Professional athletes know that the right basketball shoes can make or break their game. That’s why they’re careful in choosing the best quality shoes that provide optimum performance on the court.

The ever-increasing demand for basketball shoes has created a huge supply of retailers. There are countless retail shops and Internet sellers that are ready to sell you a pair of basketball shoes, often at discount prices. Some stores will offer discount basketball shoes at markdowns of up to forty percent, making their offers very tempting to the average buyer.

However, one must be careful when choosing where to buy branded basketball shoes. The basic fact is that top brand names don’t often go on sale at huge discounts — and any shoes that are being sold at “too good to be true” prices may actually be counterfeits. A concerned Nike, for example, is a brand leader that has gone to the extent of advertising the fact that buyers must cautious when shopping at stores that offer big discounts. The company fears that substandard shoes are being sold in the name of Nike. According to Nike’s warning, “If the fit isn’t the same, the sole has little traction, or the smell of cheap rubber glue they’re fake. Websites that sell fakes will usually state that their shoes are factory samples or variants or custom or replicas, etc. Also, see where they are shipped from. Beware of sites that say they ship from Hong Kong or China via EMS.”

Even eBay has guidelines in place to advise buyers to shop with caution. eBay urges buyers of discount basketball shoes to check the credentials of the seller by reading through the feedback section for customer testimonials. eBay also advises shoppers to check the seller’s return policy before finalizing the transaction.

Of course, these warnings don’t by any means indicate that every discount store is fraudulent. There are genuine discount stores available, both on and offline. You just need to be diligent in your research to be sure you’re dealing with a legitimate and reputable retailer. Nike itself recommends several online outlets where that particular brand of shoes can be purchased worry-free.

Shipping charges should also play a part in your deciding where to purchase discount basketball shoes. Obviously, you’re not getting a bargain if the additional shipping charge brings the final price up to the regular retail price. In this case, it would make more sense to buy the shoes from a traditional retailer, where you’re able to try the shoes on to guarantee the quality and a perfect fit.

When making your final decision, always opt for a store that offers a return policy. You need to be able to exchange the shoes for another pair or get a cash refund if they don’t fit right or simply don’t meet your expectations.

Buyer beware is a retail rule of thumb that must be followed for any purchase. If you’re hoping to buy discount basketball shoes, make sure they’re the real deal. Having shoes that pinch or fall apart, at any price, is certainly no bargain.

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