The Ultimate Guide to Buying China Wholesale Shoes and Selling Online (2020 Updated)

Shoes are in such a high demand that there’s a big chance to get a bigger slice of the pie, however, Rome is not built in a day, and success is not easily, automatically guaranteed. A solid groundwork can lay a firm foundation to a successful business, but it can be a daunting and confusing process. There’re many things you have to keep in mind. To help you further, I’ve narrowed down the search and dedicate this post to buying wholesale shoes and selling online.

Table of Content

  1. The benefits of selling shoes online
  2. What kind of shoes to sell online?
  3. Who are your target customers?
  4. How to get wholesale shoes for resell online?
  5. How to find China wholesale shoes suppliers?
  6. Where can you sell shoes online?

The benefits of selling shoes online

According to a report released by Technavio, global footwear market will increase by USD 40.4 billion during 2018-2023, accelerating at over 2% CAGR. That’s a big money-pie, why not take a slice of it with the immense advantages of selling online?

* Lower operating costs than brick and mortal shops

* More flexibility to work anywhere in the world and at anytime

* Easier to scale

* Lower marketing costs

* More measurable and track-able tools

* Higher profit margins

* Better cash-flow

What kind of shoes to sell online?

It’s vital to keep your finger on the pulse as trends change from time to time. As time passes by, you’ll find out that it’s more about experimenting and finding what’s currently in vogue.


In terms of style, there are a staggering number of shoes you can sell online.

* Children’s shoes

* Women’s shoes








Flip Flops

* Men’s shoes

Sports shoes





According to a research by Statistic Brain, the top 3 best selling types of shoes are men’s sports shoes that take up 20% of market shares, then women’s casual shoes at 17%, and followed by women’s dress shoes at 15%. As Marilyn Monroe once said, give a girl the right pair of shoes, and she can conquer the world. 🙂


In US, the most popular size for women is size 8 and 10.5 for men.

In UK, it’s size 6 for women and size 10 for men.


Trends do change fast, but for classic color like black, it’s always a safe match.

Seasonality is also an important factor to consider whether you’re selling flip flops or boots. Google Trends is an effective tool to track search volumes and trends.

Who are your target customers?

When you’re selling shoes online, the first thing to consider is who spends lots of time online and may be looking for shoes without going to brick and mortar stores. Young people ages 18-40 tend to be the biggest online buyers while people of older ages 65+ would trust less on online shopping.

How to get wholesale shoes for resell online?

There’re two typical ways to source cheap wholesale shoes for resell purpose.

* Buy wholesale shoes

The most common way of retail business: first, you buy shoes in bulk from wholesalers or manufacturers, then resell for a nifty profit.


* Lower price. When you buy things in bulk, usually you can get a much lower price, allowing room for bigger profit margins.

* More controllable of the inventory, what’re packed, shipped, and how many pieces left.


* Higher costs on warehousing

* More works of packing and shipping

* Risks of stocking items that do not sell


* Get a small trial order or few samples to test the market first

* Order in different batches, when the product sells well, reorder


Drop shipping is a more risk free option targeted at start ups with small capital. You list the shoes the drop-shipper stocks, when you make sales, the drop-shipper will ship the shoes on your behalf.


* You don’t have to stock the shoes

* You don’t have to pay for warehousing

* You don’t have to pack and ship the shoes


* You can not control stocks of the shoes. It can run out fast

* Less competitive and lower profit margins. There might be innumerable amount of competitors selling the same shoes online.

How to find China wholesale shoes suppliers?

When it comes to finding products for resell purpose, your profits margins are amplified by how you can drive the costs down with the right shoes suppliers. For example, a good profit for retail online is usually considered should be at least 40% for consumer products, if you can drive the unit costs off 1 dollar or 30 cents, then you can potentially get extra profits especially if your sales quantity reaches hundreds or thousands of pieces. Here’re a few ways to find China shoes wholesale suppliers.

* Online wholesale market places – Alibaba, Global Sources, 1688, Aliexpress, DHGate

* Local wholesale markets – Check out list of China shoes wholesale markets
20 China Shoes Wholesale Markets to Put in Your Itinerary

* Trade fairs – Canton Fair, Shoes Fair

* Guangzhou sourcing agent

Where can you sell shoes online?

There’re a number of options you can sell shoes online, let’s take a quick look.

* Building your website

* Selling on market place like Amazon, eBay, Wish, etc

Building your website

Many shoes brands tend to build their own pipelines and sell online. Here’re a few ins and outs.


* Easy for branding purpose

* More flexibility on how to list your products, shipping, etc

* You’re the only seller on your website


* You need the expertise to build website

* It takes time and costs money to promote your website, and drive traffic

Selling on market place like Amazon, eBay, Wish, etc

It seems a lot easier to sell on Amazon, eBay than building your website, and that’s what a significant part of eCommerce sellers do. However, it does come with several pros and cons.


* Well known marketplace with massive visits everyday

* Easier to start

* You don’t need any technical skills


* Higher costs like annual fee, advertising fee, commissions

* Less flexibility, i.e., must obey the regulations of the platform

* Fierce competition, there can be an innumerable amount of competitors selling on the same platform

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