The Yeezy Boost 350 V2 is releasing in core black/core white Saturday. For most people, it’s welcome to heartbreak for the umpteenth time. I wish I could put together a guide that told you how to successfully get your hands on Kanye’s kicks. (And there is a full list of stores releasing the shoes at the bottom of this page.) Alas, I have tried to purchase every pair of Yeezys and have come away empty-footed each time. This makes me a highly unqualified source to tell anyone how they should go about successfully grabbing these shoes.
And I’m hardly alone. Everyone who buys Yeezys is defying incredible odds. Erik Fagerlind and Peter Jansson, the founders of the sneaker shop Sneakersnstuff, wrote a blog post before the last release day detailing the grim outlook for hopeful customers. "Based on previous Yeezy drops, we estimate somewhere around 75,000 and 125,000 of you are trying to buy a pair."
And that’s just on Sneakersnstuff alone. Combine that with the fact that Kanye told Harper’s Bazaar that only 40,000 pairs of Yeezys are made for each drop, and do the math. "A good guesstimate is that you have about 0.25 percent chance of landing a pair," Fagerlind and Jansson write.
If you let it, buying Yeezys can be a complete weekend ruiner. Attempting to buy from every shop included in the US releases typically requires waking up at 8 a.m. and enduring websites buckling under the enormous influx of traffic, and (if you’re lucky to even get that far) the occasional adrenaline rush of putting your details in at checkout, only to find out someone stealthier than you already snatched them up.
Twitter is flooded with much more profanity than it is tales of success, and even more griping about "bots" — lines of code that are unleashed on e-commerce shops that can bypass queues, add items to cart, and check out much faster than any human could hope to. Frustrated and desperate Yeezy fans (really, anyone looking to buy a hyped item) often turn to bots or services that can deploy them.
There are countless reasons to be frustrated by this process. But here, people I found on Twitter who have bragged about about successfully getting Yeezys share how they did it — and may even be able to provide a little bit of hope for you.
Have a strategy
Riley Tengler, the creator of ResellCartel.com, says the most important thing is dedication and a game plan. "I haven't slept on a release night since the Pirate Black 1.0's over a year ago," he says. "Staying up all night is definitely a key factor. If you're not trying to cop from UK boutiques and websites all night, you're already preparing yourself for the L."
Photo: Johnny Nunez/Getty Images
Staying up all night is a drastic measure, but it’s hard to complain if you’re really only putting in the minimum amount of effort, Tengler explains. "If you've tried the Adidas.com queue in the past and haven't even come close to copping through that... change something. Insanity equals doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."
He adds, "If you're trying to cop multiples, it's all about preparation for the release." Tengler declined to divulge his personal strategy, but based on what he’s said so far, the takeaway might be as simple as: Have a schedule, know all the sites releasing the shoes, and know when they’re going online. (There’s a helpful list at the bottom of this post).
Also, be ready. This means having whatever you’re going to use to pay out. Even better: Write the details out in a note on your computer, then copy and paste them to fly through checkout. Even even better would be to sign in or register on the sites you plan on buying from so your info is all in there.
Or maybe keep your sanity and just try your luck with Adidas
The Adidas site always seems to be the smallest-sized clusterfuck on release day. Several of the people who successfully bought Yeezys did so through Adidas, and didn’t even waste their time with others.
"The only site I used was the Adidas site," Imanol, a Floridian, says. "Adidas tweeted out, and luckily I saw the tweet at the time because I didn't know what time they would release them. I was one of the couple maybe-thousands to be able to purchase it without a problem."
Imanol realizes he’s one of the few Yeezus has blessed. "The V2s are possibly one of the best cops of this year for me," Imanol adds, who was also lucky enough to purchase the iconic, equally difficult-to-get black and red "Flu Game" edition of the Jordan 12s at retail.
So how does it work? The Adidas queue says that it picks people randomly on the page to go through to checkout — at the very least, it feels like it’s setting you up for failure less than the other sites. Whatever you do, don’t refresh when you’re on the page. And when that most likely fails, go on with your life, or...
Take luck out of the equation
The keyword flying around most reports from people is "luck," but If you want to make absolutely certain that you get Yeezys, you can pay a service, like the ones described above, that uses bots. It costs more than retail, but less than resale.
Mike Dee, a 35-year-old from Queens, New York, is one person who used a bot, and he argues that it’s the most realistic solution. "Paid an auto-checkout service $350 for one pair, then they gave me a discount code for a second pair at $300," says Dee. "Only way you can cop them. Nike draw system works against bots. These bot services were given life by Adidas."
Dee asserts that using a bot is "the only way" to buy the shoes. "You can buy a bot from @njsneaks and do it on your own, or pay someone if you don't know much about computers. Did I think it would work for two pairs? Absolutely not. This is the only service that actually got them for me. I knew about them, but was hesitant at their prices. @RSVPKINGZ is the site I used."
It’s worth noting that RSVP Kingz tweeted after the last release that it bought 1,800-plus pairs of the Yeezy Boost V2. Highsnobiety reports that the service was able to purchase "thousands of pairs at .64 seconds each."
Of course, there’s always this anonymous Twitter user’s advice: "Step 1. be great. Step 2. know da plug."
Use the power of social media
Brandon Zaboklicki, a.k.a. Sexualjumanji, a.k.a. Sexj, a.k.a. the kindest boy on Twitter, who wrote about his up-and-down Yeezy-buying experience, says he just kept the hope flowing. "Honestly, it just seems like blind luck in reality," he says. "Lots of prayer, also throw a fit on social media. That might work."
Sexj got his first pair of Yeezys from Kith after failing at every other store. The retailer randomly sent out a link to purchase the shoes on Twitter and Sexj was online at the right time, and the rest is history. So maybe the most important piece of advice we can glean from that is to never give up.
The List: Raffles
Raffles are the best way for stores to defeat the bots. Customers are allowed to enter them in the days leading up to the release and the store randomly chooses who will be given access to buy the Yeezys from the pool of people who have entered. All times are EST.
Photo: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images
City Gear: Online raffle ends Friday, December 16th, at 1 p.m.
End.: Online raffle ends Sunday, December 17th, at 4 a.m.
Nice Kicks: Online raffle ends Tuesday, December 20th, at 1 a.m.
Notre Shop: Online raffle ends Saturday, December 17th.
Oki-Ni: Online raffle ends Friday, December 16th, at noon.
Proper: Online raffle ends Saturday, December 17th, at 2:59 a.m..
RUVilla: Online raffle ends Thursday, December 15, at 8 p.m.
Slam Jam Socialism: Online raffle ends before Saturday, December 17th.
Social Status: Online raffle ends Friday, December 16th, at 5 p.m.
Suede: Online raffle ends Saturday, December 17th, at 7 p.m.
Xhibition: We have reached out to confirm when the raffle ends. Winners will be notified on Monday, December 19th.
YCMC: Online raffle ends Friday, December 16th, at 4 p.m.
YME: Online raffle ends Saturday, December 17th, at 2 p.m.
Day-of Releases (12/17)
This is where things get hectic. Day-of releases entail a rush to a website in hopes of being the very few who walk away with the Yeezys.
Adidas: The brand typically releases the shoes sometime around 11 a.m.
Bodega: The retailer will release the shoes at 10 a.m.
East Bay: The retailer will release the shoes at 10 a.m.