Buying and selling preloved shoes can be an amazing way to change up and/or grow your shoe collection for a fraction of the retail price. So, if you love shoes, you’re not too proud to wear somebody else’s lightly worn footwear and you love nothing more than a sale, then I suggest you grab a cuppa, find a comfy spot and settle in for some hot tips and tricks that will see your wardrobe overflowing with high end designer shoes.
WHERE TO SHOP
Jump onto google and you’ll see any number of e-commerce sites selling used designer goods or, if online shopping isn’t your thing, you can search for a retailer that sells preloved designer goods near you. Personally, I can’t go past eBay. There seem to be a never ending supply of designer shoes, you’re not paying a businesses margins and there’s no limit to who and where you buy from, but it is a case of buyer beware.
There are benefits however to buying through a reputable business. Usually the shoes are very lightly worn (near new conditions), the goods have been authenticated (you can be guaranteed of buying the Real McCoy) and some stores offer returns, store credit or exchange.
UNDERSTAND THE MARKET
While it might be tempting to launch into the acquisition of previously owned shoes immediately, I strongly encourage you to stop, take a breath and be patient. I acknowledge this is easier said than done. The second hand shoe market is obviously very different to retailing new product. There are a number of factors that contribute to what the market value is of second hand designer shoes. Some of these include brand name, shoe size, shoe type, damage, time of year, competition etc. At the end of the day, it’s largely driven by the fundamentals of economics...supply and demand. By allowing yourself to learn the market, it will help you to avoid the pain of paying too much for a pair of shoes. After all, wouldn’t you rather buy two pairs of shoes for the same price as one?
IF IT’S TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT USUALLY IS
This is where your understanding of the market comes into play. By knowing the buy price of each of your favourite designers, specific models and even levels of wear, you’ll be well positioned to spot a fake or know when something isn’t quite right i.e. damage that’s being hidden. Avoid the heartache of receiving a pair of shoes you’ll be disappointed with. Remember, you’re buying well below retail so you’re already getting a bargain. Having said this however, occasionally you can snag yourself an amazing deal if the reserve hasn’t been set, there’s limited buyers interested in the auction and your pockets are deeper than everybody else's!
WHAT’S YOUR SHOE SIZE : BY BRAND
Before you unleash your inner shopping fiend, take a moment to research your shoe size for your favourite brands. I learnt this the hard way after buying several pairs of Christian Louboutin heels only to realise I actually needed a half size larger (I was in denial).
Unless your shoe closet is already filled with your favourite designers, which means you already know what size you are (by brand), I suggest you jump onto a site like Net-A-Porter. This site does a great job of providing Size & Fit Information relative to each brand. As you can see, Valentino Garavani runs large in size so it is recommended you buy a half size smaller than usual.
LIGHTLY WORN SIGNS
In my personal opinion, the best buys for footwear are those that have been lightly worn, meaning they’ve only been worn a few times. While you’ll never actually know how many times a pair of shoes have graced a goddesses feet, there are a few signs to look for that give you a good indication of use.
Always look for sole wear The lighter the wear the better. Of course this becomes more difficult if sole protectors have been applied. Don’t worry though, there are a few other signs that allude to the extent of wear. A word to the wise, if images are not provided of the both soles, proceed with caution.
Further signs of wear include leather creasing, particularly around the front of the shoe, straps that are creased from buckles, marks or dirty feet prints inside the shoe, damage to the heel stem and worn heel tips.
I find one of the leading indicators as to whether a pair of designer shoes are authentic is the sell price/auction start price. If the shoes are priced high you’re likely heading in the right direction. In most cases, I like to observe several features that I find help avoid the pitfalls of buying a fake however, you can never truly be 100% certain. Some of these attributes include whether the original box and/or shoe bag is included in the sale, the buy price on the shoe box, tax invoice/receipt and whether the designers logo on the underside of the shoe and on the instep looks genuine.
REMOVE THE EMOTION
Know how much you’re prepared to pay for a pair of shoes (before you start bidding) and be prepared to walk away. One thing you’re guaranteed is there will always be another pair of shoes you fall in love with. Afterall, if you weren’t a shoe junkie you wouldn’t have made it to the end of this blog post!
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