If you are a sneakerhead, you may have come across terms like ‘sneaker bot’ or ‘scalper bot.’ In fact, that one time – or even several – you could not purchase a limited-edition sneaker because it was sold out in a matter of minutes only to end up on a second-hand-goods marketplace with a selling price far greater than the MSRP was likely because sneaker bots were used. So, what are they, and what do proxies have to do with them?
Proxies and sneakers
Well, proxies can be described as the sneaker bots’ backbone. Without proxies, the bots would work but not at optimum. They would encounter several hindrances in the form of anti-scraping tools put in place by web developers to stop web scraping and other activities that utilize automation/bots.
Therefore, Sneaker bots are applications that constantly and autonomously monitor e-commerce sites for limited-edition sneakers or those in high demand. Once the stock is available, the bot purchases the sneaker with an immediacy that you cannot replicate as a human buyer. These bots are powered by sneaker servers, which mask their identity using proxy servers.
Without proxy servers, sneaker servers, and, by extension, sneaker bots would be identified quite easily because they rely on web scraping, among other techniques, to identify new stock. Web scraping refers to the automated extraction of data from websites. It entails making numerous web requests for each webpage. Naturally, these multiple requests do not mirror actual human behavior, and a web server’s software is designed to flag such suspicions originating from bots.
Proxy servers prevent such blocks by, first and foremost, masking the sneaker servers’ identity. Thus, target web servers never obtain their real identity and cannot, therefore, blacklist them. Secondly, rotating sneaker proxies change the IP address (identity) every few minutes, in effect masking the sneaker bots’ activities. These sneaker proxies ensure that only a few requests are attached to a single identifier by changing the assigned IP address. Hence, blocking is unlikely.
The best sneaker proxies
Importantly, if you run a sneaker server, it would be best if you avoided free proxies. Of course, they would mask your computers’ actual IP address by assigning new IP addresses. However, they are not reliable because of the following reasons:
- Free sneaker proxies assign used IP addresses, some of which have already been blocked by various websites.
- Free sneaker proxies are shared – proxy service providers assign the same IP address to multiple users, meaning that the bandwidth is shared, ultimately reducing the connection speeds.
Paid proxies are your best bet if you are to deploy your sneaker bot successfully. Even so, not all types of proxies are ideal for this kind of application. We recommend that you use residential proxies from a reliable proxy service provider. Such providers give you access to a massive pool of IP addresses in different locations. For example, you can choose a Russian proxy to browse a web with an IP from Russian Federation or a France proxy to obtain an IP from France.
Why residential proxies are the best sneaker proxies
These high-quality proxies are unique because they assign residential IP addresses, the origin of the reliability. Residential IP addresses belong to and are registered by internet service providers (ISPs), who allocate them to their customers.
Thus, when you use a residential proxy, the service provider assigns you an online identifier belonging to a real user, i.e., a person connected to an ISP in a particular country. Notably, good service providers use residential proxies that give you and other customers access to different markets, enabling you to access geo-restricted content. As an instance, a Russian proxy will provide you access to content specific to Russian Federation.
And that’s not all. The fact that residential sneaker proxies assign you a real user’s IP address makes it harder for any web server to block you since it will interpret the requests as originating from the actual user’s device and not your sneaker server.
Furthermore, an operational aspect of residential proxies, which differentiates them from other types of proxies, makes them ideal as sneaker proxies. Usually, different types assign IP addresses that belong to particular subnets. So, it is not uncommon for a rotating proxy to have an IP network pool consisting of, say, 60 IP addresses belonging to the same subnet. The unfortunate bit with this arrangement is that when one IP address belonging to a subnet is blacklisted, all the remaining IP addresses are rendered useless. Blocking one identifier blacklists all, provided they are in the same subnet.
Residential proxies do not have this problem as they assign IP addresses that do not belong to subnets. In this regard, using this type of sneaker proxies lets you avoid subnet blacklisting, which subsequently facilitates seamless scalping. Simply put, their quality is unmatched. Although their effectiveness is guaranteed, it would be best to configure your bots not to make the same number of requests at all times.
However, these benefits come at a cost since residential proxies are more expensive than other types of proxies. Then again, they eliminate the need to constantly change providers due to subnet bans, which, in itself, is a more expensive endeavor. Therefore, residential sneaker proxies are cheap in the long run when compared to other types of sneaker proxies.