As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Generally speaking, the price that something sells for is a combination of two factors: how much it cost when new, and how hard it is to get.
Now, if you have a pair of cowboy boots in your closet (or more…) you’ll know that they were pretty easy to get. In fact, it’s easy to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on cowboy boots.
But when about when you want to turn those boots back into cash?
Figuring out where to sell your cowboy boots will likely be the difference between getting most of your money back or not being able to sell them at all.
So let’s figure out exactly where (and how) you should be selling them, how much your boots are worth, and what brands you should be looking for if you want to buy boots just to resell them!
Best Places To Sell Used Cowboy Boots
When you’re trying to figure out where to sell your boots you’ll want to decide what you’re hoping to get out of it. Typically, the faster you need to sell them, the less money you’ll get.
However, if you’re prepared to wait a bit and do some inconvenient things (such as shipping your bots) your chances of making good money go way up!
So let’s start with the most profitable places to sell your boots.
Selling something online is easier than ever and gives you access to literally millions of potential customers.
If you simply advertise your boots locally what are the odds that you’ll find someone who is your exact foot size that wants your boots and is willing to pay a good price for them?
The larger your audience is the more likely it is that you’ll actually find a dozen people that want your boots and you can simply send them to the highest bidder.
You’ll have to be careful of a few common scams if you’re new to selling online but, if you sell on a reputable platform, it’s easier and safer than ever!
eBay has the largest reach of the three but you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
However, if you want a bit more reach, try listing your boots on all three!
- Best possible sale price
- No face-to-face interactions
- Many potential buyers
- Have to ship your boots after they sell
- Dealing with scammers
Next up if probably what your original plan was for selling your boots. Just see if anyone around you wants them.
However, even here, there are better ways to go about things.
If you can get your boots in front of the eyes of thousands of people you’ll have much better luck.
So, before you stick your boots out on the yardsale table, try listing them on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or Offerup. All of these will increase your reach and therefore your eventual sale price.
- No shipping
- Faster sale
- Lower sale price
- Dealing with flakey buyers
To A Resell Store
Last (and quite probably “least”) is the backup option to sell your cowboy boots when you need money now.
If that is the case then you’re going to have to take a serious hit in the expected sales price.
When you have to sell something fast you lose all power to negotiate and often end up selling your item to someone that has a bit more time to sell it and will simply be flipping your boots online or in their shop.
However, all of us are on this site of the coin at times. So where should you go?
While you can obviously go to a pawn shop, my advice would be to visit a boutique resale shop such as a western wear store that has a used section, or thrift stores that buy clothing such as Buffalo Exchange or Plato’s Closet.
- Fast money
- No shipping or extra time spent listing or marketing
- Far lower sales price (up to 75% less than you could get on your own)
What Are your Used Cowboy Boots Worth?
Typically, the best way to value used cowboy boots is the same way that you value the trade-in value of a car – original MSRP minus miles and any damage.
Boots that are in excellent condition can go for up to 80% or so of MSRP if they’re highly desirable but it goes downhill from there.
We’ve sold older boots for anywhere from 20-50% of the original price.
However, if you don’t know what the boots sold for originally (maybe you bought them used yourself?) you’ll have to do some sleuthing.
The brand of your boots is the single largest deciding factor when it comes to valuing them but there are a few other things that can make the difference between a $50 pair of boots and a $500 pair.
4 Things That Make Cowboy Boots More Valuable
1. Exotic Skin/Leather
Exotic materials (usually an unusual type of leather) are one of the main distinguishing factors of high-end boots.
Some brands have carved out a niche for themselves by specializing in usual materials.
For example, while many brands focus on making their boots more colorful or complex, Tony Lama often makes boots in simple colors (black or grey) but with materials such as sharkskin, stingray, eel, alligator, etc.
Identifying the type of leather you have is much more important for listing. This can typically be done by looking up the model number printed inside the boot, or looking up boots of that particular brand and finding similar items. If all else fails, you can also send a picture of the boots to the company and they will identify them for you.
A quick tip is that you can almost always identify a high-quality cowboy boot by the feel of the leather. If you have several pairs, simply feeling the difference is often enough for you to figure out if they’re made of decent leather.
2. Colorful Embroidery
Embroidering a piece of clothing has always been a sign of luxury. Embroidery takes either a great deal of time to do well or a great deal of technology/expense to do quickly. The clothing company Johnny Was is well known for its colorful and complex designs. Now imagine, if someone is willing to pay $100’s of dollars for an embroidered piece of cotton, how much more would a pair of handcrafted leather boots be worth if they were richly embroidered?
Any boots that you see with actual thread embroidery will be worth good money even in used condition. The example pictured is a pair of Double D Ranch boots that retail for $755.
3. Handcrafted Leather/Made In The USA
If you see a “handcrafted” stamp on a pair of boots if typically means one of two things: the boots are vintage or very expensive (or both!). Handcrafting of any sort is an obvious sign of expense, and people think the same about anything that is made in the USA. Anything that people think “must be better,” they will pay more for!
You are also likely to find a lot of handcrafted boots that were made in Mexico or a South American Country. We often pick these up if they are unusual or nice enough to sell on the merits of quality alone, as the brands are typically not well known.
As with embroidery, the added complexity of cut-outs (or any sort of laying leather) is typically a hallmark of expensive boots.
Any brand that is concerned with doing things cheaply and producing “affordable” (read: lower quality) products, is not going to take the time to create extra detailing. So, if you have genuine leather boots with cutouts or layered leather details, they’re almost always worth selling online.
Cowboy Boot Toe Types
- D toe: Tapered toward a point, but with a flat tip
- R toe: Tapered, but rounded at the tip (the most common toe shape in cowboy boots)
- Square toe: A wide, flat, and angular toe
- W toe, U toe, Roper toe: Fully rounded or U-shaped
- J toe: Sharply pointed
Why Are Cowboy Boots So Expensive?
In general, cowboy boots are expensive because of the materials used and the labor involved in making the boots. Unlike many other types of boots, high-end cowboy boots are made by hand in the USA of premium or exotic materials.
Before we get to brands, however, let’s talk about a few non-brand things that make cowboy bots worth picking up:
How To Identify Cowboy Boot Brands
The easiest way to identify cowboy boot brands is to (obviously) find the brand name printed inside the boot. However, the brand and size are often worn off old older, or well-worn boots, especially when it is on the leather and not on a tag.
In this case, you are either looking for a brand/logo that is stamped into the leather or a style number that you can google.
Many brands do have signature stitching styles but you’ll either have to recognize it yourself or rely on a Facebook or Reddit community to identify the brand from a picture.
Take my advice and do not skip this step! Knowing what brand (and style) your boots are will make or break your sale. People will be searching for boots by brand name so listing your earth pounders as “brown boots” will get no traction whatsoever.
13 Most Valuable Used Cowboy Boot Brands
Now, before we start, these are obviously not the “most expensive” used boots. However, they’re the most expensive used boots that you’re likely to own or see regularly.
We’ve found every single on of these brands at thrift stores and still get a little thrill when we find most of them!
1. Tony Lama
2. NOCONA BOOTS
3. OLD WEST
5. TWISTED X
10. DAN POST
Flipping Cowboy Boots On eBay
Now, if you’re not selling boots because you’re desperate for money, you should consider joining the other side of the equation and becoming a buyer rather than a seller.
If the past 5 years we have made more than $10,000 simply by flipping thrifted cowboy boots on eBay.
So, if you’re in the position to do so (or just need more money) selling cowboy boots on eBay can be a great part-time gig that will allow you to get a premium price for your offerings.
This is especially useful if you live in a small town (like I do) and no one else seems inclined to try and sell their stuff online.
Now Saddle Up And Ride (To The Thrift Store)
Hopefully, that was enough to get you moving when it comes to selling your cowboy boots! Figuring out where to sell them really isn’t that hard once you figure out the perfect balance between convenience and price.
Have you sold any cowboy boots lately? Let us know where you sold them and how it went!