I decided to become a Sneaker Reseller after watching a video on YouTube. You can read about my first time experience as a sneaker reseller here.

Heads up, it didn’t go well.

Nonetheless, I learnt a lot of lessons that I’ll implement into my next attempt at sneaker reselling.

In the meantime, I wanted to document some of the key lessons with the hope that it helps / inspires you.

1. If the Math don’t make sense, you won’t make any Cents either

Sneaker resellers showing off their sneakers
Image Credit: Shopify.com

The one thing this experience taught me is that you need to write down all your possible costs & revenue before you start executing on a venture / experiment.

This way, you can figure out a way to lower the cost while increasing your chances of selling at a higher rate. After all, the higher your selling price, the larger your profit is going to be.

Despite knowing this, I failed to do this during my sneaker reselling experiment, and it costed me a lot of money at each step of the way.

So yeah, never attempt a biz-related experiment without planning out your costs and revenue!

2. You need to learn to haggle (nego) – a lot. No point being shy about it.

Guys discussing the sneakers at sneaker con
Image Credit: jordansdaily.com

Negotiate and haggle until you find a good deal, especially when you’re reselling sneakers. I’d assume this rule would apply even when you’re reselling other items as well.

In hindsight, I should’ve negotiated down at least 25% – 35% when I was purchasing the sneakers to resell. Personally, this doesn’t come naturally to me and it didn’t feel too good when I was approaching different sellers.

That being said, I’ve definitely learnt my lesson. The next time I attempt sneaker reselling again, you better believe that I’m going to be in full “haggle mode” until I find the right sneakers.

Check out this video on YouTube for a few tips on negotiating sneaker prices.

3. Be patient when you’re looking for a good sneaker deal!

a guy holding a pair of air jordans 1
Image Credit: thereviewshub.com

More often than not, finding a good deal is going to take time. Lots of it.

You’ll have to message a lot of sellers on platforms like FB Marketplace, Carousell or similar platforms, just to find a good deal.

This might take a day or two, and sometimes it might take a week. Do your best to stay on course, and make sure your eagerness doesn’t get the best of you, like it did for me.

I was so eager to actually resell the sneaker that I didn’t put in the effort, time or energy to find a good deal.

I basically went with the quickest and easiest option at that point.

Don’t be like me. Be Patient.

4. Be patient when selling your sneakers. Basically you need a lot of patience

A guy meditating
Image Credit: freepik.com

Just as you have to be patient when you’re on the hunt for a good deal. You need to be patient when you’re looking out for a buyer as well.

If you’re not patient, you’ll end up selling the sneakers for a much lower price. This might significantly lower your profit margin or you might even end up taking a loss.

Now I understand the need for quick money especially if you’re running low on cash. Based on my experience, you’ll definitely end up in this position if you don’t follow lesson 1.

Nonetheless, do your best to hold on, and try and sell for a profit.

During this experiment, I wasn’t patient at all. I wasn’t patient when I was buying the sneakers, and I wasn’t when I was selling. Hence, I took a major loss.

Here’s the funny thing. I ended up getting a lot of decent offers once I shipped out my sneakers. If only I had waited…

5. Plan out your cash flows. Make sure you have enough money to sustain yourself for the month

A guy planning out the finances
Image Credit: fortheloveofthestory.com

Other than the costing, the other thing I failed to plan for during this experiment was the cash-flow aspect of things.

I ended up overspending on the sneakers at the start of the month. This in turn affected my ability to sustain myself during the month.

As a result, I was very desperate to sell the sneakers so that I can recoup the money to make up the difference.

This taught me lesson 5.

Make sure you have sufficient cash on hand to wait out the entire process. This way, you’ll be patient with the whole process, and you’ll avoid making deals out of desperation.

Having a strong cash flow will help you stay clear headed, and you will be able to deal with pressure much better.

6. Know what you’re buying

Dj Khaled holding up a sneaker
Image Credit: Solecollector.com

While you plan out the financial aspects of reselling, you also want to know how “hot” the item you’re selling is.

The “hotter” the item, the quicker you’ll make a profitable sale. Basically, it comes down to Demand.

Do a quick search for “WTB” requests for your sneaker on sneaker-related communities. The recent results will quickly show you how in-demand your sneaker is.

Another thing you can do is to find other sellers that are selling the same pair of sneakers. See when they put up their post, and drop them a message. Check with them to see if they’ve already sold the pair.

Let’s say they put up their post 2 months ago, and they still have the sneakers with them. Chances are people are not too eager to buy the pair. Either that, or they’re overpriced.

I definitely skipped this part of the process when I bought my sneakers to resell. Looking back, that was straight up dumb.

Had I done my research properly, I’d have know what to expect, and I could’ve planned accordingly.

7. Shipping overseas ain’t cheap

Preparing the sneakers to be shipped out
Image Credit: spot.im

Try your best to sell to a buyer that’s based locally.

Shipping locally tends to be much cheaper so it shouldn’t scare away any of your buyers. Even if you want to offer “free shipping” it won’t hurt your pockets or margin too much.

It’s a different case if you’re selling to a buyer that’s overseas. It’s really expensive.

So if your buyer can’t cover all of the shipping costs, just walk away. It’s not worth it.

As much as possible, pass the shipping costs to your buyer. You can do this by either getting them to pay an extra amount exclusively for the shipping.

Or you could factor in the shipping costs to your selling price. This way you can offer them “free shipping” without actually paying for it.

8. Find a proper way for you to accept payments

Sneaker resellers exchanging payments for sneakers
Image Credit: kqed.org

If you’re selling to a local buyer, a bank transfer would make the most sense.

You can also do cash on delivery (COD). If you’re going with this option, make sure they come to your place to pick up the items. Else you’ll end up paying for travel out of your own pocket. Not a good idea!

I sold my pair of sneakers on the SneakerMarket community on Reddit. As per the community’s requirement, you need to use PayPal invoices as a way of receiving payments.

I didn’t factor in the PayPal charges, so I ended up making a significant loss on the deal.

For sellers in Malaysia, PayPal will charge you 4.4% of the sale + RM2 fixed fee. Add this to your selling price, else it’s coming out of your margin.

Another thing to note. You’ll also loose some money when you withdraw money from PayPal into your Malaysian bank account. This is mainly due to the conversion rates that PayPal uses. So keep that in mind as well.

9. Have the sneaker shipped out to you. Don’t do COD unless you drive or if the source lives next door to you

Putting a pair of sneakers in the box
Image Credit: Ups.com

I was so eager to have the sneakers from my source that I agreed to do COD. I thought if I could get the sneakers from the source the next day, I could sell them the following day, and make a profit.

Wrong. It doesn’t work that way. Wish I had known this earlier.

Because I agreed to do COD, I had to pay for a taxi to take me to the source and back. Essentially I ended up cutting into my margin even before I did anything.

So yea, COD is a bad idea. The only time it makes sense to do COD is if the source lives next door to you.

A good alternative is to get the source to ship the items out to you. Even though you’d be paying for shipping, it’d cost you less than COD.

If you’re based locally, this would take a max. of 2 – 3 working days, and sometimes it can be quicker. You could use this time to plan out a strategy to sell your pair of sneakers quicker.

Don’t be eager like I was, and be patient at every stage of the process. It’ll help your bottomline. Trust me on this.

10. Know when to walk away from the sneaker deal

Guy walking away in jordans
Image Credit: Flickr.com

If the deal is not working in your favour, simply walk away.

Try your best to convey why it’s not working out to your buyer politely. Apologise. Then move on to something better.

It’s always better to let the deal fall through rather than incurring losses unnecessarily. This is supposed to your side hustle at the end of the day.

I didn’t give myself this option as I felt the need to honour the agreement even though it was to my detriment.

In hindsight, I should’ve been honest with my buyer to see if he’d be able to cover the shipping and PayPal charges.

If he wasn’t, I should’ve ended the convo in good terms and I should’ve held out for a better offer.

Use this lesson sparingly, and only when you really need to cut your losses. Other than that always honour your word, and deal with your buyers with transparency and integrity.


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