A Guide To Buying Jordan’s on eBay


Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

Here at Basketball Noise there is only two things we love almost as much as Basketball, Air Jordan’s and getting a great deal. This makes eBay the perfect place to hunt out old and new Jordan styles, however at times eBay can be best described as a viper nest. Yes there are lots if genuinely great seller on there, but there is also scores of crooks and scally wags eager to rip you off.

How do you know if the Jordans you are buying are authentic? There are a number of tell tale signs which highlight whether the Jordans are authentic on eBay. Examine the photos carefully, check the sellers feedback and if it is too good to be true then it probably is.

If you are fresh to buying kicks off of Ebay we have put together a Basketball Noise guide to eBay to help you navigate any potential pitfalls or scammer after your hard earned cash money.

1) The golden rule of eBay – if it looks too good to be true it probably is!

The Air Jordan 11 Bred 2019 that sold out on release day for only £59 direct from China? Yeah probably not gonna be the same quality of the ones sold in Nike town for £135. Any sellers that have multiple pairs in a range of sizes of the latest sold out Air Jordan’s are not going to be legit, the same goes for anyone selling brand new Jordan’s below retail price, everyone on eBay is out to make a quick buck, and Brand new Jordan only go below retail price if they are fakes!  

2) Check the Photo’s

I always stay away from sellers who rip off professional product images from the Company websites, or Google images, if they can’t be bothered to get there camera out and take a few snaps how do u know they can be bothered to get down to the post office to ship your kicks? Is it laziness? Or do the shoes they are selling just look nothing like the real thing? Most reputable sellers will take a picture of the shoes in a domestic setting (I.e. Kitchen table / Bedroom) and the majority will also ‘tag’ the pictures with a piece of paper displaying their eBay seller name. Ideally they will have over 3 images and if they are used or vintage Jordan’s it is also a good idea to check the pictures of the soles to check for heavy wear. Some sellers will also post images of the inside manufacturers label, allowing you to cross check production numbers with the number listed on the box, if you are concerned at all the seller should be able to provide pictures of both.

3) Read the Description

Read the product description carefully, a good seller will often give a detailed description of the kicks in question, along with an account of where they bought the shoes (sometimes even including original receipt), reasons for selling and some sellers even manage to fit in some not so humble brags about the quality of the kicks closet (I have over 200 pairs of Jordan’s and the wife is making he sell some of the pairs I no longer wear blah blah blah).

4) Check the Feedback

An obvious clue, but still some people ignore it, of course feedback received could all have been left by their mother, but reputable sellers will have a large amount of positive feedbacks left by other buyers. You can look at the other items they have been selling and get a feeling for how fast they shop items once they are paid for. As a general rule I never buy of anyone with less than 20 positive feedbacks.

5) Check the Postage and Packaging?

For a pair if trainers shipping should be between £5-£10 for Royal Mail first class signed depending on the weight of the shoes (Air Force Ones weight a ton!) any more than this and your being ripped off, a common trick by international sellers is to lure buyers with cheap ‘buy it now prices’ only to make their money back and then some with extortion postage charges. Make sure sellers send any packages as recorded delivery as this means your package is insured up-to £40, I generally find this is sufficient, however if you’re buying really expensive trainers you might want to pony up a little bit extra to pay for a fully insured, tracked service. 

6) Check the Buyers Guide!

If you’re buying Jordan’s from eBay you need to get yourself a copy of the Air Jordan price guide by Michael and Steven Fox (the link takes you to Amazon), this is the 2014 version which is still relevant five years and can still guide you in your purchase. It’s a complete guide of every Jordan released until the start of 2014 and includes a small picture of the shoe and it’s box for each release, it also includes an estimated dead stock value of the shoe in 2014 (a good guide to see if you’re getting value for money, but like London houses the price of Jordan’s is rising by the minute).

However, if you wish for a more up to date guide then check out the Kicks on Fire App (link takes you to the Google Store) which shows an image , price and details of all the Jordan range. This is a good reference tool and you can see whether the shoes you are buying on eBay are in line with the buyers reference guide.

7) Think About It!

Trainers often come up on eBay with amazing back stories, it can be easy to believe the hype and get caught up in a bidding war, but sometimes it’s best to do a little research before hitting the ‘Submit Bid’ button. I recently saw a listing proclaiming a pair of Original Air Jordan 1’s. The seller had detailed a rather beautiful story of a trip aboard (Somewhere in Scandinavia) where his luggage was lost, he told how with nothing else to wear, he went to the local sports shop and bought a pair of trainers. He worn them until his luggage was located and upon returning home stuffed them in the back of his closet. He left them there for years until he found them again just before a trip to New York, on a whim he dug them out of the closet and tells how he was also knocked over by a sales assistant in footlocker when he saw the trainers he was wearing. He then proceeded to put the trainers on eBay, there in all there ‘tight laced old man glory’ were a pair of totally battered OG Jordan 1’s. The bidding had already reached over a grand when I stumbled across this listing, so evidently lots of people must have believed the enchanting tale.

However a closer read, revealed that the author lost his luggage 25 years ago. Making the date 1994. As we all know MJ entered the league in 1985 as the third pick in the draft, so how did this guy buy original Jordan 1’s in a shop in 1994? It could in theory be possible that the shop had the trainers in there store room for 10 years, dusting them off when they saw a desperate Brit fall walk through the door. That is also assuming of course that a small sports store in Scandinavia in 1985 stocked the debut trainer of the third pick in that year’s NBA draft. Somehow I find this hard to believe. More likely the Seller had a pair of the 2004 “Banned” Jordan 1 retro. Valuable sure, but some bidders had surely fallen into the trap of believing these were original Jordan one’s without doing the necessary maths on the dates.

 8) Buy the Right Size

This one sounds obvious, but make sure the shoes fit true to size, perhaps my feet are shrinking but all my pre 2007 Jordan’s are size 11, but in the newer models I’m taking a UK 10, if they are new retro’s released in the last few years try a pair of Jordan’s for size in your local footlocker, if there older models ask the seller if they fit true to size or ask how they compare fit wise to pairs of Nike or Adidas trainers the seller already has. This can save you hassle later as if they don’t fit some seller are reluctant to offer refunds and in most cases that do expect you to pay for the two sets of postage cost (with private sellers this is generally fair, it’s not their fault you don’t know your shoe size and because you won the bid they have potentially lost out on other buyers).

9) Research your Colour Ways

A little bit of research on Google can provide insight on almost every Jordan colour way ever officially produced, be warned of any one offering variants or super rare unreleased colour ways, these are just code words for FAKE! And while Jordan’s have been produced in some wacky colour ways some of the stuff on eBay just looks plain wrong! There is no Official Jordan’s with Sponge Bob, Flashing LED’s or High Heel Versions! These are all FAKE!

10) Thank the Seller

Finally, when you have hunted down that holy grail of a pair in the right size, done your research and feel confident that the seller is legit, made your bid and won the auction, make sure you play your role. Pay in a timely manner and when you receive your fresh new Jordan’s make sure you leave good feedback for any genuinely good sellers, therefore making it easier in the future for other sneaker heads to buy with confidence! 

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Ady

Ady first fell in love with basketball following a trip to Orlando in 1994. Ady has been to three NBA All Star Games and has the largest collection of basketball Jerseys in the UK (probably!)

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