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  • Writer's pictureBrian Cummings

How to Sell Shoes on Amazon (Beginner's Guide)

Updated: Feb 7

If you're looking to start a business selling shoes, Amazon is a great platform to consider. With millions of customers and a vast selection of products, Amazon provides a huge potential customer base for your shoe-selling business. In this article, we'll give you some tips on how to sell shoes on Amazon and make a profit.


Love this topic? You might also like our post about selling clothes on Amazon.


Planning your next steps? Start by exploring our services.


Why sell Shoes on Amazon?


Universal Need

Shoes are a universal necessity, catering to all age groups, genders, and lifestyles. From athletic shoes for sports enthusiasts to formal shoes for business professionals, the demand for various types of shoes remains consistent throughout the year. This steady demand can provide a reliable stream of revenue for sellers.


Expansive Customer Reach

Amazon's vast global reach allows you to sell to customers beyond your local area. With millions of customers turning to Amazon for their shopping needs, you have the opportunity to reach a diverse and large customer base. This is particularly advantageous for shoe sellers, as it allows you to offer a wide selection of styles, sizes, and brands that might not be available in local stores, thus meeting the needs of a broader audience.


Online Shopping Trends

The trend towards online shopping has been increasing steadily over the years, with more and more consumers choosing the convenience of shopping from their homes over visiting brick-and-mortar stores. This trend is particularly pronounced in the shoe market, where consumers appreciate the ability to browse a wide variety of styles, read customer reviews, and compare prices all in one place.


Potential for High Profit Margins

Shoes can offer high profit margins, especially when sourced strategically. Limited edition sneakers, luxury brands, and niche footwear can all fetch prices significantly higher than their purchase cost, leading to substantial profits.


Sourcing Shoes for Your Amazon Business

Sourcing shoes to sell on Amazon can be a profitable venture, but it can also be a challenging one. In this section, we'll cover some of the best ways to source shoes for your Amazon business.


Online Arbitrage

One of the most popular ways to source shoes for your Amazon business is through online arbitrage. This involves finding shoes on online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, or Walmart, and then reselling them on Amazon for a profit.


Manufacturer or Supplier

Another option for sourcing shoes is to work directly with a manufacturer or supplier. This can be a good option if you're looking to source shoes in bulk, or if you're looking for a specific type of shoe that's not readily available through retail arbitrage.


When working with a manufacturer or supplier, it's important to do your research and make sure you're working with a reputable company. You should also negotiate pricing and terms to ensure you're getting the best deal possible.


Retail Arbitrage

Retail arbitrage involves sourcing shoes from retail stores and then reselling them on Amazon. This can be a good option if you're looking for unique or hard-to-find shoes, or if you're looking to take advantage of seasonal sales or clearance events.


To be successful with retail arbitrage, it's important to have a good eye for spotting profitable products. You should also be willing to put in the time and effort to visit multiple stores and do thorough research on each product before making a purchase.


Managing Your Shoe Inventory


Selling shoes online comes with its unique challenges, one of the most prominent being the management of many size variations. Unlike other product categories, shoes require sellers to maintain an inventory of different sizes for each model, which can dramatically increase inventory costs and complexity.

Here are some tips to manage these challenges:

  • Forecast Accurately: Use historical sales data and market trends to predict which sizes are most likely to sell. Focus on stocking these sizes to minimize unsold inventory.

  • Use Just-In-Time Inventory: If possible, work with suppliers who can deliver stock quickly. This allows you to hold less inventory at any given time, reducing storage costs.

  • Leverage Amazon FBA: By using Amazon's Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program, you can offload some of the storage and logistics burden to Amazon, freeing up space and resources for your business.


Use Amazon FBA Inventory

Using Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) can simplify your inventory management. Amazon stores and ships your inventory, handles returns, and provides customer service. This can save you time and help you focus on growing your business.


Prepping Your Shoe Inventory for FBA

When sending your shoe inventory to Amazon FBA, make sure your shoes are properly prepped. In general, shoes should be sent in the branded shoe box they came in, and the lid should be secured with stretch wrap. Follow Amazon's guidelines for prepping your inventory to avoid delays or fees.


Monitor Your Shoe Inventory Levels

Monitoring your shoe inventory levels can help you avoid stockouts and overstocking. Use Amazon's inventory reports to track your inventory levels and set up automatic reorder alerts. This can help you maintain optimal inventory levels and avoid lost sales.


Do you need help in accessing your Amazon inventory reports? Check out this article for a detailed guide.



Navigating High Return Rates Due to Customer Sizing Issues

Another challenge unique to the shoe category is the high return rate due to sizing issues. Unlike physical stores where customers can try on shoes for fit, online customers have to rely on size guides, which can sometimes lead to incorrect sizing and subsequent returns.

Here's how you can mitigate this issue:

  • Provide Detailed Size Guides: Ensure that each shoe listing comes with a comprehensive and accurate size guide. Some sellers also suggest customers measure their foot length and compare it to the size chart.

  • Offer Free Returns: While this might increase your costs in the short term, offering free returns can build customer trust and loyalty, and increase the likelihood of future purchases.

  • Quality Customer Service: Quick and efficient handling of returns can turn a potentially negative customer experience into a positive one.

Handling Rights Owner Complaints from Major Brands

Selling big brands like Nike and Adidas can be tricky as these companies often file Rights Owner Complaints to protect their brand. Here's how to navigate this issue:

  • Get Authorization: If possible, try to become an authorized reseller. This usually involves contacting the brand and meeting their requirements, which may include purchase volume commitments and adherence to MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) policies.

  • Focus on Lesser-Known Brands: If getting authorization is not feasible, consider focusing on lesser-known brands that still offer quality products. These brands are often more open to working with online resellers.

  • Provide Authenticity Proof: Keep all invoices and receipts from your suppliers. If a complaint is filed, these documents can serve as proof that your products are authentic.


Amazon Best Sellers Page

One way to explore the top selling shoe brands on Amazon is to visit the Amazon Best Sellers page. This page is updated hourly and provides a list of the top selling products in various categories, including shoes. By visiting this page, you can see which shoe brands are currently the most popular on Amazon.


Nike

Nike is one of the most popular shoe brands on Amazon. Known for their high-quality athletic shoes, Nike offers a wide range of products for men, women, and children. Some of the best selling Nike shoes on Amazon include the Nike Air Max, Nike Free RN, and Nike Revolution.


Under Armour

Under Armour is another popular shoe brand on Amazon. Known for their athletic apparel and shoes, Under Armour offers a range of products for men, women, and children. Some of the best selling Under Armour shoes on Amazon include the Under Armour Charged Assert, Under Armour Micro G Pursuit, and Under Armour HOVR Sonic.


Other Top Selling Shoe Brands

In addition to Nike and Under Armour, there are several other top selling shoe brands on Amazon. These include:

  • Skechers

  • Adidas

  • New Balance

  • ASICS

  • Crocs

Each of these brands offers a range of products for men, women, and children. By exploring the top selling products from these brands on Amazon, you can determine which products to source and sell on the platform.


Understanding Seasonal Trends in Shoe Sales

When it comes to selling shoes on Amazon, understanding seasonal trends is crucial to maximizing your profits. Seasonal trends refer to the fluctuation in demand for certain types of shoes based on the time of year. By knowing which types of shoes are in demand during which seasons, you can adjust your inventory accordingly and increase your sales.


For example, during the summer months, sandals and flip-flops tend to be in high demand. On the other hand, during the winter months, boots and closed-toe shoes are more popular. By stocking up on the right types of shoes during the right seasons, you can ensure that you have a steady stream of sales throughout the year.


Another important aspect of seasonal trends is understanding the fashion trends for each season. For example, during the fall, earthy tones and warm colors tend to be in style. Knowing this, you can stock up on shoes that match these trends, such as brown boots or burgundy flats.


It's also important to keep in mind that seasonal trends can vary depending on the location. For example, if you live in a warmer climate, sandals and flip-flops may be in demand year-round. However, if you live in a colder climate, boots and closed-toe shoes may be in demand for a longer period of time.


To stay on top of seasonal trends, it's important to do your research. Keep an eye on fashion blogs and magazines to see what styles are popular each season. You can also use tools like Google Trends to see which types of shoes are being searched for the most during certain times of the year.

In summary, understanding seasonal trends is crucial to succeeding in the shoe-selling business on Amazon. By stocking up on the right types of shoes during the right seasons, you can increase your sales and maximize your profits. Keep an eye on fashion trends and do your research to stay ahead of the game.


You can also take advantage of special promotion days on Amazon such as Amazon Prime Day. Read more about it here.


Adapting to Changes in the Amazon Marketplace

As an Amazon seller, it's important to stay up-to-date with changes in the marketplace. Amazon frequently updates its policies and requirements for selling, and it's crucial to adapt to these changes to remain competitive and compliant.


One recent change that affects selling shoes on Amazon is the requirement for certain attributes to be included in product listings. These attributes include color, size, and material, among others. It's important to make sure your product data is compliant with these requirements to avoid any issues with listing or selling your shoes on Amazon.


Another change to keep in mind is the increasing competition in the shoe category on Amazon. As more sellers enter the market, it's important to find ways to differentiate your products and stand out from the crowd. This may involve optimizing your product listings with high-quality images, detailed descriptions, and competitive pricing.


In addition, it's important to stay on top of trends in the shoe market and adjust your inventory accordingly. For example, if a certain style or brand of shoe is gaining popularity, you may want to stock up on those products to take advantage of increased demand.


Here's to your online shoe-selling venture!


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