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Counterfeiting goods, especially clothing items, is unfortunately big business and it’s only getting bigger. It’s estimated that the global counterfeiting industry is set to hit a whopping $4.2 trillion by 2022. Things are worse for online shoppers since selling fakes online is much easier. Sellers are much harder to trace and virtually anyone with a computer can put up a very convincing website and start selling fakes.
If you wanted to buy high-end designer sneakers online, you could make some great finds, but you’ll have to be doubly vigilant. Let’s take a look at a few tips you can follow to avoid buying fake designer sneakers online.
Go for the Right Supplier
The easiest thing you can do to avoid buying fakes is to buy from a reputable supplier. First, ask around and see what people’s opinions are about a store. You should be able to find out pretty quickly if they sell fakes by asking a few people in the sneakerhead/fashionista community. You should also check how long they’ve been in business and if they have physical stores. It’s always better to buy from a store that sells both online and offline since selling counterfeits openly in a brick-and-mortar store for a long period without getting arrested is tough.
Another thing you have to do is check if the supplier is an authorized retailer. If you wanted to buy from a limited brand like Golden Goose, for instance, you will not find too many stores that are authorized to sell them since they want to control the supply.If that’s what you are looking for, you can find authentic Golden Goose Sneakers at SSENSE. They’ve been established for many years and have a very solid reputation with the community. You can check out their store if you’re looking for pure star sneakers from Golden Goose or any other model from their collection.
Look at the Price
You might be able to get lucky and find high-end sneakers for a discount, but if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you see a store selling anything under 30% of the average retail price, then they’re most likely selling fakes. You can consider yourself lucky in this case, however, as many suppliers use incredibly low prices to send a signal. They are trying to imply that their items are fake, so pick up on this cue and look for another supplier.
Sightly Off Colorway
If you see a model with a colorway that looks similar to something you have seen before but it’s not quite the same, you’re probably dealing with fakes. A designer will not make a slightly different version of a signature colorway. They’re called signature colorways for a reason: to be recognizable. This is why some designers will stick with the same colors so they can stand out from the rest. So, if you see a model and the color is slightly off or in a colorway you’ve never heard of before, beware.
Horrible Website and Support
Another easy way to tell if a seller is fraudulent is if their website is poorly made and their customer service is inadequate or nonexistent. If you notice any typos on the website or the design looks old and amateurish, then it’s a clear red flag. You should also check the website on different supports and see how it looks.
High-end online clothing stores have big budgets and can afford to have a professional site. If the site looks all out of place when you visit it from a tablet or phone, then it’s a bad sign. It’s not necessarily a deal-breaker as your browser could be to blame, but that’s something you should pay attention to.
One thing that should be a dealbreaker, however, is if you can’t trust the customer service. If possible, try to contact them by phone and see how you’re being treated. Pay attention to the person’s level of English and if you can pick up sounds from their surroundings. Also, ask them very specific questions about the products, the ordering process, and returns. If they can’t give you clear answers, go elsewhere.
Only Pay Through Safe Methods
When looking at a website, you should also check which payment methods they offer. This might not save you from buying fakes, but you could get recourse if you have paid through the right method. PayPal is the best option followed by credit cards on the condition that the transaction is made through an SSL encrypted page. Also, if you’re going to pay someone through PayPal, they have to be verified for you to get buyer’s protection.
If you want to buy high-end sneakers online but don’t want to get swindled, follow these tips. Only buy from reputable, authorized sources and don’t be afraid to give them a call to gauge their level of professionalism.