Back Four Brand Protection

Back Four

6 Insider Tips on How to Spot a Fake Football Shirt

Your club’s new kit has launched but how do you know the kit you’re looking to buy is the real deal? With so much choice available, Back Four want to make sure you’re not wasting your hard-earned cash and are continuing to support your club.

Back Four have years of experience in training law enforcement officers on how to spot a fake. Now we’re giving you full access, so you can see the warning signs, make the right decisions and stay on the right side of the law.

Back Four’s Top 5 Insider Tips

1) Price:

The biggest giveaway. Remember a bargain is never as good as it seems. If the shirt is 60% cheaper than it should be – it’s probably a fake.

Fake Football Shirt Website

The latest kit releases will never be marked-down and are generally not reduced until the full season ends.

Back Four Insider TIP: In our experience current season fakes are generally listed for around £30 when they should be £60-£70. This is the biggest clue when it comes to buying a shirt.

Wait for the official launch and look to buy from reputable retailers.

2) Quality:

Sometimes counterfeit shirts may look like-for-like, but the quality simply can’t be replicated. Look out for poor stitching, fabric quality, fit and sizing issues.

Examples of how to spot a fake

Back Four Insider TIP: Look inside the shirt at the stitching quality, particularly around the neckline and the badge. If it looks poorly made – it probably is.

Examples of how to spot a fake

The Kit manufacturer logos are printed onto the fabric with a fake, see above. It’s a cheaper way to do it, so something counterfeiters love.

Back Four Insider TIP: Look at the badges, icons and logo on the shirt. Counterfeiters will cut costs where they can, so when it comes down to attention to detail – they’re not winning any trophies.

3) Counterfeiters make Mistakes:

It won’t take too long to discover the simple (often comical) slip-ups that counterfeiters often make.

Examples of how to spot a fake

This shirt is missing the Nike ‘swoosh’ mark found on the real shirt.

Examples of how to spot a fake

A shirt made by Umbro but Puma branding on the tag – we don’t think so!

Examples of how to spot a fake

Adidas branding on an Under Armour sponsored shirt – a sure sign of a fake.

Examples of how to spot a fake

We hope die-hard Liverpool fans would spot this – a tag stating ‘home’, yet an away kit.

Back Four Insider TIP: It’s all in the detail. Ask advice from a friend or family member who may know the kits better and google the new releases to see how the kits should look – back and front!

4) Swing Tag Botch Ups

Swing tags attached to the shirt are a great indicator of a fake and one of the first we warn law enforcement teams about. Just because there is a swing tag doesn’t mean it’s genuine!

Back Four Insider TIP: First check the UPC sticker (Barcode sticker) on the tag. If there isn’t one – it’s a fake.

Fake swing tags

The UPC sticker should be exactly that – a sticker, not something pre-printed and used across all the tags.

Fake swing tags

The UPC sticker should include all wording correlating to the product. If the text is generic stating words like ‘ADIDAS JSY’ – it’s a fake.

Fake swing tags

Lastly, a size sticker is a flashing beacon for the law enforcement team – so look for this if trying to spot a fake.

Fake swing tags

Counterfeiters are lazy and looking to cut costs where they can, details like this are time consuming and add more expense. The more generic they can make the tag – the more fake shirts a tag can be used on.

5) Care Labels

Back Four Insider TIP: This is a simple one – check the care label for any numbers or marks written in pen or biro, as seen below.

Fake care labels tags

Counterfeiter factories do this as part of the counting process. 99.9% of the fake shirts we’ve seen have pen marks and it’s a clear marker for you.

6) Buy from reputable retailers:

If you want to be sure you’re buying an official product buy from a reputable retailer. You wouldn’t buy a child’s car seat from a dodgy website – so don’t put yourself at risk. Not only will the product be poorly made, in unknown conditions, by staff not working to health and safety standards – you’re also putting your card details at risk.

Official images can be stolen easily from official websites, so don’t let that con you. The shirt that turns up may not look the same.

Counterfeit retail sites

Back Four Insider TIP: When buying online look for the ‘http’ or ‘https’ at the start of the web address and the SSl certificate. Further details can be found here.
Over to you!

You should now have all the tools to make informed decisions about your kit purchases. We’d love to hear from you and find out if you’ve bought a fake by accident previously. Get in touch @backfourbp on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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