The Reality Behind Sneaker Raffles

All systems go!

The Reality Behind Sneaker Raffles
Yaseen Dockrat

Chances are, if you’re a sneakerhead, or you’ve just seen Travis Scott’s latest release, and are interested in copping yourself some new kicks, you’ve come across sneaker raffles. If you haven’t, you’re probably thinking, “So you’re telling me I could win myself a pair of limited-edition grailed kicks?” It sure sounds simple, yeah?  It’s not! There’s more than just winning a pair of kicks. It’s a science. But hang on, we got you. 

Entering The Raffle

So, there are online sneaker raffles, such as on Nike’s SNKRS or Adidas’ CONFIRMED, as well as in-store raffles, and these work the same, almost. To help us understand raffles, we spoke to Kuwaiti sneakerhead Tariq, aka Kickstq.  To enter a raffle you either need to sign up on an app or in-store. That’s your entrance ticket to the raffle. The raffle facilitator (the site) will inform you of the time the raffle will begin, and from then you have a couple of minutes. 

Basically, there are 200 pairs of a limited-edition sneaker, but there’s 1,000 people in the queue (online too, yeah) to purchase. Well, 800 are going to be disappointed, while 200 will be smiling their way to the checkout page. 

sneaker raffles
Winning A Raffle

So you entered the raffle and now your ticket (the number assigned to you) has been drawn. You won a raffle, so you’re getting a pair of grailed kicks, right? Wrong! 

“Firstly, winning a raffle for a sneaker doesn’t mean you won the sneaker, in fact, that’s just the beginning,” Tareq says,  “Winning a raffle actually means you have won the opportunity to buy the sneaker in the raffle you entered.” At this point, my mind is already blown, but the man has more than one thousand pairs of sneakers, so I listen attentively. 

The Not So Fun Part

Okay, so you figured out how the sneaker raffle process works, or so you think. There’s a whole lot more that goes into winning one of these, and the numbers could leave you gasping for Air. You might have been wondering why we subbed this tale with “All systems go”. The truth is that sneaker raffles involve more than just people. There’s bots. A ton of them! Case in point: when Travis Scott released the Air Jordan 1 Low ‘Reverse Mocha’ last week, there were 2.4 million raffle entries on his site, as well as through countless global retailers. We told you, the numbers will leave you gasping for Airs. 

Users are allowed one entry into a raffle, and that’s where the bots come into play. Basically, these bots automate entries into raffles. The bot will automatically create accounts, confirm entries and more. As we know, bots can do it faster than humans can even think. The end result is that the bot increases your chance of copping a new pair of kicks. 

It’s getting interesting, isn’t it? But bots are not enough. If you’re going for all the grailed kicks, and plan on building yourself a collection 1/10th the size of Tareq’s, you are going to need a lot more. In order to raffle the best kicks, you are going to need a cook group. What is a cook group? To cook, in sneaker terms, means to buy. So, a cook group is a group that gives you a one-up on how to win the raffle. “Through these groups you can stay in the loop on sneaker release sites, sneaker bots, early links and reselling platforms,” Tareq says. 

“Cook groups are especially beneficial for people who are looking to resell. They operate on platforms like Discord and Slack, at a subscription fee. There are some that are free, but these may be hard to come by. While they are mainly used by resellers, the information you can access through the group, like releases, bots and early links, allows you to gain an advantage on your competition,” he says.

Most sneakerheads use these raffles to cop a pair using bots, and cook groups will enhance your chances to win the raffle. If you couldn’t cop yourself a pair through the raffle, there’s always the resell market. YUNG will follow up on the sneaker resale market in the coming days.