A caution to anyone looking for discounts for their school shopping, especially if you are looking for expensive name-brand athletic shoes.
Fake "outlet" stores are popping up everywhere online.
Patrick Kelly is an outdoorsy guy who goes through a lot of gym shoes. So he was thrilled to see an ad on Facebook for a "Nike Outlet."
"It was one of the popup advertisements on the Facebook site," he said. "It had a sponsored Nike Outlet page."
Nike logo everywhere
The online outlet — with the familiar swoosh everywhere -- had dozens of shoes at great prices, in some cases more than 60-percent off. So he ordered a pair with his credit card.
But when they showed up 5 weeks later, he got suspicious from the start, saying the box "had a shipping label from China."
He soon grew even more concerned when he looked at the shoes. "The reflective material was splotchy. And then I noticed that there was still glue on the side," he said.
Kelly figured those were just blemishes, until he wore them for a few days. The famous air bubble in one shoe burst. It was like walking on flip flops, he said.
"I thought I had something in my tread, but it was the air pocket clicking every time I hit the pavement."
If you know your shoe size, ordering gym shoes online can be a real money saver, compared with going to the mall or a sporting goods store. But you have to know who you are dealing with."
Turns out Kelly's Nike outlet had no mailing address, just a "contact us" form.
Counterfeits or bad rejects
He's not sure if these are counterfeits or just really bad Nike rejects. But he's learned a lesson. "Make sure you know where you're ordering from," he said. He's now fighting the transaction through his credit card company.
Nike has been fighting third party and counterfeit websites for years, which are not approved to use its swoosh logo. Many are based in China, and their websites do not show a mailing address anywhere.
Nike does have a legitimate online outlet, but it is all part of Nike.com, the company's official website.
That way you don't waste your money.
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