timberland earth keeper How to Turn a Profit on Selling Sneakers
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Skip to main content. Small Business Finances Taxes Profit How to Turn a Profit on Selling Sneakers by Van Thompson Sneakers aren’t just fashion. They’re also big business.
With many athletic shoes averaging $100 or more each, the sneaker industry offers many opportunities for profit. Just as with any other industry, though, you’ll need a strong business plan and a niche you can fill. Otherwise you might be left desperately trying to sell shoes no one wants.
Carve Out a Niche There are dozens, even hundreds, of sneaker sellers, and you don’t want to just be another name in the mix. Instead, you have to find ways to differentiate either your store or your shoes and ideally both from other businesses. You might, for example, decide to set up a huge store and market yourself as the only shop where customers can get access to every brand. Alternatively, you might hire fashion experts and cultivate a reputation for high end style and excellent customer service.
Sell a Popular Brand If you’re not equipped to make your own shoes or don’t want to waste money trying, consider selling an already popular brand of sneakers. This saves you from having to market the product itself and introduces an already loyal customer base to your product. You’ll likely have to pay licensing fees to sell brand name sneakers, and the parent company might place limitations on how you price or market your items.
Set the Right Price A hundred or more dollars per pair of sneakers might seem like big money. But store rent, employee salaries, marketing and licensing fees can all cut into your profits. Before you set your prices, check your expenses. You’ll need to set prices that are sufficiently high to cover all of your expenses, pay your taxes and allow you to make a profit that’s sufficient to live on.
Market Your Products No matter how nice the sneakers you offer are, they won’t sell themselves. You need a marketing campaign that draws in your target customer, and you may need some initial help from a research firm to determine who your target customer is. After you have a good grasp on this information, select marketing outlets that reach your ideal customer. For example, you might market your shoes on social networking sites to people who indicate they like team sports. Offering a discount or incentive can encourage new customers to set foot in your store for the first time. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.