Are you currently selling shoes on Amazon? If no, why not?
Selling shoes is a great way to increase your profit and also get away from much of the competition within other categories. What most people don’t realize is that selling in the shoe category means an easier time sourcing, prepping, and shipping your items . No that was not a typo, I really mean you will have an easier time sourcing, prepping, and shipping your items.
Before I jump into how to properly source and sell shoes on Amazon, I first want to address why most sellers are doing it wrong.
Most sellers are not sourcing correctly because they scan one shoe and determine if the entire line of shoes is profitable off that one items. First off, there are many different sizes and every size will have a different price, same rank, but different price. Secondly, there are multiple colors for each shoe, so the more variations there are, the more possibilities there will be that one of those colors will be profitable. Lastly, the Amazon best seller ranking should not be your only factor in deciding whether to buy or not.
There are so many sizes to choose from, but what size should you buy. First off, I don’t recommend buying wide and narrow shoes. Yes, these will still sell, but from my experience they don’t sell as often. What I do is I like to buy men’s shoes size 9-11 and women’s shoes size 6-9. I periodically buy shoes that are smaller or larger depending on what kind of shoe it is. For example, basketball shoes I will go up to size 12 and 13 if the profit is there. Just remember you don’t need thousands of buyers for your product, you just need one person that is looking for the exact same shoe that you are offering for sale.
Understanding Color Variation
How important is color variations when talking about shoes? Well, pretty important. I personally purchased a pair of pink Nike shoes for men that were ranked at 20K in shoes (which is pretty good). Those shoes sat for about 11 months before they finally sold. Why? They didn’t sell fast because the color was not what people were looking for.
When it comes to color I tend to buy the basic colors and don’t stray too far from those. These colors include black, white, brown, tan, blue, and red. These are the most popular colors that people buy, so if you are deciding to buy a yellow or black shoe with the same type of profit, I would always go for black over yellow.
Best Rank To Buy Into
The Amazon BSR (Best Seller Rank) is determined by the amount of time in between sales. What this should tell you is that not all shoes should be created equally. For instance, if it is summer time and 100 degrees outside, then do you think there will be a huge market for snow boots? What about flip flops in the winter time? You need to consider the time of year, what sports could be going on, how people dress, and the current fashion in order to determine whether the ranking is decent enough to get into.
I have purchased soccer cleats by the hundreds, but I normally do this right before Christmas as I know that there won’t be a better time to buy at such low prices. The rankings are terrible, usually around 80-100K, but it is because the soccer season has just ended, which means nobody is buying shoes at this time. If you send those cleats off to Amazon before Christmas then you should see a decent amount of sales as people are buying these as gifts. With the increase in sales though, just be aware of the increase in returns as well.
As you can see, there are multiple reasons why you can’t just look at one pair of shoes and determine that the entire line is profitable or not. You need to look at multiple factors, check out the Keepa and Camelcamelcamel charts, and check the Amazon reviews. Everything comes into play here, so don’t skip a step.
Tips To Selling Shoes On Amazon
If you want to sell shoes, then send them in on a regular basis. Far too often I see people sell a couple shoes here and there, then they move onto a different category. Figure out which categories you want to sell in and then consistently send in inventory. The more you send in the more money you will make. .
Don’t Overprice Your Inventory
One of the worst things you can do as a seller is overprice all your inventory. Why? The reason this is bad is because you will hardly ever get the sales. Yes, I understand you could make a couple more dollars, but the truth is that a couple more dollars is nothing compared to the amount of money you could make if you compound your profits every 2 weeks. Think about it, moving your inventory faster and with decent margins on each sale is going to take you further than getting that few extra dollars on each sale, especially when it takes you 2 to 4 weeks longer to get the sale.
Look For Multiple Brands
If you haven’t been selling shoes on Amazon for very long then you know that many brands are restricted from selling, right? This shouldn’t be a huge problem for you since there are many more brands out there to sell. When I first started selling shoes I would only sell Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and Crocs, now I sell just about any brand out there. The reason I recommend you look for multiple brands is because the more options you have the more sales you will get. For people that just sell Nike shoes they never get businessmen buying shoes for work. This goes for people that only sell Rockport shoes, they never get those athletes looking for their next shoe to wear. It is because of this that I recommend you sell all sorts of different brands. Remember, the more diversified you are the better off you will be on Amazon FBA.
Make Sure Box Is In Great Condition
I sell a little more than 100 pairs of shoes per week, which means I need to buy more than that to keep up. With all the shoes that I buy I like to have a great looking box to go with them. If the original box is damaged, then I will use a generic brown shoe box instead. If the shoes is a collectors edition or something that I know the person will want the original box, then I only buy it if the box is in perfect condition. In addition to keeping the box that looks the best, I will sometimes polybag the entire box to keep it looking pristine.
Take Off Prices
I should not have to say this, but I am going to since I just received a pair of shoes with the price still on it. As a seller we should take all the prices off the shoes when they are on there. This means you pull the price off the box, you take the prices off the shoes themselves, and you never leave your receipt inside the box.
Buy Sizes You Could Use
Something that I have been doing every since I could remember is I buy shoes that I can wear, my wife can wear, or somebody else in my family can wear. I do this because I like the idea of giving the shoes away as a gift if I ever were to get them returned to me for some reason. If there was a reason why I could not resell a returned shoe, then I would simply store the shoes until I can give them away as a gift. Not only do I give them away as gifts, I donate shoes that have been sitting for far too long to people that might be in need.
Ok, so now that you have some tips on selling shoes on Amazon and you have a better understanding of why so many people are doing this wrong go out there and make some money. Some of the places that I find the best deals on shoes are Marshalls, Ross, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Famous Footwear, and Burlington.
If you have any questions on selling shoes on Amazon or entrepreneurship in general then please comment below and I will do my best to help you out.