Buying Sneakers Online: What To Be Wary Of

Buying sneakers online can be fun. A customer can often find brands or styles that they may not have been able to before. And while buying in store does have its advantages—there’s no waiting and you can try on the shoes then and there to see what the fit is like—shoppers can often pay more out of pocket or be left unsatisfied because the store doesn’t carry the shoe they want in their size. Money talks and with top brands going for the tune of a couple hundred dollars per pair of shoes, or more, sneakers are big business.

Over the last decade, online shoe shopping has exploded and there are literally hundreds of online stores, with more popping up every day; all competing for the same customers.  It’s easy for a person to do a quick comparison shop and see what a particular shoe goes for on various websites.  Whether it’s a Nike, Converse, Reebok, or Zoot sneaker, sneakers online can be found easily.

Things to Be Wary Of

  • Fit. Not all sneaker brands fit the same, so, if possible, see if there is a store nearby that you can go in and try the shoe on first then buy the sneakers online for cheaper. It is always better to take a bit of time and make sure of the fit ahead of time instead of having to return the shoe later.
  • Price. Always do a comparison. It takes moments and can save a lot of money. If buying from an overseas company, see what the exchange rate would be and what sales taxes might be applicable. As well, an extremely low price might be an indicator that there could be problems ahead, so if it seems to be too good to be true do some digging before buying those sneakers online.
  • Shipping costs. Depending on the company and their location, shipping costs will vary. That Converse high top that was bought from an overseas wholesaler may have an initial lower price but once overseas shipping fees and duties are factored in, a customer may end up paying quite a bit more than they would have through a domestic company with a slightly higher original price tag. Alternatively, some companies may offer shipping discounts—or free shipping—on orders of a certain quantity or price, so take a close look at what’s being offered.
  • Shipping time. Like shipping costs, location of the seller is something to factor in. If the sneakers bought online are needed immediately, it might be better to go with a domestic seller that can guarantee expedited or overnight shipping; if not, if a customer is willing to wait longer for domestic or international ground shipping, they make be able to take advantage of free shipping or cheaper prices.
  • Return policy. If something happens, will the company offer a full refund, or will there be a small fee. How long of a timeframe does a customer has to return an item or exchange it for a new one? Some companies may not be able to offer exchanges on similar products, so always be sure of what options there are if something goes wrong.
  • Online reviews. What kind of reviews does the shoe/company have and who is making them? Has a customer had a problem with the return policy or were there problems with the fit? Did the shoe come as advertised or did the company respond well to customer feedback. While reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, they can be an indicator of any potential problems.
  • Social media. Has the company invested in a Twitter account, Facebook page, or Pinterest profile? If so, check it out.  It could help determine how reputable a company really is, and some companies offer customer loyalty rewards to fans or followers on social media. Though having a social media presence doesn’t guarantee that a seller is legitimate, how their presence is managed and what their customers have to say does offers an insight.

Buying sneakers online can be rewarding to consumers. With many brands and shoe sellers available over the web, with a little bit of detective work, a shopper can get the sneaker they want at a good price and with little cause for concern

This article was written by Collin Martorano, who has great love for some sweet kicks and always buys his sneakers online.

Buying Sneakers Online: What To Be Wary Of

Stefan is a co-founder of and one of the lead contributors. He brings you hot style tips and awesome outfits on a daily basis. You can find him on Google+ and on our Facebook Page where he posts his latest fashion and beauty finds.