Nothing beats the feeling of wearing your favourite team’s jersey and showcasing your fandom. But when so many knockoffs fill the marketplace, it can be hard to pick the genuine one. At a glance, an authentic and a replica look the same with the same colour and logos. You cannot even tell the difference if you’re looking online. For example, if you are looking for an authentic NBA jersey, it should be the same as the players’ uniform, made of high-quality fabric, offering good stretch and stitched perfectly. So, if you don’t want to fall for a counterfeit product, keep the following factors in mind:
Vintage jerseys are made from premium materials. The latest technology has made jerseys more lightweight, but authentic ones use a heavier fabric. As such, a genuine jersey uses polyester mesh that feels smooth. Meanwhile, the material of fake jerseys will be of low quality and feels scratchy and rough.
The perforations of the jersey will tell a lot about the authenticity. So while buying, ensure the fabric hole pattern is consistent with the real version. Also, the size of perforations varies across different jerseys depending on generation, brand and other factors. So, understanding the difference may take a little while and more attention to detail.
3. Size Tag
The size tag is the best way to see the difference between an authentic NBA jersey and its knockoff counterpart. The tag’s top portion is black, while the bottom is silver. Also, the size should always be numeric with a separate tag that says ‘authentic’.
4. Jock Tag
You must check the location and position of the jock tags, and you can find them at the bottom left of the jersey. When you find inconsistencies in the thickness and font size, you know it’s fake. Meanwhile, fake jerseys create font sizes too thick, and once you learn to spot them, you can develop a second nature of distinguishing a real and a fake one almost instantaneously.
5. Neck Tag
The neck tag can help you tell an authentic jersey apart from a fake one. The stitches and the logo look clean on a genuine one. And in the fake jerseys, the stitches go over the top of the logo, which is a sign of shoddy workmanship.
6. NBA Logo
NBA logos are not incorrect in fake jerseys. They’ll have very thin logos, while legit jerseys have the logo embroidered with layers of stitching in different colours. Usually, counterfeit jerseys lack this detailing and have heat applied or sewn patches.
Genuine NBA jerseys are twill stitched. You also need to look at the alignment of numbers and letters, as fake jerseys don’t even have heights and spacing. The stitch is also frayed, which is easily noticeable.
Another way to spot a fake jersey is through the patches stitched onto it. The application of patches requires cotton paper-like backing. And fake jerseys leave these backings on that are visible through the inside.
8. Stock Photos
You may end up with a fake jersey if you buy from any unofficial or unauthorised sports merchandise dealer. These sites usually use stock jersey photos, which clearly indicates that they sell counterfeit products. And you can only expect stock photos in official and authorised online stores. Also, if you are getting an NBA jersey below the recommended retail price on the sites, it’s definitely not authentic.
Even with so much caution, you may buy a fake jersey. Therefore, it is better to choose a reputable dealer selling genuine products. Also, you must remember your product is as good as the price. So, if you’re paying less, the product could also be less than authentic.