While browsing through a thrift shop in St. Augustine, Florida, I overheard a couple that were looking at men’s shoes.
He said “These would cost about $600.00 if they were new.”
My ka-ching radar went up immediately! I stealthily crept over to the men’s shoes department and spied the man showing his partner the alleged money makers.
Much to my surprise, he placed the shoes back on the shelf and walked away!
I turned into the great American eagle and swooshed in on the prey!
When I first saw the shoes I thought “Bummer. Nothing special looking.”
I may of even walked by them had I been not been an experienced eBay treasure hunter.
But I knew to investigate the opportunity to the fullest extent so I picked them up to view the soles.
That’s when I spotted that beautiful golden brass bar that read “Gucci”!
The thrift store had the shoes priced at $10.00, which I thought was a bit high considering the condition. But, I confidentially dropped them in my cart.
I know, I know. I didn’t first conduct the eBay research I talk about so much! However, just about any authentic designer ‘anything’ sells well on eBay. So, with a brand name like Gucci, I knew it would be okay.
The shoes were not in the greatest shape so my first instinct was, list them as an auction with a starting price of $9.99 and hope for the best.
Worst case scenario, I’ll only get one bid and the shoes will sell for $9.99 or they won’t sell at all and I’ll relist them with a low fixed price.
Successfully selling shoes on eBay starts with research
As always, I begin the eBay research with my beloved Terapeak!
I’ve started with a simple search using the phrase “men’s Gucci shoes”.
The average selling price is $191.55 with a 31.54% sell through rate out of 3,577 listings.
These stats are not bad!
Based on this initial data, I would highly suggest seeking out men’s Gucci shoes to sell on eBay!
But it gets even better…
Next I searched with the words “men’s gucci shoes brass”. I learned that the brass across the top is referred to as a ‘horsebit’.
I added ‘horsebit’ to a new Terapeak search – “men’s Gucci shoes horsebit”. WOW! The sell through rate is 40% with the average selling price $253.32!
I wish I had a truckload of these shoes!
But before I get too carried away…
Terapeak allows adjustment of the search filter and offers many options. In this case, I adjusted the tool to show “used only” because so many of the top sellers are new.
After applying the filters the sell through rate is still high at 43%, with the highest used pair selling for $112.84 out of 130 listings.
Mine are not in great shape so I am not expecting that much for them.
After viewing the list, I realized most of them were sold as “Fixed Price” so I adjusted the filter to a 7 day duration just to see what the average sell through was on auctions.
To my surprise, the sell through rate was 47% out of 34 listings and the average price sold was $84.25. I did see a seller had two pairs of beat up shoes that he started on auction for 9.99. The shoes sold for $9.99 with one bid.
Make more money by digging deeper into the eBay research
The eBay marketplace research shows that red, brown, and green shoes sell for higher prices than those that are black. The exception is the black Gucci embellished with the classic red and green strip below the horsebit (as shown in the photo below).
That one sold for $219.99 as an auction with one bid.
The seller started the price too high so he ended up with one bidder and got his asking price. This is a good strategy if you know you cannot go any lower than a certain price. It makes sense to take the chance that an item won’t sell if you need a certain amount.
It is also cheaper to list that way vs running a low starting price and adding a reserve to it.
Reserves can add up the eBay fees quickly. (click to learn more about eBay selling and listing fees)
The other two sales had low starting bids.
The brown alligator pair sold for 285.00 with a starting bid of $9.99 and the green pair had a starting bid of $104.99. This worked for both of these sales.
After conducting the research and inspecting the shape of my shoes I see there’s is a bit of a risk. These Gucci’s might sell for whatever I start the bid at – if it is not too high.
Thinking outside of the box so as to improve my profits I could…
Take them to a shoe repair store or cobbler and see what it would cost to get them cleaned up and looking good. Would doing so drive up the price of the shoes? I’d have to be sure and tack that fee onto the asking price.
Maybe, but I just want to move on so I list the shoes as an Auction with a starting price of $29.99. Let’s hope for the best.
If they do sell with one bid, then I made a few bucks profit. If they don’t sell in this manner, I’ll relist them and create a “Fixed Price” listing and offer them at $69.99.
Those are my two choices so I’m rolling the dice at $29.99 and we will see what happens. eBay item # 401049385711
Check back to get updates and results!
You can make money by selling shoes from designers you never even heard of
The next pair of shoes I’m listing on eBay are designed and manufactured by Stacy Adams.
I honestly had not heard of this brand before but I had a client call me about wanting to sell out her brother’s “Stacy Adams shoes and Cowboy boots” (more about boots later) so, for $225.00, I bought approximately 26 pairs of this footwear.
Time to fire up Terapeak and the eBay marketplace to research just how much these puppies are going to bring in!
Stacy Adams is an interesting brand. When I was making the decision to buy out this gal, I did a quick search on Terapeak so I could determine the potential profits.
This search did show me that the name is larger than I initially thought. There are Stacy Adams’ clothing items, boots, shoes, and even memorabilia type items.
There were over 29 thousand listings under the Stacy Adams brand!
I’ve been selling on eBay for over 17 years. You’d think I’d seen it all, right? Nope! This just goes to prove that there’s a big world of “stuff” to sell on eBay out there and sellers should keep an open mind at all times!
All that said, this brand has a very low sell through rate – 17%.
Yet I still decided to go ahead and buy the ‘lot’ (multiple items sold for one price – and usually at a discount because all items are being sold at once) because I know a profit will be made as it was a bulk “wholesale” purchase.
You can follow along the selling trail by viewing the listings directly on my eBay store.
eBay listing procedure and SEO
The procedure to maximize profits on eBay is pretty much the same item to item. Selling shoes on eBay is a fairly standard process.
Below are some basic eBay listing and eBay SEO tips:
1. Save time by listing the smart way.
OK, you’ve researched the items on Terapeak and in the eBay marketplace and are ready to list your items for sale. On eBay, find the product most like yours and click the words “Sell One Like This”. eBay automatically places it into the same category as the one that is currently for sale. You’ve just saved yourself a few minutes as your item is now in the appropriate category and the listing is already started!
Sometimes I will suggest to add a second category. This is great for SEO as well as making your item visible to a larger buying audience. Example: the Gucci shoes I listed in ‘Men’s Dress Shoes and added the second category of ‘Men’s Used or Vintage Shoes’.
2. Create a great title & fill in all of the item specifics.
OK, admittedly it makes me crazy when I see eBay listings that are not “filled in correctly”. All those the fields for “item specifics” are there for good reasons so fill them all out!
eBay gives sellers many opportunities to create a wonderful buying experience for our customers. eBay also gives us the opportunity to be found in the search engines and higher up in eBay search as well.
By filling out as many of the item specific fields as you can, you’re showing eBay and potential buyers that you really know your products and want total transparency.
Customers and search engines LOVE this!
3. When selling shoes or boots on eBay, add the measurements!
All shoe sizes are not created equal. A size 10 Nike is not the same as a size 10 Gucci.
You’ll have a far higher success rate if you take the time to add specific measurements in the product description.
Here’s what I add to the description of every pair of shoes and boots that I list on eBay:
“NOTE: please compare my measurements below with a pair of your own shoes for a perfect fit.”
- Add the measurement of sole from toe tip to heel end here
- Add the measurement of the widest part of the ball of foot across here
eBay allows sellers to add up to 12 photos of each item listed and this is FREE, FREE, FREE! PLEASE take advantage of this incredible seller’s perk! The more pictures of an item the more likely you are to sell it – even if you’re not the greatest photographer!
Include pictures of the inside of shoe as well as the sole and any hardware accents.
And you must document all flaws or your return rate will be high.
Every detail is important.
5. Auction vs Fixed Price
This answer is based on your research. Look at successful sales and weigh out the odds for your own potential. Which style will bring you more money? The answer is generally to choose the listing style that resulted in sales for other vendors.
My basic rule of thumb on shipping is when I list an item as an Auction I will charge for shipping. I try to keep costs for the buyer low by offering a flat rate like $7.00 to $12.00, depending on the weight of the shoes.
For a Fixed Price listing, I include ‘FREE SHIPPING’. Obviously the item price goes up so as to cover shipping costs but eCommerce study after study has proven that words “FREE SHIPPING” increase sales.
7. Finding shoes to sell on eBay
I love selling men’s shoes on eBay! I have several friends who make great money on eBay and all they sell is shoes!
One gal I know is a full time nurse and has a very successful eBay store full of shoes. She only sells new shoes and guess where she gets them? From local shops running clearance sales!
YES! All types of shoes can be found at most local shops like ROSS, Shoe Carnival, and many outlet stores. First step is to head to the clearance rack and see what you can find!
I shop the thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales, and run ads in local online “free” ads.
The online ads read; “I buy used men’s shoes and boots. Depending on wear, I will pay $3.00 to $25.00 a pair.”
This strategy has worked well for me and I only run ads like that when my supply gets low.
The other great thing is, when people call about consignment selling, you can ask them if they have anything else they want to get rid of.
I had one guy load me up with belts, western shirts and some collectibles!
Heck, he even sold me his guitar and that all started with an ad for boots and shoes!
This leads me to my next post “How to Sell Cowboy Boots on eBay”…
Hope you enjoyed this eBay selling tutorial and happy eBay men’s shoe selling!