Is It An Authentic NFL Jersey?
Don’t Be Rash, Save Your Cash

Ever seen an ad for an “authentic NFL jersey” selling for $30?

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…

You got ripped off.

And if you only spent 30 bucks, then you got off easy, because lots of fans get suckered into paying $100 or more for fake NFL jerseys.

Indeed, in 2011 there were over 800,000 counterfeit jerseys sold online.

Since then, that number has only grown.

“20 percent of the people who buy counterfeit jerseys don't know they're getting an illegitimate product”

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 NFL Shop, 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??

“Deal hunters are 20 times more likely to buy counterfeit than regular consumers”

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…

Learn how to tell the authentic NFL jerseys from the fakes

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.  

Jags Fan Duped in Online Jersey Scam

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 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…   →

Fake Mitchell and Ness jersey tag
←  While the fakes often have tags like this one.

Close, but no cigar!

Now that you can practically spot a fake jersey with your eyes closed…

Find out how you can get authentic, but cheap, NFL jerseys.

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