There is a bustling market on eBay for used socks. A pair of simple used gym socks can go for as much $99 . A pair of women’s knee high socks recently sold for $102 . Both men’s and women’s socks of all kinds are in high demand—dress socks, gym socks, nylons, even fuzzy slipper socks.
Who is driving the used sock market? Foot fetishists. What is being sold on eBay is not just socks, but an entire sexual fantasy. Read some the product descriptions for these used socks: “I have just come back from a weekend long camping trip and have not changed my socks all weekend! (Source)” “I’ve worn these to the gym countless times for an intense workout. (Source)” The story about the person who wore them, the accompanying pictures in the product description, and the actual socks themselves all deliver a vivid, tactile sexual fantasy to the buyer.
This blog post was inspired by a recent, very popular thread on Reddit entitled, “IAmA guy who made thousands of dollars selling used socks on eBay”. The person who started the thread, a late-20s male, claims he made between $8,000-$10,000 per year selling his used socks to gay men. He would buy new socks, wear them a few days to get them dirtied up and sweaty, and then write a suggestive product description about “wearing them around the locker room.” Once he had a buyer, the dirty socks would be sealed up in a Ziploc bag to preserve their sweaty smell, and then shipped off to the happy foot fetishist.
Perhaps my favorite comment in the thread came from another entrepreneurial Redditor who sold used men’s clothes that he fished out trash cans in his dorm’s laundry room:
“I used to do the same thing in college. Used socks, underwear, shoes, t-shirts, name it, I’d sell it out of the dorm, on ebay and there are other xxx auction sites. I’d sell fap rags, etc. I would just get the stuff from the trash can in the laundry room. Plenty of stuff right out of the garbage, even cum stained stuff guys threw out. Personal best sales was some nasty football equipment $200, and a baseball uniform with jockstrap for $150. “
Getting a quick $100 for cleaning out your sock drawer undoubtedly sounds like a tempting business proposition to many people. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Remember that what you are really selling is a sexual fantasy. The person buying your socks is going to use them to have very dirty thoughts about you and your feet. Prospective buyers will ask you very personal questions. You may even get follow-up emails from these buyers telling you in explicit detail what they did to your socks. In short, selling your used socks on eBay is sex work. It may not be as personal as stripping or escorting, but it is still selling yourself as a fantasy. If this is something you are not 100 percent comfortable with, then it’s best to avoid this business idea entirely.