This is exactly what happens. A lot are overruns, sure some on purpose but quite a few are not. Many times they are irregulars, factory seconds, QC batches, etc. Items are not available for retail sale then and make their way to the second hand/independent retailers. A lot of times these are seconds because of some little bit of dirt or glue. Those factories contracted by Nike in China are often the same factories that make the "fakes." So, are they really really fake then if they are produced from the same molds, even if illegally or w/o Nike's knowledge? That is the real question to be asked. True fakes are really obvious even with the latest "perfect" fakes which are really, really good compared to the ones from 10, 15 yrs. ago. Shoes deemed "fake" that are of the same material, produced in the same factories from the same molds that whether on purpose or are accidental overruns, or are irregulars, factory seconds, pulled QC batches, etc. are they really "fake?" To me they are not.
Actually Nike sells these in their clearance and factory stores often and sometimes near full price. If they are not good enough for this purpose, they are definitely distributed, sold, taken, unloaded in other ways. They know they are $$$, they are not going to destroy money. Even if Nike demands their subcontracted factories in China destroy them, do you really believe they are all destroyed, if any, no. They only way they are destroyed is if the Nike reps are walking the factory floor that day. And if they are good enough to be sold as seconds at retail they will resell them in their own stores or wholesale them to independent retailers. A recent example of Nike having "unauthorized authentics" they deem quality enough to sell in their outlet stores recently happened at my Nike outlet. It was some AJ XX8 Oak Hill's. For the last 3 months, with the irregular/factory second sticker placed boldly on the box as a result of some menial, unnoticeable flaw (probably glue), they have been selling them at $179, with a recent drop to $115. Nike does not want to lose any money on them and if they are decent enough they will find a way to turn a profit.
So, my question is would you still consider them all fake, or less legitimate than if the same pair if purchased retail price at FootLocker? I wouldn't, the Nike outlet is still retail. The shoes still look flawless. The point of this comment is to get fellow sneaker heads thinking about how production/manufacturing/retail - buying and selling really works and to realize that you can buy legit shoes from an independent seller, store, or even the Nike clearance/factory store w/o getting some garbage. These shoes are not really "fakes" at all, they are the real deal for less money and have some minor imperfection that exists you cannot find or see. Sometimes the imperfections are not even on the sneaker. They can be a crushed box, or pallet, the wrong packaging, improper packaging - you get the idea. You have to know what to look for and know your shoes, OG, various retro releases, materials, etc.
One thing I have been able to tell over the years with the authentic and the "perfects" besides the subtle differences listed in this article is the weight. Many times especially with the XIs, undoubtedly one of the most copied shoes of all time on the grey market the weight is the discriminate. Be it 2001 Columbia XIs or the recent Concord retro releases, when you compare to a copied version, a "true perfect" there is a noticeable weight difference.
The only way to really tell fakes is really taking pride in knowing your shoes, the details, the materials and examining the shoe thoroughly. Even with high resolution pics and many pics of all areas of the shoes inside and out it is difficult to tell on the internet. Even with all of that you can still get hosed or make a mistake here and there with a purchase it happens, and its ok. You don't love shoes any less do you? They still rock right?
There are many legit sellers out there, even online. To me a legit seller will tell you flat out what they are selling - replicas/perfects, real but are factory seconds/bgrades/unauthorized. To me that is important, I don't care if you sell fakes, first run or second run, just tell me the truth as a consumer. It is also my responsibility to be in the know. There is no excuse not to be an informed consumer, especially if you love shoes as much as you claim you do being a sneakerhead and really consider yourself "in the game."
If nike wanted this to end, it would end, simple..Nike is benefiting from this somehow, believe it..I wouldn't be surprised if Nike told theyre factories in China that they will pay them less but also turn the other cheek when they slip out 2000 pairs of b grade out the back door. Hard to imagine Nike can't put an end to this if they REALLY wanted to..
REALLY?? You as a consumer is a big reason this BS is going on!! If they were factory 2nds they would be labeled "B" Grade and sold at outlets, the fact that they are not makes them NOT AUTHENTIC!! And for a store to sell an unauthentic product for sometimes double retail like Sneakeryetti or Kicksole or MentalKicks, Is BS its scamming people! It would be one thing if they said, hey these are variants, or unauthorized grey market shoes, and i am charging you double the retail price, but they don't! If anything they should be less than a retail pair...this is whats wrong with the shoe game, and people like you who justify the fake "grey market" shoes....