A Guide to Selling Sneakers Online

In 2020, the global revenue from the sneaker resale market was estimated to be $70 billion. By 2025, this figure is expected to surpass $102 billion.

For years, the biggest names in athletic footwear have been Nike, Puma, and Adidas. In fact, a survey showed that half the respondents own something from Nike, irrespective of their incomes. Considering the hype around sneakers — especially collectibles — it’s understandable why you might want a share in the market.

But for that, you need to know how to sell sneakers online. More importantly, you need to know how to make money selling sneakers online when most sneaker companies don’t let you buy shoes in bulk.

This guide will explore sneaker copping — a method to buy sneakers in bulk for reselling. It also explains how to prep the shoes for reselling online and take pictures that guarantee a purchase.

How to Start Selling Sneakers Online

How to Start Selling Sneakers Online

Sneakerheads are always on the wait for a new release. But brands make a limited supply of shoes, which catapults the demand even higher.

As a result, many people are unable to get the shoes directly from the brand because their desired size or style sold out in a day or two. These people then buy those shoes from resellers — in this case, you. This makes sneaker copping and reselling a lucrative business.

But before you can resell any shoes, you need to know how you can purchase them in bulk from the brand’s website before the stock runs out.

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Main websites for sneaker copping

Although a sneaker brand’s main company website is your primary cop site, you can also get sneakers from third-party sellers.

Whichever of these you choose to cop from depends on the type of shoes you’re interested in.

Most sneaker resellers buy shoes directly from the retailers’ websites since this is where you’re most likely to find the newest drops. Plus, you can find all sizes, and there’s no risk of the product being counterfeit.

However, you can also buy from third-party retailers if the sneaker of your choice is unavailable on the brand’s website or is out of stock. Likewise, some third-party retailers stock limited-edition shoes that may no longer be sold on the retailer’s actual website.

Even if you live in a remote area, most retailers will be willing to ship to you. However, if shipping is not available, you can rely on a middleman, such as intermediary delivery services.

Know the release dates

Sneakers sell out fast. If you find out about the release date a day too late, you’re going to miss out on the good stuff. Some good websites providing sneaker release dates are Kicks on Fire and Solelinks.

You can also keep an eye on the brand’s Twitter or other social media accounts to learn about upcoming release dates. Typically, there are two types of sneaker releases: queue and first come, first served.

In the former, you enter an online queue, and the website uses a raffle system to decide who gets to buy the shoes first. Meanwhile, the first come, first served method lets the early shoppers buy sneakers first.

You must be familiar with two more terms: restocks and drops.

  • Drop: A drop is when a company releases a sneaker for the first time. Most retailers announce a drop on their website or social media pages before the release date.
  • Restock: When a specific sneaker style sells out and the retailer makes more of it, that’s called a restock. As compared to drops, restocks are less predictable. In most cases, there’s no prior notice for a restock either.

Use proxies

Once you find out the release date of a sneaker, you’re all set to purchase it before the stock sells out.

As briefly mentioned earlier, sneaker copping is the process of purchasing sneakers from a brand’s website in bulk. During sneaker release, companies limit the number of sneakers one person can buy.

How do you bypass this restriction? By using proxies.

How proxies help sneaker resale

Retailers keep track of sneaker purchases by monitoring IP addresses. Your computer or phone has a single IP address linked with your physical location. Suppose you’re buying a pair of new Nike kicks. When you buy one pair, the website takes note of your IP address.

It will not let you buy another pair of the same style again since it knows a purchase was already made from your system.

Proxies help you bypass this by serving as an intermediary between the retailer’s website and your system. Since a proxy server changes your IP address, the retailer’s web server doesn’t know where the purchase request is coming from.

This way, you can make multiple purchases from the same computer or phone.

Best proxies for sneaker copping

Although there are many types of proxies, not all are suitable for buying sneakers in bulk. Here are the three main types of proxies you can use for sneaker copping:

  • Residential Proxies: These are your best choice for sneaker copping since they use connections of real residential individuals. Therefore, the retailer’s web server would think someone from a residential region is making the purchase. Since retailers don’t want to lose customers, they’re more reluctant to ban these IP addresses. Rayobyte residential proxies give you access to a large IP Pool that you can use to buy sneakers from any country in the world.
  • Data Center Proxies: Data center proxies are useful in sneaker copping since they’re fast and cheap. If you’re worried about your favorite sneakers running out of stock soon, data center proxies will make sure you don’t miss out on the goods. Rayobyte data center proxies allow you to cop sneakers from over 26 countries with more than 300,000 unique IPs.
  • ISP Proxies: These are also called static residential proxies and help you buy sneakers in bulk since they’re hard to block and quite fast. Since they don’t generate unlimited IPs like residential proxies, you can use them to buy a limited number of sneakers. Rayobyte ISP proxies feature unlimited bandwidth, 24/7 support, and lightning-fast 1 GBps speed.

How to Prep Shoes for Selling Online?

How to Prep Shoes for Selling Online?

If you want to resell worn sneakers, they’re likely to have some imperfections. Be sure to clean them before taking pictures or listing them on an online website.

Start by cleaning the outsoles and the midsoles of the shoes as most dirt gathers here. Clean the upper too. If there are any marks and stains on your kicks, scrub them out.

For most shoes, simple soap and a toothbrush can work perfectly. Likewise, if the sneakers have a canvas build, you can wash them in the washing machine. Use material-specific cleaners for suede or leather shoes, such as white vinegar or rubbing alcohol.

If you plan to cop sneakers consistently, invest in shoe cleaning products and tools. Look for cleaning products that remove dirt, grime, and paint residue from shoes.

If you don’t want to clean your sneakers yourself, places like JasonMarkk and Sneakerser can do it for you with ultimate care. However, this will be an additional cost that you’ll have to adjust in the price of the sneakers.

Shipping sneakers

If you’re reselling a new pair of sneakers, you’d probably have the dust bag and the box. For preloved sneakers, you should invest in proper supplies to ship the shoes safely.

If you don’t have the original bag, keep the sneakers in the USPS shoe box as it’s the perfect fit for most shoe sizes. Most importantly, check the shoes before shipping them off. Here are some things to look for:

  • Make sure both shoes are the same size.
  • Look for any leftover dirt that you have missed during cleaning.
  • Check if the laces are inside the box.
  • Wrap the shoes in a clear polybag if you want them to be extra secure during shipping. You can also use bubble wrap to prevent damage.

Selling Sneakers Online: What Kind of Pictures/Photos to Take

Selling Sneakers Online: What Kind of Pictures/Photos to Take

When learning how to make money online selling sneakers, many people overlook the importance of taking good pictures. Considering that most highly sought out sneakers cost a fortune, buyers will rely heavily on high-quality pictures to make a purchase decision.

After you’ve copped sneakers using proxies, you need to take pictures of them.

Here are some tips:

Don’t take pictures from the web

Your shoes may be brand name, but that doesn’t mean you should take pictures from their website. Buyers want to see the actual condition of the shoe. If you don’t have real photos of the sneakers, they may see it as a red flag.

Plus, when you’re selling sneakers online on different websites, they require you to upload real pictures. You should adhere to the website’s guidelines. This will help keep your posts from being flagged as fraudulent and removed.

Take pictures from all angles

Take inspiration from the actual retailer’s website. How many angles have they taken the pictures from? Did they use a white background to make brightly colored sneakers pop?

Make sure you include a wide profile shot of the shoe too. Also, take pictures of the receipt and the tags on the product. You can also photograph the outsole to show interested buyers that the shoe is in pristine condition.

When buying collectibles or limited edition shoes, buyers are wary of counterfeits. It’s best to read some guides online differentiating between real and fake sneakers. In these articles or videos, sneakerheads point out the features buyers should look for to identify an original sneaker.

Make sure you clearly show these features in your photos so that a smart buyer can immediately determine that you’re selling originals.

Here are some other quick photography tips:

  • Use a professional camera if you have one. Otherwise, take quality pictures from a smartphone.
  • Use clear and solid-toned backgrounds. White is perfect for colored sneakers. For white shoes, use other solid or nude colors.
  • Make sure your pictures are properly lit. Instead of taking pictures right under the sun, use a window as a source of soft and diffused natural light.
  • Don’t use filters as they will distort the color of the sneakers. Take pictures of the sneakers in natural light without a filter or artificial LED light source to maintain their originality for the viewer.

How to Make Money Selling Sneakers Online

How to Make Money Selling Sneakers Online

Once you’ve sourced the shoes, you can start listing them on third-party clothing sites and online auction sites. Most of these websites have a commission-based model where they take a certain percentage cut from the sneaker’s sale.

You can get your money through bank transfer, PayPal, or whichever method the website supports. In some cases, third-party clothing sites also give you store credit that you can use to make purchases on the website.

Here are some tips to maximize your earnings:

  • List on multiple websites: Instead of simply listing the sneakers on one website, try to list them on three sites. This way, you’ll have access to a bigger customer pool.
  • Select the right platform: When choosing the platform to sell the sneakers, look for a place where you get a considerable share of your sale. Some websites may take up to 30% of the profits, while others charge a flat rate on every purchase.
  • Keep track of sales: Once you get into the business of sneaker flipping, keep track of the brands or styles that more customers seem to be interested in. Attempt to cop more of these sneakers the next time.

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Final Words

Final Words

Selling sneakers online can be profitable, especially if you use reliable proxies and monitor the sneaker releases to get your hands on the best kicks before they sell out.

The guide covered how to start selling sneakers online by focusing on steps like finding the sites to cop, using proxies for sneaker copping, and taking pictures. You should also ensure you select the right website to resell your sneakers on.

All resale websites have different criteria, verification methods, and payment processes. Select the website that guarantees you the highest sale cut and offers convenient payout methods.

The information contained within this article, including information posted by official staff, guest-submitted material, message board postings, or other third-party material is presented solely for the purposes of education and furtherance of the knowledge of the reader. All trademarks used in this publication are hereby acknowledged as the property of their respective owners.

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