Imagine, after a night of drinking you've passed out in your bed. A ray of sunlight glares through your blinds, waking you from your stupor. Suddenly, sheer panic sets in. The Yeezy drop was today at 10 a.m., what time is it? You scramble frantically for your phone, splashing pillows and blankets throughout the room. You raise the phone to your face... 3 p.m.
You've missed the drop. Life feels different now, there's a little less sunshine in your chest. But as you scroll Facebook you see a glimmer of hope. Someone is selling a pair for retail on Marketplace. What an idiot! This guy must not know the value. This is your lucky day, things are finally falling into place.
That's when paranoia sets in... Who is this Steve Van Johnson?
Here at Brother Gee we want to protect you from the Steve's of the world. There's only one thing that can save you from being Steve Van Johnsoned, Brother Gee’s 9 steps To Legit Check Your Shoes.
Step 1: Check The Source
Who are you dealing with? Who is Steve? He has 11 friends and 1 profile picture, it's him holding 3 stacks of money while leaning against a car. His job? Point Guard at NBA, impressive.
If you're buying off social media, check the credentials. Make sure their page is fully functioning, that they have likes and normal activity. If they have 1 picture with 2 likes, I'm willing to bet that's a fake profile. I'd even question whether Steve is his real name and surely that can't be his Lexus. Scandalous.
If you're buying from a website you're unfamiliar with, make sure you can pay with Paypal. Paypal offers great buyer protection to insure that you get what you're ordering. Paypal also has a great security team that is made to sniff out schemers, because when you get scammed, guess who foots the bill? Paypal is in the business of making money, not losing it.
Step 2: What's in the Box?
The packaging of your item should be the first thing you dissect. Out of all the flaws that replicas neglect, packaging and tags are number 1 and 2. You have the internet at your disposal, please take the time to compare your box, item stickers, CPU code, fonts, retail tag and all other elements of the packaging, it's the easiest way to spot a fake shoe.
Big companies DO NOT make mistakes on their packaging, so if there is a large flaw in the packaging, such as box type or box size, then you can safely say that this shoe is a replica.
This is especially true in the case of heavily coveted items such as Off White, Yeezy or Jordan 1 items. They make so few of these shoes that all of the packaging is uniform and meticulous.
Step 3: Check the Inside Tag
Tags are among the most common mistakes with replica sneakers. Few things can give away authenticity quicker.The first thing you should do is confirm the UPC code. This number will be the same for EVERY shoe of the same size. Check this using the Goat app, or comparing tags with a friend.
Next is the production information. All manufactured products are held to regulations. Shoes are made in specific plants (XC), within specific dates and contain uniform production numbers (bottom left). The numbers should be relatively close for all productions within the same plant (for large releases there are multiple plants).
The only exception is a production number featuring 99999999, which is the code for a sample run. A sample run is performed to produce promotional and tester products.
Step 4: Do Your Shoes Smell Toxic?
This step might sound like a joke, but a huge giveaway for fake sneakers is their pungent scent.
Replica sneakers tend to be made out of cheaper materials than their authentic counterparts, and because of this the scent is drastically different.
If your shoes have a skunky scent, don't buy them. Either the materials are fake, or somebody has been ripping bong tokes while wearing them. Either way, don't buy that stoner's shoe.
In addition to smelling fake materials, you might also notice the scent of worn shoes, which is equally dissatisfying. Give your shoes a sniff, the scent may go away, the athletes foot may not.
Step 5: Do Your Research
This is an important step that many people overlook. Stop relying on the opinions of others to verify your purchase. Watch some tutorials, study your current inventory, go to a sneaker shop... Don't ask random friends and Facebook peers.
Leave speculation to the people who take the time to research these items. It is far too often I see online groupies yelling "fake", "FUFU" and "reps." If they can't give you a reason why, don't trust their opinion.
If you really want to know if a shoe you purchased is fake, bring it to a consignment shop and tell them you're interested in selling. Don't tell them you are unsure of the legitimacy, let them do the leg work. Sit back and enjoy your free legit check. They won't buy a fake shoe!
Step 6: Compare and Contrast
If you have access to the same model as one you are buying, use that shoe as a guide for purchasing. The shoes may not be exact, but if it is the same model they will have enough similar features to distinguish real from fake.
For instance, the stitching on models will be relatively uniform, meaning you won't see a Jordan retro 1 with wider stitching than previous releases (unless very specific). Another example would be Adidas or Yeezy Boost material, it's the same foam so it should feel similar to previous models. Use these shoes as blueprints for finding flaws in the shoe you are interested in purchasing.
Pay attention to details and if possible bring the shoes with you during purchase.
Step 7: What's the Price?
This step is very simple. If it seems too good to be true, it is. Stop lying to yourself, and accept reality. In the world of psychology this is called cognitive dissonance. I don't have time to explain what that means, so just look it up and stop convincing yourself you've gained access to the steal of all steals. If the price of your shoes is unreasonably cheap, than you should know something is up.
A sucker is born every minute. You might be that sucker if you think you're getting a pair of brand new Yeezy's for $150. If you still don't believe me, come meet me at McDonald's and find out how I can turn $500 into $5,000 by tomorrow. All I'll need is your money, social security card and your mother's maiden name.
Step 8: How Big is the Production Run of the Sneakers?
This is important for the people who are questioning a general release, or a large production run.
The companies producing replica sneakers are not dumb. They want to maximize their profitability just like any other manufacturer. This means that they replicate profitable sneakers. Most replicas in circulation are those of moderately coveted sneakers. If Nike releases 1.5 million Jordan Concords, chances are there won't be many replicas in circulation.
This doesn't mean there aren't any, but it is much less likely. In addition, the higher the production count, the worse quality of a sneaker. This means that shoes will have more variables when produced in higher numbers. Don't over complicate things by sweating every little detail.
Step 9: Does the Shoe come with Receipts or Proof of Purchase?
A receipt does not mean that something is authentic. In fact, fake receipts get passed around the internet frequently. However, if someone has a receipt with their name on it, it's a good start.
In today's day and age, it is nearly impossible to escape a purchase without any form of receipt. With shoes, nearly every store offers reward programs. They ask for email, send confirmations, ask for blood type, requests social security, asks for waist measurements, ACT scores... The paper trail is endless. So ask the seller if they purchased the shoes themselves. If they say yes, ask to see proof of purchase.
If they say they don't have it, accept that they are liars and ask them to leave your sight immediately. Then head to Hype Stew and cop yourself some legit kicks. Check out our other Blogs below and follow us on social media for exclusive deals!