How To Spot A Fake NHL Jersey!

December 5, 2009 by Tyler  
Filed under Hockey Columns

As embarrassing as it is, over the past while several friends (and myself), have been duped into buying knock-off RBK Edge NHL jerseys.

Sometimes these jerseys can be easy to spot, but there are several companies that are making very good quality knock-off jerseys (typically manufactured in China or Korea).

After being bamboozled myself, I thought I’d go to some professionals for some tips and then write about it so you don’t make the same mistake that I did.

I asked my friends on twitter (@icejerseys) from Ice to help out in identifying some key things to look for when buying jerseys.  Hopefully, this will ensure that you don’t get caught with a knock-off like I did!

(P.S – They’ve also offered NHL Digest readers a discount: $10 off orders over $100 at Ice! )

5 Things To Look For First:

  1. Does the web site look professional?When it comes to online shopping, your first impressions are important. If the site doesn’t look professionally designed, has poorly written content, or has a checkout process that is less than simple…be cautious.
  2. Does the site offer multiple methods to contact the company?A reputable website will always provide a full physical address on its contact page, as well as Telephone (toll-free is even better), and often live chat. In addition, they also may offer product reviews and site performance ratings to provide feedback from past satisfied customers. If all the site provides is a simple contact form or an email address, then it is likely that they don’t want you to find them too easily – for a reason!
  3. What types of shipping methods are used? If they don’t use one of the major North American courier companies such as UPS, FedEx, Purolator or US or Canada Post, then it is likely that your package is coming from very far away – if it comes at all.
  4. Where is the company based? If you do find a physical address (or other evidence) that the company is based offshore (especially Asia), then it is pretty much a sure bet that the jersey you are getting is a knock-off. All Reebok Authentic jerseys are manufactured in Canada, so there is no reason that a company in China would be selling Canadian-made authentic jerseys!
  5. Is the price too good to be true?If the listed price is significantly below the typical retail price, that should be an obvious warning flag. An Authentic Edge Jersey with real pro customization like will usually go for $350-$400USD, so if you see a seller advertising the same product for anywhere from $75 to $200USD, you can be sure you aren’t getting the real McCoy!

Inspecting The Jersey for Authenticity

The following are some key things about the jersey’s construction to look for.  As mentioned, it’s been some time since the introduction of the RBK Edge jersey, and many fakes are now very close to being identical to the authentic so be very thorough in your investigation!

  1. The very first thing to note is the coloring of the jersey. Many knock-offs are good with the main colors of Black and White.  However, you may be able to notice marked differences in Blues and Reds upon comparison to authentic jerseys.
  2. Check the logos and numbers for the correct detail.  Again, the knock-offs are getting better at the detailing, but some NHL team logos have detail that can be hard to duplicate.  Pay particular attention to the sizing and spacing of the letters and numbers on the jerseys. The letter and spacing are likely to be larger or smaller than the authentic version.
  3. Patches and stitching are also very important to compare. Compare the location of the stitching around the armpits and back of the neck to make sure the construction is authentic.  In addition, the NHL and RBK trademarks on authentic jerseys are actually patches and not embroidery.  This is one good comparison to make when shopping for a jersey on E-bay. You can see this clearly from the image posted below:

(h/t User TB426- Ice Jerseys forum)

If you want to see more great photographic examples of Counterfeit vs. Real RBK Edge jerseys and more things to look for, please read the Ice Jerseys forum thread below.

This forum thread is packed with great examples of what to look for on even the most authentic looking counterfeits!

Discount From Ice Jerseys

Once again, I’d like to thank the folks at Ice Jerseys for helping us make sure that we don’t get ripped off (again) on our jersey purchases this holiday season.  And, if you’re still shopping for a jersey (hat or T-shirt etc.) please consider Ice and their generous discount for NHL Digest readers!


16 Comments on "How To Spot A Fake NHL Jersey!"

  1. justinleon (Justin Leon) on Sat, 5th Dec 2009 6:12 pm 

    Twitter Comment

    RT @nhldigest: How To Spot A Fake NHL Jersey! [link to post]

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  2. TouchByAM (Touch by AM) on Sat, 5th Dec 2009 6:32 pm 

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    How To Spot A Fake NHL Jersey! [link to post] (via @nhldigest)

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  3. Gypsyladyamber (Amber Henderson) on Sat, 5th Dec 2009 6:33 pm 

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    RT @TouchByAM: How To Spot A Fake NHL Jersey! [link to post] (via @nhldigest)

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  4. JayZ670 (Jay Zawaski) on Sat, 5th Dec 2009 7:18 pm 

    Twitter Comment

    Don’t get duped Hawk fans. If its $40 and sold from a truck it’s a fake! RT @nhldigest: How To Spot A Fake NHL Jersey! [link to post]

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  5. LEAFSFANTV (LEAF) on Sun, 6th Dec 2009 6:31 pm 

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    RT @Jfavreau: RT @nhldigest How To Spot A Fake NHL Jersey! | NHL Digest [link to post]

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  6. Hawkfan on Fri, 23rd Apr 2010 10:59 am 

    Who cares if it’s a fake if it’s only $60 bucks? That’s why they’re called replicas. They’re all fake unless you’re buying a game worn jersey! The only people that bring this up are ones who got suckered into paying $400 for an “authentic” jersey only to see almost the same thing on Ebay for $80, that’s called capitalism. You’re not any more a fan because you paid $400 for your teams jersey!

  7. JayZawaski670 (Jay Zawaski) on Fri, 23rd Apr 2010 11:02 am 

    Twitter Comment

    RT @nhldigest: @Wyshynski here’s another piece on spotting Fake #NHL jerseys [link to post] Also, RCMP/Customs now clamping down on Chin

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  8. Lee on Wed, 28th Apr 2010 7:53 pm 

    Holy crap are people stupid. There is a big difference between an officially licensed jersey and counterfeit jerseys that are made in China and sold on Ebay. Besides being illegal to manufacture the quality is terrible on the knock off. If you dont want to pay $400 for an authentic then buy an official replica. And don’t call yourself a fan if you buy a knockoff. You’re supporting some sweat shop in china. Your team doesn’t see a dime when you buy a cheap knockoff.

  9. Glenn on Fri, 14th May 2010 3:17 pm 

    Well, Lee I could not buy food for my family for a couple of weeks to buy a $400 shirt that supports the millionaires and multi-millionaires of the NHL that charge way too much for tickets and food to games or I could buy a knockoff. I dont know what to do……..

  10. Martin on Tue, 18th May 2010 3:07 am 

    I will never, EVER, buy a knockoff jersey. You are ripping off the REAL workers, the REAL fans, and worst of all, you are supporting sweatshops. There is something called ‘pride of ownership’. When you have the real thing, YOU know it. You dont have to LIE to others AND YOURSELF. You KNOW when you have a fake. If you want the real thing, save up and get it! THATS what makes it worth having, the effort. If you cant afford an authentic, then get an official replica. But dont buy a knockoff and then LIE to make yourself feel better. If you want to live a lie, GO BUY A FAKE!

  11. ed on Tue, 21st Sep 2010 4:44 pm 

    @ Martin:

    yes, because RBK doesn’t have sweatshops in china…

    by giving them $400.xx for an authentic, i’d say you’re supporting MORE sweatshop activity for Reebok than buying a knock-off jersey… heck, they’re probably made in an old reebok shoe shop or maybe even a current one. lol.

    and i tell people all the time my jersey is a knock off and was only $50.xx, funny thing is, they buy one too and are at the pub with it alongside me… would you really want to spill beer on a $400.xx Jersey?

    PS: i own 2 authentics, one’s a wall hanger because it’s signed and the other i don’t wear in public because i don’t want it to get wrecked… for that a fake one is good enough.

  12. Campbell on Thu, 30th Sep 2010 3:15 pm 

    I just had a Sidney Crosby jersey come in the mail today, it had an authentic tag, and it seemed to pass inspection for authenticity. It wasn’t advertised as authentic when I bough it on eBay, and it came from some dude in CO. It was a size 48, but I’ve also heard that they don’t make authentics in a 48. Is it a fake? If so it’s a darn good one.

  13. Campbell on Thu, 30th Sep 2010 3:18 pm 

    P.s. By passing inspection, I mean correct colors, patches instead of embroidery etc. It’s all there, I was just wondering about the size 48 thing since i heard they don’t make those.

  14. tod macdonald on Sun, 9th Jan 2011 10:06 am 

    I bought what I thought was the real deal at a NHL arena and it was a knockoff…so beware everywhere

  15. Michelle on Thu, 29th Mar 2012 8:18 am 

    **BEWARE!!!!** Thank you to this site, by the way, for being very helpful and informative, even if late for me!

    What a NIGHTMARE this has been!! My husband ordered me a Blackhawks jersey from (which looks identical for all teams, just change the name) for Christmas. He found it online, not far off on price from the local stores (Dicks, Sportmart, … It wasn’t really cheap at $139, but $169 in the stores)! He didn’t expect it to be perfectly “authentic”, and this would have been fine with me. However, it finally came in, and complete with a blood stain on the white color!! Small, but still there! This, of course was not acceptable, and that’s where our troubles began.

    He made several attempts to get instructions to return/exchange the Toews jersey, and while fighting to get the info, he went out and paid the extra to buy me a Toews jersey locally, so I’d have a gift to open on Christmas. This company, which boasts “Easy 365 Day Returns”, told him via email that it must be just “dust, from shipping” and offered him $5 to have it cleaned, and would not give a return address!

    After Christmas, he let me decide which to keep, and to take over the negotiations about the blood stain.

    I compared the two jerseys side-by-side, found this website (thank you!) and did further checking, finding the imperfections as listed above to be exactly what I had in hand, also with red colors off, stiching different, and even found that the name on the back had an error! Toews name had an upside down “M” where the “W” should be!!

    Since both jerseys were also slightly too big, I exchanged the local one for smaller, and proceeded to fight for the return of the shipped jersey.

    I FINALLY (late January) got an address out of “Bess” that we were dealing with at and she insisted that the only place to ship this back to was an address in CHINA!! Forget about the address in California on the website, she insists they have no connections to that address, and no connections to California!!

    Jump ahead to almost April, and we are still fighting, USPS saying 2nd attempt (1st came back as “undeliverable”) to deliver package was successful, and signed for at the addressee’s company, and “Bess” is still saying they have never received the package, and cannot read teh signature on the receipt, saying its “vague”!! I’m so far out the $144 (w/tax, & international fees attached) for the jersey, $45 for the shipping, AND, we bought the 2nd jersey!!

    Bottom line, NEVER buy from this site!! Cheap or not, if you need to return for ANY reason, it WON’T HAPPEN!!!

  16. Rob on Mon, 23rd Jul 2012 11:34 am 

    Honestly, who cares? Everything is made in China or some 3rd world country. I’d rather have a knockoff jersey made in China for $40-$60 than one of those “official” replica jerseys made in El Salvador with the screenprint garbage for $75-$120 that peels or cracks after the second wash. Besides don’t the athletes and teams take enough of our money when we go to the games? Or purchase their over priced food at those stands? Most suckers on here would rather pay $250-$300 for an authentic jersey made in El Salvador or Honduran Sweatshops and for what? For you can walk into a Pub or Sports bar and announce that you are wearing the official gear of the NFL or whatever league? Before Nike took over Reebok suppliers were paying workers 19 cents per shirt. If the NFL showed half as much concern for human and worker rights as they do about the production of knockoff jerseys, those Authentic Jersey Sweatshops could be eliminated or at least cleaned up. The fact is that Nike, Reebok or whomever it is, only concern is making a huge profit. Just look up Charles Kernaghan Reebok and see what comes up on your search.

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