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“But what level of expertise do social media influencers have about the products they mention in their posts and videos?” 

 

They changed the packaging and prices on the shoes, raising the price on some as ridiculously high as $1800. They told the invitees that it was the private launch party of luxury Italian designer Bruno Palessi.  

One of the influencers said, “I would pay $400–$500. People are going to be like, ‘Where did you get those? Those are amazing,’” as she tried on a pair of bright-gold sneakers with leopard print.

Many of the influencers bought the shoes before being taken in the back of the store where they were given their money back, and the prank was revealed. 

I don’t think the same thing would happen if a bicycle journalist was offered an e-bike (or traditional bicycle) that was based on a $200 department store bike. I’d expect that most or all of us would see right through that, because we know about bikes. We are passionate about them, and many of us have been riding them for decades. 

Do I think influencers are useless as a source of information? Certainly not. They’re part of the mix, but keep in mind that there are agencies that represent many of the celebrity influencers and match them up with products that people will pay handsomely to get them to promote. Their endorsements are fueled by the money of, not by the quality or knowledge of, the products.

Consider the source when you’re looking at a new bike or new accessory. Your bike shop will have good information that you can use to buy quality products, and you can read good information from reliable sources, like us and our sister magazines.