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Get approved (easily) to sell shoes on Amazon. Why & How:

Did you know that as of April 2019, Shoes is an ungated category on Amazon? Meaning anyone can be approved to sell shoes. 

Here are 3 reasons to consider selling shoes on Amazon:

1.) There's a lot less competition in shoes than many other categories. (By comparison, shoes is 'wide open' right now). But more importantly:

2.) there are many major store retailers give MASSIVE discounts - up to 90% - when they're clearing out stock onlineand in stores. That's where the fattest margins are for resellers like you and me. We're talking buying major name-brands - Reebok, Nike, Nine West - for (say) $10 and selling them on Amazon for $30 to $40+.)

3.) Return rates are generally lower than you'd expect

To be fair, some major shoe companies may restrict you from selling their brand. So you should try (before you source shoes) to try listing an item to see if you're restricted. For some helpful tips on that, read this tutorial from my trusted partners The Selling Family.

And if you need more help with sourcing shoes at rock bottom prices, I recommend Stephen Smotherman's (all new for 2019) Resellers Guide to Selling Shoes
sell shoes on Amazon

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • Brian April 15, 2017, 5:05 pm

    Thanks for the article. I have noticed that I am ungated to sell Nike products apparently because I sold some a few years back. But I am gated from selling another branded product even though I sold thousands of them and buy from a legit supplier. However, Amazon isn’t liking my invoices and its tough to get a letter of consent. Did Amazon grandfather some sellers into certain brands? Because if I can sell Nike I am thinking about going out and trying to capitalize where I can. Thanks in advance.

    • Jordan Malik April 16, 2017, 11:33 pm

      I believe Amazon first did a blanket ban on all the restricted brands, then after there was some backlash they went back to the sellers who were already successfully selling certain brands (Nike, Lego, etc.) continue selling them (they lifted the ban just for them). But just because they were permitted to continue selling one brand doesn’t mean they were also automatically approved to sell another brand too. For further help, see: https://jordanmalik.com/blog/amazon-brand-restrictions/

  • Erica March 30, 2017, 5:43 am

    Hello! I’ve been doing Amazon-Amazon flip for shoes. I sold shoes by Aerosoles and Nine West and I still have 4 pairs left in stock. Another pair sold today and that’s when Amazon removed my selling previliges.

    I have to provide invoice for those shoes or else I can’t sell on Amazon anymore.

    (– Copies of invoices, receipts, contracts, delivery orders, or authorization letters from your supplier issued in the last 90 days. The quantity of items shown should match your inventory.
    — If you are not the brand owner, provide an authorization letter and a complete set of documentation, including authorization letters, to prove a valid supply chain.)

    I will prepare the documents to send to PQ Review soon. I only have screenshots of email/order/shipping info from Amazon.

    Just wondering. Is it okay for me to use Amazon as a supplier? Should I remove listings for those shoes immediately? This means that I will have to create a removal order and lose more money But if it helps in keeping my account safe, then it will be a better option.

    What do you think?

    Thanks.

    • Jordan Malik March 30, 2017, 2:53 pm

      Amazon will not accept invoices from your purchases on Amazon. By invoices they mean invoices from the brand themselves (not a middleman, not a wholesaler). You need to prove you are an OFFICIAL reseller authorized by Aerosoles, Nine West, etc. You can contact them (Aerosoles, Nine West, etc.) but it is unlikely they will authorize you as a reseller.

  • Jo March 29, 2017, 12:31 am

    Hi Jordán,

    Do you know how to get approved to sell Nike sneakers and sport clothing? I have an inventory with about 300 pairs women and men brand new purchased at Nike outlets

    I’ve been selling those items through some apps and eBay too but I would like to sell them as FBA

    Can you give me some advise?

    • Jordan Malik March 29, 2017, 2:06 pm

      The only way for you to get approved to sell products from restricted brands (like Nike and Adidas) is to be an official reseller authorized by the manufacturer/brand themselves, not a middleman/distributor/retailer. Only big online stores or major brick and mortar retailers have a chance to be approved from those brands, not ‘little guys’ like us.

  • An March 11, 2017, 3:26 pm

    Hi Jordan, I got approved for shoes category by Amazon but the shoes from nine store or converse still show restricted under my account. Do you know if the ungating services will help with nike brand? Your help is appreciated.

    • Jordan Malik March 13, 2017, 7:43 pm

      The only way for you to get approved to sell products from restricted brands (like Nike and Adidas) is to be an official reseller authorized by the manufacturer/brand themselves, not a middleman/distributor/retailer. No legitimate ungating service nor any other legitimate service will do that for you.

  • Mary Ann March 27, 2015, 1:09 pm

    I am in the approval process for clothing on Amazon. I sent my main photos in to have the background removed and they reduced the size from 300 dpi to 72 dpi.
    What are Amazon’s requirements?
    How can I create the link from the inventory file to my website.

    • Jordan Malik March 27, 2015, 2:25 pm

      You need to contact Amazon seller support with those questions. Alternately, hire a service like http://categoryapproval.com to help you with the approval process.

      • Judy January 20, 2016, 4:26 pm

        I believe that Amazon requires 1000 pixels minimum per side — that is so that images can be zoomed. I have read that some of the services reduce your images before sending them back — that is too bad. I would not pay for images that had been reduced in that way. I also think you might be able to remove the background yourself in some of the free programs. You can also get a subscription to Photoshop — and I believe that, just Photoshop, is running about $19.99 per month — well worth it if you have a lot of photos to take backgrounds from. It isn’t hard to learn how to use the software well enough to resize your images and remove backgrounds.
        Judy

    • Jordan Malik March 27, 2015, 2:25 pm

      You need to contact Amazon seller support with those questions. Alternately, hire a service like http://categoryapproval.com to help you with the approval process.

  • JoJo March 19, 2015, 1:47 am

    Thanks for the clarification!

  • JoJo March 17, 2015, 10:40 pm

    The shoe code is not working. Will you please update?

    • Jordan Malik March 18, 2015, 9:58 am

      It certainly does work, the discount code is shoe-jordan, see how it’s entered in this video: http://screencast.com/t/0dp6LNgF3U

      Ensure you are selecting the ‘Shoe Approval/ eBook Bundle’ for $544.99, that is the item that is being discounted.

  • Jen March 12, 2015, 3:52 pm

    Isn’t this a risky category though? Lots of returns from poor sizing/fit/comfort… Right?

    • Jordan Malik March 12, 2015, 4:06 pm

      You do get a little more returns than (say) books or toys or dvds, but a.) the opportunity now is still much greater than the risks; and 2.) you can simply re-sell the returned shoes (provided the customer hasn’t worn them)

  • Jazzygirl March 8, 2015, 3:06 pm

    To get approved in shoes, how much do u think I need to spend in shoes prior to getting approved? I’m limited in my spending budget and wanna know roughly how much I’ll be spending before I buy the categoryapproval bundle. Thanks Jordan!! Let me know asap as I would love to get approved on this awesome category.

    • Jordan Malik March 8, 2015, 4:15 pm

      I didn’t spend anything in shoes prior to getting approved.

      • Jazzygirl March 8, 2015, 5:14 pm

        Thanks Jordan! Ps: I love ur blog ??

  • Trecia February 23, 2015, 11:19 am

    Hi Jordan,
    It appears the discount code is not working. Can you check it out ? 🙂

    Thx!

    • Jordan Malik February 23, 2015, 7:09 pm

      Hi you are right, it isn’t working, I put a word out to the folks at Category Approval. Please try again tomorrow morning (2/24/15) and if it still isn’t working, contact me via email at jordanmalik@gmail.com

      -Jordan

  • Heather February 20, 2015, 8:50 am

    Is part of the approval process that you have to have a website with a shopping cart? If so, does the Category Approval set that website up for you?

    • Jordan Malik February 21, 2015, 2:08 pm

      I did not have a shopping cart created when I was approved.

      • Heather February 27, 2015, 10:38 am

        Do you at least need your own website page?

  • Eric Freund February 20, 2015, 12:52 am

    Hey Jordan, great post on selling shoes. I got up and running on AZ since we spoke. I had a little delay on getting my EIN for my operating LLC (long story), but once I got it I opened my bank account on 2/11, opened my AZ seller account on 2/12, signed on with Category Approval on 2/12, and was approved in Shoes, Handbags, and Sunglasses on 2/14!

    But that’s not the best part. I’ve got $4200 of shoes (my cost) shipping out to AZ tomorrow. Very little competition on most of them (and the lowest priced sellers generally have only one or two pairs, with fairly large price jumps to the next lowest price). I’m priced at about $14K on everything, so we’ll see how it goes!

    • Jordan Malik February 21, 2015, 2:08 pm

      Holy Cow Eric, that’s awesome! Thanks for sharing that with my readers and me. Keep me posted on that!

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