J Balvin Trolls Botters by Charging $25,000 for New Air Jordans

His website offered a discount code to bring the shoes down to $250.

Black J Balvin Air Jordan 3 Rio
The J Balvin x Air Jordan 3 ‘Rio.’ Via Nike
Black J Balvin Air Jordan 3 Rio

There are few bigger gripes in the world of sneakers than missing out on the release of your favorite drop because a few people swooped in with their bots and scooped up the entire inventory. Popular attempts at bot prevention include captcha puzzles, lengthy queues, and trivia questions. But Colombian superstar J Balvin might have just set a new standard for bot protection with the release of his Air Jordan 3 "Rio" on his website this afternoon.

The price of Balvin's latest 3s on the site was listed at $25,000, a lofty markup 100 times above the shoe's actual retail price of $250. Of course, Jordan and the Balvin were not charging five figures for his fourth collaborative drop with the brand—there was a discount code.

A launch recap from X user UncleChrissy explained that to access the launch at first you needed a link and the discount code “Jose24@,” which were distributed by Balvin through his Familia club. After that, there was a new password, “Lego24@,” and the discount code “Medallo24@,” which brought the price down to the actual retail price of $250.

One X user posted a screenshot appearing to show someone who went ahead and checked out with a bot, paying the full $25,000.

LOL someone probably got so hyped their bot hit the Balvin’s 🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/moJgNRPFIM

— emil96pl (@emil96pl) May 21, 2024

On top of preventing bot purchases, the pricing tactic was meant to keep the release to people who were loyal fans of Balvin, who offered early access to people who had spent at least $100 on his site before.

Balvin responded to a Complex Instagram post about the bot protection measure, writing, “Yep people first.”

The J Balvin x Air Jordan 3 "Rio" releases next on the SNKRS app and Jordan retailers on Wednesday, May 22.

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