This past season I noticed an unusually large amount of fake Ottawa Senators jerseys in Scotiabank Place. What’s probably most surprising about this is the fact that a majority of them I saw in the 100 level section. Now I do understand that some people knowingly buy fake jerseys because they’re not willing to pay the one to three hundred dollars required to buy the real thing. My personal opinion on this is that I feel it’s wrong to buy fake jerseys as that money is solely supporting some random Chinese manufacturer and not the team itself. Nevertheless, I will not be arguing what’s right and wrong in this article. This article is meant to inform potential jersey buyers on how to spot fakes. I’m sure there are many that have unknowingly bought fakes thinking they were the real thing and may still not realise the jersey they’re wearing isn’t the real thing.
First off, let’s clarify the two main jersey types that exist, replica and authentic. Replica jerseys (called “Premier” by Reebok) are the main go to jerseys that the majority of people will buy. They are as worded, replicas of the jerseys worn by the players on the ice, that is not as high quality and meant to be fan gear. They come in your typical clothing sizes (S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL, XXXXL). Their retail cost is usually around $125 for a blank jersey with no name. On the other hand the authentic jerseys (called “EDGE Authentic” by Reebok) are of much higher quality and meant to replicate the jerseys worn by the players themselves. Because these are essentially real game jerseys, they come in numbered sizes (46, 50, 52, 54, 56, 60), do not have the size patch on the bottom front of the jersey like the replicas, and as well have a fight strap attached. There will usually only be several of these jerseys in stock at any store as the demand for these is small due to their large retail price tag of around $300 for a blank. Now that you know the difference, I will start off by saying that most fake jerseys (if not all) will be of the authentic ones. That is, they will have numbered sizes and the fight strap. Usually they will be priced under $150, and as the saying goes “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is”. On top of this, every fake jersey I’ve ever seen has been a player jersey, due to the fact they obviously have more value than a blank.
I will now go through several ads I have found on Kijiji and UsedOttawa that are selling fake Sens jerseys and explain what makes them fake. I have managed to find examples of fakes for all the current jerseys. Note, these are my personal opinions using the knowledge I have and I may unknowingly identify real jerseys as fake. If any readers can prove to me that they are real I’ll edit the article accordingly. Let’s start shall we.
A) The Away (White) Jersey
Well look at this, only $50 for an authentic Sens jersey with a name and number! That’s like a savings of over $300! What a deal… until we look at the close ups of the attached pictures that is.
Alright, first off the front of the jersey. First thing we noticed is the crest colour is way off, it should be almost be gold, instead this one has almost a bright yellow and is also white for some reason for the bottom portion of the crown when it should be coloured gold. Second, the ‘A’ font is way too rounded compared to the picture on the right. In addition, the fake includes an All Star patch. Real jerseys sold in store NEVER included the All Star patch, you had to buy one separately and stitch it on yourself. Therefore, if a jersey is being sold with an All Star patch it’s more than likely fake.
Ok, I’m not even going to bother going in depth with this, the numbers on the fake are horrendous and should be immediately noticed by the majority of fans.
B) The Home (Red) Jersey
Looks like another great jersey deal, an authentic of our captain for the reasonable price of $70, once again savings of over $300! On first glance I’ll admit this jersey looked almost real, but like I said when the price is this low something’s probably up…
Right off the bat I notice the font difference in the ‘C’s. However, I’ve gotta say that the fake logo looks pretty darn real to the naked eye. Without a closer picture of that I can’t confirm the differences, but to my eyes the two things that stick out is that the fake logo is almost too sparkling gold (i.e. too much glitter) and the red cape seems to pop out more than it should.
At first glance this jersey looks pretty real. However, upon closer inspection you’ll notice the font for the nameplate on the fake is off. The letters are slightly larger than they should be resulting in them also being squished more closely together than they should be. It also looks like they are a more bright white than the real thing. As well, the back of an authentic should have a rectangle where the stitchings of the fight strap is, it’s not visible in the picture of the fake (notice it below the numbers on Alfredsson’s real jersey). As for the numbers, they are pretty good for a fake, nothing obvious that I could notice except for maybe the fact the black outline isn’t thick enough.
Lastly, this ad provides a nice close up of the fact one of the jerseys is in a convenient size 48. However, looking at the men’s jersey sizing on shop.NHL.com size 48 apparently doesn’t exist!
Hey this looks good, the guy’s acknowledging that this isn’t a cheap knock off like alot of other ads! I feel confident that this might be a good deal! And it’s and authentic that’s autographed (I won’t get into whether or not the autograph is real). Something doesn’t look right with those numbers though…
Called it! Look at the top of the ’1′, it’s flat in the fake but pointy in the real one. As well the ’9′ looks too fat in the fake, the proportion is off.
C) Ottawa All Star Jersey
An authentic All Star jersey seems nice, but I don’t recall seeing this version being in the game! If you watched the All Star game you should immediately be able to tell this is a fake as all the colours are off. I have actually surprisingly seen this monstrosity of an All Star jersey at a Sens game this past season. At least it’s only $50…
As mentioned, the colour is obviously off. The fake’s red is way too light to even be close to the real thing.
The back of this jersey is an even bigger joke, how does it even look close to the real thing!? If you can’t spot the differences yourself I recommend you get your eyes checked
D) The Third (Heritage) Jersey
Before I show the ads for this jersey, let me start off by saying this is easily the most popular fake jersey. I saw countless amounts of these last season, no doubt because people saw money to be made with the release of a brand new jersey.
Well look at this description, it’s almost as if this seller is trying to go out of his way to prove to me that this authentic jersey is real, even mentioning that it’s “100% authentic”. I guess I should believe him, especially the part where he bought it in a store for $229.99. Wonder if he still has the bill?
First off, that heritage “O” is way too small to be real. Definitely not wide enough compared to the real thing. Something looks fishy with that All Star patch too, thankfully this seller was kind enough to provide a close up picture of that as well!
Remember what I said earlier about All Star patches having to be added separately. Well the picture on the right is what it looks like when bought separately. Well the patch on the jersey looks like a bronzed version of the real thing, not even close. When you start getting all these free extra patches attached to your jersey at no extra cost you have to start thinking something’s not right here.
Alarm should be blaring when the numbers and nameplate seem to have a bubbly effect. That’s easily a sign that your jersey is a fake. Real jerseys numbers and nameplates should all be flat and smooth without any ripples. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any pictures of these ripples and bubbly effects for the white and red jerseys, but I have seen them before so be aware. If any part of the number or name seem raised (i.e. not flat) it’s fake. In addition, the colour is slightly off as the white isn’t the proper heritage white that the real jerseys have.
Isn’t this one a beaut? It just screams fake everywhere. One question I have is why this guy isn’t trying to convince me it’s authentic like the others? Not putting very much effort into this description now is he…
First off, the ‘C’ isn’t even close to the real thing, I’m sure somebody got fired over that. It’s also got that amazing bronzed All Star patch that the fake Karlsson did! Starting to love how easy they’re making it to notice the fakes these days. Lastly the numbers and nameplate aren’t even close to the right colour. They should be the heritage white, but instead appear to be a lighter shade. Additionally, you may have noticed that the font isn’t correct either in the nameplate, obviously different when you look closely.
Well it looks like the going rate for a fake Alfie jersey is $75. What I find most impressive about this ad is that these are clearly different fake jerseys (we got competition in the fake jersey market even!) yet the description is the same for both. Somebody’s getting lazy…
At least the ‘C’ in this fake looks somewhat close compared to the last, but still pretty far off from the real thing. Sadly this ad did not provide a close up of the All Star patch, but I would expect it to be the bronzed version we’ve seen before. There are two major features that make this one of the worst fakes out there (but surprisingly easy to find in SBP unfortunately). The first is the bubbly and rippled effect that we see in the logo and numbers and even the nameplate. You can tell those materials aren’t flat and smooth. The second is the easiest to tell, just look at the colouring on the numbers and nameplate, it’s plain white, not even an attempt at heritage white! In addition, the numbers are totally missing the black border that’s between the heritage white and red. And once again, the font for the nameplate is way off.
To summarize, the majority of jerseys that you see on sale on Kijiji and UsedOttawa are more than likely to be fake, especially if they claim to be authentics (remember these are numbered sizes with a fight strap) and are priced at under $150. If they claim to be replicas they are probably real as I have yet to see a fake replica jersey. Why fake the replica when you can fake the more expensive authentic right? Lastly, if you do plan on purchasing through these websites do yourself a favour and go to the local Sens Store or sports store and find the jersey you intend on buying so you have an idea what you’re buying. Even better take pictures so you can compare the two like I have in this article to ensure you’re getting the real deal. Nobody likes finding out they bought a fake jersey when they thought they were getting the real thing.