Have you ever tried to purchase those limited-stock Nikes the minute they dropped but quickly found out they were all gone? That was most likely not a glitch in the system, and someone using shoe bots swooped in and took all the stock under your eyes.
So what are shoe bots exactly, and are they legal to use nowadays? If so, can anyone use them to purchase limited shoe editions or anything else nowadays?
Also known as sneaker bots, these little pieces of software have only one goal: automatically purchase limited availability stock from online stores.
We tell you more about them below!
How Do Shoe Bots Work?
Users enter their data into the bot software, including full names, payment card information, and shipping addresses, before specifying the items the bot should buy.
Once the bot identifies the products, it will wait for them to drop and automatically runs the checkout process as fast as possible the second they do, which includes putting the corresponding items in the cart, filling in the details, and paying the price.
Sneaker bots require several components to function properly:
- Bot software—programs that follow a set of instructions, ranging from scraping a website’s inventory data to injecting complex mouse movement and click behavior to emulate real human shoppers;
- Proxy servers—without multiple real IPs from all over the world, bots cannot function since sites deny multiple requests made from the same address; moreover, with numerous IPs, bots can run a large number of parallel requests;
- Proxy clients—they provide IP addresses from real unconnected residences from all over the world; after all, these IPs belong to actual devices, which enhances the illusion that your bot sends requests from average users;
- Billing profiles—
- The number of shoes you can buy in a store is often limited. Therefore, you cannot use the same credit card and shipping address if you are ordering numerous pairs. Sneaker bots allow you to set several billing profiles for your jobs in order to get around this.
Sneaker bots recognize when a shoe release is happening, and they’ll keep checking for inventory and enter raffles on your behalf—all within microseconds.
Once you get your loot, you can either make room for it in your collection closet or post your hot stock for reselling on the secondary shoe market—the main reason everyday consumers get angry with resellers, as they have to pay double or triple the price.
What Are the Different Types of Shoe Bots?
Depending on what they are meant to accomplish and which sites they work with, there are several types of sneaker bots, each coming at different price points:
- Scraping—these monitor and refresh websites to get all the pricing and inventory info you would need to make a purchase;
- Account creation—these create a ton of new and unique accounts (using different emails) required to finalize a purchase with online retailers;
- Account takeover—these are malicious bots that take over existing accounts of other users, which is a crime in most jurisdictions;
- Footprinting—these are similar to scraping bots but more invasive, as they scan and probe the target website to find private URLs;
- Denial of inventory—these add and hold unreleased shoes in the online shopping cart until a customer purchases them via the bot operator’s resale site;
- Cashing out—these locate stolen credit card numbers and use them to finalize the sale of limited edition shoes after reserving them via the site;
- Scalping—these are the most well-known resale bots, as they offer speed and purchasing volume to get all the stock off shelves.
Note: Some botting services offer more than one of the above functions.
You can also build your own sneaker bot, and it’s easier than you think! You just need patience and some knowledge of programming languages, especially Python. Obviously, there are huge communities that can lend you a hand in your venture, such as GitHub.
Where to Get Shoe Bots?
If you are ready to start building your shoe-selling empire, you must first get your hands on good shoe bots. But with hundreds to choose from, how can you tell which one is the right for you? Also, similar to limited edition shoes, bots also get sold out, which means there’s a secondary market where they resell for higher prices—up to $5,000.
Therefore, the first thing to do is visit the major online bot brokers, such as Cop Supply and BotBroker, both of which feature countless bots (retail and resold ones) and list various sneaker cook groups (sneakerhead groups) and sneaker drops.
Note that while there may be some free shoe bots out there, we recommend avoiding them as they won’t necessarily work well or help you save money. But you shouldn’t also buy the most expensive bots since cheaper ones often do the same job.
Whatever you choose, you have to be on the lookout for random sneaker bot drops since only a limited number of licenses are released. At least all major bot developers announce the drop times on social media, such as Discord and Twitter.
Some of the best bots to get, use, and resell in 2023 include Nike Shoe Bot, Prism AIO, Wrath AIO, Kodai AIO, Balkobot, MEKPreme, Ganesh Bot, Cybersole, and Project Enigma. All of these excel in different aspects. For instance, while Kodai AIO is excellent for Footsites, Ganesh Bot works best with EU stores.
Is it Legal to Use Sneaker Bots?
Using sneaker bots is not illegal as they are offered by legitimate developers instead of hackers on dark web markets. Should you google ‘shoe bots’, you’ll come across plenty of websites that list their prices publicly, promising to change the lives of sneakerheads forever.
That said, shoe bots still violate the terms and conditions of major retailers, which continue to look for methods to deter resellers from immediately scooping all their stock. However, just as soon as these websites update their protection measures, bot developers make the necessary changes to bypass them effectively and retain their effectiveness.
Are Sneaker Bots Worth It in 2023?
In recent years, shoe bots have become integral to the sneaker reselling community. While their usage raises concerns about fairness and accessibility, their legality remains a complex and evolving matter. So until specific laws are enacted prohibiting their use, resellers are free to use them to increase their profits from limited shoe stocks.