How To Launch A Print On Demand Shoe Business Without Money?


According to ALM, the global print on demand shoe market is worth 365 billion dollars. With these stats, stepping into the print on demand shoe business might be a good and profitable idea. However, to do so, you need to have some capital on your own. Don’t worry if you can’t afford an initial investment; we have a solution.

In this article, we’ve written an in-depth guide on starting a print on demand shoe business without any money.

If you’re curious to know how to do it, simply keep reading, and you will find out the answer you’re looking for.

Let’s dive in!

Is It Possible To Start A Shoe Business Without Money?

It might sound amazing to do a business with no money, but it is possible if you have a sound business mind, courage, and patience. In the case of print-on-demand shoes, we’ve got some ideas for you on starting a shoe business with no money.

Let’s find out!

1. Partnership with a Shoe Retailer

The best way to do your shoe business is by affiliating with a retailer. You can find any popular and high-grossing shoe store or company; ask them if they offer an affiliate program. If they do, then you can start an affiliate program with them. The shoe business will provide you with the whole platform and the stock to sell. Also, they may or may not offer you the stall, bag, uniform, and other related items. 

To start making a profit, all you have to do is sell that company’s shoes. The company will keep the selling costs and pay a percentage of the commission from the profit of each sale. In this way, you can set up your business without working under anyone. But please note that some companies may give you a monthly target for sales.

2. Start Your Own Business

We know it’s not a business idea. You have to understand that you’ve got to do the homework first to run a successful business. Without it, you’ll fail in the print-on-demand shoe business. If you don’t know anything about this industry, how can you think of running a business in shoes?

That’s why it’s better to learn first, and for that purpose, you can do the salesman job in any shoe store. In this way, you’ll learn about targeted customers, what they need, how to make shoes that attract customers, the shoe market, profit, and sales insights, and you’ll earn money for the capital of your shoe business.

3. Online Affiliate Program

Digital affiliate marketing is currently the 5th most popular way of earning from the internet. It’s easy, highly profitable, and the best passive source of income. However, note that affiliate marketing isn’t easy at all; it requires a lot of hard work, analytics, and patience. 

It involves the promotion of other e-commerce products on your digital platform. You can use your website, social media page, or any other platform from which you can get traffic and targeted visitors. You’ll promote the seller’s print-on-demand shoes on your platform and increase their sales through your references and audience. In return, the seller or the merchant will pay you a percentage of the commission from that sale. 

Some digital platforms, such as AmazonClickbank, and eBay, are the best examples of affiliate merchants.

That’s it, and it’s that easy!

Should I Become An Authorized Sneaker Retailer Or Not?

If you have enough money to start a full-fledged shoe business, then it may occur to you to buy a dealership from a well-established shoe company and play a safe game. Well, the idea is good, but it’s not what you think. 

Below we’ve written about the two most common problems with this type of business.

Let’s find out!

1. Competitors Perception

The first thing is to think about why a company would give you a dealership and allow you to work as their competitor. We know some companies sell their franchises, like McDonald’s and Pizza Hut, but that’s a separate story.

Especially if you’re planning to go online and sell their shoes online, it’s unlikely to happen. Because, today, almost every well-established footwear company is on an e-commerce site. They may offer you the affiliate program but never allow you to sell their shoes on the internet and become their competitor.

2. Costs of a Retailer License

Of course, no company would give you their retailer’s license for free. It’s a business, not a charity, and every business wants profit and money. The same goes for retailers’ licenses. You have to pay a considerable amount of money to get the retailer’s license.

For example, suppose the shoe company is working on a larger scale, is well-established, and works internationally. In that case, you might have to pay them millions of dollars for the license. Therefore, we don’t recommend you go with a retailer to start with. If you’ve got enough capital invested, then go with it. It’s a safe game. Otherwise, create your own shoe business.


How Do I Start A Shoe Collection Business?

To start this shoe business, follow the below guide.

1. Make a Business Plan

The very first thing you’ve got to do is to plan your business. Identify which type of print-on-demand shoe business you want to do. The footwear business isn’t only about selling shoes. You can start the shoe manufacturing process, a marketing firm for the shoe company, or do the front-end selling of the shoes. It’s your choice. However, selling shoes is considered a safe game. So, we’ll go ahead with this business.

2. Target your Audience

The shoe business covers a wide range of audiences because it’s necessary for everyone. You can start selling school shoes, men’s casual or formal footwear, girls’ casual or formal footwear, regular home footwear, kid’s footwear, or any footwear you like. However, make sure that you’re targeting your targeted audience. For example, if you’re selling girls’ footwear, your target audience is women. If you’re into kid’s footwear, your target audiences are parents and kids.

3. Market & Promote Your Products

Marketing and advertising are essential for any business. The same goes for your shoe business. You’ve got to tell your customers that your business exists in the market so they can find you whenever they need shoes. Won’t earn you an instant profit, but in the long term, marketing is essential. If you’re working in an offline market, you can publish posters and banners advertising your store. On the other hand, if you’re working online, you can use Google and Facebook ads to promote your brand or store.

4. Cash Burning

Cash burning is a business term that refers to spending more money on your customers than they pay you to make them loyal to your company. For example, one shoe costs you $10. The MRP of that shoe is $14, but you gave that shoe to your customer at 50% off, which is 7.5 dollars. In that case, your cash burn is 2.5 dollars, but in return, you’ve made that customer loyal to you. And in the long term, that customer will earn you at least 5x the amount of your cash burn. So, cash-burning has been highly beneficial to your shoe business for a long time.

5. Pricing

Pricing plays an essential role in the overall shoe business. Did you know why 60% of shoe stores close within one year? It’s because of their pricing. Don’t think your customers are fools or have enough money to buy overpriced shoes from your store. You must consider the competition, and if you want customers and sales, you must lower your shoe price below your competitor’s. If you don’t, you can never succeed. You’re not a celebrity or have widespread influence that people will purchase from you no matter what the price is. The only reason people will buy from you is the pricing. 

Is Reselling Sneakers Profitable?

Yes, it can be. But, it’s only possible if you do this business properly without making any mistakes. Of course, any business without proper knowledge is a failed business. 

First of all, we know you thought, “Why would a customer buy someone’s used footwear?

The answer is simple: because of the cost! 

We’re not talking about reselling used Chinese sneakers, which are already inexpensive on the market. We’re talking about flagship sneakers like Nike and Adidas, which are highly expensive in new condition.

You can buy these shoes from private sellers and resell them at a profit to your customers. For a better understanding of the whole process, please follow this step-by-step checklist:

  • Search for private sellers on well-established platforms like OLX and eBay;
  • Make sure to buy from the private sellers who own the shoes; 
  • Clean, polish, and resell those shoes on platforms like Amazon, eBay, or instead go offline.

How Can I Get A Nike Franchise?

First, find out if Nike operates in your country; if not, contact them at their international head office. Write them an application where you’ll state that you want to buy a Nike franchise in your local area. Also, mention your capital investment, business plan, and location where you’ll sell. Then, offer them your budget. If Nike likes your offer, they’ll respond to you; otherwise, better luck next time! 


The shoe business is highly profitable if done correctly. Did you know that 60% of shoe stores get closed within the first year because of poor business strategies? But it’s no wonder the print-on-demand shoe business is highly profitable among others in the same industry.

That's why in this article, we've written an ultimate guide to everything you need to know about launching a print on demand shoe business.

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Print On Demand World Staff

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