Sneaker Con, a gathering of shoe fanatics founded in 2009, brought 500 vendors and over 19,000 people to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York late last year. The heart and soul of the event is the trading pit, an area in the back of the 840,000-square-foot center where a crowd of mostly teenage boys was talking and holding up their sneakers, looking for buyers. The experience was overwhelming, confusing (where are their parents?) and educational. Here’s what the sneaker experts had to say for themselves.
Specializes in authentication of product, @fake_education
What are the things you look for first when authenticating sneakers?
Ultimately it always comes down to craftsmanship, detail and the material used. The counterfeit industry is going to get as close as possible to the original materials, but they cut corners and use inferior products. Stitching is usually a big thing to check across the board, whether it is a hoodie or a pair of shoes.
What are some of the biggest differences between real and fake sneakers?
A common difference amongst real from fakes is usually on inside size tags of sneakers, as well as on the box labels. The font style is 99.9 percent different, always. On Yeezys, for example, since they are some of the most counterfeited items I see, I look at the stitching; build structure; wherever it says, “boost”; the font style; and the box.
On eBay, some users will post photos of the real shoes, but then send counterfeit ones. How do you know you are not getting scammed?
I personally do not use eBay. Why I started @fake_education was by getting scammed on eBay.
What about people with good ratings?
Buy from somebody credible, from somebody reputable that has a reputation to uphold. To be 100 percent certain, buy from somewhere that has a return policy. Somewhere that if it gets out that they sold a fake, that it’s going to tarnish the image.
What are the top counterfeit items that you see?
Anything made by Adidas: the Yeezys, NMD, Ultraboost. They’re selling off demand as well. For example, a general release NMD or an Ultraboost shoe holds almost no resale value, but that’s some of the most…