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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Real vs Fake Jerseys


I found this on eBay- luxurysportscollectibles wrote it about how to spot real jerseys,,, This is from before the Flex base brand . The current Flex Base jerseys letters and numbers have changed slightly but this pretty much nails it.
This Guide is written for those who are looking to purchase an authentic jersey, but may not know the differences between the typical Chinese counterfeits and the authentic, licensed material available by trusted sellers.  I am a seller of autographed, licensed, authentic jerseys (ebay name: luxurysportscollectibles) and have extensive experience with licensed jerseys.  I hope that this article is useful to anyone who is interested in purchasing an authentic jersey.
What is a real jersey vs a fake jersey?
The vast majority of jerseys available on the marketplace today are knock-offs of licensed material.  In my own experience, I would estimate that well over 95% of all signed and unsigned jerseys on the marketplace are cheap knock-offs.  Not only are the quality of these jerseys well below standards, but they use low-quality materials and are often poorly constructed.  Many times, even the player's name is spelled wrong!  Typically, the colors are off, the stitching isn't quite right, and as a result, you are in for an overall sub-standard experience.  
Real, licensed jerseys are what you purchase in the team store at a baseball stadium.  They last considerably longer, are made of high-quality material, and (in the case of Majestic) are made in the USA.  They are also significantly more expensive!  These typically run $250+ in a team store, whereas a counterfeit will cost about $25.
In the case of Majestic, their Jerseys are sub-divided into two categories:
Majestic On Field Authentic - These are the jerseys that the players wear.  The current iteration of On Field Authentic is usually cool-base.  Below, I give some tips on spotting real jerseys vs fake jerseys, including dead-giveaways for cool-base jerseys.  These jerseys run in sizes from 38 - 60 and will cost anywhere from $150 (closeout specials) to $350 (retail).  Older iterations of Majestic On Field Authentic jerseys are not cool-base; they do not have the same meshy type material and will have a different tag on the bottom of the front of the jersey.  I will explain this further below. 
This jersey is an example of an authentic, cool-base on field jersey.  It is a Giants away jersey with the patch displayed.  I have high-resolution images available on all of my listings for authentic jerseys, where you can easily see in close detail everything I'm referring to.

Majestic Authentic Replica - These jerseys will feel different from the on-fields.  The tags will be different, and the "Majestic Authentic Replica" will be stitched onto the jersey on the front bottom-right instead of screen-printed like cool-base jerseys.  The numbers will usually not be tackle-twill, but will be made of a plastic material that appears triple-stitched, but is actually single-stitched.  These are still "authentic" jerseys and carry a price tag of anywhere from $80 (closeout specials) to $150 (retail). The below jersey is a replica jersey.  Note how the numbers and letters look very different; they are made of plastic and although they are designed to imitate the look and feel of an on-field authentic, they are not the same at all. 

What to look for in a licensed jersey.
Here are a few tips to look for in licensed jerseys:

1) A licensed Majestic jersey will typically have the tags hanging from the sleeve (fakes usually have the tags hanging from the neck). The Chipper Jones jersey pictured is an authentic example, where the tags are clearly hanging from the sleeve (where they're supposed to be).

2) A licensed Majestic jersey cool-base or on-field jersey will always have an interior wash tag, usually with the numbers "6200" or "6300."  Other numbers exist; often, they are used for team-issued or player-issued varieties.  Game used jerseys will have interior wash tags as well but will have different numbers.  If a seller has a real jersey, they will be happy to post pictures of the wash tag.  On occasion, I have seen fakes with wash tags, but the vast majority (95%+) do not have them.   Here is an example of an interior wash-tag.

3) A licensed Majestic jersey will use authentic tackle-twill for the numbers and stitching, and never use Nylon or any other cheap material.  If it looks off, then it's not real!  I have never seen a counterfeit Majestic jersey with a tackle-twill number.  These number kits alone cost up to $20 from, and they could never afford to buy them and then only charge $18.50 for the jersey.  Tackle-twill is a high-end fabric - take a peek at some of my current listings for jerseys and you will note the difference.
4) A licensed Majestic "cool base" jersey will NEVER have the "Majestic Authentic Collection" patch stitched on - it appears stitched, but is actually screened onto the jersey. This is one that I have never seen the Chinese counterfeits get right.  Here is an example of a proper, screened-on patch on a real jersey.  Note the appearance that it's stitched-on, but in actuality, it is a screen: 

IMPORTANT NOTE: a non cool-base authentic jersey will have this tag stitched on.  Jerseys that are on-field authentics but are not cool base are usually the older versions of jerseys.  They are still real, but just a few years out-of-date. Here is an example:

5) The patches on real jerseys are of significantly higher quality.  The letters will not run together; whereas on a fake jersey, the stitching of the letters will run from letter to letter.  Often, on fakes, the patches are too small.
On that same note, on most fake jerseys, the stitching is done so cheaply that it actually runs from letter to letter without cutting the stitch and beginning anew.  As an example, look at the MLB logo patch on the back side of the jersey, up by the neck.  If there is a stitch that runs from the baseball down to the bottom of the patch, it's a fake jersey.  An example of an authentic MLB logo patch is to the left on the Mariano Rivera Jersey.

6) The bottom cut on a licensed authentic jersey is similar to a suit shirt; most fake jerseys cannot properly reproduce the cut and are nearly straight across or with just a slight cut. 
7) Most sellers of fake jerseys will not take close-up pictures of the jerseys themselves.  They will have a picture of the entire jersey from afar, the front of the jersey from afar, and often, just the autograph.  If someone is selling a licensed, authentic jersey, then they will usually know what they have and will be happy to show pictures of the interior wash-tag and close-ups of tags.  If sellers of fake jerseys were to do this, their auctions would be taken down.  Sweetspotsigs auctions show close-ups of tags, wash-tags and patches.
An important note: many individuals have been purchasing fake Chinese jerseys for years and they do not know any better.  They make themselves believe theirs are real to the point that when they are presented with an authentic, they do not know that it's real and assume THEIRS are fine whereas the real one they bought is the fake jersey.
I hope that after reading this article you can arrive at a more informed decision regarding any jersey purchase that you make.  If you find this guide helpful, please rate it below!

Here's an update with Flex Base:

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