How to Sell Shoes on eBay

As an eBay shoe seller, you can tap into a global audience. Whether you’re passionate about shoes or know the sneaker market well, you can profit from selling used or rare sneakers at premium prices. Read this article to find out how to sell shoes on eBay and its advantages.

Looking for a lucrative side hustle? Selling shoes on eBay could be the perfect opportunity. With the popularity of online shopping skyrocketing, the demand for shoes at affordable prices is at an all-time high, even if they’re used.

In this article, you’ll discover how to source and sell such shoes for a nice profit on eBay. We will give you a definitive guide on pricing, the advantages and disadvantages of selling used or new shoes, and valuable tips to set yourself up for success.

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Make Money Selling on eBay!

How to Sell Shoes on eBay: 8 Simple Steps

Whether you’re a newbie e-commerce entrepreneur or an existing eBay seller, follow the guide below, and you’ll hit the ground running.

  1. Create a seller account,
  2. Build inventory,
  3. Clean and refurbish,
  4. Take photos,
  5. Write product description,
  6. Set price,
  7. Pack and ship,
  8. Handle customer inquiries and returns.

1. Create a Seller Account

If you haven’t yet, sign up for an eBay account and familiarize yourself with the platform.

To set up a seller profile, you only need an email address and a mobile phone number. 

MORE: How to sell on eBay

2. Build Inventory

Get started on selling eBay shoes with what you already have. Selling used shoes is a good idea, as many successful eBay sellers have done. Search in your own closet or ask family, friends, and neighbors.

Not sure if those pairs are worth selling? Look for these features:

  • Brand – If your item carries a reputable name, it takes less effort to convince shoppers to purchase it.
  • Material – Footwear enthusiasts know high quality when they see it, and they will buy anything made of genuine leather, inlay, embroidery, and the like, even if it isn’t branded.
  • Design – The more creative, the better; this holds true for shape, color, and materials.
  • Function – Think of niche hobbies, jobs, or purposes such as weightlifting, bike fishing, or individuals with different left and right foot sizes.
  • Claim to Fame – Trends in bygone eras, limited releases, collectibles, and especially those that bear signatures of celebrities.
  • Mint Condition – Well-preserved, worn only twice, original box and accessories intact.

It is important to note that your items must have at least one of the aforementioned characteristics to attract enthusiasts. However, we cannot overstate this, they should be clean, odor-free, and wearable.

Other sources of second-hand shoes are vintage shops, thrift stores, and Goodwill outlets.

You can also find new shoes with factory defects at onsite and online clearance sales of major shoe brands, Amazon returns, liquidation lots, and unclaimed mail packages. Be aware, though, that those footwear are priced higher than used pairs.

MORE: How to set up an eBay store

3. Clean and Refurbish

Sometimes, used shoes can look newer just by cleaning. This step requires care and deliberation to avoid destroying them, so be wary of your methods and materials.

Leather needs to be conditioned, polished, and buffed. Rubber can be washed. Suede requires soaping with laundry detergent and rinsing with a brush.

Is all that effort worth it? You’d be surprised at the difference it will make in your items’ appearance and, consequently, their resale price. 

Other inexpensive touch-ups you can do are replacing worn or faded shoelaces, evening out scuffs with polish or dye, and washing soles with diluted detergent.

MORE: How to sell books on eBay

4. Take Photos

eBay provides a great infographic on the angles you should photograph to showcase all the features of a pair of sneakers — and this applies to all types of shoes:

  • Tag,
  • The outer part of both the left and right, 
  • The inner part of both left and right (with logo and size),
  • Top,
  • Bottom (sole),
  • Front,
  • Back,
  • Original box (if available).

You can upload up to 12 images to each listing, so be sure to include all the accessories, defects, damage, and flaws. Do not photograph objects you do not intend to sell with the shoes, such as shoe trees, buffers, polish, and brushes.

You may include one or two photos from the manufacturer’s website, but only if your camera is unable to capture the exact color of the item.

To demonstrate how your eBay shoes would look when worn, insert shoe trees or stuff the insides with paper. Plain brown or white paper works best as newspapers can bleed ink onto most materials.

Natural lighting should be your first option, but if the weather doesn’t cooperate, use plenty of artificial light to make all the features visible. Leather, in particular, shines with the reflection of light.

Use a plain background that doesn’t distract from the item. Textures wouldn’t hurt, so fabric is safe and lends softness to stolid objects.

5. Write Product Descriptions

Brand and size are the most used keywords of eBay shoppers when searching for shoes. Therefore, both should be present in your product titles. Other essential attributes to include are:

  • Shoe model or name, e.g., Nike Air Jordan, Nike Air Max, Nike Air Force,
  • Material,
  • Color,
  • Size (both U.S. and EU are recommended),
  • Condition: NWT (New with Tags), NWOT (New Without Tags), BNIB (Brand New in Box), NOS (New Old Stock), NWD (New With Defects), or Used.

In the product description field, compose a precise portrayal of your item. You don’t need to provide a reason for selling it, but you do need to offer background information. Tell your potential customers about the brand and manufacturer, especially if you bought the shoes abroad.

Another bit of detail that’s important to buyers is the fit. In fact, it is one of the reasons for shoe returns. So, help them with more descriptive particulars like the height and weight of the original owner.

Finally, describe all the damage in detail to avoid “item not as described” (INAS) returns.

MORE: Retailer returns report

6. Set Price

Research the eBay market for similar shoes to determine the right price for yours, considering factors such as brand, condition, and rarity. eBay will also suggest an amount when you list an item. Use that as your benchmark.

Remember to factor in packaging expenses, shipping costs, and eBay’s seller fees, all of which can impact your profits.

We will discuss pricing in more depth in the next section.

MORE: eBay selling limits

7. Pack and Ship

This is how to package your shoes properly for safe delivery to your customers:

  1. Clean the shoes thoroughly and remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Stuff each one with paper or bubble wrap (if shoe trees aren’t included) to help maintain their shape and provide extra cushioning during transit. Take extra care with the toe part, as that’s the most sensitive part. Wrap them individually with bubble wrap or paper to protect them from scratching and scuffing.
  3. Place the shoes in their original box if available and in good condition. Otherwise, use a sturdy shipping box, making sure they are packed tightly and won’t shift during transportation.
  4. Seal the box securely with packing tape and label it clearly with the customer’s address in front and your return address at the back.

By taking these packaging precautions, you can ensure safe arrival and minimize the risk of damage or returns.

And now that your item is ready to ship, you can choose one of these shipping options:

  • USPS Priority Mail Shoebox for pairs weighing 2-3 pounds (includes free shipping supplies),
  • FedEx for heavier kickers, usually boots,
  • eBay Labels for shoes of all weights and sizes (recommended for the discounted rates, automatic tracking, and returns protection, among other perks).

eBay recently announced its new policy on Authenticity Guarantee eligible sneakers with lower and even waived eBay sneaker seller fees. See if yours qualify here.

Always select a carrier that provides online tracking information. This helps your buyer monitor their package and covers you in “item did not arrive” claims.

MORE: eBay resolution center

8. Handle Customer Inquiries and Returns

Be responsive to queries and offer excellent customer service. The time you invest in leaving buyer feedback, answering questions, and resolving cases promptly will bear fruit in the form of positive seller feedback, repeat purchases, and loyal customers.

Paying attention to returns can also save you from future similar incidents that can make a dent in your profits.

MORE: eBay return policy

How to Price Shoes on eBay

Pricing your shoes correctly is crucial to maximizing profits in your eBay shoes business. This is why you should always consider the fees associated with each transaction. 

eBay charges a final value fee, which is a percentage of the total sale price, including shipping. The amount varies by item category, but the average for most shoe sales is 10%.

eBay also charges an insertion fee per listing, though you get 250 free listings every month. Additionally, if you choose to use eBay’s shipping labels, there may be fees.

Use this free eBay fee calculator  to simplify things and determine the exact amount of fees you must pay for each sale.

Next, compute the cost of your item, which should include cleaning materials and gas or fare.

Remember to include in the product description of your item that buyers will shoulder any return shipping costs. Otherwise, it would be a slice off your profit.

Lastly, check the prices of similar shoes for sale on eBay and find the sweet profit spot where you’ll be most comfortable. You can start with a high number, especially if your item is in a much better condition than your competition’s. Gradually lower it if no one seems interested.

By pricing your shoes right, you can attract potential buyers and increase your chances of making a successful sale.

MORE: How to sell clothes on eBay

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Pros and Cons of Selling Shoes on eBay

As an eBay seller, you need to weigh the following advantages and disadvantages before you dive in.

Pros of Selling Shoes on eBayCons of Selling Shoes on eBay
A wide audience of potential buyers all over the world.Seller fees can impact your overall profitability.
A captive market for selling used shoes.Manual work and time required to source, clean, take photos, pack, and ship your items.
Secure payment methods.You need to learn the skills that are required to manage an e-commerce business.
Excellent customer service.It might be difficult to maintain inventory.
eBay is a mobile app that is highly responsive to both buyers and sellers.
Creating a seller account is easy. You can also create listings, upload photos, chat with customers, and monitor your seller performance from your smartphone.

MORE: How to track eBay order

Tips for Selling Shoes on eBay

While all the technical and academic knowledge on selling shoes is extremely useful, it also pays to listen to the wisdom of experts who’ve been there and done that.

Learn from these real-life experiences of long-time eBay shoe sellers:

1. Buyer scams are not unusual on the platform. Avoid those who:

  • Have no feedback (eBay doesn’t allow sellers to leave negative feedback on buyers),
  • Offer to transact outside the platform,
  • Insist on paying with a method not accredited by eBay,
  • Request to delay payment,
  • Provide an address different from the one on their eBay account,
  • Are in a hurry to receive their item.

2. The don’ts of shoe photography:

  • Over-exposure,
  • Clutter,
  • Editing (be as accurate to the real thing as possible),
  • Wasting time on overthinking the background — one each for light and dark-colored shoes is enough,
  • Reinventing the wheel of layout for every item — just follow the one provided by eBay (see the Take Photos section above),
  • Shooting with the shoes’ toes in front at eye level.

3. Streamline your processes:

  • Write a template for product descriptions,
  • Use the same space, materials, and lighting for photoshoots,
  • Assign dedicated places for cleaning, packing, and storage, and keep their respective materials accordingly.

4. Shoe storage best practices:

  • Keep your inventory in a cool, dry place to prevent the breakdown of materials,
  • Don’t keep the items in storage longer than one year,
  • Pack the toe area of closed shoes with plain white paper to maintain its shape,
  • Condition leather before stowing.

By implementing these strategies, you can manage your workflow and business efficiently.

MORE: How to trick eBay algorithm

MORE: eBay selling tips

Key Takeaways

eBay proudly proclaims that one pair of sneakers is sold on its platform every five seconds. 

As you have seen, a lot of work goes into being a shoe seller on eBay, from sourcing and cleaning the items to listing, packing, shipping, and providing customer service.

But consider this: If you profit only $10 per pair and sell one pair per day, that’s easily $300 a month that you take home. Not a bad minimum estimate.

Jumpstart your shoe-selling business on eBay with the best digital tools and services available on the market. Who knows, with diligence and consistency, you might be the next eBay top seller.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

eBay charges a minimum of 8% and a maximum of 15% of the total sale price of shoes, including the shipping cost. That would be an average of 10%. It’s called the final value fee.

Yes. However, in the absence of your shoes’ original box, you should still place them inside a shipping box when sending them out to your buyer to prevent damage in transit.

Definitely. Not only does it take only minutes to set up an eBay seller account, but it also allows you to sell used shoes. That means you can start a business with zero capital.


Adaline Lefe Mary John

Adaline Lefe Mary John

A great researcher and creator, Adaline is responsible for planning and managing content for all our websites. She has over 10 years of experience in creating and managing content.

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