We all know that Amazon is an ecommerce giant, to the tune of over $520B a year in revenue, and they actually sell more shoes that giant brands like Nike. That's why we're here to help you learn how to sell shoes on Amazon, because there's enough slices of the pie for everyone, right?
In this article we're going to take a look at how you can find the best selling shoes to sell on Amazon, what makes a top seller so popular, and how you can find shoes to sell.
Let's get rolling.
Best Types of Shoes to Sell on Amazon
The quickest and easiest way to see what shoes are selling the best on Amazon is to go to head over to the Amazon Best Sellers page.
You'll need to use the categories on the left hand side and navigate to the different sections to find the men's shoes best sellers, but you can see from the screenshot here that more casual Crocs and other loafers are popular right now (Summer).
So it turns out that the ladies prefer the flip flop and Birkenstock style footwear rather than the Crocs clogs, which is why we need to check Men's, Women's and also Children's shoes. The top sellers can differ greatly based on gender.
Shoes can be a highly seasonal product, so if you check the Amazon best sellers in Winter you will see a different outcome. Chances are you will see more closed toed shoes and boots as the weather changes.
How to Get Approved to Sell Brands Like Nike on Amazon
Much like many brands and categories on Amazon, Nike (along with Adidas, under Armour, and many others) is "gated" so you can't just go and start selling Nike shoes right away. You can however get ungated to sell Nike on Amazon quite easily.
The key to getting ungated in many brands or categories is to go and purchase 10 products from an authorized dealer/wholesaler, and then apply to sell the brand and provide your purchase invoice to Amazon. There's some other important factors involved in getting ungated on Amazon which is why I highly recommend you go and read my full step-by-step guide to getting ungated on Amazon so you can follow the process properly.
Why Shoes Are A Great Product To Sell Online
Well for starters, everyone needs or wants shoes! From general comfort shoes, to collector items like Jordan's, the shoes category is massive and abundant with opportunity for sellers.
Here's some other great reasons why shoes are a fantastic product category:
You Can Build an Entire Business Around Selling Shoes on Amazon
If you want to find a niche on Amazon and specialize in something, shoes are a great opportunity to do just that.
In fact, the largest arbitrage seller that I have ever heard of sells in the shoe category to the tune of over $60 million a year in sales.
Shoes Have High Profit Margin
Generally speaking, people aren't always looking for the absolute cheapest option when it comes to buying shoes. This means you can deal in good quality shoe brands and make a decent profit margin. You could even sell high end footwear, if that's an area you want to dive into.
In addition to high quality brands that people are happy to pay for there are also specialty shoes you may be able to sell at higher prices. Think about specific shoes for sports like cycling, rock climbing, hiking, and other sports.
Diversify with Seasonal Trends
Shoes can be a seasonal item, which is actually fine because you can prepare for the changes depending on the season and you can continue selling shoes throughout the entire year.
Shoes are not seasonal like a surfboard or a snow plow might be, for example, because there are plenty of different styles to sell.
Considerations When Selling Shoes on Amazon
Don't Sell Knock-Offs
Selling fake or counterfeit items is a huge no-no when it comes to selling shoes on Amazon. You will get yourself banned and removed from the platform super-fast so if you care about your seller account, do the right thing.
Don't be Scared by Gated Brands
Reselling sneakers will quite often require you to request approval from brands. Don't let this put you off. Having a bit of a barrier to entry is a good thing, it means that slightly less sellers are playing the field. Do your homework though before you start stocking up on shoes.
Look for Features That People Want
Features like waterproof material or memory foam comfort are highly desired and contribute to the popularity of certain shoe brands. When doing your research, take note of these features before you start sourcing shoes to sell.
Be Cautious with High-End Shoes
This might be quite a pessimistic approach, but the reality is that some people out there will happily buy a high-ticket item, use it once and then return it for a refund.
This is especially true with Wedding or Prom shoes, so please be aware of this before you start selling shoes in those categories!
Take a Close Look at Variations
If you're researching the best selling shoes, don't forget to dive deeper into the product and identify variations that are selling well. Certain sizes or colors might not be popular at all, but the product listing shows a great number of sales which can be misleading.
Use a tool like RevSeller to examine product variants, which I've gone into more detail below.
Know Your Numbers
This may be the most important of all these points. Selling shoes can be great but if you don't know your numbers and you run your business with margins that are too thin you'll find that you've made a lot less than you think.
One important thing to think about is returns. The returns in the shoes and clothing category on Amazon will be higher than what you may be used to if you've sold primarily in other categories like toys or personal care.
When you receive a return you will not be reimbursed for all the fees that Amazon charges you as a seller. For example, you will not be reimbursed for the fulfillment fee.
This means that if your profit was $10 when you first sold the shoe and it gets returned you will now only make $5 if you sell it again at the exact same price due to the fact that you have not been reimbursed the first fulfillment fee.
If it happens a second time you'll be at break even and so on.
This means you need to be sure that you pay attention to things like your margins but also browse the reviews and fit rate percentage of shoes and clothing to try and minimize the number of returns you get.
You should also have another place to sell shoes that are returned and ineligible for Amazon. You may need to sell some slightly work shoes on places like eBay or Mercari to recover some of your capital.
Software Tools to Help You Sell Shoes
Of course you can become a successful seller without having to use Amazon software tools, but you'd just be making your life a lot harder. Software helps boost your productivity and some of it is downright life-saving when it comes to the return on your investment it brings.
Firstly, do yourself a favor and read my detailed RevSeller review. It'll show you how powerful this tool is.
The greatest thing RevSeller can do for your shoe flipping business is to help you see what actual variations are performing the best.
I use a lot of Amazon software but if you asked me to rank them, Keepa would be at the very top of the list. It is the only tool that I tell anyone is a requirement to sell on Amazon.
Keepa has a wealth of information and data about products being sold on Amazon and it will truly help you sell more in your business, no matter what you sell. At a glance you can see trends for the best seller rank (BSR), buy box prices, new and used pricing, and much more.
The key is learning how to read a Keepa chart, luckily I've written a guide for that. 🙂
If you're into keyword research then you'll be pleased to know that there are some juicy "long tail keywords" when it comes to shoes on Amazon.
Keyword Tool is a great piece of software that allows you to see all of the Amazon keyword searches without a subscription, but if you want more data then you will have to opt for one of their paid plans.
Don't be afraid to allow Amazon's own autofill help you out here as well.
When you search on Amazon like a customer you will see that they offer ideas of what people are looking for on Amazon.
When i type in "Men's Nike Shoes" you'll notice that several sizes are auto populated along with a color and even a type of nike shoe. Basketball in the example below.
This can help lead you down the path of items that shoppers may be looking for and you can use it to inform your own sourcing.
The level of sophistication involved in how this tool works is quite astounding, but even at the most basic level Tactical Arbitrage can source shoes online for you on auto-pilot.
Take a look at this in-depth Tactical Arbitrage review to see how this tool can help you dominate the shoe selling game with online arbitrage and Amazon.
Sourcing and Selling Strategies for Selling Shoes on Amazon
While this isn't the only way to source and sell, it certainly is one of the most "hands-off".
Source products online, send them to Amazon's fulfillment center, and have Amazon handle the fulfilment and customer service. This is online arbitrage with Amazon FBA in a nutshell.
You can even use an Amazon prep center to send your products directly from retailer to an Amazon fulfillment center, without ever having to touch them yourself.
But of course there's many ways you can source and sell shoes on Amazon.
The methods of sourcing your shoes include:
- Retail Arbitrage
- Online Arbitrage (some online arbitrage sourcing lists may give you decent leads too)
Selling methods include:
And you can use any combination of the above-mentioned sourcing and selling methods to make money selling shoes on Amazon. The choice is yours!
Wrapping Up - Selling Shoes on Amazon
Amazon sellers are always on the lookout for lucrative niches and products to sell, and while there is no such thing as a golden goose, selling shoes on Amazon is a great opportunity that can bring huge returns.
If you're already knowledgeable about sneakers and footwear then you'll have a leg-up on your competition if you choose to go down this path, but you absolutely do not need to be an expert to start selling shoes on Amazon.
Have you sold shoes online before? How about other products? We would love you to join the conversation further in our Facebook Group, FBA Today.