Next to video games (Nintendo DS and GBA games in particular), shoes probably gets the silver medal in terms of number of fakes sold or listed in eBay. If you go by percentage of fake shoes listed in eBay against the genuine pair, I will not be surprised if the percentage is in the high 80% or even 90%.
Like thousands of people duped into thinking they bought a genuine pair but ended up with duds, we (my husband specifically) have similar experiences last year and decided to share some basic tips on how to avoid being a victim yourself.
(1) Location of Item is China, HongKong, Indonesia, others
99% of Popular sport shoe companies like Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Asics, etc, produce their shoes from factories in Asia, with a bulk majority located in China. Unfortunately, Asia is also the location where most of the fakes are made. I am not saying that ALL eBay sellers from China for example sell fake pairs but knowing the reputation of lots sellers from that part of the world (yes, even so called Power Sellers), I will never ever waste money, time, and effort from these sellers. Some listings will even say "100% Genuine", "Authentic", "Real", blah, blah. I even came across one that said, "Comes from my own private collection", but is really funny as he is selling brand new men and ladies shoes in large quantities!
Does Australian sellers guarantee then that the pair of shoes are real? Not necessarily! Lots of non-Australian based sellers actually mislead people into thinking that the location of their product is from Australia. Tip: Always check which country the eBay seller is registered from.
(2) Location of Seller is Australia
Now, just because the seller is from Australia does not mean that the shoes are genuine or even if the shoes are actually in Australia! Some of them are using the dropshipping method wherein they list shoes in eBay pretending that they have it with them. After the auction has ended and the winner pays for the item, the seller then orders the shoe from his source overseas (again, most coming from China and most are fake) and the source will then ship the shoes to the auction winner. Ever wonder why the seller insists on "No Pick-Ups" and shipping takes weeks for what you think is Australia-to-Australia shipping?
Still other Aussie sellers simply buy overseas fake shoes and sell these pairs in eBay.
(3) Seller uses Fake pictures
eBay policy states that sellers are supposed to use real pictures of the actual items on sale. For some reason, eBay does not (or refuses) to police their own rule as a vast majority of shoe listings have pictures that were copied and pasted from other websites, magazines, or legit online sellers. This is a nice way to hide fake shoes, as sellers do not have to show real pics of their poor quality fakes. You have to wonder why is it too hard for the seller to get a digital camera and take a picture of the shoes?
(4) Original Shoe Boxes
Most (if not all) fakes come in boxes that are either flattened, squashed, old, or just plain "not new". My husband got two pair of fakes last year, and I know of more than a dozen friends who knowingly and unknowingly bought fakes and none of the boxes ever came in brand new condition like the boxes you get when buying from Rebel Sport for example. Some eBay sellers, fearing that this is a give-away on the fakes they are selling will just plainly say that the shoes do not have boxes! So before you buy or bid, ask the seller what condition the boxes are in. If the shoes they claim are brand new, then the boxes should be brand new! No excuses, no ifs, no buts.
See the picture of the fake Jordan below and notice that the left edge of the box is worn.
(5) Check negative feedback
Check any negative feedback from buyers to see whether seller has sold fakes before, or any problems related to shipping of past items. Feedback that says "Arrived two weeks after auction",or "Postage too long", may suggest that the seller is engaging in dropshipping. You may also ask previous auction winners who left positive feedback if indeed, the shoes they bought are genuine as those winners may not be aware that they got ripped off.
(6) Buyer Knows Shoes Are Fake But Buys Anyway Because They Are Cheap
Ha! At least a couple of our friends have this line of thinking and bought fake Jordan and Adidas shoes because of the cheap price. If you ask them now, they all wish they just rather bought cheap shoes from KMart or Big-W. You see, when their shoes arrived, even though they are obviously fakes when scrutinised, it still looked okay. After two days (just 2 days!), big problems started appearing (what do you expect on cheap fakes?). The soles are coming off, the inside of the shoes are wearing off quickly, shoes are very uncomfortable to wear, shoes are coming apart, etc, etc, etc.
Bottom line is, fakes are not worth it. If I have to give a fair value on them, I say $5 is all it is worth. If you say, "Rubbish, it can't be that bad", then I say you are half right... as the rubbish bin is a more appropriate place for these.