Customer Relations and Sales

How to Sell Used Shoes: Tips, Pricing, and Best Marketplaces

Learn effective strategies for selling used shoes, including preparation, pricing, and choosing the best online and local marketplaces.

Selling used shoes can be both a sustainable practice and a profitable endeavor. Whether you’re looking to declutter your closet or make some extra cash, understanding the best methods to sell pre-owned footwear is essential for maximizing returns.

With numerous platforms available and varying market demands, navigating these choices efficiently will help ensure a successful sale.

Preparing and Assessing the Condition of Your Shoes

Before listing your shoes for sale, it’s important to thoroughly evaluate their condition. Start by examining the exterior for any visible wear and tear. Scuffs, scratches, and stains can significantly impact the value of your shoes. Cleaning them with appropriate products can often restore their appearance. For leather shoes, a good polish can work wonders, while sneakers might benefit from a gentle scrub with a mixture of water and mild detergent.

Next, inspect the soles and insoles. Worn-out soles can be a deal-breaker for many buyers, as they indicate extensive use. If the soles are in poor condition, consider having them repaired or replaced by a professional cobbler. This small investment can increase the resale value and make your listing more attractive. Similarly, check the insoles for any signs of wear or odor. Replacing insoles is a relatively inexpensive way to refresh the shoes and make them more appealing to potential buyers.

Pay attention to the laces and any additional accessories that came with the shoes, such as dust bags or original boxes. Replacing old, frayed laces with new ones can give the shoes a fresh look. Including original packaging and accessories can also add value and make your listing stand out. Take high-quality photos from multiple angles, ensuring good lighting to highlight the shoes’ best features. Clear, detailed images can make a significant difference in attracting buyers.

Pricing Strategies for Used Shoes

Determining the right price for your used shoes can significantly influence how quickly they sell and the profit you make. A good starting point is to research similar listings on various platforms. Look for shoes of the same brand, model, and condition to gauge the market price. This will give you a realistic expectation and help you set a competitive price.

Consider the original retail price and the current demand for the specific shoe model. Limited edition or discontinued models often fetch higher prices due to their scarcity. Conversely, common models might require more competitive pricing to attract buyers. Platforms like StockX can offer insights into the market trends for specific sneaker models, helping you make informed decisions.

Another factor to weigh is the condition of the shoes. Shoes in excellent or near-new condition can command a higher price, whereas heavily worn pairs should be priced lower. Be honest in your descriptions to build trust with potential buyers. Transparency about any flaws or wear will reduce the likelihood of returns and negative feedback.

Offering a slight discount can also be an effective strategy to entice buyers. For instance, pricing your shoes just below a round number, like $49.99 instead of $50, can make the listing more attractive. Additionally, being open to negotiations can lead to quicker sales. Buyers often appreciate the opportunity to haggle and may be more inclined to purchase if they feel they are getting a deal.

Online Marketplaces

Selling used shoes online opens up a vast audience, increasing the chances of finding the right buyer. Each platform has its unique features and user base, making it essential to choose the one that aligns best with your selling goals.


eBay is a versatile platform that caters to a wide range of products, including used shoes. Its auction-style listings can be particularly beneficial for rare or high-demand items, potentially driving up the final sale price. eBay also offers a “Buy It Now” option for sellers who prefer a fixed price. The platform’s global reach means you can attract buyers from around the world, but this also necessitates careful consideration of shipping costs and international shipping policies. eBay charges a listing fee and a final value fee, so factor these into your pricing strategy. High-quality photos and detailed descriptions are crucial to stand out in this competitive marketplace.


Poshmark is a popular choice for selling fashion items, including shoes. The platform is user-friendly and allows sellers to list items quickly using their mobile app. Poshmark’s social features, such as sharing listings and following other users, can help increase visibility and sales. The platform charges a flat fee for sales under $15 and a 20% commission for sales over $15. Poshmark provides a prepaid shipping label, simplifying the shipping process for sellers. However, the platform is primarily U.S.-based, which may limit your audience if you’re looking to sell internationally. Engaging with the community by participating in Posh Parties and sharing other users’ listings can boost your own sales.


Grailed is a niche marketplace focused on men’s fashion, particularly high-end and streetwear brands. If you’re selling designer or limited-edition sneakers, Grailed can be an excellent platform. The site attracts a fashion-savvy audience willing to pay a premium for coveted items. Grailed charges a 9% commission on sales, which is relatively low compared to other platforms. Listings on Grailed should be detailed and include multiple high-quality photos to appeal to discerning buyers. The platform also offers a “Price Drop” feature, notifying potential buyers when the price of an item is reduced, which can help move inventory faster. Engaging with the community through comments and offers can also enhance your selling experience.

Local Selling Options

For those who prefer face-to-face transactions or want to avoid shipping hassles, local selling options can be an effective alternative. These methods allow you to connect with buyers in your community, often resulting in quicker sales and cash payments.

Consignment Shops

Consignment shops offer a convenient way to sell used shoes without the need to manage listings or handle transactions yourself. These stores typically accept high-quality, gently used items and display them for sale in their retail space. In return, they take a commission on the sale, which can range from 30% to 50%. The advantage of consignment shops is their established customer base, which can lead to faster sales. However, the commission fees can be relatively high, so it’s important to weigh this against the convenience they offer. Ensure your shoes are clean and in good condition to increase the likelihood of acceptance and sale.

Flea Markets

Flea markets provide a vibrant, bustling environment to sell used shoes directly to buyers. Renting a booth or table for a day or weekend allows you to showcase your items to a diverse audience. The face-to-face interaction can help build trust and facilitate negotiations, often leading to immediate sales. Flea markets typically charge a fee for booth space, which can vary depending on the location and size of the market. It’s a good idea to bring a variety of shoes to appeal to different tastes and budgets. Displaying your shoes attractively and being prepared to negotiate can enhance your success at flea markets.

Local Classifieds

Local classifieds, such as those found in newspapers or online platforms like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, offer a straightforward way to reach buyers in your area. These platforms are usually free to use, making them a cost-effective option. When creating a listing, include clear photos and detailed descriptions to attract potential buyers. Be prepared to communicate promptly and arrange safe, public meeting places for transactions. Local classifieds can be particularly effective for selling everyday footwear, as buyers often look for practical, affordable options. The key to success with local classifieds is responsiveness and transparency, ensuring a smooth and trustworthy transaction process.

Shipping and Handling Tips

Once you’ve successfully found a buyer for your used shoes, the next critical step is ensuring they reach their new owner in excellent condition. Proper shipping and handling practices can make a significant difference in buyer satisfaction and prevent potential disputes.

Start by choosing the right packaging materials. A sturdy box that fits the shoes snugly is essential to prevent movement during transit. You can use bubble wrap or packing paper to cushion the shoes and protect them from damage. If the shoes come with their original box, consider double-boxing to add an extra layer of protection. Secure the package with strong tape, and make sure all seams are sealed to prevent accidental openings.

Selecting a reliable shipping carrier is equally important. USPS, UPS, and FedEx are popular options, each offering various services to meet different needs. Depending on the value of the shoes, you might want to consider purchasing insurance for added security. Providing a tracking number to the buyer can enhance their confidence and allow them to monitor the package’s progress. For international shipping, be mindful of customs regulations and potential delays. Clear and accurate labeling, including the buyer’s address and your return address, helps ensure the package is delivered without issues.


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