Today's version of NiceKicks.com holds authenticity to very high standards. They were extremely quick to call out Big Boi for wearing fake Jordans, and most recently called out Kaws for being hypocritical. It's as though NiceKicks needs to be reminded that they got started by selling those very same fake Jordans that they called out Big Boi for wearing. If you've only been in the shoe game for a couple years, allow me to fill in the details.
A simple search for 'Nicekicks fakes' will bring a vast array of posts from angry customers, to users of various websites taking shots at the site and their history. Most interesting is the theory being floated by the current owners that the site was sold to them and they turned it around.
With their recent store opening in Austin, we figured it might behoove us to take a look and see if there are indeed any connections that tie the old NiceKicks to the 'new owners'. According to Ripoff Report, it appears so, as of 8/19/04 Nicekicks listed their address as Pembroke St in Victoria BC. As of 8/20/04 they updated their address to Austin, TX.
I sent them an e-mail on 8/19/04 telling them that I forwarded my complaints to the U.S.& British Columbia Postal Service Fraud divisions and the FBI and RCMP. I must of scared the crap out of him because he changed his address to Austin, TX. Because I paid with a U.S. Postal money order I am trying to get this creep shut down for mail fraud. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH HIM OR ANY SITE SELLING "CUSTOM" JORDANS LISTING AN ADDRESS IN AUSTIN TX.
-Lou from Illinois
-Lou from Illinois
I have sent money for my son to nicekicks.com. They never sent me anything and I want justice because my son has cancer. He is very ill. It hurts me and my family that he wanted these shoes from them and they are ripping him off. I know that my son is hurting even if he won't say. I don't know what to do. I spent my last on them and now they do this to me and my family.
-Myjoshi from Illinois
-Myjoshi from Illinois
Now, the tie into Victoria, BC would lead one to think that it is different owners. Digging in the crates we found it's simply Nicekicks' old webmaster/designer address. If you check out their portfolio you will see other sites that the company has created, which coincidentally, sell knockoffs as well. This more than likely means the address was registered to the webmaster, heat came on him and updated it to Austin, where the current owner of Nicekicks resided.
NiceKicks employed the same business tactics as quite a few other websites, one of them being another Complex sponsored site, KicksOnFire. The operation they ran was called 'drop shipping', which simply means orders were being filled from the NiceKicks' website, who then sent your sales information over to a factory in China, with the factory in China sending out your shipment. From what I have been told, in order to get your own Jumpman logo designed (detailed in the image below), you needed to hit a certain threshold of sales, which NiceKicks successfully did. This was no fly by night scam, it was a very lucrative business, that is until the first wave of Nike lawsuits against bootleggers hit. Despite the current owners attempts to dismiss the allegations that they sold fakes, there is too much evidence proving otherwise.
Should all of this information just be coincidental, and NiceKicks was originally owned by someone else, it begs the question why the current owner wanted to buy a domain that had a reputation of selling knockoffs. In the image below, you can clearly see the transition of the old NiceKicks to the current site, with the original logo still intact from the days when they sold fakes. Take notice of the blog posts from the old site, which happen to be the exact same content being used by current owner, Matt Halfhill.
A member from NikeTalk says it best:
As for now with his new store, I could never buy from NiceKicks for the fact of their past. Think about it. If I am wearing some shoes that came from his store and one of his NiceKicks shirts to go with them what are those who have been in the game for a while gonna think about my shoes. It's like advertising that I bought some FAKES. He just has a bad past and I can't F-CK with him anymore since he never respected tha game."
While NiceKicks has done their best to distance themselves from their past, every sneakerhead who was around in the mid 2000's knows that if they spotted a pair of Bobo's, the odds are they came from NiceKicks.
Still not convinced? Here's the "smoking gun" from 2005, before they were a blog.