The problem with fake jerseys and how to avoid them


Labeled for reuse under the creative common license

An example of what a fake jersey looks like.

Michael Thomas, Spring Editor

With sports becoming more accessible to more and more people, sports fans develop love for teams. But some just want to ruin the fun.

Ever since products have been made, whether it be clothes or even a simple tool, there have been knockoffs. But in today’s world, with the culture of name brands just getting worse, some see a great opportunity. That opportunity being the underbelly of fake jerseys, cheap labour and child labour.

How the jerseys are made, where the money goes, and the process in general is sickening. There are three main ways these jerseys are sold. Way one being on there own bootleg websites. Unfortunately, many do not understand that these websites are fraudulent, so I’m here to tell you the difference.

The easiest way to tell if a website sells fake jerseys is to check if their spelling and grammar is correct. For example, instead of saying “Real and cheap jerseys for sale” it might say “Real cheap jersey for sell”.

Secondly if you get any pop-ups on your screen saying things such as “Warning, you have 5:00 minutes to call the number below or your account will be hacked!” immediately leave the website. If you fall for these your personal information such as credit card will be in danger of being misused.

Just use common sense. There will probably be never a signed, game worn jersey for sale for $50.00, let alone a buy one get three sale.

The second place fake jerseys are being sold is Ebay. Now, contrary to belief, Ebay is a good place to get jerseys. Two of my own jerseys are from Ebay and when I received them, they were legitimate.However, there are also a lot, and I mean a LOT of fake jerseys

With the simple search “New Jersey Devils Jersey” (go Devils) on Ebay, on the first page of products, twenty one out of forty nine jerseys were fake. So if you are not that well-versed in sports jersey knowledge, you might want to stay away from Ebay until you have a good understanding of them.

If you see a jersey on Ebay you really want, check the seller’s page. If multiple reviews of the seller are bad and claim that the, don’t buy from there. If you can tell there’s something fishy looking about the jerseys and there’s nothing but outstanding reviews, the merchandise isn’t legit.

The third way these jerseys are sold is through apps such as Retailmenot and Letgo. On apps like these the problem is worse than jerseys, products like tubs of “detergent” have caught the attention of government authorities. Stuff like that is more dangerous and more cracked down on due to it might having dangerous chemicals that could harm the general public.

Just like Ebay there’s some legit, cheap, and real jerseys, but not all. These sellers could be a one man show or a group trying to sell counterfeit goods; money from the goods normally go to illegal things such as human trafficking.

Speaking of the government cracking down, just down the street from the school a  corner sporting memorabilia store got raided due to having fake jerseys just a couple of years ago, it was in a string of raids pre Super Bowl. If you would like to know more, the link to the video is

When I go to the Rock (Prudential Center) in Newark for a Devils game it enrages me to see fake jersey. Yes, some can’t afford real jerseys and there is some cheap tickets out there. But what really grinds my gears is seeing one in the lower bowl. Why can’t you buy a real jersey when you can sit nearly front row!?

Going back to the people who can’t afford them, it’s somewhat understandable, somewhat. So if you’re low on money and want some real cheap jerseys here are some places you can find them.

Disclaimer: The jerseys I’m about to list are legit, though I cannot vouch for the quality of them. Some might be authentic, some might be replica, but they are all real. Additionally, some of these websites still have high prices, but way cheaper than other places. When the situation comes up I will go more in depth.

Compared to others, Hockey Authentic has cheap, high quality customization. Yes, $150.00 is a lot of money but compared to a website such as Fanatics, where customization on the same product is for $250.00 with plastered on numbers, you’re saving around $100.00 for better quality. (Though if you like sports merchandise in general, Fanatics has a 3% cash back rewards program, but that money can be used only on there network of websites such as Fansedge and NHL Shop, NFL Shop, etc).

While on the topic of cash back, Ebates has a cash back program from multiple stores that sell jerseys, such as the Fanatics based websites, Ebay, Modells and more.

Sportsk has some dirt cheap steals, such as USA 1980 Premier Hockey Jerseys just for $68.00! Though the website looks sketchy, I have bought from here before and everything checked out. I ordered a Patrik Elias Czech 2011 National Jersey (Red),

I have a plan to get fake jerseys off the backs of people. If a fake jersey is spotted in an arena I believe that the team has the right to say “if you don’t give us the jersey, then get out”. Of course something will be given out in place of the fake jersey such as a plain white t-shirt or something along those lines.

While in the middle of brainstorming for the article I thought, “Does anybody in the school have a fake jersey?” After some searching around I found out that journalism teacher Mr. Malmstrom used to buy fake jerseys.

When Mr. Malmstrom used to buy fake jerseys, he didn’t know how the jerseys were produced. But after he read some articles on the topic, he felt guilty. But at the time he didn’t know, saying “I did not at the time, because I just thought is was a cool website where you can buy cheap jerseys”.

Most would agree with Mr. Malmstrom that on main websites, real jerseys are expensive, saying that they are “overpriced” and leagues such as the NFL and NHL should start making them cheaper.

He understands that some people can’t afford real prices and some just don’t know, but hopes that people will do more research before buying. He would consider his Mariano Rivera home jersey his favorite jersey.

Student Glen Cantalupo believes that “a jersey is a jersey” but doesn’t agree with the way the fake ones are made. He would consider his Johnny “Money” Manziel his favorite jersey.

Though, the ways the fake ones are made, the way the real ones are made aren’t that much better either. Though, with these the cheap labour goes to companies pockets instead of illegal business.

My personal favorite jersey is a tough choice for me, but I would say my Hockey Fights Cancer Jersey. The reason being multiple family members are fighting cancer or have fought cancer.

I plan on getting it customized with former Devils player Brian Boyle’s name and number. It was announced in the fall of 2017 that he had chronic myeloid leukemia, which made him miss a couple of games.

Thankfully, the cancer is now in remission. But now unfortunately he got traded to the Predators of the southern city of Nashville in the state of Tennessee. There will be always be a special place in my heart for him.

There will always be fake jerseys being made, but with awareness of fake jerseys getting more out there, hopefully the jerseys might one day be no more.