Where do those sites get their shoes?

Authorized Retailers

Authorized Retailers

In the sneaker community terms and ideas are shared and spread like wild fire. Lately a new sneakerhead myth has emerged, quickly gaining steam and we would like to address this issue before it gets to far out of hand. The statement we would like to address is:

“If you didn’t buy them for an ‘authorized’ retailer then the shoes are fake.”

Seems the root of the idea that only “authorized” dealers sell authentic sneakers stems from this FAQ posted on NikeInc.com.┬áThese sellers would fall into the “unauthorized” retailer category. Now that word unauthorized in this context should not be associated with the sneakers that are released without proper permission.

Nike is aware of counterfeit products in the market and is working to eliminate the problem. If the product was not purchased directly from Nike or an authorized Nike retailer, Nike cannot address specific questions about the product’s authenticity.

Purchasing products from unauthorized retailers, unauthorized websites or auction websites is done at your own risk. Be cautious of websites that offer substantial discounts, early product releases, or products that are sold out elsewhere.

While there is a lot of truth to statement above, it would appear that many within the sneaker community have decided to add their own words to the statement above. Yes the statement urges caution but no where does Nike state that unauthorized dealers automatically equal fake sneakers.

There are many online sneaker boutiques that have been around for years known for only dealing with authentic products, however they do not have a Nike Account therefore are not authorized by Nike.

“How do they get their shoes then?”

Many of the sneaker sites out there work on consignment, others work within the community to buy their inventory from authorized dealers. Let’s tackle consignment. To make it as basic as possible if you have a pair of sneakers and want to sell them, you can do that through consignment. You would give your sneakers to a consignment shop typically for a final price split between you and the shop, many split at 80/20. If your shoes sell for $200 you get $160 and the shop gets $40 for their work in selling your kicks. The best consignment shops spend time reviewing and learning as much as possible about all the different categories of sneakers because it is in their best interest to maintain a positive reputation around the community.

How about the traditional resale website? The inventory on these sites come from authorized dealers & collectors that are selling sneakers. The owners of the sites are in most cases sneakerheads that have been into sneakers for years. The best sites keep their eyes and ears open around the community so they can purchase and offer you authentic sneakers. It is also their job to learn as much as possible about all the categories of sneakers so they can maintain their positive standing around the community.

If you buy from a consignment shop or resale shop and have a problem with your sneaks your issue is to be taken up with the shop not Nike, because the shop is not an “authorized” dealer. That should be a BIG take a way from the statement above that Nike has made. Please understand there are sites that sell counterfeit sneakers however you can’t just toss every site out there into the same bucket.


My earliest memory of sneakers had to be when I was around 5 years old in the early 80's, seeing B-Boys break dancing on cardboard boxes with fresh Adidas, Pumas and on occasion Filas. From there the introduction of the Air Jordan just captivated me and I've been into kicks ever since.

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