Hi, im writing this guide so in order to help you the customer be aware of the difference between a fake football jersey seller and an authentic seller. I see countless number of unaware buyers purchasing fake jerseys and hundreds of fake jerseys being sold here constantly. With this updated guide hopefully it will help you the customer in determining whether you are investing your hard earned dollars into a fake jersey or an authentic official licensed jersey. First thing to do is spot out the fake sellers by following this guide.
The first question I would ask myself as in any case if the price is simply to good to be true then 99% of the time it can not be a genuine article. A simple search on the big name clubs official websites will give you the price of their current jerseys so if someone is offering the same jersey at half the price then it doesnt take a genius to realise its going to be a fake. Especially when it is the begining/mid season or begining of a major tournament no one will be able to offer you discounted rates at these times.
The next question you have to ask the seller on ebay is where is the jersey coming from? do they have it in stock? 99% of fake jerseys are from south east asia mainly Thailand, Singapore and sometimes Hong Kong, China. So the seller may be listed or registered in the UK or Australia or Spain, Italy but if the parcel you get arrives from Asia then im sorry it seems you purchased a fake. These are dropshippers they sell the fake products but just order them from the wholesale manufacturer in Asia and save themselves from any prosecution of importation of fake merchandise into their country as they do not have the items in stock.
Now we must look at the other stock the seller has available. Does the seller have every famous club and player available? Does the seller only sell in size XL and medium only? Most sellers who deal in fakes only sell the famous clubs as these are the ones which are the biggest sellers and there is no point wasting time faking a lesser know club/country jersey if it wont have as much a sales effect. Also they usually just make them in size xl and medium as they are the most common sizes although I have recently seen fake jerseys begining to be sold in other sizes too. So again we need to ask ourselves if the store/seller has access to all the famous clubs and all the players names and numbers available then surely they also have the connections and access to get me any jersey from the Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1 etc. Surely the can get me the current Palermo jersey or the Hercules shirt or even the St Pauli away shirt. Is the seller also able to provide me with the away and 3rd jersey, the pre match and training jersey, shorts, socks and jackets, kids sizes,women sizes, infants and baby kits, jumpers and player issued gear? why not because simply they are selling fakes. So you will see the pattern of these sellers just selling famous teams and countries yet not the whole range which is available if you deal in authentic jerseys. As i state this is a 99% chance they are dealing in fakes.
If your purchasing an official EPL jersey with your fav player on the back ask them what material the lettering is? Lextra is the official material used in all EPL lettering and numbers until season 08/09. After SensCilia became the rebranded name of material of Lextra made by the Sporting ID company. Any other material will look cheap and after a few washes and uses will fade away and eventually start to peel off.
Reading is an important part in determining what you are purchasing, an authentic dealer will always state their jerseys are official licensed and usually have a wider variety of stock and also may have older versions of clubs and countries in stock. Feedback isnt really an indication of the authenticity of merchandise of the seller as many fakes look like the genuine deal and very few realise it until way after they have left feedback or later down the track.
The 2nd part of this guide is designed to help you spot out the fake looking jersey and the genuine jersey.
The first jerseys we will look at are the nike jerseys? Can you identify which one is the fake by looking just at these tags?
If you answered the Barcelona jersey congratulations, but in sad fact not many people would be able to tell the difference when looking just at the tags. Official nike merchandise has different colour codes for different sizes. The size medium has always come in the sky blue as opposed to the highlighted green used in the Barca jersey. Now most fakes usually dont have these barcode stickers across the back of the swing tags but as fakes become better and better they will try the hardest to make their merchandise feel and look like the genuine article.
The official jersey in the 2nd photo has the inner small tag which the Barca one doesn't. Underneath the word homme is the serial number 338789 016 which is also on the 2nd line of the inner tag. On the next line is the barcode number which is 88498412336 which is also the barcode number on the sticker on the swing tag. Just above the serial number code 338789 016 on the inner tag is the letter M which stands for the size of the jersey. Now remember listing all these photos for sellers is time consuming so it helps to ask the seller about these checks and other questions of authenticity that may concern you before jumping to conclusions.
Here we have a photo of the Man Utd 2010/2011 nike home jersey.
I ask you, genuine or fake?
If you answered fake again congratulations. Again this particular seller has gone for the colour barcode sticker but it is not in the official colour of sky blue for the medium size. They have an inner tag but as you can see the barcode number and the serial number don't match up at all. The swing tag has the year 2009 on it and it should have a 2010 tag on it being a 2010/2011 jersey. Lastly the final photo shows us the word designed as being mispelt (designd) a common error done by many counterfeit producers.
Now we will look at the adidas jerseys.
By just looking at the tags can you tell which is the genuine jersey and which is the fake?
Not an easy task for the everyday shopper but if you answered the 1st jersey as the authentic then congratulations. The 2nd photo is a good fake because it has the inner tag which not many counterfeits have. The giveaway however is the first line of the manufacture date which has the day, month and year. Official tags will only have the month and year when the jersey was made as seen in first photo 08/09 but never the day. Also the S tag next to the inner tag is never placed there its always on the back of the neck and these days is usually just printed on, never on a seperated sewn on tag.
Now here we have a few photos of some Chelsea merchandise. Which one is the fake and which one is the authentic? or are they all fake? or all authentic?
The Chelsea jacket is the official merchandise which is the last photo. The other product which is the away jersey 2010/2011 has the barcode tags and even comes in the official adidas bag but a close look at the swing tag and we can see it has no mention of what the item is, it doesn't state its a Chelsea away jersey just saying sl/tee where as the last photo the swing tag gives in detail it is a CFC Pres Jkt, meaning Chelsea FC Presentation Jacket. The swing tags have to state what the item is, whether it is a home or away jersey, pl for player issued, pres jkt for a presentation jacket or players name on the tag.Remember for quality and look for poor workmanship as an alarm of the chance you are purchasing a counterfeit product.
We are now allowed to put better quality photos so as you can see the inner tag is very important especially when it comes to purchasing adidas gear. Here the inner tag states 10/14 meaning the jersey was manufactured in october 2014. The 2nd line has a code which always has to match up with the code on the swing tag sticker. Then the swing tag must state what the item is. In this case it is a Real Madrid away jersey and the size is xl and the colours are stated underneath. Be sure if it is for example a "climacool" jersey then most of the times it will come with the climacool swing tags also as seen in the 2nd photo.
Same goes there you can see the inner tags match up, the item here is a FCB anthem jacket and most of the times these days the big clubs will have their own swing tags. All genuine merchandise will come with the size listed on the swing tags from the main different regions/continents. Eg USA/UK/EURO/JAP etc. As seen in photo below on swing tag. Also what we have seen a lot over the years the inner tag which states the year of manufacture must coincide with the jersey.
Example a Man Utd jersey manufactured for 2015/2016 season will not be made in mid 2016 as the season would of already been over or near over. So usually in this case you would find the jersey would of been manufactured early/mid 2015.
Nike are a little bit different but they will also have their own inner swing tag which will usually have the size in this 2XL below it is the model number 574863-489 etc which matches up with the number underneath the word homme on the swing tag. Underneath that is another code (barcode) which then matches up with the barcode number on the swing tags.
Nike also have the authentic patch as seen in 2nd photo with the word authentic. Here we have a Man city 13/14 nike dri-fit model. Dri-fit jersey will have dri-fit swing tags, jersey states at bottom of swing tag it is from the nikebettersworld rangeso this will be indicated somewhere also on the jersey. Usually stamped or imprinted on the inside of the collar.
Most major manufacturers these days are using similar methods to stop the flow of fakes entering the market. Eg here you can see a Puma Uruguay away jerey with the style no on the inner tag matching up with the the number in larger font across the swing tags. Also if purchasing online jerseys will usually come with their manufacturers bags which will then have a barcode sticker which will also have the corresponding numbers matching.
In this case the barcode sticker on the swing tag of the puma jersey matches the barcode on the puma bag and then both numbers match up with the style number on the inner tag.