Your Guide to Sneaker Raffles

Previous generations have collected fine wine, watches, and even sports cards. Nowadays, sneakers are among the coolest collectibles. Thanks to sneaker raffles, they can be accessible to all.

Your Guide to Sneaker Raffles

Sneaker Raffles - How Do They Work?

Sneakers have evolved beyond a simple gym shoe for indoor or outdoor sports. They're a representation of your style and sense of fashion. Are you more vintage or modern? Your choice of footwear will reveal the answer. Whether you're looking for a pair of Air Jordan 1s or Yeezys to wear or add to your collection, the prices can get steep. That's because the demand for rare sneakers is much greater than the supply. Some believe sneaker raffles are a good way to level the playing field. In this guide, we'll cover just what these raffles are and everything you need to know to start filling out entries.

What Is a Sneaker Raffle?

Sneaker raffles are drawings held by stores or manufacturers where customers get a fair shot at purchasing a pair of highly in-demand sneakers.

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Are Sneaker Raffles Free?

Unlike most raffles where a win signifies the winning of a prize free of additional cost, sneaker raffles won’t get you a free pair of sneakers. Rather, winning grants you the opportunity to purchase the sneakers at retail price. This means you won't have to scour resale sites only to pay a higher cost. Although this may sound a bit strange and a little disappointing, there’s a good reason why these raffles are needed.

Why Are Sneaker Raffles Used?

There once was a time when sneaker retailers had lines that extended around corners and down city blocks on the day of a new shoe release. These lines would form days in advance as serious sneakerheads camped outside stores to get their fix. Casual sneaker buyers who didn't know about the hype surrounding the shoe would see the upcoming release and plan to go to the store that day, only to find hundreds of people on the line. After hours of waiting, a store employee would come out and announce that the shoe was sold-out.

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People would make a mad dash for the next nearest location selling the shoes, while others would check online for availability. Those who checked online quickly saw the same sold-out message and were forced to try to find a reasonable deal through a reseller. The sneakerheads who bounced around from store to store also walked away disappointed and had to deal with resellers whose high-price mark-ups many couldn't afford.

Many waited in those lines in freezing temperatures, heavy rainfalls, and other unpleasant environmental conditions, only to be told they waited for no reason. Not surprisingly, the response from the crowd was often violent and led to physical attacks on store employees as well as other customers. Arguments and fights would arise if someone tried to cut the line or a customer thought an employee was giving preferential treatment to another customer. Things got dark and ugly rather quickly.

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Online, bots were used to buy up most of the sneakers for the resellers who treated sneaker release dates as a payday. In the end, the average sneakerhead could not secure a pair of sneakers and many began losing faith in their favorite brands.

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To re-establish that brand loyalty, brands began holding raffles online and in stores to give everyone a chance to win the right to buy a pair of highly sought-after sneakers. Special software was implemented to stop bots from snatching up all of the shoes and the sneaker raffles became a way to keep the process as fair as possible. Retail stores also began holding raffles as a safer way to sell a product with such high demand but limited availability.

Accessibility was another reason the sneaker raffles began. Major cities have a variety of sneaker stores, while more rural areas don't usually have a large retail location that has access to the newly released sneaker on its release date. Therefore, avid fans of the shoes in small towns or remote locations were denied the right to purchase the sneakers. Now, the raffles ensure everyone is given an equal shot at attaining the shoes.

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How Does a Sneaker Raffle Work?

Sneaker raffles are much like draws where a ticket is bought, and you wait for the retailer to announce a winner. Keep reading for more information on how to enter the different types of raffles and where you can find them.

Types of Raffles

There are several types of sneaker raffles that either take place online or in a retail location. Online raffles will be done through a retailer's or manufacturer's website or app. Before entering any raffle, read the terms and conditions to fully understand the entry requirements. Some sites ask for an upfront payment, and others have forfeit rules, both of which you should know before entering. These sneakers are typically shipped to you, so you won't have to travel to pick them up.

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In-app raffles are conducted on apps specifically designed to announce and host raffles. Again, it's important to check the rules for entry as you may have to pay upfront, or the host may allow you to claim the prize for purchase if you win.

There are also social media raffles where you find a page hosting the event run by the store or manufacturer. These sneaker raffles are usually held on the company's Twitter or Instagram account page.
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In-store raffles require you to pick up the sneakers in person should you win. Contact and payment information is required so the retail location can confirm the identity of the winner and not hand the sneakers off to an imposter. After providing this identifying information, you’re entered into the drawing. If you win, you'll be notified by the location. Make sure you're available on the release date to stop by the store; otherwise, you could forfeit your sneakers, and another name will be drawn.
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Where to Find Sneaker Raffles

Before you can enter the sneaker raffle, you need to know where they are being held. If you're already tapped into the sneakerhead community, it won't be hard to find raffles; they’re often held on Sneaker Apps. However, if this is your first foray into the sneaker world and you're looking to make a mark in the resale market, here are a few places you'll find sneaker raffles.

If searching on social media, check for hashtags like #sneakerraffle, #raffle, #raffles, or any related term. Follow well-known sneakerheads and keep an eye out for any entries they may post to find other raffles. Additionally, Reddit is a great place to find a community and become part of a group that keeps each other informed. Lastly, set up alerts to receive notifications when retailers update their websites with new raffle information.

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How to Enter Sneaker Raffles?

Entering sneaker raffles online is a simple process. Visit the platform the retailer or manufacturer uses for the raffle and follow the instructions to fill out the form closely. If an upfront payment is needed, you'll be refunded if you don't win. Some sites will ask for your payment information and only charge the card when you win. The only time you have to physically travel for the retailer’s online raffle is if you win the sneakers. They won’t be sent to you, instead you will have to pick them up in-store.

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Stores also have in-store raffles where you must go to the store and provide your information to enter. As per rayobyte.com, typically these drawings are held at noon, so entries will only be accepted up to that time. Get to the store early to get your name on the list, and once it’s drawn, you may be able to purchase the sneakers right away. If you don't have time to stick around the store after filling out the entry form, you will be given a window of time to pick up the sneakers. Make sure you are able to pick them up, otherwise you may lose the shoes.

The competition for online raffles is intense as more and more people are entering. In-store sneaker raffles aren't as competitive, so you have a better shot at winning if you're willing to visit a retail location. Remember that the rules will change depending on who's holding the raffle, so don't assume they're all created equally. Some allow you to submit as many entries as possible; others have limits. The key is to review all the information regarding the raffle and study the fine print.
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How to Win a Sneaker Raffle?

There is no fool-proof guarantee method for winning sneaker raffles. Since the raffle winners are chosen randomly, luck plays a role in whether or not you'll be able to purchase the sneakers. Raffle sites have taken steps to prevent spamming or bots from ruining the experience and making it unfair for others. But all is not lost as there are ways to increase your chances of winning.

Enter as Many Times as Possible

It is extremely important to read the terms of the raffle to prevent your entry from being disqualified. The more entries you send in, the better your odds are of winning. However, depending on the rules, you may have to get crafty about sending in multiple entries. If allowed, create multiple accounts on the site and submit as many entries as possible. An email address will be required, so ask friends or family members if you can use theirs.
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Other raffles may not allow more than one entry from the same IP address. In that case, use different computers and mobile devices to send in your information. Visit your local library and log on to different computers, go over to a friend's house and ask to use their laptop. As long as you comply with the raffler's rules, you won't run into any problems and risk being banned from future events.

Bots and Proxies

Proxies allow you to keep your IP address hidden, so it appears you're using more than one computer. That is exactly what you need for raffles that track IP addresses. A bot enables you to send in entries much faster than your fingers can type. Combining the speed of the bots with different proxies greatly increases the probability that you will win.
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Find Lesser-Known Raffles

Another way to better your chance of winning is to find lesser-known raffles. The less popular the raffle, the less competition you'll be up against. You may believe that because not many people know about the raffle, it may not be worth your time. But, if the sneakers are being raffled, it's worth taking the time to enter. After all, once you place them on the resale market, the return on your investment is just about guaranteed.

Make Sneaker Raffles Work for You

Technology has allowed sneakerheads all over to connect and share their love of unique and limited-edition footwear. The resale market has flourished, and it's not too late to join and utilize raffles to support your side hustle. All it takes is a well-thought-out plan for in-store raffles or a few software enhancements, and your chances of winning will more than double. It's worth investing your time and energy as the forms are simple and the rules are straightforward. And don't forget to keep your fingers crossed for good luck. Happy hunting!

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FAQ

Q: Are Sneaker Raffles Free?
A: While there's no entrance fee, you may be required to make an upfront payment or provide a credit or debit card that will be charged if you win.
Q: What does sneaker raffle mean?
A: It means you have the opportunity to purchase popular sneakers at the retail price if your name is drawn.
Q: How do you get into sneaker raffles?
A: You can enter them online or in a retail store.