Purchasing expensive and rare sneakers can be nerve-wracking when you are unsure of its authenticity until you see if for yourself in person. Buying from trusted sneaker resale sites like Ox Street, however, puts an end to these fears and anxieties. How does Ox Street legit check the sneakers we sell and guarantee that it is 100% authentic?
At Ox Street, every single sneaker sold on our platform is always shipped to Ox Street first for authentication and to check its condition at our verification centres. To give our buyers peace of mind and ensure that there are no fakes being sold, the process boils down to two principles: documentation, and process layering.
The key behind authenticating sneakers is knowing the real product down to every single detail. Besides building ‘an eye for it’ through experience when it comes to spotting fakes, factories that make fakes are getting better and better at it such that it sometimes boils down to a detailed comparison with the authentic product. This means looking at a structured set of key elements and making sure they all line up down to the very stitch.
When you don’t have an actual authentic pair to compare to, it can be difficult to make sure that the pair you wish to purchase on platforms like eBay and Instagram are authentic. Especially if it is a pair you are seeing for the first time in person and can only make comparisons based on photos found online. This is where Ox Street comes in and takes away that uncertainty from buyers.
Ox Street has access to any pair of sneakers from a trusted source to compare to during the verification process. We developed a proprietary protocol to capture all the key details of the sneaker in high resolution, building a database that serves as a reference when it comes to authenticating each shoe when we encounter it again in the future.
Once the sneakers’ details are in our database, the time taken to verify the authenticity of the shoes becomes much shorter by referencing the authentication images and details such as the shape, materials, stitching, colors, labels, serial numbers, and even the original box.
It is important to make sure everything matches up, and even tiny details like small manufacturing flaws can indicate whether a shoe is real or not. An example of such a detail is the size tag of an adidas Yeezy. The ‘dot’ highlighted above the QR code is a feature of all authentic Yeezys. While it is not always in the exact same place and might looking like a small imperfection, it is always there.
Unfortunately, the highest quality fakes have also come to realise the dot used to authenticate Yeezys and some even feature it as well. So while we can’t have just one favorite ‘tell’ with fake sellers constantly catching up, Ox Street constantly updates our database to put our buyers’ minds at ease.
To further speed up and improve the process of sneaker authentification, we layer the entire process with serveral steps. The first layer would be to check the sneaker against our 8 to 16 point checklist on our database depending on the sneaker. Any doubt will be discussed with everyone from the authentification team for a detailed look.
The second layer goes beyond the team and product, and shifts our focus to the seller instead. At Ox Street, we try to maintain a good relationship with legit sneaker sellers as well. If they have consistently shipped us genuine items, we are fairly sure their items are going to continue to be authentic. This is the main reeason our seller fees go down over time as sellers build a positive track record and creates a community of trustworthy transactions.
The third layer will be to check with at least 3 sources who have the real item and/or know it to verify our opinion on the authenticity of the shoes. We ask outside sources, starting with our sellers for their opinions and also check back with sellers details on where they got the shoes.
The third layer is triggered based on a few factors. One instance is when there is anything that seems off about the sneaker that needs further details for authentification. The other is if we are seeing a pair for the first time, Ox Street takes every measure to capture the details and makes sure it is the real deal. Lastly, it is when we are authenticating high value sneakers as we have to be extra careful. Not only are they way more rare and expensive which makes it hard to get their hands on, they also offer much better profit for counterfeiters which means there are high percentages of fakes.
There are possibilities like image recognition tech to automate our first layer of authentification. However, machine learning technology needs a lot of data to train and since we are dealing with rare and exclusive sneakers, it is not possible to feed the AI with enough data of some of these sneakers such that becomes reliable enough at the moment. There are examples of ‘computer augmented’ authentification with big players such as StockX who process thousands of transactions per day who are slowly exploring these options. We are confident in our authentification process and bringing our customers legit sneakers, and are excited about the possibilities of scaling up the authentification process in the future.