The main point in our app is scanning the barcode on the box. This is told nowhere else. You heard it first here.
If your shoe is recently released, you might want to read the “Barcode Scan” article for new releases (click me).
For every size and colourway combination, there’s a code. (e.g: one certain code for Beluga colourway size US10, another one for Beluga colourway size US10.5 and so on)
Think of it that way: replica makers can’t waste time and money (especially money) on buying every single size of the shoe they replicate so that they will get this unique code right for every fake they produce. They probably buy few authentic pairs and focus on the shoe rather than the box. At the end of the day, people wear the product, not the box.
In my opinion, I don’t think the barcode will ever be right on the fakes, as there’s no point for fake manufacturers to invest time and money in this extra small detail which is the last 0.5% in the mission of making 1:1 shoes.
Sometimes the barcode is correct on the fake shoe box — a broken clock is right twice a day. If the fake manufacturers bought a retail US9.5, the replica US9.5 will have the correct code – but so many other combinations won’t.
What scanning the barcode does is it generates a Google search for the UPC/EAN product code. Here’s where the user has to judge. Here’s where the reader has to judge – If there are some or a lot of confirmations on Google for that code (and also the size!), the box is original.
However, it doesn’t mean the shoe is definitely original – anything is possible (including taking the original box and putting in fake shoes). There are also some other points on the checklist that need to be verified. Results showing either 1. nothing or 2. different sizes in the same search indicate a fake box. Check the pictures below for a better explanation.
Here’s what happens if we scan the barcode on a legit pair versus a fake pair.
Legit Pair Barcode Scan – same sizes are returned in the Google search
Fake Pair Barcode Scan – 3 different sizes are returned in the Google search
Moreover, there are also websites like upcindex.com or barcodespider.com which have UPC/EAN databases. I wouldn’t recommend going directly to these resources but if you get them in the google search, it’s an important confirmation point.
Alternatively, what you can do is have a look on places you know for sure are legit, search for box label pictures of the pair you’re buying and see if you get confirmation – i.e. the barcode number on the box of the pair you’re buying is matching the barcode on those boxes you find online. I would recommend goat.com: after you choose your model, go on the “used sizes” button and you’ll find plenty of confirmation sources there.
To explain this process visually, I’ll use the example of the Beluga pair above size US8/UK7.5/EU 41 1/3. So I have the code 4057287941553 but for some reason I can’t figure out through google search whether I get confirmation or not. I will go on goat.com, see the “used sizes” section for US8 and get this:
Then I will look for some other pictures and get the same number again. And there you go: you got confirmation for this barcode, so all’s good (for the box). Beware though – you may encounter this:
This is a US box so the barcode is different. I’m pointing you this thing so that you won’t get confused or assume it’s a fake becuase of the difference. 3 sizes on the label means US box, 6 sizes means EU box.
The main idea behind this app’s strategy is that most reps fail to have the correct barcode and a lot of checks will stop there. This is the reason why we focus a lot on barcode scanning. As stated before, if you still have doubts, we’re covering up some more things you should check in order to make up your mind.