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Selling Used Shoes - Do's and Don'ts for Thrift Stores -Part One

Updated on September 25, 2015

Is this what you want to become known for selling?


Or do you want to known for good quality shoes?

Like these Minnetonka's Picked up in a thrift store for $6
Like these Minnetonka's Picked up in a thrift store for $6 | Source

Good Luck selling these for $30 when they only thing you been putting out it crappy dollar shoes.

Tommy Girl Boots - unworn
Tommy Girl Boots - unworn | Source

Ask yourself how you want your store perceived?

Do you want to be know for selling every single pair of shoes that walks in your door? Or do you want to be know for providing only the best condition shoes?

If your answer is the first question then read no further and by all means stick every nasty pair of shoes out that comes across your door step. You'll sell a lot of low end shoes at low prices.But if you decide to stick some high class shoes out there mixed with the bad at a more designer inspired price, people will balk at paying the designer price and you be stuck with the nice shoes. You will never get top dollar for the nicer shoes because the people willing to pay top dollar have stopped shopping your store because it's filled with junk.

But if your answer is yes to the second question then follow a few simple rules

Find a salvage company that will take your unwanted shoes off your hands, they will pay you pennies per pound but at least they are diverted from the dump. They will tell you how they want the shoes bundled and follow their instructions. Don't try to fudge by throwing in single shoes or trash. They have to process these shoes and will be more willing to work with you if you don't provide them any problems.

Sort you shoes according to these simple rules.

Always tap the heels of high heels together to tell if the heel will break apart the first time you walk on them.


Please no toe marks. Would you put your feet into those?


Does this really need an explanation?


Why waste your time and resources for $1. People can buy these new at the dollar store.


No scruffy or toe marks for the kids please.


A little scuffed is OK when they are a good name brand like MBT.


SMELLY SHOES - will stink up the entire section. No matter how good of shape they are in, really smelly shoes should never hit the sales floor.

These were not in the best shape and they also stunk to high heaven.
These were not in the best shape and they also stunk to high heaven. | Source

Knowing what to pitch and what to sell is a fine line.

Get to know your customers.

Find out how far you can push.

Put a variety of price points out without sacrificing your quality control and see what sells the best.

Also be aware and realize that you will loose shoes. People will come in trade shoes because your not paying attention.

Just never put good expensive shoes out for the general public to try on. Put them at the register. And then only let them out when you have time to watch them.

Final words

I've been around thrift stores all my life and it never ceases to amaze me, the "it was donated we have to put it out" mentality.


You don't have to put it out. Salvage it and at least get a few pennies rather than have your store trashed up.

Do you buy shoes in thrift stores?

Do you buy shoes at a thrift store, if they have your size?

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