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Finding Authentic Nike Wholesale Shoes

Updated on July 11, 2015
Nike swoosh.
Nike swoosh.

My Experience with Fraudulent Wholesalers

I've been selling Nike shoes online now for more than eight years. When I first started, I took about $750 I'd saved up from working as a busboy and decided to invest it in my business. Unfortunately, within a few weeks, that money was completely gone and I had almost nothing to show for it.

After very thorough research I made two purchases online from what I thought were genuine Nike distributors. Unfortunately, I was way off on my assessment. The first supplier was from China. They had a great website set up with watermarked pictures of beautiful Nike shoes. I talked to a man there who was pleasant to deal with and offered me a price I couldn't refuse. Unfortunately, I made the mistake in sending him a Western Union money order which was hardly traceable. He sent me an invalid tracking number in return and I never heard from him again.

My second fraudulent order was from a supplier in the United States who also seemed legitimate, based on his website. You actually had to register and log in to get to the customer area in order to view the pricing and place orders online. I was much more confident in this order than the previous one. Within a few days I received the shoes and listed them on eBay. A few days after listing them I was notified by eBay that my listings had been removed because I was found to be in violation of "trademark infringement." Yep, that's right, I'd ordered fake shoes from the American supplier. I immediately contacted the supplier to no avail. He assured me that the shoes were real and there was nothing he could do for me as far as accepting a return or issuing a refund. I'd been ripped off again.

In the above situations was I was young and naïve. I should have seen the warning signs, been more cautious, and done more due diligence. If anything, I guess I can see these mistakes as learning experiences, though expensive ones. Today, I am much more experienced and thus cautious when placing orders online. Let me tell you what I did next to find legitimate Nike shoe suppliers.

Breaking into a Tight Distribution Chain

Nike has a very tight distribution chain in place to ensure that their prices are regulated, to keep all their retailers happy, and as a means of keeping knock-offs out of the market. One of the only ways to get wholesale Nike shoes that you can be sure are 100% authentic is to order from Nike themselves.

Nike's official process to becoming a Nike retailer is laid out on their website. Unfortunately, they are very selective about who they approve as retailers. Unless you have a physical storefront in place with an established revenue stream and customer base, it is very unlikely that you will be approved. This means they will disregard applications from resellers who will be selling only online or on auction sites such as eBay, as stated clearly on their website.

To make things even more difficult, new Nike retailers don't instantly have access to every shoe Nike offers at the same price the big boys pay for it. Usually new retailers are limited to select shoe models (usually not the popular ones, either) until they can prove themselves to be a valuable retail outlet. This means you'll find it very difficult to compete with big retailers like Champs, Finish Line, Zappos, and others. However, hope is not completely lost.

Becoming a Retailer Without Nike

If you can't buy directly from Nike, there are still ways of getting genuine shoes at wholesale prices. One of the most popular ways is to seek out a wholesale liquidator who specializes in shoes. A liquidator is basically a wholesaler who offers items in bulk lots to customers at very deep discounts. Most of the time these shoes are not going to be the most popular models, but they are still Nike shoes that people will buy and that you can sell at a profit. I know this from experience.

After I was scammed twice I was pretty bummed. My parents encouraged me to give it up as they did not want me to "waste" anymore of my money. But I was determined to make my business happen because I wanted to work for myself doing something I was passionate about.

During my search for wholesale Nike shoes I came across a few wholesale directories that claimed to have thousands and thousands of suppliers for a flat access fee. I didn't like the idea of spending money to find suppliers who I was sure I could find on my own (though obviously I was struggling to find them on my own). One of the wholesale directories I came across was SaleHoo. I began doing my due-diligence again and researched a few SaleHoo reviews. I found an overwhelmingly positive response from current subscribers to the catalog and even a couple who had mentioned finding reputable sources for Nike shoes. I also noticed that SaleHoo offered a 100% money-back guarantee so I could get my purchase refunded in full if I couldn't find what I was looking for.

SaleHoo Wholesale Directory Review

As soon as I completed my payment to SaleHoo I got immediate access to the SaleHoo catalog of more than 8,000 suppliers. Their catalog offers access to more than 1.2 million products across a variety of categories, including Nike shoes. After doing a simple search in their database I had the names of several wholesalers and liquidators that specialized in what I was looking for. Perhaps the most beautiful thing about this was the fact that SaleHoo pre-approves every one of their suppliers before adding them to their database. They do thorough research and even visit with many of the suppliers and place test orders to ensure their legitimacy and reliability. They do the painstaking research so you don't have to.

The day after ordering my membership to SaleHoo I placed my very first order with one of their suppliers for some Nike Shox to sell on eBay. I received my order within four days and put them up on eBay the same week. Thankfully, those shoes were not removed because of trademark infringement and I sold all 20 pairs I ordered within a week for a nice little profit. I did this a few more times on eBay, turning a decent profit each time. However, after doing some more extensive research on SaleHoo I decided to focus in on another category of products. One thing that enticed me into this was the SaleHoo product research tool, which examines the supply, demand, average selling price, search volume, and many other factors for every product you could imagine and helps you identify profitable product niches. Using this tool has helped me find hundreds of profitable product categories.

So, in the end, I actually ended up getting out of the Nike shoe business. Although it was profitable, I found many more things that were even more profitable thanks to the SaleHoo catalog.

I highly recommend at least checking this directory out and doing some research to see if you think it could help you in your search for suppliers, no matter if you're looking for Nike shoes or any other product. In the end, there is always a 100% money back guarantee if you're not satisfied with what you find.

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