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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Buying Shoes for Resale, Part 5 (Creating a Great Listing)

Well, hi there! Remember me?  Just a little refresher course:
Now, part 5 - how to create a great listing that will sell your shoes!

Remember, our buyers can't see or feel our shoes. We need to describe them in a way that will make them NEED to have these shoes!

First, let's talk about your title. You should include the brand, the color, the size (US and European if they have it), and a bit about the style (clogs, mules, slides, heels, pumps). Remember, you get 55 characters. Use them up! Your title doesn't have to make sense, it just has to include the important keywords. For example, please don't title your listing: "Black Born Shoes". Instead, try "Born Black Buckle Mules Clogs Shoes Womens Size 9"    Leave out the condition in your title unless they are NEW. You don't need to draw attention to the fact that they are used. Skip "EUC"   You want to draw them in, make them fall in love with the shoes, and THEN see that they are pre-owned (never "used"). After they're totally in love with them, they won't mind so much that they were previously owned.

Now, on to the item description. Open your paragraph with a sentence that briefly describes what they are looking at. Again, try to avoid using the word "used" or "pre-owned" in the opening sentence. Your first sentence needs to grab their attention! 

You are considering a very nice pair of black Velcro slip on shoes from the Ecco Shaker line.

This covers the overall condition, the color, a bit about the style, and the brand. Next, let's be a little more specific about the condition. Remember, your buyer can't see these shoes. They need you to tell them what they look like. I write a brief sentence for each of the exterior, insoles, and soles. In this section, be sure to note any flaws. This is also where I slip the word "pre-owned" in. No need to stick it out in a sentence by itself. You want to inform them that they are pre-owned, but you don't need to draw attention to that fact.

The exterior is in excellent, clean pre-owned condition except some scratches on the left toe (see close up photo). The insoles are in very good condition. The soles are in good condition, showing some wear.

The scale I use is basically this:
  • Like New: I reserve this for shoes that I am confident have never been worn, but don't have tags or the box
  • Excellent Condition: no scuffs, no scratches, no wear (looks pretty much like new)
  • Very Good Condition: no scuffs, no scratches (or scuffs/scratches that were made completely unnoticeable with Meltonian), might have light creasing or a bit of very light wear on the soles
  • Good Condition: probably scuffs or scratches that weren't completely fixed, creasing across the toe box, normal wear to the insole, normal wear to the soles
  • Fair Condition: I don't even list shoes in fair condition unless I got them for less than $2. These shoes will look worn (even my beloved Meltonian can't fix these up), the insoles will show significant wear, the soles are seriously scuffed or worn
After you've described the condition, include the style number. In most cases, the style number is just for my own information. It helps me be sure I ship them the right shoe. Let's face it - black Clarks mules pretty much look the same after you've listed 30 different pairs of them.

Lastly, include the US and EUR size (if available). I follow this with: "Please consider the following measurements before making a purchase:"  Then I include:
  • Outside Length (heel to toe): xx"
  • Inside Length (heel to toe): xx"
  • Width (at the widest point):  xx"
  • Heel width: xx"
  • Heel height: xx"
If you'd like, you could include a sentence to the effect of "Different shoes fit differently, so please be sure to compare these measurements to a pair of shoes that currently fit you well."  Some people also include "I cannot accept returns based on fit."  I don't. I accept returns, no matter what. If they don't fit, yes, it's a hassle. Yes, it's annoying. But I don't want an unhappy customer leaving me a negative or dinging my DSRs. So I accept the return, but I will NOT refund shipping in either direction. When I issue the refund, I usually write something like, "Thank you for promptly returning these shoes. I have issued you a refund for your original purchase price."   I don't apologize that they don't fit. That wasn't my fault. I don't explain why I'm only refunding their purchase price. I've never had anyone question it, because my Terms of Service in all my listings explains that.

So that's it! That's all I include in my listings. I have only ever had, I believe, 5 pairs of shoes returned to me for improper fit. That is why it is SO important to include measurements in your listing!

Hopefully later this week, I'll be able to get this series wrapped up. It'll be an easy, no-brainer post, so I have no excuse for NOT getting it done.  Part 6 - How to Ship Your Shoes


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1 comment:

  1. Loved your post! Especially your condition chart. Recently I sold some Cole Haan mens shoes internationally. The heels were very worn down on one side. However the rest of the shoe was great so I informed the buyers in the listing that the heels would need replaced. It sold within a week and customer was happy. Some brands, people will buy knowing that they will get repaired (like heels)