Authentic NFL Jersey or Not?
Know How To Spot A Fake One

Why is it important to be able to tell an authentic NFL jersey from a fake?

Popular, branded, “must have” items are an easy target for counterfeiters, and fake NFL jerseys have become a multi-million dollar “business”.

The problem has only gotten worse in recent years as some of the knockoffs have become harder to detect for novice buyers.

From the NFL’s standpoint, the solution is simple: buy only the official product from an authorized source.

But it’s not so simple for the average fan, not when you have to pay 300 bucks for the privilege of wearing “what the pros wear”.

How to get cheap NFL authentic jerseys.

Yes, you can get the budget-level Nike “Game” jersey for a more reasonable $100, but that still adds up to a not so reasonable $345 if you’re buying those jerseys for a family of four with 2 children.

With prices like this, it’s no wonder that so many people resort to buying fake jerseys.

To be perfectly clear, I’m not saying that you should or shouldn’t take this route… I believe that it’s a personal choice based upon your own unique situation.

What I am saying is that if you are looking to buy a jersey - real or fake - from anywhere other than an officially licensed web site or store, then you’d better be able tell the difference between an authentic NFL jersey and a fake one.

Read: Gangsters Set to Rake in Millions From Counterfeit NFL Jerseys

This is especially true if shop online, because the counterfeits are everywhere - even on sites such as Amazon and Ebay.

First and foremost though, you need to make sure that the website is legit, because being able to spot a bogus jersey is meaningless if your order never arrives, or you’re unable to obtain a refund.

Then, check out these photos of fake sports jerseys so that when you do get your hands on the goods, you can…

Learn how to tell if it’s an authentic NFL jersey

This is NOT an authentic NFL jersey!
Fakin' fake.  (+)
Look at the chest numbers. The genuine articles have numbers that are matte and have a smooth, “settled-in” look and feel.

The numbers on a fake, cheap NFL jersey on the other hand, are glossy and “bubble” like hastily-laid bed sheets.

But then it gets a little trickier… first you have to determine if the jersey is made by Nike, Reebok, or some other company.  

Here's an example of a knock-off site claiming to be the “official” Packers store.

If it's a Nike jersey

Does it have a collar tag? All genuine Nike jerseys have neckline labels that are printed or sewn on all sides so they do not turn or flip up.

Does it have security stitching? The hemline tag on an authentic NFL jersey has silver-colored stitching imprinted alternately with the word, “security” and the Nike swoosh logo.

Does the hemline tag looks like this?

Fake Nike NFL Jersey Tag
This just screams "FAKE!"

Or this?

Real Nike NFL Jersey Tag
Clear, smooth, and legible. Real.

Does the hologram feature a green field for a background and yard markers on the reverse? Real ones do.

Is the NFL shield is embroidered or stitched on? Genuine Nikes have a rubberized logo that is "welded" on - this is something that counterfeiters have had a hard time replicating thus far.

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If it's a Reebok jersey

Does it have a “Made in China” label or tag? Reebok NFL jerseys are were manufactured in El Salvador, Korea, or Vietnam.

Is the stitching flimsy? A real Reebok jersey will have tight, even stitching on the front numbers. This is one of the details that counterfeiters have improved on over the years so you hardly ever see this on the newer Nike jerseys.

Fake Reebok NFL jersey tag
Fake.  (+)
Look at the hemline tag. If it reads “NFL Players”, drop it and run. True Reebok NFL jerseys will have a multi-colored “Players Inc” logo on the right side of the hemline label.

Genuine Reebok NFL Hologram
Is the hologram faded or dull? A genuine Reebok jersey (2008 and later) will have a square hologram on the tag, like the one on the left.

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If it's neither Nike nor Reebok

Authentic Mitchell & Ness NFL Jersey
The only brand other than Nike or Reebok you should ever consider buying is Mitchell & Ness.

Although they don't make contemporary jerseys, they continue to churn out vintage jerseys that are immensely popular.

While a counterfeit Mitchell & Ness is rare, you should still be able to tell if it's a fake or real jersey.

A genuine Mitchell & Ness jersey will bear a label that looks like this. →

Now that you can practically spot a fake jersey with your eyes closed, wouldn't this be a good time to shop for cheap NFL authentic jerseys?

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