Make money selling vintage shoes

23 October 2017
Reading Time: 6 mins

It’s official: second-hand is sexy.

Endorsement from fashion icons such as supermodel Kate Moss and top stylist Bay Garnett has helped thrift and charity shop fashion to take hold in the high street. Here we look at how you can make a tidy profit from vintage shoes.

While the perfect retro frock is one thing, buying a contemporary pair of shoes to go with it is quite another. After all, hand-me-down footwear can’t be washed like an old blouse or dry-cleaned like a coat, and is often imprinted with the shape of the wearer’s foot.

But although second-hand shoes have not been at the centre of the current retro revival, our new-found interest in the fashions worn by previous generations has created an opportunity for collectors.

“Vintage shoes are an untapped market because they are the one area of the second-hand clothes market that people are still wary of,” says Caroline Cox, fashion expert and author of Stiletto, a study of the most seductive shoe in history.

How much you could make from vintage shoes

Various vintage shoes

There has never been a better time to start collecting vintage shoes and dip your toes into the vintage shoe market.

Although you might not trip over anything like the scarlet satin, rhinestone-studded Ferragamo stilettos once worn by Marilyn Monroe and sold by Christie’s in New York for more than $48,500 (£25,500), there’s still money to be made in this market.

Shoes also trade well. Pairs by Christian Louboutin, with their iconic red soles, typically achieve 64% of their original price.

A £5 pair of seventies stilettos from Oxfam in reasonable condition can fetch £50 in a specialist vintage clothing and fashion shop, or if sold online.

An original pair of 1970s shoes from the British designer Terry de Havilland could fetch between £400 and £500.

A huge collection of more than 330 pairs of vintage shoes amassed by a man from Mansfield recently sold for more than £3,500.

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