5 Ways to Spot a Fake Football Shirt in 2021

Despite the best efforts from the likes of Adidas, Puma or Nike, it seems that fake shirts are becoming more and more prevalent.



Inspired by the recent trend of fake sellers appearing much more openly on social media, as well as the rise of individuals selling fakes on sites like Ebay or Depop, we wanted to take a closer look at the five easiest way to determine whether such a listing is showing a fake.

TLDR, five good ways to determine whether a shirt is fake are
  • Price
  • Product SKU
  • Embroidery & Logos
  • Sketchy Online Stores
  • Seams

1. Price




The number one giveaway of fakes is the price - if a recently released shirt is sold for less than half its regular price on reputable sites like Kitbag or Unisport, it will in all likelihood be a fake.

Fake stores also tend to have all shirts priced at very similar prices, which is also highly unusual.

2. Product SKU

Each football shirt, or product in general, is assigned a SKU (Stock keeping unit), which can be very useful to determine if a shirt is fake or not - especially if you have it in your hands already.

You can find the SKU on the tag that comes with the shirt. A great way to make sure it's the correct one is to Google it together with the maker of the product.

For example, here we have a tag from the Bayern 20-21 home shirt - featuring its SKU FR8358.



If we enter this into Google, the results are almost exclusively pictures and product listings for this jersey.

Another inaccuracy often found with the fakes included with fake shirts is that they feature a generic product name - instead of e.g. "FCB H JSY", the tag just says "ADIDAS JSY" - a clear giveaway of a fake.



3. Embroidery & Logos




Embroidered logos are often also easy giveaways of fake shirts. If a logo is looking very sketchy - either in its shape or because the different elements or fonts are off, it's most likely a fake.


Unfortunately, the recent rise of heat-applied plastic crests, which are easier to copy for fake producers, has made this a less reliable indicator.

4. Sketchy Online Stores




If you are an experienced shopper, you can probably easily tell apart a sketchy fake store from a proper one.

Unprofessional designs, low-quality header pictures, are also unlikely to be found on a legitimate site with professionals working on it.

Inconsistent product pictures - taken from different legitimate sites, as seen here on UK Soccer Shop, are also an indicator that something could be off.

If you are unsure, look up the name of the store online, or look for an address or contact details on the site. Chances are you'll find a ton of negative reviews or the store will not list an address or responsible person at all.

5. Seams



The quality of fake shirts is usually subpar and very far from what you'd get with a real shirt. It's no surprise really since fakes are often sold for under €10 wholesale and the producers of course still want to make a profit.

Seams on fakes are badly executed and you can often see the end of the thread sticking out. It's also common to see seams that are not straight at all, or have fabric stretching next to them. This happens due to cheap machinery being user, untrained workers or a lack of care in general.

Recommended Stores

To close things, here's a list of online stores selling football shirts that we recommend.

Contemporary

Kitbag
Futbol Emotion
Unisport
11teamsports
Pro-Direct Soccer
Lovell Soccer

Classic

Classic Football Shirts
Football Shirt Collective
NI Classic Shirts

We hope that this guide will help you to avoid ever buying a fake football shirt again. Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.

And if you're interested in even more details, make sure to also check our in-depth look at comparing a fake with the actual Dortmund 110th anniversary shirt, which is one of the most popular fakes in recent times.

How to Identify a Fake Blackout Puma Borussia Dortmund Kit - In Detail
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