Hi there! Welcome back to the Football Shirt Emporium blog. In this post we’ll be covering all the primary points you’ll need on how to spot a fake football shirt. We hope this advice will be especially useful if you’re looking to buy football shirts on eBay, as there are some gems you can buy here. But they do come with a huge risk of being fake. So if you did find this useful then make sure you check out our other posts we have here on the site too, or why not have a look at the wide range of stock we have in at the moment! Click here to see more.
Real Football Shirts vs Fake Football Shirts
So how are fake football shirts different to the real deal? Well, first things first and the most important thing to remember when buying fake shirts is that they are illegal. They are counterfeit items and to be caught selling them is a criminal offence. This is because the retailer/seller you’re buying them from doesn’t have the license to use the manufacturers logo or name and the same goes with the club of the shirt too. Of course that information only really applies if you’re a seller like we are. But to the customer they’re so poor quality that they might last 1 go through the washing machine. Anything after that and you best be hoping for a miracle if it’s to come out in good nick.
So How Do You Spot A Fake Football Shirt?
So there are many different ways to spot a fake football shirt. Whilst the shirt you’re looking to buy might look like the real deal on first glance, you can’t always be so sure unfortunately. So the following points will help to break those down to help separate real from replica.
1. Check The Product Code
So with every football shirt there will be a product code which you can google, by googling the product code on your shirt you’re cross referencing that code with the code that official retailers sell theres with. So for example if you were to google “Adidas CG0584” which is the product code on our Isco shirt from 2018/19 you’ll see the search results show that’s what that code should represent. There will be fake shirts out there that when you google these codes bring up a new shirt in it’s entirety, and this where we start to have problems. So where can you find product codes on football shirts? Well, it differs from producer to producer but this is the information I know for Adidas, Nike and Puma. If it’s made by someone else the code will be there somewhere like around the washing label for example but you’ll have to find out and then cross reference.
So to check adidas shirts you’ll find a 1cm x 1cm label in the neck of the shirt with the month and year it was manufactured and the code beneath that. The code you’ll need is the first row after the date.
Nike shirts is a little different, they put their codes under the washing label in a 1cm x 1cm tab too. If you google the codes on there then you’ll see if you’ve got an authentic shirt.
Puma shirts, you’re looking for the “Style No:” around the washing label area.
2. If New With Tags, Check The Label
Most items you buy fake will have a label on there as if they’re real shirts you’d buy off the shelf. But just because this is on the shirt, doesn’t make it authentic. Similar to the point above, you will find the product code on the tag, so be sure to Google it to see if you’ve got a legit shirt. Also, you can check the wording on the label too, so if you see any of the following it’s probably fake.
”ADIDAS JSY”, “PUMA SHIRT”, “FOOTBALL SHIRT”, “MENS”(Nike Shirts Only).
3. Check The Washing Label
So checking the washing advice labels might not be the first thing you think of when checking to see if a shirt is fake or not but it can be a good indicator of a shirt’s authenticity. Some fake football shirt manufacturers will add a pen mark to the washing label usually in the form of a letter or a number (we don’t know why but we guess it’s to do with internal production procedure). If you do spot this on the shirt then it is highly likely the shirt in your possession isn’t legitimate. However if the shirt doesn’t have this mark, it doesn’t categorically mean that the shirt is authentic still, as the more switched on manufacturers will be unlikely to do this.
4. Material Feel
Sometimes with specific shirts you will hold it in your hand and be able to get a good idea of the quality of material used in the creation of the shirt. Now with the fakes, because they are so cheap, it means they’ve used cheaper materials during manufacturing in order to cut costs and maximise margins, and this will always be a tell tale sign when you’ve bought the shirt. But as the years go by fakes have become harder and harder to spot meaning sometimes, this may not be the right way to tell.
5. Obvious Defects
All this means is as we previously mentioned, because these fake football shirt suppliers don’t legally have the right or license to use the clubs badge or manufacturers logo then sometimes you’ll see that sometimes sides will be missing Nike, Adidas, Puma or whoever the official replicas are made by’s logo. It may seem obvious if you’re already aware but it still makes into the list just in case you’re buying for the first time.
6. Use Facebook Groups To Your Advantage
You can also check different facebook groups too. If you’re unsure on a shirts authenticity then be sure to use the community to your advantage to find out more information as other people who own the legit version of shirts will be able to draw on similarities between your version and theirs. Meaning that if there are tiny little things that could indicate a fake. They’ll pick it up and be able to tell you why.
So hopefully you can take the points from this post and then make your own judgement about if the shirt you’re looking at is fake or not. If you found this useful then be sure to check out the full range of football shirts available!