How to Buy (or Sell) Used Shoes on eBay

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Buying (or Selling) Used Shoes on eBay is a smart way to stretch your clothing budget!

Have you ever gotten out a pair of brand new shoes you bought on sale- only to find out that your child has already outgrown them? So have many others! Ebay offers a perfect way to keep your children in shoes for a reasonable price- if you know what to look for in listings, and how to find a good pair.

Sizing on Used Shoes

One of the biggest frustrations with buying a pair of shoes online (ebay or otherwise) is that you can't try them on.  But there are a few simple steps you can take to make sure the pair you're considering will fit.

Different Brands of Shoes fit differently-- so it's best to stick with a brand you know. Always have your child's foot measured with a shoe sizer, not just a length measurement, as these can vary widely by type of shoe, and even by who is taking the measurement. 

If width is a problem, you will want to double check the type of shoe, as well as the width. Narrow shoes which have extra wear on the straps may have been worn by someone with wider feet. Wide shoes which show irregular "buckling" of the leather-- may have been worn by someone without wide feet-- both of these situations lessen the amount of wear the end user will be able to get from the shoes.

Quality of Shoes / What to look for

Nothing tells the story like photos.  Can you see the front of the shoes? The back? The soles?

The soles of the shoe tell a lot.  Look for uneven wear. If the tread is worn down on the inside (or vice versa) this pair will most likely be uncomfortable for the new wearer. If the heels or toes show extreme wear- the shoes most likely have  been "drug" by the former wearer.

Check the tops of the toes, especially on children's shoes.  This is an area that gets a lot of wear.  Also, the hardest to hide with polish.

What Type of Shoes are they?

Dress shoes that were used only for a photo (or will be used only for a photo) certainly only go by looks alone.  But on  a pair of cleats or sneakers- you'll want to make sure there is plenty of life left in them. In this case, however,  a small cosmetic blemish may not be as big of a deal. Some types of shoes (rain boots, snow boots, etc) lend themselves well to buying on ebay, because they are used only part-time during a day, and are usually outgrown by the next season.


Another clue on getting a good deal for types of shoes might be the location of the item. Consider the seller in Texas selling Snow Boots.. probably didn't get as much wear as a pair from, say, Minnesota. 

Location is also important because the shipping may be higher on shoes which are shipped from further away.

Rating Shoes

Since different sellers use different classifications to define the quality of their shoes, it might help to look for specific wording in the description.

One thing in particular which is overused is "these have plenty of wear left in them" -this statement is meaningless. Look instead for descriptives like "never worn", "worn for photo only" "fit for less than 1/2 a season" - these give a clearer picture on the shoes true history.

Consider selling your shoes in a lot.

Lots of a particular shoe size seem to sell better than single pairs (unless the pair is high end or a hard-to-find style.)

Examples of shoes that might sell well alone:

Dr, Martens
Gymboree styles
high end athletic shoes
New with tags/ in box shoes

Shoes that sell better in lots:

Department store brand
casual shoes
dress up shoes
Lower end athletic shoes

How Much can I expect to get for Used Shoes?

As with everything else on eBay, the answer is "it depends..." Unless the pair is new or highly sought after, most successful auctions start at a minimal (99 cents to 2.99) starting price.
If the pair was only $8.00 new- you may want to consider donating them or listing them in a lot.
Highly collectible brands (i.e. Dr. Martens, Bear Feet, etc.) may sell for more than they cost new! Look for the unusual, colorful and for sizes between 7 toddlers and 7 adult. These sizes sell better than most.) 

Take clear photos from all sides- nothing will add to your listing as much as good photos. If you don't want to incur photo fees from ebay, consider hosting the images yourself.

How do I ship my shoes?

It is not necessary to ship shoes in a box, but certainly be up front about shipping.  Shoes should be wrapped in white tissue and a protective covering (like bubble wrap) and then shipped in a mailer.  Potential buyer will consider shipping as part of the cost-  so you'll want to ship inexpensive shoes with the least amount of weight as possible.  You might consider a second shipping option such as "buyers who would like their shoes shipped in a box may choose priority shipping".


I hope you have found this guide useful!

Selling used children's clothes on ebay can be very profitable and rewarding (for both buyer and seller!) but it always helps to know your category. To keep up to date on styles and trends, be sure to read the Children's clothing board and ask questions! Thanks for stopping by.

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