There is a little-known world of sneaker-buying bots of limited edition pair of shoes. But this little-known world is heading into becoming a billion dollar industry. To put it simply, sneaker selling websites are releasing limited edition shoes and because the interest is high, these shoes are usually sold within minutes.
The competition is tremendous and sneakerheads started using automated buying software – that relies on sending multiple buying order through private proxies – in order to get an edge over other buyers.
Oftentimes, once these limited edition sneakers are bought, they are immediately posted and sold on secondary markets like StockX, which is the so-called stock-exchange of limited-edition shoes. As it was mention, this is a little-known world and even if the sneakers subreddit has more than 400 thousands subscribers, very few people actually started a business in buying and selling limited-edition sneakers.
There was an article published on Motherboard about sneaker buying-bot and how limited-edition pairs of sneakers are bought from shoe websites and then sold on the secondary market. However, there wasn’t a lot of information on how these sneaker-buying bots connect and actually gain an edge over other bots trying the same thing at the same time. With a little research, we found that automated buying software uses different proxies or the so-called sneaker proxies to connect to shoe selling websites.
We sat down with the guys from BestProxyPoviders to get an idea of how sneakerheads are getting an edge by using dedicated proxy packages, such as sneaker proxies, why they are a must and why other types of proxies like shared or public ones don’t work for such endeavors.
First, what are proxies and why they are different types
A proxy is a server that acts as the middle-man between its users and the rest of the Internet. The proxy server will receive a user’s requests for websites and other services and will then forward this requests to the desired web server to retrieve the requested web page.
The website accessed will see only the proxy server’s requests, thus will believe that the server is the one originating the request.
In other words, when using a proxy server, the websites accessed think that the proxy server is the actual user. In this way, the real user’s physical location and IP address are masked by the proxy server, enhancing the user’s privacy and ability to access restricted content (as in the case of Internet users from countries like China).
Proxy providers started offering proxy packages for various requirements and for accessing certain websites, such as sneaker proxies, which are used for accessing sneaker selling websites.
What are sneaker proxies
Some people think that sneaker proxies are this magical instrument through which you can get an edge over other buyers [of limited-edition shoes]. However, this is not the case. What sneaker proxies do is to guarantee your access and connection to sneaker selling websites. However, this does not translate into a guarantee that their users will actually buy a limited-edition pair of sneakers.
Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning that sneaker proxies have virgin IPs, meaning they have never been used before, they are usually sold in large packages (half or a whole subnet) and when they are allocated, having virgin IPs, they can connect to any sneaker-selling website without other issues.
How these proxies are used
As it was mentioned above, most sneakerheads use automated buying software to increase their chances of buying their favorite shoes. However, trying to buy through a single connection to sneaker websites has diminishing returns, especially as there are thousands of other buyers and the buying-window allocated for each release is limited by either time or stock availability.
This is when proxies are used, they allow the buying bot to send several buying orders through different IP address and increase their user’s chances of actually buying a pair of limited-edition sneakers.
Why other proxies won’t work
As it was mentioned, these proxies for sneaker websites have virgin IPs and they are sold in large packages of half of a whole subnet. They are sold in this way because websites releasing these limited-edition shoes are very restrictive.
Sneaker websites, upon detecting suspicious behavior from one user, will ban that user’s whole IP range (the whole subnet). In other words, in order to stay competitive in this industry and to be able to always connect to sneaker selling websites without any issues, sneakerheads need to get a whole IP range to make sure that there is nobody else on that IP range that could endanger their connectivity.
Some might consider other, cheaper proxy packages, but they can not connect the user successfully to sneaker selling websites for various reasons:
- These proxies have IPs from a blocked subnet
- Slow proxies – especially if they are shared with other users
- The proxies are from outside the US – most sneaker selling websites restrict their access to US-based buyers only or redirect their users to local websites with less merchandise (for example Eastbay.com redirect all their users coming from Europe to Footlocker.eu)
Sneaker proxies are not only a way to connect and send multiple buying orders through buying software, but they are also a way to guarantee access to shoe-selling websites.
The issue with public proxies
Public proxies or free public IP from various data centers are considered a veritable alternative to the (more expensive) private proxies. But there is a catch here, free proxies have two major issues that anybody looking to get some for their personal use should consider:
- Security issues – a public proxy server can be maintained by various people (with hidden intentions). And with administrator privileges to the proxy server, they can monitor and log all the traffic passing through that server. In other words, somebody trying to buy from sneakers websites will disclose their sensitive information (sometimes even their financial details) to the proxy server.
- Technical issues – anybody can connect through a free public proxy without any issues. This, in turn, means that the server’s bandwidth is split between all its users and this can lead to slow connections, making it almost impossible to place buying orders during peak times.
To sum up
The new, developing industry of buying and then selling limited edition sneakers is fueled by buying bots powered and connected through sneaker proxies. First, the buying software is required for performing the purchase process faster than other users. Secondly, sneaker proxies are required to guarantee connectivity to shoe selling websites and increase the number of buying orders one can send simultaneously.