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The Newbie Guide

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View the original post written by u/kmichaelchills and u/cejm

If you always felt that online shopping was missing an element of excitement and intrigue, well then, it’s kismet you found us. Prepare to have your mind blown by the world of high-end replicas. We’re talking indistinguishable copies of luxury items at a fraction of the (absurd) cost with the added bonus of sticking it to the man! You’ll want to buy everything in sight, but try to take it easy. It’s hard to resist the impulse. We understand more than anyone. These reps aren’t going anywhere though, and there’s quite a bit of groundwork we need to get you caught up on. Assuming you’ve never ordered reps directly from China, we’ll help you navigate this expansive and, at times, complicated world. Without further ado, let’s get you closer towards all the amazing things that’s soon to come your way.

Great Expectations

First, we want to share an incisive post from r/Repsneakers that really resonated with us and sums up our buyer philosophy:


These are made in the middle-of-nowhere in China.

These factories that produce the reps do NOT have the same quality control, protocol, and standards as factories commissioned by Adidas.

You have the right to be entitled, but only to a certain extent. You know damn well that you’re buying replicas, so don’t act like you deserve the same treatment as if you were buying legits.

These reps are being hand assembled by factory workers who probably get paid jackshit, so they’re bound to make mistakes like having the stitching ever so slightly off, which causes the stripe placement to be 2mm off. The machinery in the factory is probably not the same as or as well maintained as the machinery in factories that are commissioned by Adidas. Don’t forget that the materials are not the same as well for the most part.

Even with the best and latest batches of UA [Unauthorized Authentic] reps that we have currently, you have to realize that sometimes the minor differences in the pattern, or the stripe, or whatever the fuck we’re QCing in the shoes compared to retails is due to the fact that, most of the time, retail pairs with those faults in the fabric stitching or whatever will get rejected by the retail factories and probably won’t be distributed by Adidas at all. Rep factories probably don’t have that high of a standard, so their standard for a factory reject is not similar to a factory that produces retails.

That is why sometimes the excuse “but I’ve never seen a retail pair like that” is just totally wrong…

When I first got into the rep game and looking to buy my first Yeezy 350 rep, a seller (for a factory that produces 1 of the 3 common UA/Yeezy 350/750 batches that you all know and come here for) once told me (I swear the seller told me this, but I’m paraphrasing here), “I’ll be honest, our factory can never make it 1:1. If our factory can make 1:1, we should just make pairs for Adidas instead.”

It stuck with me ever since.

This is so crucial for everyone to understand and you need to read our buyer’s guide before you purchase a single thing. There’s a lot you can expect, but when those expectations aren’t met, it’s no excuse to behave poorly. Returning or exchanging reps isn’t always an option, and if you’re that picky, you should stick to buying authentic. It’s not what many people want to hear, but it’s the truth nonetheless. Pointing out flaws in alignment, color, or whatever is fine in so long as you’re cognizant of the fact that there are limits to what these factories can produce. And as u/ivsguy perfectly explained, if they could make true “1:1” goods, they would be working for the luxury brands directly.

Where Do I Start?

Essential Reading

Here is a shortlist of other resources you absolutely should look through and perhaps even bookmark:

  • Wiki Index - A compilation of all our wiki pages, member-written guides, and everything else you could possibly need.
  • FAQ - Totally self-explanatory.
  • Acronyms - Acronyms and Terms Glossary
  • Buyer Etiquette - The best buyers are the nice reasonable ones.
  • List of frequently used and reviewed sellers and agents. None of sellers and agents are endorsed. Feel free to choose which seller you like. Remember this is an illegal industry. Buy at your own risk. No one will be able to mediate your order issues should any arise.

What to Buy

There are so many options that it’s probably easier for you to identify everything you don’t want. When we first discovered reps, self-control instantly became a foreign concept. We were enamored with all the brands and designs suddenly available to us at such appealing prices, it practically scrambled our synapses. It almost didn’t matter what we bought, we were so eager to receive something - anything! - ASAP, so learn from our mistakes and pace yourself. Do some online window shopping. Take your time gathering inspiration.

WeChat and Yupoo Sellers

Choosing a Seller

There are a core group of sellers that have been reviewed by RL members. Their contact info can be found on the sellers and agents list. Some of them specialize in specific brands like Hermès or certain categories such as shoes and jewelry. Others sell anything and everything.

Read reviews (all contain seller feedback) to figure out who you may want to work with. There are buyers who have developed a relationship with a few sellers and they’re comfortable with them, so they don’t feel the need to venture beyond those they’ve had good experiences with. On the other hand, you may enjoy trialing new sellers. Just because someone isn’t on our list, doesn’t mean they can’t be trusted. Be aware of the risks though. Even sellers that have been widely regarded as trustworthy have been exposed as dishonest. Any seller could easily steal your money, or you can get bait and switched (B&S). For the most part, sellers aren’t looking to screw anyone over. Their objective is to earn a living, keep their customers happy, and encourage repeat business.

How to Order

For those who are new-new to reps, here is the general process for ordering from a WeChat/Yupoo seller:

  1. Contact the seller through WeChat, WhatsApp, Instagram, email, etc. to ask about availability and price. Send a photo of the item you wish to buy.

  2. The seller will let you know whether or not they can get it for you. The product may not be repped, or the seller might not have access to the factory producing it. Be prepared to reach out to a few different sellers. If it is available, the seller may send you photos of the product(s) you inquired about. If they don’t, ask for it. The pictures are not of the exact item you will be getting. They are sample images that were furnished by the factory or pictures the sellers have taken themselves for a previous order. Factory stock pics are ideal to have so you’ll know what you can expect to receive and for QC purposes. You’ll only get actual photos of the rep after you have paid for it.

  3. Once you’ve decided to purchase, send the seller money using whatever form of payment they accept, which typically includes Western Union (WU), MoneyGram (MG), PayPal/Xoom, TransferWise, Alipay/Taobao, and AE/DHG. Not all sellers use the same payment methods. PayPal Friends & Family may only be an option for returning customers. It’s risky for sellers due to high instances of chargebacks.

  4. After the seller receives your money (depending on payment method, receipt isn’t instantaneous and can require several business days to process), they will place an order with the factory. Fulfillment can take a week or up to several months for custom orders. It’s not uncommon for an item to go out of stock midway through the process and it requires flexibility on your part. Ask the seller when it will be available again. Determine if you want to continue waiting. If not, you can choose to buy the same item from a different factory, pick something else that is in stock, or request a refund.

  5. When the item is in the seller’s possession, they will send you Quality Check/Control (QC) or Pre-Shipment Pictures (PSP). These are actual photos of what you purchased. You should make it a habit to confirm if the seller will send PSP during the inquiry stage. You can’t always assume that they will. Remember to be rational with your concerns. Exchanges are routinely denied over minor variances and discrepancies.

  6. Inform the seller that you’re ready to ship (also known as Green Lighting or GL) and verify the address you gave to them. The seller will hand over your purchase to a shipping agent who will be responsible for packing and transferring the parcel to the carrier. A tracking number will be provided to you. Allow at least a couple days for the tracking to update before messaging your seller about why your package isn’t moving.

  7. Your order has made it safely past customs, was delivered to you, and, hopefully, you love it.

How to Communicate With Sellers in Chinese

If you encounter a situation where you’ll need to speak to your seller in Chinese, use Google Translate, Baidu Translate, or WeChat’s own translation tool.

It may sound obvious, but you have to stick to very simple sentence structures to yield the most accurate translations. For example, if you want to say something like “The bag in the picture looks good, but the color isn’t accurate. Can you exchange for a different one?” Plugging that sentence as-in into the translator might result in garbled nonsense, which will only confuse the seller more. Like any language, Chinese is complex and nuanced, so keep the phrasing short and direct. A better way to say that would be:

“The quality is good” - 质量好

“However” - 然而

“The color is wrong” - 颜色错了

“Can you send it back?” - 你可以发回?

“And get a new one?” - 并得到新的?

An even better way to ask for an exchange courtesy of a native speaker:

亲 (Dear),我觉得包包品质很不错 (I feel that the bag is of excellent quality),非常漂亮(It is very pretty)。但是我感觉颜色有点差别 (However, I feel the color is a bit off/different)。你能帮我退换 (Can you help me return) 和跟广场订一个新的吗 (And from the factory, order a new one)?谢谢! (Thank you!)

For extra assurance, run the Chinese characters back through the translator. If the English translation makes sense, then it’s likely the seller will understand what you’re trying to convey. If you want to be more thorough, consider sending your seller messages in both English and Chinese:

  1. It allows you to follow the conversation and not have to re-translate everything, and

  2. If the Chinese translation doesn’t make sense to the seller, they can translate your English messages on their end.

Here is a screenshot of a seller convo using this tactic. Note that both the English and Chinese texts sent were brief, simple sentences.

Resolving Order Issues

Not all transactions will be smooth sailing and problems are bound to arise. Approach every obstacle with empathy. Sadly, we often have to remind people that sellers are human beings who are working hard to support themselves and their families. At times, they have to grapple with health or familial issues which forces them to step away from their job. Be patient with them. When things go wrong, it isn’t automatically their fault, so don’t be so quick to point the finger. It isn’t productive to assign blame anyway. Sellers are the middlemen between us and the factories. They cannot be held accountable when their suppliers botch orders. Whatever you’re dealing with can be adequately addressed. Just remember to remain calm and communicate.

One of the best methods for managing a difficult situation is to acknowledge how frustrating your concerns may be for the seller to hear, but that you want to work things through with them. Properly framing the issue can go a long way in setting a good tone towards resolution. Some people have a tendency to fly off the handle over the slightest hiccup rather than keeping a clear head. Staying polite during a tense exchange will encourage the seller to be more receptive towards your concerns, thus more willing to help.

Being demanding, accusatory, and threatening will only make matters worse. It will cause the seller to grow defensive and neither of you will get anywhere under those circumstances. Show the seller that you’re willing to meet them halfway. Put yourself in their position. You’d only want to listen to someone who was treating you with respect, right? So instead of losing your shit, ask what can be done. Be willing to compromise.

Remember it’s only money. If you can’t afford to lose any of it, you shouldn’t be buying reps in the first place. The process isn’t supposed to be scary or stressful, otherwise, it wouldn’t be fun, then what’s the point? Even if things are progressing smoothly, something can still go wrong. Neither you nor the seller have control over every aspect of a transaction. Customs can seize your package or it could get lost. Be prepared for any outcome and adapt. Know, understand, and accept the risks associated with reps, which, in case you forgot, is not exactly above board. To assume there’s any guarantees or that you should be made whole when an order goes south is the wrong mindset to have if not a bit delusional. Try to think of another illegal industry that provides absolute consumer protections. If nothing comes to mind, it’s because there’s no such thing.


You’ll frequently see RL members talking about Taobao (TB) usually in the context of finds or hauls. They’re referring to a massive e-commerce site that’s basically China’s version of Amazon. Finds are links to items that you can buy on TB and similar sites like Weidian, AE, and DHG. Hauls refer to large consolidated purchases.

TB is another animal to tackle onto itself. You can refer to our dedicated Taobao Wiki to begin learning the ropes whenever you’re ready.


A comprehensive breakdown, can be found in this guide from r/FashionReps.

Shipping Methods - US

There are 3 commonly used shipping methods from China:

ePacket - The cheapest option, therefore, the slowest (10-20 days up to a month). ePacket is for small packages under 2kg in weight (there are also dimension limitations). It was intended for e-commerce sites like AE and DHG to ship small parcels for a minimal fee. There is tracking, but don’t be surprised if it updates sporadically and your stuff takes ages to reach you.

EMS - An acronym for Express Mail Service. Most sellers will ship your packages via this method. It takes on average of 10 days or less to reach its destination and transfers over to a government postal service for delivery. There is a seizure risk (as with any carrier). Customs can take as little as a few hours to a month to release a package. Just because a package has been languishing in customs for awhile doesn’t necessarily mean it’s been taken. Unfortunately, you may not be notified when it has been seized and you will have to call the carrier directly for an update. In the event of a seizure, you could receive a letter explaining the reason(s) why it was confiscated. Discard it. There is nothing you need to do and you’re not obligated to respond. In fact, it would be best if you didn’t.

Something to note about EMS: if your tracking shows “Origin post preparing shipment,” your package is fine. Tracking can remain in that stage for several weeks. It doesn’t mean it has been seized by customs. The carrier is waiting for the shipping manifest to fill up before loading it onto a plane.

DHL - DHL is fastest (and more expensive) taking as little as 2-3 days for delivery. There’s a misconception that DHL is riskier and packages are more likely to be seized compared to EMS. Seizures are quite random and doesn’t necessarily follow any sort of pattern. It’s hard to predict what gets targeted and what doesn’t.

Shipping Methods - Canada

If you live near the US border, you should look into getting a US shipping address. They’re easy to find and there are many of them located along the US-Canadian border. Just search for “(your city) + US shipping address.” It’s usually costs between $2-5USD per package and you can leave them at the facility for as long as you want. If you don’t live near the border, or getting to the border isn’t a viable option for you, consider the following methods:

ePacket - Same as EMS except much slower. We’re talking upwards of 60 days.

EMS - EMS is the best choice because it’s safe and relatively quick. You can expect your package to arrive within the week or 20+ days (rare!). Your chances of being hit with customs duties is about 30-40% based on experience, and it’s always cheaper than what you’d be assessed by other carriers. You should ask your seller to declare the package as a gift, or declare a low value marked as “sample.”

DHL - Avoid at all costs. The risk of seizure is high. If customs opens your package and finds clothing, shoes, and accessories, they will likely ask you to submit an invoice that shows the actual dollar amount paid. The total needs to be realistic and your seller should be able to provide you with this documentation. You can also create your own receipt. There are many threads on FR with detailed instructions on how to do this including templates you can utilize. Bags stand a 99% chance of being confiscated. At that point, you’ll need to let it go because fighting the seizure isn’t worth it. If you do decide to take your chances with DHL, make sure your package is declared as a gift or a low value.


Well, you’ve made it. You finally reached the end. Congrats! You should get some sort of completion certificate for sticking with us. Although there’s always more to learn, you’re now at least equipped with a general idea of how everything works. The rest will come with time and experience. Still have more questions? Scroll through the FAQ page. Good luck with your purchases and enjoy!