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Nike is Cracking Down on Sneaker Resellers in New Terms of Sale

If you’ve ever had a crack at purchasing a pair of rare sneakers on release date you know the feeling all too well. Fastidiously clicking ‘add to cart’ only to be told your order was unsuccessful. You’re at the mercy of bots, with the tools all too quick to add shoes to cart before the website even refreshes.

They’ve driven the sneaker reselling business (and secondary market) into a lucrative choice for those inside and outside the ‘sneaker game’ with tens of thousands of dollars to be made – just ask this former Nike VP’s son – or sneaker reseller @benjaminkicks whose become famous for posing with limited pairs.

Fortunately, Nike is ramping up their crackdown on resellers. The brand has revised its Terms of Sale to specifically target reselling and bot programs. Some would argue they should just make more pairs.

Related: Nike Forward is Rewriting the History of Fabric in the Name of Sustainability

Benjamin kicks off white dunks
Image: Infamous sneaker reseller Benjamin Kicks posing with $2000 Nike x Off White Dunk Lows  | @benjaminkickz

Key Takeaways from Nike’s Crack Down on Sneaker Reselling

In revising its Terms of Sale, Nike has amended specific processes that would charge resellers a restocking fee when shoes that aren’t producing a large enough profit margin (aka. ‘Bricks’) are returned to the company. This is just the first in a long line of processes that applies in the United States, which we’ve rounded up below.

No Purchase for Resale

If Nike determines that a purchase or order is intended for resale, the brand has explicitly reserved the right, in its sole discretion, and as it relates to such purchase or order, to action the following;

  • “Suspend the application of any Nike policy that provides a right or benefit intended for direct-to-consumer purchases”.
  • “Take any action to hinder such purchase or order (and deter future purchases or orders), including without limitation, to restrict sales to any consumer, consumer account, or member account, cancel orders, charge restocking fees, impose purchase quantity limits, decline to issue refunds or take returns, deny access to any NIKE Store, and/or suspend or close any account“.

Nike Right to Reject Your Purchase or Cancel an Order

While there are a host of reasons Nike is able to reject your order, these are the three that apply to resellers.

  • “Your order is flagged by our security systems as potentially fraudulent, or an order placed with automated ordering software or technology“.
  • “There is evidence that your order (single or cumulative orders) was purchased for the purpose of resale, tax evasion, or other fraudulent purposes”.
  • “Your account and/or purchase history shows an excessively high volume of returns“.

Are we confident enough to say a simple change in Nike’s Terms of Sale is enough to bring back the “good old days” of sneakers? Absolutely not. Unfortunately, Bot programs have only proven how deceptive they are over the years with an ability to cheat lesser systems – not all product is sold through Nike direct.

In an interview with the Complex Sneakers Podcast, James Whitner said A Ma Maniére and Social Status are spending half a million dollars a launch to fight off sneaker bots for Nike and Jordan releases. We’re not confident this change in agreement will have any immediate effect, if only scaring off a few lowkey resellers.

James Whitner says A Ma Maniére and Social Status are spending half a million dollars a launch to fight off sneaker bots for Nike and Jordan releases 😳

More on the Complex Sneakers Podcast:


— Complex Sneakers (@ComplexSneakers) July 16, 2022

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