I came across a video on YouTube called “How To Make $100 A Day Reselling Sneakers”.

The premise of the video was relatively simple.

Head on over to the FB Marketplace, and search for terms like “Jordans”, and “DeadStock”. Find a bunch of sneaker resellers, make them a slightly lower offer, close on a deal, and then resell the sneakers on StockX.

Simple, right?

Well I wanted to answer this question for myself. So, I decided to give it a shot. Here’s how the experience went.

1. Finding the “golden pair”

Screenshot of sneakers on the FB Marketplace
FB Marketplace

As the video suggested, I went straight to the FB marketplace to hunt for a lucrative sneaker deal. I got in touch with a handful of resellers to see if they’d sell me their sneakers at a discount.

Most of them just responded with a big fat “NO”.

Frankly speaking, I wanted to give up after about 30 minutes of engaging in this back & forth. As I had learnt, haggling doesn’t come naturally for every brown person.

Nonetheless, I ain’t no quitter. Hence, I soldiered on.

I continued for about 2.5 hours, and a handful of NOs later, I bumped into a reseller that gave me a glimmer of hope.

Conversation with a sneaker reseller
Convo with seller

The reseller was letting go off a pair of new Air Jordan 1s Royal Toes for RM1200, and I made him an offer of RM1000. He replied me by letting me know that he had an active offer for RM1080.

After a bit of hesitation, excitement, and eagerness, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase the pair for RM1080.

In hindsight, he was probably leveraging me to bid higher, and it definitely worked. Anyways, what’s life without a bit of risk?

2. COD. Meeting the seller.

Once we agreed on the deal, I had to decide if I wanted the shoes shipped out or if it’ll be a cash-on-delivery (COD) type of deal.

Shipping would’ve set me back an additional 10 bucks but I’d only receive the pair 2-3 days later. On the other hand, I could get the sneakers much quicker if I opted for COD instead.

In my mind, I had this idea that I’d be able to make the sale within a day or two for a profit. I could then just re-up, and keep things moving. So I opted for COD.

Arranging to meet with the sneakers reseller
Convo with seller

The following day, I booked a cab via Grab (the ride sharing app) and I headed over to the drop. A petrol station supposedly near the seller’s crib (not shady at all).

After waiting for about 20 odd minutes, he pulled him in his car. I got in, he handed me the sneakers. I pretended to inspect the sneakers (to be honest, I couldn’t tell a fake air jordan from a real one even if I was held at gunpoint), and I passed him the RM1080 in cash.

Deal was done.

I booked another cab to head back home.

On the ride home, it hit me. Although I had the sneakers with me, I just paid almost 3X the shipping price just to get it on the same day.

I took a quick look at my bank balance, and I knew I was off to a rough start.

3. Reselling the sneakers

Once I got home, I decided to get right to the “reselling” part of the operation.

I quickly requested to join a handful of local groups on FB for sneaker heads. As soon as I got approved into a few of them, I scrolled through other sellers’ posts to get acclimated with the way they structure their posts. I had to get used to a few acronyms that are quite common in this world. Particularly, WTS (Want to Sell), WTB (Want to buy), and WTT (Want to trade).

The other practice that I had to get on board with was that I could only post pictures of my sneakers if it had a written tag (my profile name written on a piece of paper placed on or near the sneaker). From what I gathered, this practice is in place to prevent people from conning others by posting pictures of sneakers that they don’t own or have.

Posting up the sneakers on the FB Marketplace
Social Media Posts

I quickly snapped a couple of pics of the sneakers along with my written tag, I set the price to RM1250 (figured since I spent about RM1110 on acquiring the sneakers, I could sell it for RM1250, make a quick profit of RM140), and I shared it in a couple of FB groups with the hope that my inbox would be flooded with bids in no time.

Yeah, that didn’t happen. Not even close.

Waited for a whole week. Nada. I didn’t get any requests.

The reality of how badly I screwed up started to sink in. I didn’t plan things out properly, and I was about to pay the price for it.

A few more days went by without much movements. So I decided to lower my asking price so I could increase my chances of landing a sale.

I lowered the price down to RM1150, and I reposted it in the same groups. To better my chances, I decided to post it up on Carousell and StockX as well. If you’re new to this hustle, StockX is basically a stock exchange for sneakers & luxury items. StockX was supposed to be a safe bet but it turned out to be a nightmare in its own right (You can read about my experience with StockX by signing up to my newsletter.)

4. Reselling the sneakers on Reddit

Posting the sneakers on Reddit Community
Image: Posted up the image on Reddit

I turned to Reddit for help after waiting for 2 weeks without any viable offers. I wanted to see if there was something I could do to help turn my situation around.

During my research, I bumped into the SneakerMarket community on Reddit – a place where people could list sneakers they’d like to buy, sell or trade.

I gave their community guidelines a quick read, and I decided to list my pair of sneakers there. I mean I had nothing to lose.

Given that at this stage, I was quite desperate to make a sale & recoup my money, I lowered my asking price more or less to the rates on other platforms like StockX. I shot a quick video of the sneakers, took a couple of pictures of the sneakers, and posted them up on Reddit.

Within a couple of hours, I had a few requests come in. I went back and forth with a couple of them to no avail, and eventually I found a buyer that I could sell the sneakers too. From the looks of his IG & reddit profile, he’s also another reseller so he negotiated a good deal (on his end) for the sneakers and the shipping.

We agreed on a price, and as per the community guidelines I was supposed to send over a PayPal invoice.

5. Prepping The PayPal Invoice for the sneakers

Prepping the invoice for the sneakers on PayPal invoice
Image: PayPal Invoice

I don’t know about you but I rarely use PayPal. Almost never.

The few times I did use it, it gave me a lot of trouble. I experienced everything from getting my PayPal account banned, frozen, and having to go through a painful verification process to get my money back.

PayPal is a plain hassle.

But I was too far in to back out at this point. I had to go through the possible fire.

So I clicked around to figure out a way to create the invoice. Surprisingly, it was relatively straightforward and easy. Once I got the PayPal invoice up & running, I sent it over to the Redditor.

In the meantime, I decided to check out the PayPal charges. Needless to say, I had a shock.

PayPal seller fees
Image Credit: wise.com

For sellers based in Malaysia (at the time of this writing), PayPal takes a 4.4% cut off the total sale along with a $2 flat fee. If you’re not passing this over to your buyer, then you’ll be incurring this on your end (which I had to do).

I thought of cancelling the invoice, and renegotiating with my buyer to protect my bottomline but the buyer already made the transfer based on the previous invoice.

It felt pointless to raise the issue to the buyer at this point as it was my fault. I didn’t do my research properly, and it was costing me badly.

The next step, shipping out the pair of sneakers to the buyer.

6. Shipping ain’t cheap!

I wanted a service that could pick up the shipment directly from my crib, and then deliver it to the buyer. The less hassle, the better.

The first service I came across was SendParcel from PosLaju.

I noticed that they weren’t shipping overseas due to the pandemic after clicking around for a while. Gave them a call to see if there was a work around but there was no answer. So, SendParcel was out of the picture.

Screenshot of EasyParcel's home page
Image Credit: Easyparcel.com

Next, I found EasyParcel, and luckily they did ship overseas, so they were my choice by default.

EasyParcel works on a credit / token system where you purchase credits, and then apply them to the shipping. If you want to circumvent this, you’d have to pay more, and I wasn’t going to do that at this point.

After purchasing the credits, I filled up a simple form. The app returned a list a list of couriers that I could work with. I went with the cheapest option (Janio was the choice) despite their negative reviews on Google.

In fact, they were the only option I could afford. Hence, Janio became my mule by default.

I filled up all the other details, and then EasyParcel generated a consignment bill that I had to print out and stick on the parcel.

7. Preparing to ship the sneakers

Consignment bill generate for the sneakers on Easyparcel
Image Credit: Easyparcel.com

I made a booking on EasyParcel, and I had to prep my parcel for shipping. This meant finding bubble wrap, a cover and a box for the sneakers.

I made a booking on EasyParcel, and I had to prep my parcel for shipping. This meant finding bubble wrap, a cover and a box for the sneakers.

Turns out this ain’t an easy chore. It’s quite tough to find a store that sells these items or maybe I’m just not aware of where to get them (Hit me up if you know where I can source this easily for my next experiment).

Luckily I spotted a MailBox store near my crib, I ran over to print out the consignment bill. I checked with them to see if they sell courier bags. Apparently they don’t. They only provide you with courier bags when you use their service to ship out your items.

Nonetheless, the guy that worked there was kind enough to sell me a DHL cover for 2 bucks. He did mention that this would be the first & last time he’ll sell me the cover as I wasn’t using their services to sell my items.

I rushed back home, and packed up the sneakers (without bubble wrap cause I couldn’t find it in time), and I just waited for EasyParcel to pick up my parcel.

Screenshot of the sneakers shipped out on EasyParcel
Image Credit: Easyparcel.com

Towards the end of the day, I got a call saying that the courier was on his way to my crib to pick up the shipment.

Once he came through, I passed him the shipment, and that concluded the experiment for now. I’ve been tracking the steps on both EasyParcel & Janio to make sure the shipment didn’t go MIA.

All in all the shipment took almost 30 days to reach the buyer. I’m going to chalk up the delay to the pandemic instead of Janio. I’ll give them another try to see if things are still the same.

Verdict

This experience definitely introduced me to the pains of selling stuff online especially if you haven’t planned things out properly. There are a lot of lessons that I learnt by running this experiment, and I’ll be covering what I learnt in a separate article.

Now, let’s talk about the money. Did I make a profit or a loss?

Well, I made a loss, a pretty significant one in my book. Here’s a breakdown:

Expenses:

Shoes: 1080

Travel to get the shoes: RM52

Shipping: 150

PayPal: 200

PayPal Currency Conversion:260


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