How To Spot Fake NFL Merchandise

How To Spot Fake NFL Merchandise

A lot of you may be rushing to the store or online to stock up on extra Seahawks gear before Sunday, but how do you know you’ll be getting the real thing?

A Wenatchee man has already been cited in Arizona after a traffic stop where authorities found 100 fake NFL jerseys.

Counterfeit merchandise isn’t just a problem around Super Bowl time, a couple weeks ago smoke shops in Yakima were closed in part because of the sale of fake NFL merchandise.

“The best thing to do is either shop at a team store, buy it online, or go to a reputable store,” says Mike Bastinelli Yakima Police Public Information Officer.

Yakima Police say shy away from the un-reputable vendors like flea markets, street corner stands, and smaller stores where authentic NFL merchandise just doesn’t seem to fit in.

On an authentic Marshawn Lynch jersey goes for $294.95– on a website similarly named you can find that so called same jersey for 21 bucks.

Sites like these allow you to buy wholesale– making it easy for vendors to get their hands on a large quantity for a small cost– in turn making a huge profit off unknowing buyers who think they’re getting the real thing.

For those unknowing buyers I seek a few quick purchasing tips from Mike Smith at Kimmel Athletic Supply

“One thing you can always look for is the shield from the NFL–the way its stitched, nice and even”

“The fake knock off jersey you can see the materials are a little bit different–they are using like four different materials”

“On field [hats] is always going to be by New Era, sometimes you’ll see stuff with a knock off brand or no brand at all”

Shops are being hit near the Super Bowl by Homeland Security Investigators this year seizing more than $19.5 dollars in counterfeit NFL merchandise during the operation and once they seize it…they burn it.

Homeland Security’s number one way of telling if apparel is fake…misspelling, or a typo.

“The NFL wants to protect it’s investment, it’s image, it’s logo, and sometimes consumers want to save a buck,” said Bastinelli.

Saving a buck on apparel may seem like a victimless crime but police and Homeland Security say it hurts the state economy of the two teams playing in the big game.

“It’s good to pay for quality, otherwise you’re not going to have it for very long,” says Smith

“You’re not going to get a licensed NFL jersey in the year 2015 for 50 bucks.. it’s just not going to happen,” says Bastinelli.

Before last year’s super bowl– homeland security investigators had a record bust seizing over $21 million dollars in fake apparel and shutting down over 5,000 websites selling fake merchandise.