You'll be reading this for one of a number of reasons
1. You are about to buy a pair of Y3 trainers on EBAY and wonder if they are genuine.
2. You have already bought a pair of Y3 trainers on EBAY and wonder if they are genuine.
I decided to write this guide after I was stung on EBAY by a seller who advised that so far as they were aware the trainers were genuine. What happened upon receipt should be a guide to all buyers.
Firstly most Y3 trainers that you see on EBAY are fakes. Adidas have advised me that there is no such thing as Y3 seconds or factory outlet goods. So buyer beware.
If you fall into category 1 above I advise you to email the seller and ask the following simple questions.
a) Are these trainers genuine Y3?
b) If they are can you let me know the product code in each trainer. This will be something like LLNLLLNLNNNN (where L = Letter and N = Number). No two trainers share the same number. If the buyer is unwilling to share this information they are probably fake. If the buyer advises the numbers are the same in each shoe they are fake.
c) For Y3 Sprint trainers ask to see a photo of the sole of each shoe. If this shows Y3 logo then they are fake. Genuine Y3 Sprint have the Adidas logo (Note some fakes now have the Adidas logo). Most other Y3 trainers have the Y3 logo on the sole.
d) Do the trainers have spare laces? If not then they are most likely to be fake.
e) Ask to see a photo of the inner of the shoe with the insole removed. It should be stamped Y3 - YOHJI YAMAMAMOTO. No? Fake.
Even if the trainers are boxed and contain the cotton dust bag this does not guarantee they are genuine.
If you have already bought some Y3 trainers and are wondering if they are genuine and are still unsure after reading the above then you should note the following
a) Genuine Y3 trainers may have leather uppers (some styles have fabric). If you have the trainers give them a sniff - do they smell of leather or plastic/PVC? Fakes will not smell of leather but, will have a plasticky smell.
b) Look at the stitching at the front of the shoe. Is it uniform and even on both trainers. No? Fake
c) Laces should be reflective (they used to have 3 small holes at the end of each lace but, it now appears that these are no longer evident on more recent trainers. Laces not reflective? Fake
d) Y3 trainers size like Adidas. So if you normally buy a 9 in an Adidas trainer you will need a 9 in a Y3 trainer. If they feel bigger than an Adidas trainer you normally wear then there is a strong chance that they are fake.
You can send your trainers to Adidas who will advise if they are authentic. Once you have the letter from them you should open a dispute in Paypal if you paid via this method. Paypal will insist that you have a letter from an expert but, you must get the letter before opening the dispute. Once opened the dispute countdown can tick away quite quickly and I was caught out and lost my case as Paypal only gave me 10 days (not even business days!) to get a letter from an expert proving they were fake.
The address to send your Y3 trainers to at Adidas for authentification is
Brand Protection Manager
Adidas (UK) Limited
PO Box 39
I advise sending them Special Delivery or at the very least recorded with adequate compensation should the Royal Mail lose them.
Once you have the letter then open your dispute in Paypal and hopefully you will have more success than I did.
Finally, remember that if something looks cheap then there is usually a good reason for this.