This is something I’ve been thinking of writing about for a while but for whatever reason I’ve just never gotten around to it. How to avoid buying fake sneakers on eBay?
I actually started writing my guides on how to spot fake Yeezy’s way before the likes of Yeezy Buster etc came on the scene (slightly kicking myself I didn’t think of doing what he did on Instagram). I saw a gap in the market and bought 9 pairs of Yeezy 350’s on eBay as an investment and when I started receiving them I noticed a lot of them looked different.
Access to fake sneakers has now become much more accessible and unfortunately there are a large number of these fakes being sold on eBay by either unsuspecting resellers or fraudsters out to make a bit of extra cash.
Luckily there are some tell-tale giveaways that you might be purchasing a fake which I would always look for before spending money on sneakers on eBay and to date I’ve not been resold a fake yet.
1. The account feedback score
This may sound obvious, but is something that is often overlooked – I would never trust a seller with less than 100% feedback. There have been some rule changes recently where the score is less reflective of the total purchase history and focuses more on the last 6-12 months. Look at the feedback from others, if there’s negative or neutral feedback, stay clear.
2. The amount of feedback
If you see a pair of sneakers that look genuine, the price looks reasonable but the seller has feedback under 20 then you are putting yourself at risk. A lot of fraudsters either buy eBay accounts from people or set new ones up using fake credentials, this is often because they get banned from selling fakes or not delivering at all.
3. The Price (Buy it Now)
Part of eBay’s appeal is the auction element and you can, occasionally grab a bargain (usually in the early hours on Saturday morning) however the Buy it Now price is something to be wary of. If you’re looking for a pair of sneakers that are rare or deadstock then do a quick search for them on eBay and look at the general market price, or better yet, use a site app like GOAT or StockX. If you see a price that is significantly lower on a Buy it Now then it’s likely to be fake. The fraudsters lower the process deliberately to entice you to part with your money but the reality is they buy these shoes for 25% of the RRP price, sometimes less.
4. The Listing Title (see description)
Any eBay sneaker listing with the words “see description” is likely to be fake, the description will contain some elaborate excuse why they might not be real or even sometimes they will list replica in small letters towards the bottom of the page.
5. The Photos
The photos are one of the easiest ways to spot a fake on eBay but you have to know what you’re looking for. Do not trust stock photo i.e. photos that have not been taken by the seller themselves; for 100% certainty, I like it when sellers add their username in the photos somewhere, written down or on a card. Other times fraudsters will only post 1-2 photos which are usually bad quality so hard to identify if they are real or not – in either case I do not purchase.
6. Were given as a gift
This is one of the subtler giveaways that you could be buying a fake; in the description, the seller will list them as “bought as a gift”. This of course gives them deniability if they are not genuine plus they don’t have to provide a receipt. Avoid at all costs.
7. Unofficial Release
Again, this one may sound obvious but an “unofficial release” means they are not genuine and are essentially fakes. You’ll hear sellers say their sneakers are made at the same factory as the official ones but this is not true.
Perhaps the trickiest area when looking at sneakers is how to buy a real sample. Samples are essentially testers, these may come in different styles and colours and can be very rare and expensive. Unfortunately, there are a lot of fakes out there in unofficial colourways that are labelled as samples. If you don’t come across any of the other factors in this post you might be OK but this is still very risky.
It goes without saying that there are always exceptions to the rules, you might very well find a bargain out there and I have certainly bought genuinely shoes from people with relatively low feedback before but that’s only because I’ve been certain on all the other points.
Hope you enjoyed this guide, I would love to hear your experiences at buying sneakers online and if you want me to legit check any, drop me a comment below.
Photo by Liam Seskis