How do Proxies Work for Buying Sneakers

James Keenan

The automation and anonymity evangelist at Smartproxy. He believes in data freedom and everyone’s right to become a self-starter. James is here to share knowledge and help you succeed with residential proxies.

Bots are the most common and most effective tool for skipping the queue and increasing the chances of being able to nab highly sought-after goods. But how to combine a bot with a proxy network to reach the best results?

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If we were to tell you that the r/sneakers subreddit was joining one of their users in rejoicing, celebrating their purchase of a pair of Belugas, a personal grail for the user in question, and that this victory was made all the more meaningful by the fact they copped them on GOAT, rather than resorting to cooking, you would probably have no idea what we were talking about. Welcome to the new and esoteric world of buying sneakers.

For most of us, buying sneakers hasn’t changed much since we were kids. Sure, we now have the option of purchasing a new pair of sneakers online, but many people still prefer to feel the shoe on their foot before they commit to a purchase. However, for the most dedicated members of the online sneaker communities, things have changed a lot.

Highly sought-after items tend to sell out online very quickly. This is particularly the case with items such as concert tickets, a market that is notorious for being overrun with bots and reselling. Where there are high demand items, especially when demand reaches the point that a retailer’s website crashes from the demand when these items are released, there will always be people looking for ways to game the system and beat out the other consumers competing for items.

Bots are the most common, and most effective, tool for skipping the queue and increasing the chances of being able to nab highly sought-after goods. A bot can be given a predefined list of commands and a specific time and target to execute them on. When the time arrives, the bot will automatically access the website in question and run through its command list. This usually involves adding an item to a shopping basket and then speeding through the checkout process as fast as possible.

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Naturally, retailers are always on the lookout for ways to defeat the bots, especially when they are making multiple purchases of items. It is likely that while anyone can use a bot to make a single purchase from a website with ease, if they are hoping to buy multiple items, or don’t want their purchasing activities to be traced back to them, they will need to utilize a proxy as well.

Proxies Make it Easy to Cop Shoes on Release Dates

When we talk about “copping sneakers”, we mean “buying sneakers”. But why would this ever be cause for celebration? Well, let’s take the aforementioned Belugas as an example. These sneakers are part of Kanye West’s Yeezy 350 Boost line from Adidas and are one of the most sought-after sneakers in the world today. The most anticipated sneaker lines, in particular, those that carry the name of a celebrity, are nigh on impossible to purchase on release day.

Rotating proxies will keep changing the user’s IP address, preventing blacklisting and allowing them to make multiple purchases if they wish.

However, there are tools out there, known as bots, that give their users at least a chance of being able to cop a pair of these sneakers. Bots automate the checkout process on various apps and websites, allowing users to place their orders as soon as the sneakers become available. Rotating proxies will keep changing the user’s IP address, preventing blacklisting and allowing them to make multiple purchases if they wish.

Know All Release Dates

When a pair of highly-anticipated sneakers is released, the chances of a normal buyer being able to cop a pair are very low. If they are competing with bots, which in all likelihood they will be, their chances are essentially equal to zero. That’s not to say that using bots will guarantee you a pair of your chosen sneakers, but it will massively increase your chances of landing a pair. You will still need to get in line as quickly as possible after the sneaker’s launch.

If you’re going to use bots to acquire sneakers, you need to keep up to date with what’s going on in the sneaker world. This doesn’t just mean following the announcements regarding up-and-coming product lines, you also need to keep an eye on the actual release dates. As well as knowing when the sneakers will be released, you will also need to know when your chosen retailer is going to open their website for sales.

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Why Should You Choose a Sneakers Automation Bot?

Using an automation bot will give you the best, and perhaps your only, chance of landing a pair of the most sought-after sneakers. Whether this is because they are a personal grail for you, or because you plan to sell them for a handsome profit, without an automation bot on your side, the chances of you being able to land the pair of sneakers will decrease dramatically.

An automation tool makes the whole buying process automatic. Aside from the advantage, this gives you over manual buyers when trying to score the most sought-after sneakers, this is also much more convenient.

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How To Choose an Automation Bot

When you are trying to decide on a particular bot to use, these are the things you need to consider:

  • Look at the features: not all automation bots are the same. Some will come with extra features that are very useful to you, and which might justify paying a higher price tag. However, it is equally true that just because a bot is priced higher, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a better option for you. A higher price tag doesn’t necessarily correlate with quality or usefulness.
  • Check which sites are supported: before you settle on a particular bot, you need to know which retailers you will be purchasing your sneakers from. If there is a particular pair of sneakers on the horizon that you want to nab, check which retailers are going to be stocking them on release. You can then whittle your list of potential automation bots down to those that support that website. There are some bots out there which aim to be platform agnostic, able to help you purchase sneakers through any website that sells them. These tend to cost more, but they make up for it in the convenience they offer. However, if you’re just looking to land a pair of sneakers for yourself, they are probably a little bit of an overkill.

Just because a bot is priced higher, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a better option for you. A higher price tagdoesn’t necessarily correlate with quality or usefulness.

  • Check the reviews: the best indicator you will find how good a particular bot is will come from user reviews. By looking for first-hand accounts of other user’s experience with these bots, you can get a much more accurate picture of how well they perform in the real world. Many bot servers operate social media accounts; these are a good place to get a lay of the land, and to see both the positive and negative feedback that is left. Social media accounts will also give you an indication of what level of customer support you can expect from the bot server. You want to choose a bot with decent customer support, just in case you do run into problems.

The Difference Between Manual Purchasing and an Automation Bot

When you purchase a pair of sneakers manually, you need to be on the retailer’s website at the right time, and you also need to go through the entire checkout process manually. This means entering your personal details, your shoe size, and all the other relevant information. This process takes time. No matter how fast you are able to do it, you will never be able to compete with the bots.

An automation bot already knows all the relevant information, such as your name, address, and shoe size. When you unleash your bot on the retailer’s website, it will work its way through the checkout system, automatically filling in the relevant fields with the correct information. The more advanced automation bots are also able to solve the captchas that retailers have put in place to try and deter purchases using bots.

How Does a Sneakers Automation Bot Work?

Automation bots for purchasing sneakers vary in price. The cheapest options are browser extensions that can be purchased for as little as $10, but the most serious buyers turn to dedicated software packages, which can retail for several hundred dollars. These bots access retailer websites and perform a series of predefined tasks, such as adding items to their shopping cart, heading to the checkout, and filling in the necessary forms to complete the purchase.

Many online retailers already have their own ‘bot codes’. From the retailer’s perspective, it is much easier to test their website using bots than it is to have a real person completing tasks. Bots can be used to perform a large number of actions in a very short window of time, and then report detailed results back to the site owner.

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These tests present a “backdoor” that sneakers purchasers are able to exploit in order to use their own bots on the websites. While many retailers take steps to try and defeat the actions of any bot that they haven’t created themselves, the makers of automation bots are just as savvy. There is a constant cat and mouse battle between retailers and bot makers, with each managing to outsmart the other, albeit temporarily.

These bots are not being traded on underground black markets either. The biggest bot developers have their own websites which openly advertise the range of retailers and services they support.

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Bots carry out their actions in microseconds, significantly faster than a human being ever could. At least one retailer tried to take advantage of this and defeat the bots by automatically rejecting any purchases that had not been in the user’s shopping cart for a certain amount of time. Unfortunately, they soon learned that their most dedicated legitimate customers had become so fast at using the site that their legitimate purchases were registering as being too fast for a human.

Manny retailers pre-load information about upcoming products onto their website in the run-up to it being released. When this occurs, bots are able to monitor websites for the appearance of any new product pages and associated product IDs. When these are detected, the bots can then add the items to their cart before they are even publicly listed. When they are released, the bot can then complete the checkout process instantly.

Use a Proxy Network for Multiple Purchases

Many retailers will limit the number of purchases that any buyer can make. This is designed to ensure that as many people as possible can be served, while also decreasing the number of sneakers sold through the sites that end up on eBay, making the reseller a much bigger profit than the initial retailer would have received. This purchasing limit is usually enforced via IP-blocking. This means that after an IP address has been registered as having made a purchase, that same IP address will be unable to order any more of the product in question.

There are ways that this IP limiting can be defeated, however. Many people will be familiar with tools such as VPNs, which make it easy for a user to conceal their IP address. By switching between VPN servers, you can defeat this IP-based limiting. However, changing your VPN server is a time-consuming process, and speed is the name of the game here.

A rotating proxy will change your apparent IP address after every action, meaning you can set your bot to make multiple purchases of a product, and your proxy to alter your IP address following each successful checkout.

It’s a much better idea to make use of a proxy, specifically a rotating proxy. A rotating proxy will change your apparent IP address after every action, meaning you can set your bot to make multiple purchases of a product, and your proxy to alter your IP address following each successful checkout. Not only does this allow you to make multiple purchases by constantly changing your IP address, but it will also prevent any websites or services from being able to blacklist you by banning your IP. Many retailers will take action against IP addresses that they have associated with purchasing bots, but with the ability to constantly alter your IP, you can skirt around this.

Why do You Need a Proxy Network When Copping?

Even if you aren’t planning on making multiple sneaker purchases, you should still do so via a proxy network. A proxy network will keep your actual IP address hidden, meaning that you cannot be banned and blacklisted from the website. A proxy network will conceal your real IP address and location, while also allowing you to make multiple purchases. To the website, it will look like each purchase is coming from a completely different location.

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Key Indicators When Choosing Sneakers Proxies

There are innumerable proxy providers out there, and a variety of different types of proxy to choose from. You should, therefore, make sure to carefully research your options before you commit to a particular proxy provider. In particular, you should always be mindful of the following:

  • Location: Most proxy providers will allow you to choose which server you connect through, meaning that you can make it look like you are connecting from just about anywhere in the world. However, you should be aware that choosing a location too far away from where you are will affect your latency. This will result in slower communications with the website and could cost you valuable milliseconds in your checkout time. Choosing a server location too far away from where the retailer is based can also throw up red flags, and they might even have blocked purchases from certain regions.
  • Latency: You need to make sure that your proxy server provider is able to offer high speeds and low latency. Remember, time is of the essence here, and fractions of a second can be the difference between success and failure. You should look for high-quality service provider and make sure to check out user reviews to get an idea of real-world performance.
  • Type: Is the proxy server you’re looking at dedicated or not? Is it rotating? You want to choose a dedicated and rotating proxy for your purchasing needs. A dedicated proxy will ensure that you are getting the best possible speeds and the lowest latency, while a rotating proxy will shuffle your IP address after each purchase, preventing retailers from associating a particular IP address with your activities.

Buying sneakers online today is a completely different ballgame than it used to be. The crazy high demand for sneakers that are endorsed by celebrities, or which carry their brand, has created a situation where it is very difficult for buyers to get the sneakers they want. Even if you log on to the website, fill up your cart, and are ready to purchase as soon as the sneakers become available, there is still a good chance that you are going to be brushed aside by the numerous purchasing bots you are competing with.

Whether you want to purchase a pair of sneakers for yourself, or you are looking to make a fast buck by selling them on with an outrageous markup, an automation bot is essential these days. However, that bot isn’t worth much without a proxy server to keep changing your IP and to prevent your purchases being tied to your actual IP address.

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