The Difference Between $20 Jerseys and $200 Jerseys
If you buy your NFL jersey from a mom-and-pop store or any place that isn’t a licensed distributor of NFL gear, you might be asking yourself, “Is my jersey real?”
Indeed, the counterfeit jersey market is large and most inauthentic jerseys look and feel incredibly similar to the real version.
So before you drop anywhere between 100 to 250 dollars on a jersey, you’ll want to make sure you’re not actually purchasing a $20 counterfeit.
Luckily, there are some telltale signs to spot a fake, and the first and most obvious sign includes knowing where Nike NFL jerseys are made.
Be sure to check the tag on the inside of the jersey – if it says “Made in Honduras” or “Made in Guatemala”, you’re in the clear – you’ve snagged an authentic jersey. If, instead, the tag says “Made in China” then you’re looking at a fake.
Now, it’s possible that you’re scrolling on Amazon or Ebay for jerseys and aren’t able to view the inner tag. However, if you are getting your jerseys from either Fanatics or official NFL Shop, you can be 100% sure that they are real.
3 Signs To Know If It’s Real
Sign #1: Everything Matches Up
First, ask yourself if everything matches up.
If you’re wanting to purchase a Donovan McNabb midnight-green Eagles jersey, but what you’re looking at is a lime green, number 6 jersey with a cartoon-ish eagle for a logo, you know it’s a counterfeit.
Most counterfeit sellers only offer poor quality images of the jersey for sale, or a stock photo from the NFL shop. This is another tell-tale sign that the jersey is fake.
When you’re purchasing a jersey, be sure to feel sure about your purchase. If an online vendor isn’t supplying multiple close-ups of the jersey, it’s likely they’re hiding something.
Sign #2: Hologram Stickers & The NFL Shield
Second, all authentic NFL jerseys have tags and hologram stickers with the NFL shield on it, particularly at the collar.
If the jersey you’re thinking of purchasing doesn’t have the NFL shield, it’s inauthentic, even if everything else matches up.
In particular, check to make sure that the shield is multiple shining colors and not just one, mono-chromatic color – that’s another giveaway.
Sign #3: Embroidery and Stitching
Always look close-up for images of the embroidery and the stitching, taking note of the quality of the lettering.
Take a look at these two images:
The one on the left is real, while the one on the right is fake.
You’ll notice that the chest numbers and name plates on the real jersey are flat and even, with a smooth, tailored look and feel.
Counterfeits, on the other hand, will look slightly off, and you’ll notice that the numbers will look ‘bubbled’ and the embroidery won’t be mesh with the rest of the jersey.You can also check out this excellent video, as well as this Fanatics article on fake jerseys and how to spot them.