Spotting Counterfeit Reebok NFL Jerseys
Comparison of Authentic Reebok vs Fake Copies (using San Diego Charger Jerseys as Examples)

Many of you are here because you're experiencing what I recently went through. In your pursuit of a quality NFL jersey, you've found out there are a lot of fakes out there, and telling the difference between a genuine Reebok gem and a fake, can be difficult and frustrating. You've probably thought getting an authentic game quality jersey for $45 was a bargain, until you purchased one and realized it was nothing more than a cheap Reebok counterfeit with questionable details. Hopefully the following, rather obsessive collection of information will help you out. Whether you've already been duped or you feel like you're about to be, now is the time to learn all you never wanted to know about a real Reebok jersey. For those that know what they want, a possibly nice $35-$45 fake, you're in luck. They're all over the place!

Click here for REPUTABLE eBAY Sellers, or just email me with questions.
There's nothing in this for me. Any jersey I sell on eBAY is a personally owned jersey that I bought at retail price (or here on eBAY). Also, with this page I am not necessarily encouraging the purchase of an expensive Reebok jersey. I'm simply saying if you don't want to pay the price for the real thing, find a licensed alternative or just don't buy one. Please DO NOT support the counterfeit market by purchasing from dishonest sellers.

ARE YOU AN EXPERT on YOUR TEAM'S JERSEY, or planning on becoming an Expert?
Help everyone by creating your own TEAM PAGE with pictures and comparisons and I'll link you in!
2007 Chargers Jersey

IF YOU READ THIS ARTICLE and STILL HAVE DOUBTS, just email me A LINK of what you're looking at and I'll give you my appraisal of the situation! Hopefully I can help you out.

I've owned several of Reebok's cheaper screen print jerseys. I personally have no complaints with them -- just let them air dry after washing for better longevity. However, with my team stepping it up, I figured it was time to get something a little nicer that I could enjoy for decades. As with most of my purchases, I jumped online to look for the best deal. Shocked by the price of $249.99 for an Authentic Reebok jersey, my search quickly detoured to eBAY. Authentic jerseys abounded there - or so it seemed. Like the matra, it seemed to good to be true. Yet, as we are often tempted, too cheap not to try. For half the price of a single Reebok jersey, I quickly found myself the uncontested winner of a fully embroidered beauty, at a cost of just $35 shipped to my door. Once received, like a kid at Christmas, I tore open the tyvek USPS envelope and started to admire my jersey. It was nice; fresh, clean, hand stitched quality.

Then, slowly the $215 in savings, my little miracle, started to fade away. Though the materials and overall look were great, there existed loose, inconsistent stitching, some frayed edges, funny looking transitions, weird spellings of common words (on labels), and well, a lack of convincing "pizazz". Had I not tricked myself into believing, despite the warning signs, that this was a genuine Reebok jersey, I would've been and still would be quite happy with a jersey like this for $35, nearly half the retail price of Reeboks lowest quality offering. Honestly, it's a lot more bang for the buck at $35 than a $250 Reebok. But (and that's a big, red, bold, underline, italicized but), that feeling of being deceived, along with my own inadequecy to be bright, brought me to this...a long tutorial to help out the next big sucker! Needless to say, I've have now done copious research to learn about the difference between genuine Reebok products and what you see all over eBAY: Reebok counterfeits.

Sure as the sayings go: buyer beware (caveat emptor); you get what you pay for; if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is; if you believe you can get an Authentic Reebok jersey for $35, I have a bridge to sell you. But it happens to some of us, maybe for being too trusting, not researching, or overlooking the obvious. But it tends to occur more often with the convenience of online purchases. We mess up or get ripped off. There are many laws protecting consumers from fraud and intent to deceive. But, when it comes to small purchase like a jersey, nobody is going to sue someone over a fake, or spend $15 to send it back to Singapore for a $10 refund when the shipping was $25 (note, mine came from San Diego and was $25 with $10 shipping).

It's pretty easy to fool the common NFL fan with a fake. Even people that think they know jerseys can mess up with when evaluating a low resolution digital image. It can take a good eye to detect a fake. You might think, there is NO way this many people don't know what they are getting. eBAY and these sellers are profiting big from many sales, and yet, the thousands are sales going on only represent a small amount of the NFL fan base. It's not unbelievable when you realize only thousands of fans out of millions are being tricked, and as you read through this site, you will find out how these sellers reputations are created. Onto talking about how to detect these babies! Let's cut to it.

Some common tipoffs to spotting any counterfeit product from any industry are price, details/quality, and the overall look of the item. Fake jerseys are therefore low priced, lower quality, and just have an "off" look and feel to them. For a high priced autograph jersey, don't assume that a signature authentication means it's on a genuine Reebok jersey. If sellers avoid providing details pictures, there's a reason for it, and it's not that they don't have access to a good enough camera. The pictures provided below are of my proudly owned fakes (ha ha). For comparison, I have added a pictures of several genuine Reebok jerseys for comparison and included many other examples of fakes so you can tune you senses to a counterfeit. Though Chargers jerseys are used througout this page for examples, many of the same details described will apply to your favorite team jerseys.

As I developed this article, the excess of information made a single webpage a mile long. Therefore, I have split it up into a few different pages. Click on the links below to learn about each subject heading. Reading each in order will provide the best understanding. The original part of this article (photos and comparisons) is still included on this page, just underneath the following links.

Types of Genuine Reebok Jerseys:
This section defines the three different types of NFL jersey Reebok currently offers, along with details of how they are constructed.

What you can Expect from a Fake, and the Sellers of Fakes:
Fakes and their sellers come with many differences. This section defines discusses how to detect a counterfeit jersey and how your experience might vary with different sellers.

eBAY Advertising Tactics - How do these guys stay alive?
A breakdown of why the feedback system doesn't always provide accurate representation of sellers. Several examples of PowerSellers and what they do to "win" the game.

My Quick Beef on the Practice of Selling Counterfeits

Many OTHER examples of Counterfeits
Get a good look at at variety of garbage threads and how sellers have presented them. Also, see some other licensed jerseys as well as some pre-Reebok versions.

Photographic Comparisons of Fakes vs. Authentics/Genuine Reebok Jerseys
(As mentioned above, it will help you to understand what follows if you have first browsed through the links already provided)

Here are pics of a my first counterfeit along with some notes so you can learn how to spot differences. The fake is a Rivers alternate, beautiful powder blue, with elastic/spandex cuffs. I have added comparison pics of STOCK AUTHENTIC photos to compare and detailed pictures of my personally owned Gates AUTHENTIC Reebok Gates throwback (powder blue) and home (dark blue) Gates EQT (Premiere), and a SCREEN PRINT (replica). See link above or click here for definition of these jersey types. You may also use the links immediately below to see three other examples of fakes that I have taken pictures of.

Closeup Photos and Scans of Authentic, EQT, and Counterfeit Jersey

2007 Chargers Jersey

I have a my own list of preferred eBAY sellers if you want to email me for a list

Before receiving my first, I ordered three more jerseys, all from the same eBAY seller. All were fakes, which I did not know before purchasing. I will never purchase a fake jersey again, and I remain unsure of how to honestly detach myself of these ones. Of these four jerseys, only one actually shows fraying - the rest are pretty nice for a $35 purchase (my average cost for each). Before fully understanding the examples below, again, I refer you to the links above. But in summary, your quickest tells of a counterfeit (other than price) AUTHENTIC are elastic/spandex cuffs that cinch the sleeves, restricting a smooth taper from shoulder to cuff, incorrect number or logo (Bolt) style, and poor inconsistent stitching and cutouts. There are many details to detect a fake. Some fakes will display fewer bad details than others, but just because some details are right, doesn't mean you can't find one that sets it off as a fake. Just keep looking for discrepancies and you'll find one.

RIVERS Alternate with straight cuff (48)

RIVERS Alternate with straight cuff (50)

TOMLINSON Home with straight cuff (48)

OTHER Jerseys


IF YOU READ THIS ARTICLE and STILL HAVE DOUBTS, just email me A LINK of what you're looking at and I'll give you my appraisal of the situation! Hopefully I can help you out.



AUTHENTIC not nearly as long as this FAKE, unless ordered/denoted as + length

STITCHING is one of the biggest giveaways on a fake. The Bolt color on this fake is also too light, as is the surrounding Powder Blue material.
Stitching on AUTHENTIC is usually very precise, consistent, and thread barely overlaps cutout on edges.

AUTHENTIC NOT made in CHINA || Fakes can say KOREA, too, but other details will give them away || Tag on AUTHENTIC is usually longer

White Jersey material on AUTHENTIC "contours/transitions" smoother into Blue Jersey material. Spandex "grain" on collar is vertical on AUTHENTIC. This fake has it horizontal.

Letter and number height/size on this fake are accurate || Shield location on collar is high and detail is poor



Note the better detail on the left. Ball has grip, stars are clear. Lettering is consistent and sharp. No frayed edges.

Counterfeit - tags and all

(ABOVE) Counterfeit

Jersey Hole by Bolt: lengthwise, the oval holes on AUTHENTICS run PARALLEL to Bolt (OVER the shoulder), not across shoulder/perpendicular to Bolt. Left (above), though fake, is well-copied. Right above is not.


(ABOVE - LEFT) Counterfeit - Notice poor spelling (three words: Internatonal, trademaiks, Foetball), fuzzy letters, and inconsistent letter height/type space. Though not shown well, the hologram has a grainy texture, is not sharp, and only has NFL and N (NFC) helmets on it. It should have N (NFC), A (AFC), and NFL helmets. Compare to (ABOVE - RIGHT), which is genuine Reebok TAG and hologram.

SCANS of HOLOGRAM Below || FAKE maintains constant color in same light, and changes with tilt || Genuine Reebok has different colored helmets in same light and change with tilt. Note that hologram should have AFC, NFC, and NFL Shield logos. All the spelling on tag is correct and the type set is perfect. Most holograms also have a code printed on them, which some fakes will have, also. The newer Reebok hologram is as seen on the right.


I wonder if this tag was stolen from a factory, because it is perfect



The biggest tell is the cuffs. They sleeve should not be cinched by the cuff. It should taper cleanly to the cuff. I also understand the stitching on the Bolts should be TRIPLE STITCHED and that the mesh holes should run horizontally instead of vertically. But notice, this is a good looking Counterfeit, but just not the same as the AUTHENTIC.


Note again the better detail on the left. The reebok logo is clear as is the football. The silver ribbon on the neckline has clear, sharp text and logo. The tag on the right has INCONSISTENCY in where it was made. English says "MADE IN USA"; Frenchs says "FABRIQUE EN EL SALVADOR"; Spanish says "HECHO EN USA". The neckline ribbon has bleeding text and the ribbon itself is not as smooth/fine threaded as the
genuine Reebok ribbon. The sewing in the ribbon is also poor, though not horrible.

(LEFT) Reebok Screen Print "REPLICA" || Counterfeit (RIGHT)

Here are the pictures of the Counterfeit from the LISTING I bought from (from a few feet, no visible problems) -- In fact, look how seller hid the sleeves. Interesting.





Note sleeves -- they taper down to elastic/spandex. No cinching/puckering. Seamless transition.

An AUTHENTIC Merriman #6 has angled/rounded (45 degree) corners inside the 6. Fakes are often squared.
(BELOW) Comparison of AUTHENTIC Merriman next to FAKE Merriman || "Dirty" Hue to Fake || Thinned, inconsistent BOLT Pattern


An AUTHENTIC L.T. Throw Back || Sharp Numbers || Quality, Consistent Stiching || Consistent Color Between Cloth Types and Seemless Transitions


AUTHENTIC (first three); EQT on right. AUTHENTIC has deeper color and more sheen.


I have a my own list of preferred eBAY sellers if you want to email me for a list


Additional Notes and Credits (unfinished research questions)


TONS of information on

According to Reebok's website, Authentic NFL jerseys (those that are almost identical to what players wear) are currently manufactured in South Korea, El Salvador, and Senegal (Africa). The Replica NFL jerseys are manufactured in South Korea, Honduras, Guatamala, Mexico, and El Salvador. Some NFL Replica Alternate jerseys and virtually all youth, toddler, and infant jerseys are manufactured in Russia. Other NFL Replica Alternates are manufactured in Honduras. The NFL EQT Twill jerseys are manufactured in South Korea and China. (As an example, see Item no. EQT-DDavis #4931-Houston Texans Dominick Davis jersey that Reebok is selling for $99.99). NFL hats and caps are made in China, Bangladash, Bulgaria, the Philippines, and Honduras.

Examples: Country of Manufacture and Model (I've seen personally):

Tomlinson Glitter Womens Alternate (7178W 06): Honduras
Gates Womens Dark Blue (R703W 06): Vietnam
Brees Alternate Replica (7012A): Korea
Tomlinson Home/Away Replica (7033A): Vietnam
Rivers Home Replica (7009A 06): El Salvador

1st off, we'll start with Pittsburgh, as I live in Pittsburgh & have 5 true authentics. Look for these 4 things and you'll be fine-
The stripes on the sleeves are actual material, not heat transferred, and they have a 'grain' to the fabric running up & down which ALMOST resembles cordouroy(sp?) when you look at it close. Some new fakes have material stripes on the sleeves, but they almost look like a 'felt-type' material & don't have the 'grain' I mentioned.
2nd is the tight elastic sleeve 'cuff'. The end of the sleeve should taper and, depending on your arms, be tight around your bicep.
3rd, the numbers are on a slant (to the right), and are NOT block style numbers.
4th is the nameplate on the white jerseys. The authentics have two colored names. I see many replicas withe just the yellow name, which is a fake.

The following is a list of other questions I have about AUTHENTIC (genuine Reebok) jerseys:

Did they made any AUTHENTICS with straight (no spandex/elastic) cuffs?
Do some of the fakes have genuine Reebok hem tags? (ie, could the genuine ones be stolen by some foreign employee from a Reebok factory and used on fakes) Reason I ask is because on the fakes I've seen, the one thing that DOES look genuine is that hem tag.
What is the cloth composition on an AUTHENTIC supposed to be? (ie, 100% polyester? or a mix?)

Insides of "6" should have three angle cut, not square. (use Merriman authentic pic from website)

Material is heavy, holes in jersey material too large

Around Throw Back bolts, there should be JERSEY material and the hole should run HORIZONTALLY (across), not vertically (up/down)

Tip: Authentic jerseys are like game-worn jerseys in that they compensate for shoulder pad room which makes measurements larger than standard apparel sizes.

What images should be on authentic holograms? N, A, NFL?

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