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Affordable Jerseys vs. Fake Jerseys (and the World)

There are few things that demonstrate passion for your favorite players, teams, and city like a baseball jersey. Baseball jerseys are iconic and part of the very fabric that unites their respective communities. When it comes to buying one of these jerseys, however, there are many options which can be confusing even for the savvy fan and shopper.

There are the standbys - MLB Shop, Fanatics, Dick's Sporting Goods, and the like - that offer licensed Majestic Athletic Cool Base jerseys for around $120, and there are also enticing alternatives that appear to compete on price, purportedly offering the same licensed Majestic Athletic Cool Base jerseys for as low as $19.99.

Surprise, the $19.99 jersey is fake.

It was the existence of these parties - the high-priced monopolistic Fanatics and the low-quality knockoff sites - that made us launch AffordableJerseys.com in 2017. To be clear: we only sell officially licensed Majestic Athletic Cool Base jerseys, identical to the jerseys found from Fanatics. (If you're wondering how we offer a lower price, you can find a quick explainer on the About Us page of this website.)

Since the number one question we receive is "are your jerseys real," we thought we would state it clearly on this blog along with a quick guide for what to expect when you buy a MLB jersey from one of the knockoff sites. We even bought a few so we could offer some photographic evidence.

A licensed Yankees jersey vs. a fake Yankees jersey

Real vs. Fake: colors, stitching, and squiggly pinstripes

First, how to identify a website selling fake jerseys:

  • Domains will be something funky: china-cheapjerseys, jersey-kingdom, cheapmlbjerseysauthentic, and other such names. 
  • Websites that appear to be official Fanatics or league pages - sometimes going so far as ripping off their official logos - but featuring typos and other errors.
  • "Pay by Western Union and Save 10%" - This isn't something that is common from reputable, US-based e-commerce businesses. It's a tell that the store is trying to circumvent traditional credit card processors (because they're overseas, or to avoid chargebacks when you see how low-quality the merchandise is). 
  • The Contact Us page sends you to a hotmail.com, 163.com, or other free e-mail address.
  • Shipping times that exceed 30 days (and are hidden until you're checked out).
  • Prices that are too good to be true. You'll never find a licensed Majestic Athletic Cool Base jersey with a list price between $19.99 and $49.99. 

The fabric may be completely wrong.

Squiggly pinstripes

One of the most egregious things we found in researching fake jerseys is the above photo. On the left, you see the classic New York Yankees pinstripes from a jersey we sell. On the right, some kind of squiggly nightmare. Derek Jeter would puke.

Important stuff may be missing, like tags.

A common complaint of American consumers who purchase apparel directly from China is there are size issues. That appears to be the case with fake jerseys and we can't blame them: how are they supposed to pull the correct size when there's no size tag?

Colors may be wrong, stitching may be sloppy, and it all comes together to make for one bad look.

Incorrect colors and stitching

Midnight blue and crisp stitching are a hallmark of the New York Yankees home white jersey, like the one seen on the right. In the upper left, you'll see that fake jersey sites try to pull off a navy blue and sloppy stitching.

At the end of the day, you get what you pay for.

We totally understand the desire to get a deal. $120 is a steep price when all you're doing is trying to represent your favorite players and teams. And while we can't match the $19.99-$49.99 prices you'll find from knockoff websites, we can find a nice middle-ground: officially licensed Majestic Athletic Cool Base jerseys that start at $99.99.

And we'll even do you one better: with coupon code REALJERSEYSONLY, you'll get 10% off our already-discounted price.