GOAT is an online marketplace for sneaker and clothing fanatics (sometimes known as “hypebeasts”), where sellers may advertise high-value, limited-edition, or otherwise uncommon goods for buyers to purchase.
We’ve also covered whether StockX and Flight Club sells fake sneakers as well.

The acronym GOAT stands for “greatest of all time,” a phrase used in athletics to describe exceptional or legendary performers.

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GOAT not only serves as a marketplace for buyers and sellers, but it also validates the authenticity of shoes (in order to combat the numerous fakes and counterfeits in the sneaker resale market) and provides cleaning and refurbishment services for worn sneakers sold on the site.

Fake Yeezys and Jordans have been particularly prevalent in the shoe business, which GOAT has managed to stamp out using its unique AI technology.

GOAT has also leveraged technology to allow sneaker consumers to digitally try on their sneakers using augmented reality via a mobile phone app, so they can see what the latest drop in kicks would look like on their feet.

GOAT: Main Features

Authentication of resold sneakers:  Sneakers aren’t available for purchase on the app until they’ve been photographed (and then validated again by GOAT staff in distribution locations) to verify their authenticity. Buyers are also protected by GOAT, which offers full returns and insures any transaction above $300.

Goat application on mobile via Fortune
Goat application on mobile via Fortune

When purchases on the sneaker resale market can cost up to $20,000 USD or more, trust and protection are valuable advantages. Especially when buying something like the Dior x Air Jordan 1 High which has a slew of fakes around the world. 

By forming a worldwide network cluster, buyers and sellers will have access to a “one-stop-shop.” Sneakers are delivered to distribution centers (many in the United States, with more on the way in Europe and Asia), where they may be deployed and shipped out to clients, thereby centralizing the company’s network and establishing a worldwide marketplace.

Pricing transparency:  Bidding on kicks is also an option, comparable to eBay but with better security and insurance.

Cleaning and refurbishment services:  Their centralized distribution centers handle this.

Mobile app with augmented reality features to virtually try on pairs of shoes for sale, and also easy shopping and selling.

With the purchase of Flight Club, the company now has retail sites in New York and Los Angeles.

GOAT also charges a 9.5 percent fee on each transaction, which is far less than its eBay competitors (13 percent).

They also charge for reconditioning and cleaning worn shoes.

Data on Buyers and Sellers: GOAT wants its sellers to take images of shoes from specific angles in order to verify them, which has allowed them to develop AI technology to assist them to distinguish between fake and genuine sneakers. This provides them with a significant edge in the shape of a vast database derived from vendor photographs as well as data derived from customer preferences on the app.

Does GOAT Sell Fake Sneakers? Real-Life Instances

There have been a few claims that GOAT has sold fake sneakers to some people, a lot of them can be found on Reddit although there are few. A Redditor known as u/budicetv for example, claims that he received a fake J Baldwin Air Jordan 1.

Redditor claims he recieved fake J Baldwin Air Jordan 1s
Redditor claims he received fake J Baldwin Air Jordan 1s

He even showed receipts for the shoe, however, at the end of the day these are just claims and we cannot verify them 100%.

The Redditor even showed a legit check of the sneaker and the results are as shown below. The application deemed the sneakers as a ‘Replica” which is probably anyone’s worst nightmare.

Receipts of actually buying the J Baldwin Air Jordan 1 by the Redditor
Receipts of actually buying the J Baldwin Air Jordan 1 by the Redditor Via budicetv

However, these claims are quite rare and in most cases, GOAT does help sort out the issue. On the other hand, there are a lot of claims about GOAT selling fakes but there is hardly any evidence available to back that up.

I would say that overall, there are too few claims for us to form a solid opinion that GOAT does indeed sell fakes.

Perhaps a few fakes may have bypassed the system but they are few and far between. Reports say that GOAT actually takes care of instances like this, unlike other known platforms.

Is it True That GOAT Sells Fake Shoes?

The selling of illegal or counterfeit merchandise is not tolerated by GOAT. GOAT claims to provide a secure platform for both merchants and buyers, ensuring the authenticity of the items on their reseller marketplace and preventing fakes and counterfeits.

What Is The GOAT System and How Does It Work?

Individual resellers, stores, and boutiques post their items for sale on a GOAT marketplace, while buyers peruse the listings.

GOAT authentification procedure via SEO.org
GOAT authentification procedure via SEO.org

Sellers may list any sneaker on the site, but they must first validate their products with GOAT.

After the goods have been confirmed at GOAT, it is shipped to the customer. If the sneakers are found to be fake or not as described, GOAT will not send them and will offer a full refund to customers.

GOAT’s retail items have been pre-verified and are sent directly to approved retailers and boutiques.

Shoes marked “Instant Ship” on the GOAT website have also been pre-verified and are ready to be shipped from the GOAT facility to customers.

How Does GOAT Confirm Sneaker Authenticity?

GOAT uses its very own AI technology to stamp out fake sneakers. By digitally replicating the main characteristics and properties of each sneaker, GOAT can verify the authenticity of the products. They do this through the use of machine vision as well as other Amazon Web Services features.

Does Goat sell fake sneakers or are they legit?
Does Goat sell fake sneakers or are they legit?

“To determine if the sneaker is authentic or fake, we use a variety of algorithms and data sources,” GOAT’s Chief Technology Officer, Andy Shin, told ZDNet.

We have the largest density of footwear anywhere on the planet. In addition, we’re the market leader in data collecting for shoes. So we’re collecting all of the data points for each shoe that comes in.”

“As a result, we have a very solid concept of how fakes look.” And we’re all familiar with the look of real shoes. “For each shoe, we focus on many data points,” he continued.

GOAT also has a team of sneaker specialists that, without the use of artificial intelligence, can discern the difference between imitation and authentic sneakers.

Is GOAT a Reliable Online Sneaker Store?

The spread of counterfeit goods has been facilitated by the expansion of e-commerce, making it difficult to identify legitimate online business platforms and sites.

GOAT is one of today’s most reputable markets for selling and purchasing shoes.

After Daishin Sugano acquired a retro pair of Air Jordan 5 Grapes that turned out to be phony, Eddy Lu and his friend Daishin Sugano came up with the brilliant concept for a shoe buy-and-sell application in 2015.

Daishin was dissatisfied as a self-proclaimed sneakerhead, owing to eBay’s poor regulations, which prevented him from receiving his payback.

“It became evident that the industry I admired was splintered and dangerous. Many others who bought shoes had the same problems. The focus of whole subreddits, online or social profiles, and blogs is how to spot fakes.”

– Daishin Sugano

“We realized we could use technology to solve many of the problems that existed, and we believed we’d have an advantage if we had the right understanding in the field.” We also realized that hiring a company that caters to a dedicated and enthusiastic clientele was crucial.”

Following a talk with Eddy about his experience, the two resolved to build the app with the goal of becoming the world’s most reliable marketplace.

GOAT: External Market Analysis

GOAT has been a huge success in preventing disintermediation thus far. It’s difficult to get off the platform with its value proposition of verifying and insuring consumers and vendors.

Multi-homing occurs in the sneaker resale industry, but it is less common than in other sectors.

Even though it is relatively easy for vendors to list shoes on other platforms (eBay, Craigslist, FB Online markets), GOAT and Flight Club have become the “go-to” platform for users due to the trust and peace of mind constructed in the website (which is also its main value proposition), that exchanges will transfer there regardless.

Competition:

Local clustering companies like Craiglist, Kijiji, and Facebook Marketplace, as well as more direct worldwide network competitors like eBay, StockX, and Stadium Goods, have consolidated the industry. GOAT fills a gap between all of these players, providing it with a sound strategy and a competitive advantage.

Critical Mass: The number of users, inventory, and repeat sellers that GOAT has accumulated serves to give it a ‘moat’-like defense against new players and competitors.

Storytelling and brand development:

GOAT has expanded its platform’s community and brand-building efforts. They generate excitement and spontaneous word-of-mouth promotion through events like the NBA All-Star Weekend after-party in Los Angeles.  

They’ve also just developed a bi-annual, 150-page lifestyle magazine for a brand called ‘Greatest,’ showing people from a variety of sectors (not just sports!) who are dictating their own achievements.

Marketing, Strategic Collaborations, and Ambassadors:

GOAT has begun cooperating with companies to design and market limited edition shoes through strategic partnerships, such as with Versace.  They’re also collaborating with Kyle Kuzma of the Lakers as a spokesperson.

Is there a retail location for Goat?

Following the acquisition of the newest footwear or sneaker marketplace, Flight Club, in 2018, GOAT now has retail locations in New York City and Los Angeles.

GOAT retail location Via GOAT Club
GOAT retail location Via GOAT Club

GOAT’s major competition is StockX, an online marketplace founded by Josh Luber, Dan Gilbert, Chris Kaufman, and Greg Schwartz in Detroit in 2015–2016. Because both firms have identical online ratings, it’s tough to determine which is better.

Genuine shoes that have never been worn and are still in their original packaging are always available on StockX. The most prevalent StockX and GOAT consumer complaints, according to the reviews we’ve seen, are shipment delays and defective goods.

Is it possible to get a refund or an exchange from GOAT?

GOAT accepts returns on “newer inbox, new without box, clothing and accessory sales” as long as the items are in the same condition as when they were shipped.

Items marked as unique products, final sales, GOAT Storage items, used items, and unique items (such as Vintage, ID, Custom, Sample, Defect, and Pre-Release) are not replaceable, refundable, or exchangeable.

On purchases shipped to freight forwarders or Chinese delivery locations, GOAT does not accept returns, refunds, or exchanges.

How Do You Know If The Items Are Genuine?

GOAT makes every effort to guarantee that everything sold on GOAT meets its high standards of quality and is genuine.

They enable customers, depending on the delivery method, to realize their goal of being the most known marketplace for footwear. Either a guarantee of authenticity or a customer protection policy will do this.

After getting direct delivery from a designated seller, your item is discovered to be phony and does not fulfill its description. In such an event, their buyer protection guarantee will entitle you to a refund or GOAT Credit.

Let’s say GOAT experts suspect your goods are fake throughout the on-site validation procedure. Following their authentication for a ship to direct verification order, they’ll tell you and offer a total refund.

How Do I Cancel A Goat Order?

Customers have three hours from the time they place an order to cancel it, or until the seller verifies it, whichever occurs first. For authenticated and pre-verified products supplied through their store and boutique partners, the order information is immediately authorized and cannot be canceled.


FAQ on GOAT

What Are Goat’s Payment Methods?

GOAT accepts American Express, Mastercard, Discover, Visa, JCB, Afterpay, and Affirm for overseas transactions. There are also Google Pay, Apple Pay, Alipay, and PayPal options.

What if the Goat accuses you of wearing phony shoes?

The purchaser will be reimbursed in full if you submit anything to Goat that they find to be inauthentic or useless in their sole and reasonable opinion. You’ll also have the option of having the things returned to you or having the Goat dispose of them.

Is It Possible To Be Scammed In The Goat Marketplace?

GOAT is a reliable source of information, and the odds of getting conned are small. Customers are assured by the app’s founders that they would do everything necessary to confirm the authenticity of items sold on their site.

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Author

Mohammad Yousaf

As a business student, Mohammad was thoroughly impressed with where the secondary market was heading for sneakers. He quickly realized that what used to be considered as a side hustle, was now the main income stream for many. He has studied the game ever since.

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