There’s no denying that Adidas Originals and Kanye West’s Yeezy Boost sneakers are at the top of countless holiday wish lists this year, but actually getting your hands on a pair of the coveted kicks is easier said than done. Yeezys have managed to transcend the sneaker community, winning over celebrities, soccer moms and others without losing their core appeal, which means demand is higher than it’s ever been. And despite a steady uptick in production numbers, every release continues to be met with the same enthusiasm, selling out instantaneously.
Unless you’re armed with some serious luck — or have somehow found a way to outsmart automated bots — buying Yeezys for their retail price can feel like a pipe dream. This is why many holiday shoppers and sneakerheads are being forced to turn to the secondary market to obtain the shoes. If you’re considering paying resellers for Yeezys, there are a few things you should know first to ensure that you don’t get burned with a counterfeit product.
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1. Shop Only With Trusted Stores and Sources
The biggest rule of thumb and easiest way to ensure you’re getting the real deal is to stick with sneaker stores that have a reputation for providing authentic product. Stores featured in Footwear News‘ holiday sneaker shopping guide such as Flight Club and Stadium Goods are a good starting point, but there are other alternatives if you can’t find what you’re looking for from a brick-and-mortar location.
Marketplaces such as GOAT and StockX offer middleman services between buyers and sellers that specialize in product authentication. This means that if for some reason a seller ships a fake pair of sneakers, they’ll be penalized and the buyer will be reimbursed in full, alleviating the headaches that can come with PayPal claims and other disputes over authenticity. These marketplaces also allow buyers to place offers, which can be helpful if you’re trying to save a few bucks on an already pricy purchase.
2. Do Your Homework
If you’re the daring type and would rather procure a pair on your own than follow the above advice, be sure to use due diligence in your search.
Familiarize yourself with the telltale signs of fake Yeezys, which means studying everything from the texture of the outsole’s exposed Boost cushioning to the size tag inside of the shoe.
Most important of all, make sure that the sneakers you’re about to buy are a pair that actually exists. You definitely don’t want to be the person 2 Chainz famously called out on Chance The Rapper’s “No Problems,” when he rapped, “Where the hell’d you get them from? Yeezy said he ain’t made them” — so just avoid the embarrassment altogether. The Yeezy Boost 350 V2 has seen an increased amount of purported samples and unsanctioned pairs floating around, so it’s probably best to just stick with the pairs that have been officially released by Adidas.
3. If It Seems Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is
More often than not, the biggest indicator that something fishy is going on is right there in front of your face: the price. As great as that deal you just found by browsing Google might appear on paper, the harsh reality is that no one is going to give you a discount on Yeezys. There are no secret websites with special deals, and that eBay seller who swears he’s doing you a holiday favor is probably just trying to unload his latest batch of fakes on an unsuspecting buyer.
When you’re shopping for Yeezys, pay attention to details such as the price and amount of pairs available. If the shoes came out six months ago and the seller still has a full size run in stock for $300, just walk away while you have the chance.