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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Buying Shoes for Resale, Part 3 (Cleaning and Repairing)

Ok, so you've bought your shoes. Now what do you do with them?

There are plenty of products around to help you get them fixed up. I'll take you through step-by-step how I fix mine.

1) Get that price off!

This is very very important. How tacky is it to sell a pair of shoes for $50 only to have your buyer find a $2.97 price tag once they get them?? For Goodwill shoes, obviously just take the sticker off. I buy my shoes at several stores that write their prices on the soles with marker. (Even worse, one of the stores I buy from writes their prices on the INsoles with marker! Ack! No solution for that except to scribble it out.) I prefer to use Goof Off for this. I ran out of Goof Off and have been using Goo Gone, but it's just not the same. Goof Off reeks, so use it in a well-ventilated area. Goof Off will remove sticker residue as well as marker. Just dribble it on a paper towel or rag, and wipe it off. I've found that it works perfectly on black or silver marker, but the red is a lot harder to remove. If the Goof Off doesn't remove it, nothing will. You'll just have to color over it at that point.

2) Clean Them

Whether they LOOK dirty or not, you need to get the previous owner's feet OUT of them. I just use some hot water with Mr. Clean (or Lysol or whatever brand happened to have a coupon out when I bought it...). Grab a rag, wipe down the outside. Be sure to get that crack where the shoe meets the sole. Then scrub the inside. Be sure to get all the way to the toes, because that's where the cat hair likes to hide. Then do the sides of the soles, and finally the soles themselves. Keep a toothbrush and toothpicks handy for this. You'll find all kinds of goodies in the soles. Try not to dwell on it. Just think of the profit you're working toward.

3) Polish them

This is The Most Awesome Product in the world of a shoe seller! If you're going to sell shoes, build your collection of Meltonian Shoe Cream up until you've got at least one of every color. I have just started selling this, so if you're interested in trying it out, check out the Shoe Care Info tab at the top of this site. Once you've read the Info tab, you can contact me in several different ways:
  • Find me on Facebook
  • Email Me
  • Comment on this blog post
  • Contact me through the "Contact Us" link at the top of this blog
We have a video showing how to use this great cream, so I won't bore you with step by step details on that. Here is a before and after of a pair of shoes I treated with Meltonian.

4) Repair any damage

Patricia Nixey Klassen from our eBay Underground Facebook Group used to work in a shoe repair store. She says this:

I learned from the old pro to gently lift that peeled rip,clean out any dirt if there is any,(usually made when walking on grass and heels dig in) pull the leather down to straighten from being accordianed up. Get some really good glue like "Weld Bond" that glues anything to anything.

Use a tooth pick or something small to put glue up under the flap on the inside of the leather and on the heel, wait a minute or two for the glue to set up then pull and press that flap into place using a downward rubbing motion with your thumb. Then here is the trick ... put several layers of a clean cloth over the spot and GENTLY tap with a hammer. (If you don't use a cloth you can cut the leather with the hammer) This thins the ridge of the join. Clean off any excess glue with a clean wet cloth. Let it dry over night. Polish with Meltonian and DONE!

I can get Barge Cement for this, so if you're interested, let me know. (Again, please read the Shoe Care Info tab first for important information!)

5) Fix up those soles!

This is another miracle product that breathes new life into old shoes. You've all heard me talking about my Ferragamos ad nauseum, so I'll spare you the details again, but check this out!

To use this stuff, put on your rubber gloves! Then give the bottle a good shake, take the cap off, and press it to your shoe sole. It will take a good bit of pressing, but eventually, the dressing will come out. Spread it around, and that's that! It will take several coats, but it's worth the time and effort. I did find that, when the dressing started coming out bubbly, I lightly wiped it off with a paper towel. That gave it a nicer look.  (I also sell this! Shoe Care Info tab!)

6) Finishing touches

**Replace the laces if yours are worn out.
**Replace the insoles if yours are missing, but be sure to mention this in your listing.
**Finish your shoe off with a coating of Neutral Meltonian for a nice shine.

You are now ready to take pictures! But my tips for that will have to wait for another post.

Coming Up:

Part 4: Taking Fabulous Pictures
Part 5: Creating a Quality Listing
Part 6: Shipping Your Shoes to Their New Owner

In case you've missed the first two parts of this series:

Part 1: Brands to Watch For
Part 2: More Brands to Watch For

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