I’m hooked on selling shoes! Why? Here are two reasons:
- Shoes are easy to find.
- Shoes are easy to prep and ship.
But my top reason is:
I’m making a larger profit on shoes than what I made with my other categories!
With that said, there are a few downsides to shoes:
- Shoes are a restricted category so you must get approved first.
- The cost for a pair of shoes is higher than what you may be used to.
- You may experience a higher return rate on shoes.
Keep in mind, that I’m not a shoe expert yet as I’ve been selling shoes for just a month. But so far I’m optimistic that selling shows will lead me to more sales and higher profits.
Between December 10th, 2015 and January 7, 2016, Amazon received 23 pairs of shoes from me. As of today, 8 have sold and below are my sales figures:
**Note: I know the report shows 9 pairs, but I actually sold 8 pairs of real shoes. One of the items included in the report is a pair of snowshoes. More on the snowshoes later…
I like that several of my shoes sold rather quickly and that my average sale price is almost $90.00.
Of course, I’m always saying that “Sales does not equal Profits!” So, to see my shoe profits, here are my shoe numbers from InventoryLab:
I wish the snowshoes didn’t show up in either of the above reports especially since they’re listed in the Sports & Outdoors Category.
But if you ignore the snowshoes, my average net profit for the regular shoes is $32.33. This beats my average net profit of $10.00 for my other items.
I like shoes because of the lower volume needed to make a profit. Take a look:
- $1000 net profit / $32.33 average = 31 pieces to process
- $1000 net profit / $10.00 average = 100 pieces to process
Considering I’m a one-person operation, I would love to make the same amount of money by processing 1/3 of the items. 🙂 But I’m not completely going to ignore the other categories as I’m still working on becoming a toy expert and I was just approved in clothing.
Besides having less items to process, I find that sourcing, prepping and shipping shoes goes pretty fast.
Sourcing – Retail
All of my November and December purchases have been through retail arbitrage. I bought shoes from Fred Meyer, DSW Shoes, Vans, Famous Footwear, Nike Outlet and the Reebok Outlet Store. I have never walked out of a shoe department empty-handed and my average time searching for profitable shoes is 30 to 45 minutes.
Yesterday, I found 4 pairs of shoes at DSW Shoes in 45 minutes. What’s great is that now I’m a DSW Rewards member and am able to take advantage of additional discounts due to my past purchases with them. Yesterday, I was able to save an additional $30.00 which will improve my bottom line.
But even without the $30.00 in discounts, I would have still bought the shoes because of the high net profit:
Sourcing – Online
On January 6th, I signed up for this online shoe sourcing list. I swore I would never sign up for a list again, but I do want to take fast action on shoes and get my volume up. On my Day #1 list, I purchased 6 pairs of shoes. Once my 30 day subscription is over, I’ll let you know how it worked out and if I’ll be keeping or cancelling it.
Shoe Ranking & Criteria
Up until two days ago, my criteria has been very simple:
- Ranking at 10,000 or less
- Shoes, shoeboxes and lids in great condition
I learned about the 10,000 ranking guideline from the shoe webinar that was included in one of the Q4 Coaching Groups that I joined.
On January 6th, I read this article by David Penley. In the article, he discusses sales ranking and gives a great example of why a shoe ranked at 119,548 may be better than a shoe ranked at 5,082. Besides rank, he factors in the number of shoe variations (colors & sizes), the number of sellers and the number of buyer reviews. **My average sales rank for the 4 shoes that I bought yesterday is 39,087.
According to my notes from the shoe webinar, you can expect 10 to 12% of your shoes to be returned. At this point, I have not had any shoe returns. But it’s still early and once I have more shoe history, I’ll let you know what percentage of my shoes are returned.
As of now, my plan for any returned shoes is to have them returned to me. If I examine them and they are still in new condition, I’ll send them back to Amazon. If the shoe condition doesn’t meet my standards for selling on Amazon, then I’ll either list the shoe on eBay, donate or keep it. Many of the shoes that I buy are the sizes that my husband and I wear.
Time to Get to Work!
There’s so much more that I want to cover about shoes. But I do need to finish up this blog post and look at today’s shoe sourcing list. I plan on writing more about shoes in later posts.
Of course, I’m always here to help and love it when you leave a comment or question either on this blog or my Facebook page!
Have a great day and I wish you all a Happy and Profitable year.
p.s. Here is an update to this post: Shoe Progress Report: Sales, Profits and More!
p.p.s. 3/3/17 Update: Learn more about selling shoes with Stephen Smotherman’s new course, The Reseller’s Guide to Selling Shoes!