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Can you use this former Nike employee's hack to get new kicks every year?

Internet - This viral TikTok video claims that you can get a new pair of Nike's each year if they show wear and tear, but is this hack too good to be true?

According to a former employee, normal signs of wear and tear can classify a shoe as "defective."
According to a former employee, normal signs of wear and tear can classify a shoe as "defective."  © tiktok.com/@hdarc3

TikTok user Hayley Darcangelis says she worked at a Nike store for five years, where she learned some tricks.

In a TikTok video, she shared her hack and explained how to return old Nike shoes and get a gift card for new ones at the store. The video went viral and has 1 million views so far.

Hayley claims that it's really easy, and all you need to do is grab your Nike's that are less than a year old and head to the nearest store.

There, you need to show that the shoes are "defective." Hayley explains that a defective shoe is any Nike that shows normal signs of wear and tear. According to her, this includes: a peeling logo, a popped air bubble, or a loose sole.

Customers' "defective shoes" will be returned, and they will be offered a gift card: "And then you can get a new pair of shoes." Sounds great, right?

Is this trick too good to be true?

A new pair of shoes every year for free? Who could say no to that? (stock image)
A new pair of shoes every year for free? Who could say no to that? (stock image)  © 123rf/radub85
The label inside the shoe has all the information retail workers need.
The label inside the shoe has all the information retail workers need.  © tiktok.com/@hdarc3

This news seems almost too good to be true, and according to the brand's website, returns due to normal wear and tear aren't that easy.

Nike outlines its return policy: "We stand behind all of our shoes and gear. If your item is defective or flawed, and it’s been less than 60 days since your purchase, simply choose one of the options above to return the item."

The company urges customers who want to return defective or flawed shoes after 60 days to contact customer service and check the warranty information that came with the individual product, as the conditions may vary.

Some Nike products may even be returned up to two years after their manufacture date: "If your Nike shoes or apparel develop a material or workmanship flaw within two years of the manufacture date, we want to get you back in the game." The manufacture date is clear from the SUK label and style number, which is found inside the shoe, as Hayley explains in a second TikTok video outlining whether customers can return shoes without a receipt.

In one respect, Hayley is correct that customers can return their Nike shoes up to two years after the manufacture date, but the catch is that the shoes need to "develop a material or workmanship flaw," meaning that normal wear and tear won't cut it.

If the air bubble pops, customers may be in luck, but it's unlikely that a faded or scratched logo is going to them new shoes each year. As some commenters pointed out, retail workers can refuse to accept returns if customers make it a habit, and Nike does keep records of returns.

Cover photo: 123rf/radub85

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