Fake Fridays: Drip Shop

Fake Fridays: Drip Shop

It's about time we did another Fake Friday. We have weekly requests to expose market place fakes, and we have answered multiple questions about Drip Shop. This week instead of investigating a fake seller who operates through Instagram, we are looking into a store that runs an official website, promotes through Google shopping and uses official payment portals like Payfast. This week we expose Drip Shop.

When you visit Drip Shop's webstore, you are greeted with a list of categories on the side with new and hot product displayed throughout the landing page. It all looks quite similar to any other legit online store. It's secured behind SSL, has a modern appearance and even official logos for payment methods. It looks real until you take a closer look at the products. The store stocks predominantly hyped sneakers and if they are general release pairs, it's an extremely popular model like a triple white AF1. At this point, they could also be a reseller with legitimate product, which is entirely possible. Until you dive a little deeper.

Brands that are stocked through legitimate retailers in South Africa such as Nike and adidas generally release the same products and are always releasing at a specific global release date. Hype products sell out on the first few minutes of release. This would make it impossible for Drip Shop to carry full size curves of stock, all at a laughable below retail prices. They prey on people who took an L and are looking to secure a pair for themselves. So happy to find them in stock, you might not check the site or seller properly. 

So if they don't have an official account, they must be resellers buying from legit stores and selling on? No, not at all. All their prices are way below retail cost, let alone the resell price on the aftermarket. It makes no business sense to sell a rare sneaker below retail, if they could charge 4x or more of the retail price. And Drip Shop also just happen to have all sizes in stock - always. Legit resell stores might have a few sizes of a rare pair, but never a legitimate full size curve of all sizes. An example can be seen below. The Air Jordan 1 High 'University Blue' retailed for R2799 and sells for around R11k on the resell market. Despite this, Drip Shop have the hook-up months and months after it sold out, selling it for a laughable R1699. That's more than R1000 below retail to start with! Every product they stock seems to be below retail cost, no matter the hype or demand. The shoes might look legit in the photos too but that's because those aren't their own photos of the stock they have. They steal real stock images from legit stores and then send you an obvious fake they could never display on the webstore. 

Another convincing aspect of the site are the pop-ups stating who recently purchased an item and what it was. This gives the illusion that lots of people are using the webstore and having no issues with the delivered product. Other tactics they use are countdown timers on a product for when a sale ends, causing you to buy in a hurry or maybe not ask a friend "is this legit?". They want you to buy in a rush so that you don't think it all through and work out the product and price is just too good to be true. Scroll down to the bottom of the page or make it to checkout, and you'll be greeted with official logos for Visa and Mastercard through the Payfast service. This also matches legit sites that list payment methods with logos. While they might take your money through Payfast (a legit payment portal), its up to the seller themselves to issue refunds, should you have an issue.

As we have said before, this is not about making fun of people who buy fakes. We take issue with stores tricking customers into believing what they are buying is real, and when it turns out not to be, ghosting them completely. These days the fake sellers have got so arrogant from getting away with it for so long that they even do paid promotions via Google Shopping. This means that if you google "Jordan 1" (as many do), chances are you'll be linked right to Drip Shop and similar fake stores from the top of the search results. They sit side by side legit stores on the Google Shopping feed and sometimes even Nike themselves, causing them to look even more legit in the process. 

Drip Shop don't seem to have an Instagram, and their site doesn't link to one either (as is common for legit stores.) This is a red flag as there is no public platform to see what other people have experienced when buying from the store. They are able to operate from the website alone via email, ensuring the greater public aren't aware of unhappy, scammed customers. They can curate the experience for the victims so all they see are good prices, pop-ups for others buying and sizes on sizes of hyped releases, all without any comments from the public. From what we can tell, Drop Shop gain new customers via paid Google ads, which differs from other fake stores on IG who use ambassador programs and high follower counts to win the trust of victims. Beware of this new method of selling fake sneakers online. 

If you needed anymore convincing that Drip Shop sell fakes and only fakes, check out some products they sell that don't even exist in the REAL world.