Got Loubie taste on an Aldo budget? So did Sawyer Williams. This 26-year-old DC resident was in the habit of snagging his designer shoes for cheap on eBay when, over Thanksgiving dinner with his younger brother, the idea sparked to create an easier way to shop for pre-owned footwear.
“We thought, there seems to be a surplus of really nice used shoes out there that you can get for super cheap from top-shelf designers—why doesn’t everybody do it?” says Williams. “And then we quickly realized why: It takes a lot of energy and time to do the eBay thing, the thrift shop thing. And then on top of that, there’s no uniformity—every seller has a different return policy, and they take different quality pictures. Then there’s always the fear that eBay is littered with fakes. We realized there was the pain point that was preventing people from indulging in buying used.”
And just like that, ShoeRaRa was born. Here’s how it works: Williams hunts down used designer shoes on eBay, in thrift stores, and from local sellers, then sends his finds to ShoeRaRa’s partner cobbler here in Washington to clean and restore the shoes to top-notch used condition. Then the reworked shoes go up for sale on ShoeRaRa’s site, where clear, crisp imagery and detailed condition descriptions help clear up any doubts about the wear of the shoes. (And the free 60-day return policy helps, too.)
The result? Lightly worn designer heels, boots and flats at major—and we mean MAJOR—markdowns. We’re talking $620 Brian Atwood zebra-print pumps for $125. Jimmy Choo sequined ballet flats for $85. Prada bronze leather ankle booties for $130. At prices like that, how can a shoe-lover be expected to resist? We’ve already got our eye on a pair (or three).