edition sneakers” and you’re hit with thousands of results. eBay also uses filters that narrows down your search.

For instance, you can narrow to top shoes like Nike, Jordan, Adidas, and the like. Or dig into themes like “retro” or “90s”, along with the condition and features like “Performance”. They even got this “Authenticity Guarantee” check box that’s there to calm your nerves. If you’re not new to eBay, then you’ve got a leg up. But here’s a neat trick: Always check the pricing. Peek at what the limited-edition sneakers are going for, and keep an eye on the bidding wars. Want to be a real pro? Add the “Sold Items” filter to see how many shoes were sold for. This could give you a ballpark on what kind of profit you could rake in flipping shoes.

6. Set up your own sneaker universe on eBay

a. Level up with social media

YouTube isn’t just for cat videos anymore. It’s also the perfect place for resellers and sneakerheads. With 2 billion+ monthly users, you could be raking in views (and potential buyers) in no time. Curate a killer social media presence that’s all about shoes, and you’re likely to pull in buyers who are researching their next big sneaker purchase. Plus, as your rep grows, you’ll start appearing in relevant searches, and you can plug your sales channels right into your profile.

b. Spot the fakes

Not everyone’s as legit as you. You definitely don’t want to learn that lesson the hard way. If a price is looking too good to be true, it’s probably about as real as a 3-dollar bill. If you’re keen on playing detective, ask for specific photos (like a shot of the shoes next to a newspaper with the current date). Ask for a purchase receipt, check out their eBay or Amazon seller ratings, read reviews, and use apps like CheckCheck to confirm authenticity.

c. Invest your earnings into more shoes

Roll your profits back into more shoes, preferably pricier or limited-edition ones. You can start your research even before the cash rolls in. As you get comfy with the industry, you can start trading in higher-demand shoes with juicier profit margins. Now that’s a shoe-flipping strategy!

d. Keep your shop organized

Shoes demand more space than your typical flip-worthy stuff, and no, you can’t just fold them up like tees or jeans. But remember that the shoebox is almost as important as the sneaker itself when it comes to flipping for profit. So make room for the shoebox. And let’s not forget about keeping things neat and tidy – you’ll want a system for different sizes, colors, and styles.

7. Hunt down shoe liquidation auctions on B-Stock

If you’re already itching to get in on the action (minus the inflated prices), consider liquidation footwear and apparel. You can snatch up shoe liquidation inventory from big retailers like Amazon, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Journeys, and Zulily on their B-Stock private marketplace. This can get you massive inventory all at once for the price you’re willing to bid, allowing you to turbocharge your reselling business way faster than if you were buying just one or two pairs at a time.

Where to flip shoes for profit

You have to get chummy with some key platforms to flip shoes for profit. These aren’t just your average websites – they’re your gateway to a smoother, faster, and generally more reliable shoe buying and selling process.


GOAT closes the gap between the shiny new and the resold, catering to all sneakerheads with styles from yesteryears and tomorrow. They’ve even dipped their toes into accessories and apparel. Buyers can snap up pairs from select sellers like retailers and boutiques or go directly through GOAT. With 30 million members in 164 countries, it is a must-place for a shoe flipper.³

2. StockX

StockX is your sneaker stock market, tracking the price of all those fancy shoes over 12 months. It is a goldmine when you’re deciding which shoes might give you the biggest bang for your buck in the resale world. You list your shoes, buyers bid or buy, and StockX plays matchmaker between you two – a much-needed safety net in a world riddled with counterfeit kicks. StockX also handles all the pesky shipping details, so you can just sit back and count your profits.

3. Stadium Goods

At Stadium Goods, it’s pretty simple: you send them your shoes, and they inspect, list, market, and ship them. They’re a trusted source among the shoe-flipping crowd, and for good reason. They’re not just confined to their own platform, either. They’re branching out on Amazon, eBay, Farfetch, and more, getting your stuff out there to as many eyeballs as possible. And since they hold inventory on-site, you can look forward to lightning-fast shipping and payout.

4. Depop

You might scroll through Depop and think it’s all just a hodgepodge of stuff, but don’t be too quick to write this one off. Depop thrives on the personal touch of social selling and it’s a prime stomping ground for shoe enthusiasts hunting for the latest streetwear. We’re talking about a user base of over 35 million and growing. Shoppers buy directly from sellers, liking and browsing listings like it’s just another day on Instagram. Sellers, on the other hand, can set their own shop policies, but be ready for that 10% fee when your kicks fly off the virtual shelf. Depop is UK-based.

Read also: steps to return worn shoes


  1. True To Us And Tobe Footwear Are Women-Led Companies Helping Grow Global Sneaker Markets. Forbes
  2. The StockX Buyer’s Guide to Resale. StockX
  3. Sneaker marketplace GOAT hits $3.7B valuation in Series F raise. TechCrunch

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