If you’re a fan of collecting football kits or thinking of starting your collection, you need to know that there are, sadly, many people out there ready to scam you. Fake kits are a huge problem in the industry, and if you’re not careful, you could end up paying full price for a shirt with very little value.
Some clubs have recognized the issue and are taking steps to protect the authenticity of their kit. The Atletico Mineiro kit, for example, has integrated smart technology to ensure that fans always know exactly what they’re buying. But until all clubs offer this type of safety net, here are our top tips to ensure that the kit you buy is the real thing.
Things to Check on the Shirt
Take a look at the badge.
There are a number of ways to tell if a kit is fake. The first is by looking at the badges. If the badge isn’t stitched on properly, or if it’s made from cheap materials, it’s likely a fake. The manufacturers of authentic shirts don’t cut corners when it comes to the badges.
Inspect the material closely
Another way to tell if a kit is fake is by looking at the materials. If the fabric is thin and flimsy, it’s likely not an authentic kit. The materials used in counterfeit kits are often of lower quality to keep costs down.
Check the labelling
Another way to spot a fake kit is by checking the labelling. If the kit is missing a label, or if the labelling is incorrect, it’s likely not an authentic kit.
Quality of the printing
Another way to tell if a kit is fake is by looking at the printing. Authentic kits will have high-quality printing, while fake kits will have poor-quality printing that looks blurry or smudged.
Check the product code.
Before you commit to purchasing a football shirt, ask the seller to provide you with a photo of the product code. This is found on a label inside the item and is usually positioned towards the bottom of the shirt.
Once you have the code, you can check it online against other shirts.
Purchasing a Football Kit
Before you make that purchase, there are some steps that you can take to protect your hard-earned cash.
Buy from a reputable source.
There are a lot of fraudulent sellers on the market who sell fakes, and you could get ripped off if you aren’t vigilant. On marketplaces like eBay and Depop, phoney shirts are becoming increasingly difficult to avoid. Sadly, these marketplaces appear to be doing little when it comes to eradicating even the most evident of fake merchants.
We recommend looking for signs that the seller is well trusted and respected. This includes reviews, unique images and copy, and a presence on social media platforms.
Understand What Replica Means
The term “replica” is a common source of confusion. The word should only be used to identify a shirt marketed to fans through authorised channels. Only replica shirts, as well as other items such as hats and T-shirts, are sold through official channels such as the manufacturer and the team themselves.
The term “replica” is sometimes employed as a catch-all to cover basically everything. When shady vendors claim a shirt is a replica, they’re referring to an apparel reissue, which typically means it’s not even close to being genuine.
The term replica is becoming increasingly common among businesses and sellers to trick people into buying fake shirts.
If the price Is too good to be true…..
One of the most obvious signs that a shirt is likely to be fake is its price point. This is a case of it looks too good to be true, then it probably is!
Things to consider when it comes to pricing:
Has the shirt just been released?
If a shirt has just been released, it’s not going to be on special offer. Take a look at the club’s online store to see what the official price is; when it’s just been made available for sale, it’s not going to be discounted.
When it comes to vintage shirts, Google is your friend. While you might think that you’re getting a bargain, it’s likely that you’re just buying an expensive fake.
Is the seller offering multiple sizing options?
If you’re searching for a rare shirt and then find a supplier who has it and is offering multiple size options, then alarm bells should be ringing. It’s a little like someone saying they have the complete works of Leonardo da Vinci for sale, pretty unlikely!
What else is the seller offering for sale?
If this is a specialist seller, but they’re also offering a huge range of other unrelated items, then it might be legitimate but do some additional research before you make your purchase.