Image source:

Why haven’t I won an EQL launch yet?

July 8, 2024
Mitchell Holder
Head of Marketing

I get it. I really do. I’m a long-time sneaker fan, and there are times when I feel like weeks or months will go by before I can get something that I (and thousands of others) want. We spend so much time researching, watching, reading, talking about, and anticipating these products. We bond with our friends and communities over them — only to be disappointed when we miss out. 

If you’re here because you’ve entered multiple EQL-powered launches, and still haven’t won, I know that feeling. And I really do feel your pain. As someone who can see all sides of this, this is my attempt to help you understand (1) why we don’t win a lot, or (2) why you haven’t won yet. I once ran a survey that got over 3,500 responses from various types of sneakerheads, and 68% said missing out on a high-heat release would ruin their entire day. And It’s not just sneakers, it’s trading cards, jewelry, collectibles, luxury goods, and more. 

But don’t lose heart. Let's talk about it. I’ll drop some tips at the end on how you can help your chances in future launches, too. 

The basics 

It’s important to understand why brands come to EQL. Our conversations with them generally start with fixing the current launch problems that their internal teams and customers experience, (bots, site crashes, etc.) but quickly shift to how they can maximize their future launches—meaning, helping their business grow and harnessing better connections with fans.

They all have something in common:

  • Passionate fans. We call them fans because of their shared passion for a category or product. 
  • Hot products. Both fans and bad actors want them, and demand for them always outweighs supply (I’ll get into this next). 

Let’s start with my friend, supply, and my foe, demand

We host some of the world’s highest-heat launches. You know the ones I’m talking about – the releases that everyone and their friends and cousins and sister’s friend’s aunt are vying for. Launches that make the national news. 

For the majority of these launches, competition is fierce, and the odds are stacked against us. For most of our in-demand launches, we typically see, on average anywhere between 25x - 100x more entries than inventory to go around. Not everyone will win. In fact, the majority won’t. And that’s just the unfortunate mathematics of hype.

What EQL tries to do in order to make sure as many fans get to participate in their passions as possible, is bump up our chances of winning by removing the folks not playing fair, and giving us a better shot on future launches with the same brand each time we miss out. But again, depending on the heat, this still won’t guarantee we’ll hit the second, third, or even fifth time. This is especially true if you’re entering with new or different brands or retailers each time, because your EQLizer score is unique to that brand or retailer, and is starting fresh.

And it does work. So far this year we’ve seen more than 176,000 first-time winners on EQL.

But why aren’t brands meeting the demand with supply?

Short answer, it’s complicated. Various brands and retailers have their own challenges and opportunities. Sometimes it’s intentional, but a lot of times they’re just working with what’s possible. Runs are limited because factories need to be used to produce the next thing. For many retailers, they’re just given what they get from the manufacturers. Here are the most common reasons: 

Reasons why brands have limited inventory on special products

However, when you’re going on 25+ launches without being selected at any one specific retailer or brand, it’s important to make sure there is not more than just plain luck working against you. 

When is it more than bad luck?

As you’re probably aware, EQL takes a pretty in-depth approach to filtering out bad behavior and attempts at manipulating odds. We analyze thousands of signals per entry to spot anyone who’s trying to cheat the system so we can prioritize those who are entering legitimately. That doesn’t mean we’ll stop actual fans from reselling or trading if they choose to, but it does mean bots can’t score or clear out stock, or spending time to create and enter with multiple accounts (even with a family member's name and email address on it).

We can’t share every secret we have to help us stop folks from doing unfair things (because they’re watching 👀) but we can tell you some of the simplest ways true fans can avoid looking shady to our algorithm:

My best advice? Enter once, for yourself, with your own personal and payment information.

If you think you’re being flagged, it could be for a few reasons:

  • You're using multiple accounts to increase your chances: We admire the excitement and the energy, but fairness is key. If you’re using multiple accounts to enter (yes, even if you’re using different emails and details) it’s not going to work. Our system can tell when you’ve asked a family member to enter for you, so don’t do it. Have them enter for themselves only, and only if they want it. 
  • Your payment method has a sketchy history or doesn't have enough funds to cover the purchase: As soon as a person’s entry is chosen, we charge the full amount of the product to ensure a smooth transaction for the brands. Unfortunately, if your payment method has a history of fraud or doesn’t have the funds to cover the purchase, you won’t be selected. 
  • Your shipping address is raising some red flags: Like using a PO box or a warehouse for reshipping services (yes, this happens a lot). It’s important to know that brands and retailers control which countries they’re allowed to take orders from, too. 
  • You're trying to game the system with jigs, workarounds, and automated methods: Just don’t do it. We’re really, really good at spotting and blocking it. It won’t help you, and won’t be selected. Just enter fairly

And finally, sometimes it's just not meant to be. Call it fate or bad juju – sometimes the universe has other plans for us. Don't let that stop you from trying again. Your next attempt could be the one that pays off, and it could be for that thing that you really wanted, and you might be thankful that those L’s built up your EQLizer score for this exact moment. And we’ll continue making it as easy as possible for you to enter, without queues, crashing sites, or things disappearing from your cart. After all, we know disappointment is part of the process, but we believe frustration shouldn’t be. 

A note on the EQLizer

We see the memes on social media about the silver lining (yeah, we see 'em!), but here’s the truth: there is no amount of losses with EQL that will get you an automatic or guaranteed win. It’s not a savings account, there isn’t a threshold… you’re getting additional entries, like everyone else who did not win. Our intention isn’t to over-reward those who miss out either, otherwise people entering for the first time would have zero chance. And in the world of intense demand, and very limited supply, every release is different—demand changes, who participates changes, and how much inventory changes on every launch. 

However, persistence is rewarded over time. We see a lot of “I’ve lost 30 times, so I’m due now, right?” type comments, too. That all depends if you’re only going for the hottest things with the lowest stock. There’s also a massive difference between someone who has entered fairly 30 times and someone who has tried to increase their chances 30 times in illegitimate ways. 

Anything I can do to help my chances?

If you are entering once, fairly, and using a correct shipping address and legitimate payment method, your entry has the best chance. Having a history of legitimate and fair entries is the best thing you can do to get the thing you want, and again, depending on how many others are also after the thing you’re after. However, if you’ve had more than 25+ losses in a row at one particular brand or retailer, we can do a quick review of your account, just email

Also, if there’s a particular brand or retailer you have an affinity for that launches with EQL, see if they have a program for rewarding loyalty and how you might be able to join it. Or, check to see if the retailers in your area like to reward locals in their launches. We expect more brands to do more in this space, across the various categories we serve, as they have their own distinct goals and strategies with every launch. If they choose to do a launch that rewards these particular groups, your odds of being chosen can increase. 

There’s nothing we love more than seeing a fan get their first win, and it’s extra sweet if they’ve waited for it. So trust the process, and we’ll be over here rooting for you.
Mitchell Holder
Head of Marketing

Get all our insights on commerce x culture delivered straight to your inbox with The Restock:

We got your information. We'll send next steps straight to your inbox.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
A newsletter for the cultural fans and brands who power culture through commerce
Subscribe to The Restock
We got your information. We'll send next steps straight to your inbox.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Get more from your launches
✓  Chaos-proof technology helps you manage demand
✓  EQLizer gets products to fans, creating even more fans
✓  Revenue maximizers connect launches to your future growth
✓  Fan-first experience turns product passion into brand loyalty

Interested in getting a demo of how EQL works? Fill in your details below and we'll be in touch to organise a time that suits you.