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Fake or legit? Tips on telling them apart

Fake or legit? Tips on telling them apart

10/05/2018
Top brands' sneakers are hugely popular. And this enormous demand's side effect is flooding the market with knockoffs. Usually tempting with a significantly lower price, they are an online shopping new plague. Fighting off the scam is hard, since the crooked sellers know their way around reaching an unsuspecting customer. When considering a purchase, knowing several ground rules is a necessity. Follow them, and you'll be able to tell apart the fakes from the real models.


1. Check the source of purchase


It is easy to distinguish a professional sneakers store from a flea market stand, where, oddly enough, coming across a pair of Air Maxes €50 bargain happens. It's not so easy on the web. Here bootlegged sneakers are offered in neatly designed online stores, looking no worse from any website selling the real thing. As always, there's a devil in the details.



Store credibility hallmarks are: comprehensive contact details, professional product pics and, above all, positive customer feedback (preferably coming from a few, independent sources). It's safe to assume that a store providing blurry photos, where no details can be spotted, offers counterfeits.  


2. Don't be a sucker for a price


But then who of us is not? Brand new adidas originals or Converse Chuck Taylor 50% off? "Well, sure!", right? Discounts and sales are tempting as hell. However, be aware that the real sneakers are not likely to be half off. Underpricing should be a hint that the shoes in question may be fake. Low quality knockoffs manufacturing costs could be lower, so the crooked retailer can afford the eye-catching offers. However, how a "long-term" such an investment is, becomes clear shortly after the purchase. Real thing is just always more durable.


3. Missing ID


An element as obvious as the name of the sneakers is important, too. All sneakers are named according to certain rules of nomenclature. Each model and colorway has thus its a specific combination of words, abbreviations, letters and numbers. Some of them are quite simple (for example Reebok Dmx Run 10), others more complicated, harder to decipher - like New Balance WS574SFF. Anyway, plain "Air Max shoes" for €50, have nothing to do with the real ones. Find out about the exact ID of the model of your interest and check out the price in competitive stores.





4. Some models don't exist. Watch out for them.


Every now and then, everything seems perfectly fine, there is no reason to suspect otherwise and we're dealing with a knockoff. Impeccable look, the ID and, on the top of that, many colorways. Too many, perhaps? An attractive offer's background check should include comparing with manufacturer's official website. Because sometimes a retailer's overkill happens and the offer is just too rich, because of the models that were never really released. Design or pallette that's not in the manufacturer's offer clearly indicates a fake.


5. Typos in names


Very often it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to tell the bootlegged sneakers from the real ones. "Abibas", "Niek" or "Puna" speak for themselves here. Case closed. Instead of the genuine trademark four adidas stripes can be found, or a marijuana leaf, Nike "swoosh" looking like a comma and the cat-like "tomcat" instead of Puma. Not only the name and the logo are being faked, but even the details of the design. Then telling apart the knockoffs from real sneakers becomes a hard thing to do. In such case, take a close look at the sewing, soles or labels and check their quality. However such an assessment in a photo is possible only if we're dealing with the actual product pic, and not advertising one. It's best to check it against the photos available on the official website.





6. Check the serial number and date of manufacturing


Each real shoe has a tag with an individual serial number. Before spending the money, it's worth to make sure that the tag is there and run an online check of the digits therefrom. If the search results are far from expected, we're dealing with a fake. It's also worth to pay attention to the date printed on the insert




Last, but not least: don't lose it!


Patience wins the... sneaker shopping. Double checks never hurt as much as any regret. Confronted with doubts, do not hesitate to ask for the close-ups, even those of shoe's inside and the serial number label. Carefully compare the offer in question with the official catalog. But first and foremost thing is not to be fooled by underpricing. What appears to be a deal of a lifetime is often just a fraud attempt.
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