As the quality of counterfeit Air Jordans continues to improve, it's becoming increasingly difficult to pick out legit pairs from the pack. Buyers are spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on shoes that are often not authentic, including pairs designated as rare samples. Fake manufacturers have even gone as far as producing tags and promo boxes to give their knockoffs the appearance of an exclusive.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is — particularly when scoring Jordan samples for fairly high, but not high enough, prices on eBay. Here's 10 pairs people are buying that are likely fake, since they've never actually been released.
Air Jordan 11 Ray Allen 'Ring Night' PE
Average eBay Price: $600
Allen knocked down arguably the biggest shot in NBA history and only received a few pairs for himself. Meanwhile, the plug has a full size run. It doesn't add up.
Air Jordan 13 'Hornets' Sample
Average eBay Price: 2
These fakes started to hit the market shortly after Michael Jordan was spotted wearing a pair courtside last October. Manufacturers even went the extra mile and mocked up phony 2008 sample tags.
Air Jordan 11 '45' Sample
Average eBay Price: 7
It's 2015 and sellers are still trying to convince you that mass produced, fresh out of the box #45 Air Jordan 11 samples exist.
Air Jordan 11 'Usher'
Average eBay Price: $572
A friendship with Mark Smith has landed Usher some of the most talked about Air Jordan exclusives in recent years. None of these sellers are well-connected, diamond-selling pop superstars.
Average eBay Price: 6
Air Jordan 3 'OVO'
Average eBay Price: 9
Compared to the going rate for other shoes on the list, users seem to be aware that these aren't the real deal. Still, 0 isn't cheap for a pair of knockoffs.
Air Jordan 11 Low 'Suede'
Average eBay Price: $500
This is the type of shoe that really opens up the discussion between counterfeit and 'unauthorized.' A lot of popular collectors have pairs in black and red posted on their Instagram feeds, but nobody in a position to do so has been willing to vouch for their authenticity.
Air Jordan 4 College PEs
Average eBay Price: $3, 500
There are authentic pairs of this one, but the number of unauthorized and fake pairs greatly outnumber the real. For $3, 500, it's best to be sure. In particular, the Cal/Marquette colorway is way overproduced - probably because the lack of a midsole pattern makes it easier to replicate.
Air Jordan 6 'Macklemore'
Average eBay Price: $387
The best thing about these fakes is that they were produced before manufacturers realized Macklmore has his own Shark Gang logo on the heel. They've probably figured it out by now, but it makes this first run easy to spot.