This is maybe one of Sneaker Flippers’ most important articles yet. You’ve seen the Hypemaster Playbook and the Winners Circle, but how do you know they work? How do you know you can make money from sneakers? Today we take a deep dive into how we know sneakers are profitable!

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Image of some popular sneakers.

The History of Sneakers

Don’t worry, when we say the history of sneakers we don’t mean in 3500 BC when the first shoe was actually invented. We are talking about the history of reselling sneakers for profit.

This is really important for how we determine sneakers are profitable because they have held up for years and years.

Sneaker reselling really kicked off in the late 1990s after eBay became mainstream. It became the most efficient and popular marketplace to sell absolutely anything, including sneakers!

All of a sudden people could connect with buyers and sellers all around the world and get paid for their items just like that.

The next big development in the sneaker resell history is in 2005, when Flight Club became the first physical location for resellers. Flight Club blew up to massive heights and gained traction all around the world for the sneaker community.

Flight Club pioneered sneaker consignment, and has remained one of the few places in the world where you can experience some of the rarest sneakers up close in real life. It is a cultural institution for the sneaker community.

Matt Cohen, VP of business development and strategy with GOAT Group, which merged with Flight Club last year

Next, we get the launch of Instagram in 2010. Instagram is quite possibly the biggest and best platform to prove why sneakers are profitable. Millions of resellers flocked to the platform and create their own business accounts to conduct buying and selling.

Instagram was a platform that allowed resellers to buy and sell, as they could on eBay, but also grow their business with followers and online engagement.

Tons of people learned how to market to and communicate with customers as they navigated conducting business on a social platform. And when that worked so well, it just proved once again that sneakers are profitable.

And then, of course, we have the apps. GOAT and StockX are the two biggest online marketplaces for sneaker and apparel reselling. Both companies are currently valued at billions of dollars and show absolutely no signs of stopping.

Both GOAT and StockX have created a seamless integration of both buying and selling into one platform. With authentication checking and anonymity now a part of the reselling process, people feel much more comfortable sending their shoes in.

As far as where the future of sneakers will go and what it will look like, we have no idea. Brands have begun exploring sneaker NFTs, but who knows where that will lead us. All we know is that sneakers are profitable and whatever innovation comes next, they will stay that way.

Image of Jordan 1's.
Image of Jordan 1’s.

Why Sneakers Are Profitable

Why do people want sneakers?

It’s simple: to wear. The same reason why people want pants and shirts and jackets. A lot of the sneakers that are being resold are going to people who will lace those sneakers up for the next year and get tons of use out of them.

But there are also people who will buy hundreds and hundreds of sneakers and store them in plastic containers in their basement. Why?

Because sneakers are an investment, they can be a very good one too. Think of a pair of sneakers like a stock. There are outside factors that change its value: culture, sports, and weather. And as those factors change, the price of those sneakers goes up and down. Sneakers are profitable but it is important to understand they can also drop.

But what gives sneakers value to start with?

When Nike or Adidas release a pair of sneakers to the public, they release a certain number. That number can be anywhere from 1,000 to 100,000 and beyond.

You can imagine that if there are only a thousand pairs of sneakers manufactured by Nike, those sneakers are probably going to be more expensive than the sneakers that were produced 100,000 times.

Scarcity drives want. People want things that they don’t have and people want things that other people can’t get. If someone shows up to school wearing a pair of sneakers that are $400, chances are nobody else has those.

Sneakers, just like anything else, are profitable because people want them. People are willing to pay extra for things they want, and sneaker companies like Nike and Adidas have figured out how to create products that people want.

Image of Yeezy boxes stacked.
Image of Yeezy boxes stacked.

How To Know Which Sneakers Are Profitable?

This is both an easy and tough question to answer.

If it were easy to know which sneakers were profitable, no reseller would ever buy “bricks” (sneakers that don’t sell for profit) and every purchase would make money.

Unfortunately, that’s not a reality for most resellers, which means there is some guesswork in determining which sneakers are profitable.

Remember those factors we were talking about earlier? The ones that determine how a sneaker’s price will change on the resell market. Those are some of the best indicators as to how a sneaker will do after it is released to the public:

  • Weather: This is genuinely true. A sneaker that is made for the summertime will not perform well if it is released in January. Lightweight and minimal sneakers do best during the summer months, while sturdy and insulated sneakers do better during the winter months.
  • Sports: Tons of athletes have their own shoes and sneaker deals. How they perform absolutely determines how their sneaker will perform on the resell market. When Steph Curry won his 4th NBA Finals, his shoes became more popular.
  • Culture: This is probably the biggest driving factor. Current fashion trends and icons are what influence how people view sneakers and style. If a release is timed perfectly with what the public is into at the time, those sneakers could skyrocket in the foreseeable future.

At the end of the day you can never be 100% sure a sneaker will be profitable, but taking risks is part of reselling. These are very small risks, of course, but risks are all the same.

As you gain experience and start to learn more and more bout how the resell game functions and how people respond to certain sneakers, you will begin to understand which sneakers will resell for which prices.

Once you begin to understand that, you take a lot of the guesswork out and you start analyzing the data. Data is proven and will help you reach the next level of your reselling game.

To get a head start on this, check out our Hypemaster Playbook. It is filled with information from knowledgeable resellers who know what they are talking about. The insight that you will gain is worth much more than the guide itself.

Image of Nike Sneakers.
Image of Nike Sneakers.

How You Can Start Reselling

Now that you know sneakers are profitable, you’ve arrived at what Sneaker Flippers calls the easiest decision ever: to start reselling or to not start reselling.

Sneakers are proven to be profitable and you will absolutely make money if you take the right steps and stay diligent with understanding the game. The resell game is growing every day and isn’t slowing down.

If you want to start reselling, you have to do it correctly. That means taking the time to learn. Scan YouTube, read Sneaker Flipper’s articles and ask questions when possible. People greatly underestimate the value of simple understanding.

I’ll tell you a personal story: when I first started reselling I was scammed out of over $400. I made a simple mistake and ended up losing that money through a transaction over PayPal.

I gifted the payment instead of sending it Goods and Services, and was immediately blocked and left without contact with the “seller” who probably never had the items I was paying for anyway.

Had I just taken the time to learn and understand how payment works with reselling, I never would have lost that money, and instead could have used it to continue making more. But it was a valuable lesson learned, but one I hope none of you make.

It’s also important to understand there are different ways of reselling. Some people like to deal in high value items only. We’re talking hundreds to thousands of dollars worth of items. Incredibly rare and expensive items that yield massive profit percentages.

Some people like reselling bricks, where the profit is only around 20% but you can move hundreds of pairs at a time if you build up enough capital.

Some people love small sizes, others live the regular 9-11. Some people only like Nike, others only like Adidas. There is a market and a niche everywhere, so you have to decide where you want to fit in.

Reselling isn’t easy and anyone who tells you it is doesn’t know what they are talking about. If it were as simple as buying shoes and selling them for more, everyone would do it.

It takes genuine hard work and dedication to the game and your craft to be successful as a reseller. You have to truly love it and you have to want to do it, otherwise, you will burn out and lose the desire to want to continue.

You can make a lot of money reselling, you just have to open the gates. That’s why we’re here. Sneaker Flippers is here for you. We want you to be successful. We want you to make as much money as possible reselling.

That’s why we have our blog, our Winner’s Circle, Hypemaster Playbook, and all of the other information that we provide. It’s not just to make a quick buck, it’s to help the community out there and the people who don’t know where to start.

So if you’ve been debating whether or not to start reselling, DO IT! This is the wake up call to start changing your life. Believe me, reselling can genuinely change your life and so many people don’t realize it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is reselling shoes still profitable?

If you follow the process of flipping shoes, you can profit around $80-100 per pair for starters. You can work your way to generating higher margins if you get better sneakers to resell, potentially up to $500 per pair. This is not a bad way to make money, and you’ll learn the exact process later on.

How much money do I need to resell?

To start reselling shoes you need at least $100 in your bank account to buy enough inventory for one day’s sales (because you don’t want to be stuck with inventory that nobody buys).

Is selling on StockX worth it?

For the last several years, StockX has provided a great platform to not only learn how to sell sneakers but also to learn about sneakers themselves and gain insight into the resale market and shoe values. It’s not a perfect platform, but it is worth checking out if you are looking to make money flipping sneakers.

What shoe size is best for reselling?

According to StockX, larger sizes don’t necessarily bring in more money, although rare sizes do. Among men’s sneakers, sizes 16 and 4.5 “carry the highest average resale multiple,” selling for nearly twice the amount of retail price. And among women’s sneakers, sizes 10.5 and 11.5 sell for 1.5 times that price.

Can you resell Supreme?

Almost all Supreme products sell out instantly. There is a huge market for reselling Supreme products because of the extremely high demand. Some fans who shared their stories with Business Insider said they are able to make hundreds of dollars a week by flipping products they’re able to buy before they sell out.
Take your reselling game to the next level


Jimmy McPherson

Jimmy McPherson

Jimmy is the former founder of Midwest Soles, a sneaker and streetwear reselling company. He's a current business student with a continued passion for sneakers and sneaker reselling.


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