Sports jersey buying guide: 12 tips to spot fake football, NBA, NFL, MLB jerseys & avoid

in #blog10 months ago


Sports jerseys are a wonderful thing. They are more than just a piece of fabric strung together.

They may be an expression of support for your favorite team, a fashion statement or an investment for many.

It's just not right spending your hard earned cash on a fake jersey if you intended on buying an authentic one.

Not only are you getting ripped but the revenue isn't going to your team to support them financially.

The fundamental part of buying an authentic jersey is to do your research, know what you're after and what you're buying.

That's why I've created a guide with twelve ways to help spot a fake jersey.

12. Stitching

Fake jerseys usually don't have the finer details that authentic jerseys may have. A stitched jersey is suggestive of a 'premium' product which can throw people off.

Be careful as fake jerseys may be stitched, where as the genuine jerseys would have been screen printed and not stitched.

A perfect example is Adidas Rev30 swingman edition jerseys which are screen printed, and counterfeit equivalents may have been stitched.

Related: A complete guide to Adidas NBA jerseys with size chart

11. Country of Origin

Pay close attention to where the jerseys are made. Nikes are generally made in Honduras or Guatemala whereas fakes will quite often be labelled as Made in China.

Certain versions may also have been made in a certain country only.

Some special editions may have only been made in a certain country i.e. Guatemala however the fake labels may list it as 'Made in Korea'.

10. Stock Photos

If you’re buying off some websites, they may lay claim to selling 'original' jerseys for cheap.

The use of stock photos can be a telltale sign that these are fake and that you’ll get something totally different to the photo.

9. Logo Proportionality

After looking at photos of authentic jerseys you'll quite possibly develop an idea for seeing logos that look out of place.

Fake jerseys often fail to replicate the proportionally of the team logo, NBA logo, sponsor and jock tag on genuine products.

Also look for the NBA logo and jock tag, as joined stitching on the words usually indicates a fake.

8. Jock Tags

Check the location and positioning of the jock tag to ensure they’re in proportion as mentioned in the previous point. Fakes are often placed too far to the left or right.

Also check out the font on the sizes of the jock tags as fakes will stand out once you've seen enough genuine jerseys.

Fakes usually appear wider than the originals.

7. Perforations

Check that jersey fabric hole patterns are consistent with the genuine versions. These can be difficult to replicate accurately.

The holes in counterfeit may often be too big or too small and can be an easy way to identify fakes.

6. Retail Tags

This is one to be very careful with as retail tags would often indicate

Counterfeits can often lack detail on the jersey but the tag game can be strong.

Fakes can have retail tags that indicate they’re from nbastore.com.

Tags are easer and cheaper to reproduce then jersey details which is why tags shouldn't always be taken for face value.

5. Colors

Check the colors of jerseys closely and compare them against originals.

Vintage jerseys are an exception as they may have slight fading due to age.

4. Weights

Original jerseys are often made from more premium materials.

Counterfeit jerseys are usually made from lighter and cheaper materials.

The difference to this is more modern jerseys that are light i.e authentic Rev30 Swingman

3. Logo

Poor spacing and size of lettering can be a giveaway for a poor counterfeit

2. Finish Quality

Loose strings or frayed ends coming off the jersey can indicate a counterfeit especially for fakes that have had minimal use

1. Do Your Research

Be sure to check out comparisons of authentic jerseys. A simple cross comparison can highlight flaws with a counterfeit jersey

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My passion for sports led me to create Wolfgang Sports in 2017 as a way to connect American & British sports culture. 

My writing is driven by a fascination for sports culture focusing on popular culture, rookie players, data analytics and sports card collecting.