If you thought, “this is too good to be true”, then you were right.
If you naively bought the item - we all have our moments - then you got ripped off.
Indeed, in 2011 there were over 800,000 counterfeit jerseys sold online, and I’m sure that number has only grown since then.
The problem is, or course, that most authentic NFL jerseys are just too expensive for the average fan.
Now if you’re going to shell out 200 - 300 bucks on a site such as nflshop.com, then no worries - you’re almost guaranteed to get the genuine article.
But if you’re a bargain hunter, or on a budget, then it’s important to know how to spot a fake. Why??
Well, should you choose to buy a counterfeit from an illegal site (not condoning it, but who can blame you?) - knowing what a bogus jersey looks like can help you end up with something that at least looks real.
And if you opt to shop on legitimate sites like eBay & Amazon, then such skills will come in handy when sifting through the hundreds of thousands of fakes that are listed on those websites.
First and foremost though, you need to make sure that the website is legit, because being able to spot a counterfeit jersey is meaningless if your order never arrives, or you’re unable to obtain a refund.
Then, and only then, should you…
|Fakin' fake. (+)|
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.
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?
|This just screams "FAKE!"|
|Clear, smooth, and legible. Real.|
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.
Although they don't make contemporary jerseys, they continue to churn out vintage jerseys that are immensely popular.
While there are far less counterfeit Mitchell & Ness jerseys than there are Nike & Reebok, you should still be able to tell if it's a fake.
A genuine Mitchell & Ness jersey will bear a jock tag that looks like this… →
Close, but no cigar!
Now that you can practically spot a fake jersey with your eyes closed…
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