How People Buy Limited Edition Nike Shoes

Posted: Jul 22 2019, 9:20am CDT | by , Updated: Jul 22 2019, 9:57am CDT, in Technology News

 

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How People Buy Limited Edition Nike Shoes

The sneaker industry is worth billions of dollars annually. In fact, it is so large that the resale market alone is worth a billion dollars. Even if you aren’t much of sneakerhead yourself, you have probably bought and worn sneakers in your life, they are ubiquitous. You don’t need to be a sneaker fan to be aware of the biggest brands and names in this industry, the titans like Nike and Adidas are globally-recognizable names.

What you might not be aware of is just how fierce the competition for the latest sneakers can be. When a new pair of Nikes, especially if they are limited edition, are announced, they immediately attract a lot of interest. For the hottest sneakers on the market, the competition between buyers is further complicated by the presence of bots and resellers trying to snap up as many pairs as possible.

Nike

When these sales go live, the sneakers can sell out in seconds. With so many people potentially trying to buy a relatively small number of sneakers, this isn’t completely surprising. But what might surprise you is just how few of these buyers are humans.

Bot Business

When a new pair of sneakers sell out seemingly-instantaneously, it is almost certainly due to the presence of bots. These bots consist of scripts that tell a server, usually a residential proxy server, what to do online. In doing this, a reseller can have an army of bots access a website, select a pair of sneakers and checkout without them having to lift a finger.

When they are expecting a new highly-sought-after pair of sneakers to be released, resellers will try and get ahead of the curve by preparing their bots for release day. They know that when the sale goes live they aren’t just going to be competing with the people that want to buy these sneakers on release, they are also competing with a whole bunch of other resellers who are also hoping to get their hands on them.

Bots like the Nike Shoe Bot have been developed in order to make bots available for even the average user who isn’t already familiar with the technology. As these bot platforms have proliferated and gained more attention, they have attracted regular users who would previously not have considered using them.

How it Works

We’ve all bought things online before, so you should hopefully have a pretty good idea of how buying stuff online works. However, you are probably used to going to the right website, finding the product you want and placing your order. But not everything is so straightforward.

For items that are in very high demand, stock can sometimes sell out in the time it takes most people to reach the checkout. In some cases, this might happen organically, simply because there is so much interest. But items like concert tickets and limited-edition sneakers, that are both highly sought after and limited in supply, are a prime target for resellers.

Nike Sneakers

As soon as these items go live, the reseller's bots will begin their work. The best of these bots will be able to checkout with the item very quickly after the sale begins. However, as you might expect, the websites themselves are also looking for ways to combat these bots and prevent them from being able to buy items up before real people have a chance.

The first line of defense that retailers have is IP blocking. Put simply, if a retailer thinks that a particular IP address or account is associated with the use of bots or reselling then they will usually act to block the IP and account. IP address blocking is effective at preventing individual computers from using a service, but bot makers have ways around this because to create solid random IP address is quite easy. Of course, there are other strategies, which we will discuss shortly.

Some retailers use more sophisticated methods to ascertain whether a user is a human or a bot. These methods use various techniques in order to make this determination. For example, some of them will track the mouse movements of users. Human users will move their cursor around the screen as they work their way through the checkout.

On the other hand, a bot will instantly leap from one text field to the next and will input data impossibly quickly. In order to counter this, bot makers have started programming in random mouse movements, so the website will see mouse movements being made and will assume the user is human.

Resale Value

Those who want to buy a pair of sneakers and walk away with a pair in their hand will need to be ready to stand in line for hours and wait with all the other people that want a new pair just as much as they do. The worst part of this is that there’s no guarantee the retailer won’t sell out before you’ve reached the front of the queue.

If your goal is to resell the sneakers later, this could mean not only a wasted trip but will eat into any profits you eventually make. When you buy online, you can’t guarantee that you will be able to get your hands on a pair, but you at least won't have had to leave the house.

But when you consider the value of some of these limited-edition pairs of sneakers, you can begin to understand why people are willing to go to such great lengths to get their hands on them. When everything goes according to plan and the reseller is able to painlessly get their hands on the next pair of limited-edition sneakers, flipping them can be some of the easiest money they will ever make.

Bots are now an integral part of online shopping. Whether it’s concert tickets or limited-edition sneakers, there are now just as many bots buying up these highly sought-after items as there are people. So prevalent are these buying bots that there is a growing number of ordinary customers who are using bots just to give them a chance of managing to buy something before bots get them all.

This story may contain affiliate links.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml[@]i4u.com.

 

 

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