Why sell socks online

Starting your own business can be overwhelming as every industry seems to have an endless supply of competitors. There’s no denying that success can start to feel like a pipe dream, but this couldn’t be further from the truth - at least when it comes to selling socks. If you’re thinking socks are a small part of the average person’s wardrobe, you may be right. However, the market share they take up in the apparel & fashion industry is big. In fact, Expert Market Research has valued the global socks market at nearly 45.1 billion in 2020, and expects to grow 6% between 2021-2026 likely due to an increased demand for health and fitness socks.

Selling socks is a good beginner product for new business-owners. Like graphic tees & phone cases, socks are easy to market to a niche. Think about it, everyone of all ages wears socks. With so many aesthetics, functions & demographics, it’s easy to find a niche corner of the market to sell to.

How to make socks to sell

If you decide to start selling socks online, it’s important to know what is required to create quality products. The truth is, creating higher quality socks may require a bigger investment up front as you explore materials and dyes, and any designers, prototypers, and manufacturers you want to work with. Once you establish the right supply chain to make your socks, you’ll want to calculate how much profit you make for every pair of socks you sell, once you subtract the cost of labor and costs associated.

If you choose to explore other manufacturing alternatives, you can purchase custom-printed socks from Printful at around $12, that need to be sold for $15-$20 to make a significant profit. On the plus side, users tend to be willing to pay a bit more for unique items designed by their favourite artists, so if you’re able to build a big enough social media following around your art, the higher cost shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Read on to explore other options for tapping into this market and selling socks online.

How to start a socks business

To start selling socks, you’ll need to think about the types of socks you want to make and who it is you’re making the socks for. Are your socks made for a particular function like working in cold conditions, or are they targeting athletic performance? Deciding on all the above will help you create the right sock business to achieve your goals.

Follow these three tips to further establish your business:

  1. Decide who your target market is. Knowing who you’re wanting to sell socks to is crucial for developing a sock business that resonates with a select audience. For example, if you decide to make trendy socks for millennials, you’ll need to create a brand and marketing plan that resonates with that age-group online.

  2. Establish the types of socks you want to make. You can choose to make socks out of any material, shape, size, or style. Once you know who your target market is, you can start to design your socks for that audience. For example, within 2020, there was a rise in socks created for diabetic patients who needed socks specifically made to maintain healthy feet and circulation. These socks have specific requirements in order to aid the customer. As you explore sock variations, it’s best to decide on a particular style or function to build trust with potential customers.

  3. Decide on your market niche. A great way to explore and define your product niche is by looking at successful competitors within your niche and identifying what makes their product unique. You don’t want to copy the same idea, but this exercise will be useful in understanding the market and what helped other brands become successful online.

How to sell socks online

Once you have your brand established and have completed setting up your online store, it’s time to start thinking about marketing your business online. The internet is a vast ocean that fills exponentially with online communities on Instagram and Facebook groups. Chances are, some of these online communities include people who will want to buy your socks. As a small business, you’re in a good position to take advantage of:

  • Finding communities interested in supporting local businesses in your area
  • Finding ways to participate in community related events, markets, and other local opportunities to promote your business
  • Connecting with other small businesses and learning from their experiences
  • Gathering feedback from your customers and community

Being actively involved within online communities and potential customers will help you understand what kind of content and products you need to include in your branding and on social media. Don’t forget to like, comment and follow users with similar interests as people in your niche. This is an easy way to bring exposure to your brand to users who might be more likely to follow you. Once you’ve worked on building a significant following and have built their trust in your brand, you can get a bit more sales focused with your posts. But stay conservative in your approach. You can promote products to your users, but remember that if your content starts to feel too spammy, you’ll notice your follower count starts to go down.

It’s a good idea to start with a discount, or even better, a free product. Consider offering a buy-one-get-one-free deal, or holding a giveaway in exchange for an email address. It’ll help generate leads and also give your audience a positive glimpse of your brand. You may even consider giving rewards to customers who promote your brand on social media. For example, a discount to customers that post pictures of them using your socks. Just make sure they’ve tagged your brand-profile in the post.

How to wholesale socks

If you’re looking to explore other options for your sock selling business, wholesale socks could be a way to go. Marketplaces like Handshake help you explore ready-to-sell sock brands available (at a discount) to sell on your online store. This option could be great for anyone looking to learn more about the market, and to help eliminate costs associated with creating more products. Using the wholesale process is a great way to focus on growing an online business with an established market niche, and lets you focus more on curating a variety of products for a specific audience. You may find that you want to eventually create your own products after having visibility into what sells on your website.

How to dropship socks

As a small business, it can be tough to manufacture socks and hold your own inventory. If you’re looking for ways to streamline packaging and fulfilment, then dropshipping might be for you. Companies like Oberlo give you the freedom to dropship socks affordably since you only pay for goods that customers order instead of buying inventory in bulk.

If you're more inclined, you might consider designing the socks yourself and then dropshipping them using a print on demand company like Printful. If you’re looking to start dropshipping already designed socks from AliExpress, there’s a wide variety of socks you can get for around $3 a pair. Similar designed socks at popular fashion retailers sell for around $12-$15, so setting your price a little lower than that is enough to keep your prices competitive while still making a profit.

FAQ

Can I sell socks on Shopify?

With Shopify, selling socks online is an option available to anyone. If you’re interested in selling socks right away, you can start with Shopify’s 14-day free trial to start selling the easy way.


What do you need to start a business?

If you’re looking to start a sock business from scratch, you’ll need to choose a business name that reflects your product and audience. Once you have decided on the types of socks you’d like to sell, you will need to gather feedback from potential customers and do some competitive research on the market. Once you have your brand and sock designs ready, it’s time to work on your business plan for the short and long term. This includes launching your online store and marketing your business to attract new loyal customers.


How do I start selling socks?

You can start a sock business as soon as you have your online store set up. If you haven’t set up your online store, get started by signing up for Shopify’s free trial, choosing a website theme, and loading your products to sell.


How much should I sell socks for?

When looking to set a price for your socks, you’ll need to consider how your customers will use them, the market you’re selling to, and the overall wholesale costs of your socks. This will help you determine all variable costs associated with selling socks, and to choose a pricing structure that provides a good profit margin.


How much does it cost to start a sock business?

If you’re thinking about starting a business selling socks, you’ll need to explore options based on the type of investment you’re looking to make. A great way to test out the market before investing long-term, is by exploring cost-effective options like dropshipping or wholesale. This will provide you with the market experience required for you to grow your business online.


Can you design your own socks?

Designing your own socks has never been easier with the help of print-on-demand services like Printful. They allow you to white-label products with your own designs in order to save money and time producing your own.


How do you promote socks?

With the rise of social media platforms and new content trends, there are endless ways to promote your sock business. Not only is it free to promote your business online, but it also requires little effort on your part. While you build out your business, start building your social media following through posting engaging content that makes your content stand out from your competitors. You can post all types of content onto your social media channels, including photos and videos showcasing the lifestyle your brand represents.


Is selling socks profitable?

The sock industry has continued to grow over the past decade, proving an ongoing opportunity for entrepreneurs wanting to tap into the market. When it comes to selling socks, there are endless ways to market your brand and products, especially when selling quality products. When you sell products online, you’ll have more options for marketing your business and reaching new audiences around the world. Though the sock market can be competitive, you can stand out from the crowd by creating a marketing plan structured around generating high traffic to your online store.

Dropshipping tips

If you decide to dropship through AliExpress, here are a few tips to set yourself up for success.

Free shipping can be exceptionally slow on AliExpress, and the express options are often prohibitively expensive. Try to find sellers that offer epacket shipping; it's an affordable alternative that allows trackable and quick shipping from China to most developed countries including USA, Canada, and some of the United Kingdom.
AliExpress can sometimes seem overwhelming because there are so many products. If you don’t know where to start when it comes to product selection, sort your search results by “Most Ordered”. This will put the best sellers at the top of the list and give you a general idea of what’s selling and what’s popular. You can also use Oberlo to drop-ship products directly from suppliers.
To get a better idea of what the cases look like in real life, check out the Reviews tab for product listings and view “Reviews with Photos.” Be sure to read the reviews as well, to see what others are saying about the product. Also, you’ll want to check out the “Transactions” tab within the product listing on AliExpress. If you see several purchases from one person, it’s likely they’re dropshipping the item. This tells you it’s likely a good item to sell.
Even though you might be paying next to nothing on AliExpress, don't under-price your products. You’ll want to leave enough margin for marketing, so try to sell products for three or four times your cost.
Try bundling your items into themed sets, or offering complementary products. Check out what the competition is selling to get a better idea of what product categories might be particularly relevant to your audience.
Platforms like Facebook allow you to target very specific attributes or behaviours. For example, if you use Facebook ads to drive traffic to a cell phone store, you can target iPhone 6 users for iPhone 6 phone cases and target LG V10 phone users for LG V10 phone cases. These device-specific options can be found in the ‘Behaviour Targeting’ section of your Facebook ad manager. Hyper-targeting can be applied to a wide range of behaviors and demographics.

Start your own sock brand today!

With low-cost options for drop-shipping & our free downloadable image set - it’s easy to start your own sock business. Sell online today!