How to Buy a Replica Basketball Jersey
We all take pride in our favorite basketball teams and players. There's no better feeling than showing our support at a basketball game by wearing our favorite player's team jersey. And what a great gift for the basketball fan in the family! But there are a few things you should know before setting out to shop for a replica jersey. For instance, did you know there are different kinds of fan basketball jerseys, and the differences between them? Do you know how to spot a fake NBA basketball jersey? Do you know how much you can expect to pay for a genuine authentic NBA jersey, or how to shop for one? Read on!
- Replica, Swingman, and Authentic NBA jerseys. What's the difference?
- What is a fake NBA jersey?
- Is a 'fake' jersey the same as a replica jersey?
- How can I spot a fake NBA jersey?
- Tips for shopping for fan jerseys
- Why buy your fan jersey from a legitimate, authorized dealer?
- Let Epic Sports customize your team jersey!
There are three kinds of custom fan basketball jerseys: replica, swingman, and authentic. The main differences involve cost, materials, and overall quality.
Replica Fan Jerseys
NBA replica jerseys are made to look like the ones worn on the court, but are the least expensive of the three. Replica jerseys offer the same styles but are lighter, and use a heat press printing process for the lettering and numbering. Replicas are made from a less durable light-weight mesh. They're just made for fans rooting for their favorite players from the stands.
- Cost - About $50 to $80
- Materials - Lightweight - 4.5 oz. polyester mesh
- Design and construction - Replicates the authentic but less bulky and durable
- Printing and logos - Screen printed letters and numbers. Manufacturer and NBA logos are displayed on either side of the shoulder areas
- Sizing - Traditional; available in youth and toddler sizes
The swingman jersey is the middle ground choice for fans that want something more like the real on-court thing but is more affordable; it's the best-selling of the three jerseys. The main differences between swingman and authentic jerseys involve materials, printing, and quality.
- Cost - More expensive than replicas, but most are still under $100
- Materials - A little heavier; made from 5.3 oz. 100 percent polyester mesh
- Design and construction - Styled and cut more like authentic, same striping patterns
- Printing and logos - Combination screen printing and single-layer tackle twill. Logos are embroidered onto the jersey. As with replica jerseys, the manufacturer and NBA logos are displayed on either side of the shoulder areas
- Sizing - Traditional, with some specific sizing options; available in youth, and toddler sizes
An Authentic NBA jersey is just like the one your favorite player wears on the court. Also called Pro-Cut, it incorporates all the same styles, designs, and construction as the NBA team jersey. The main differences involve quality and price.
- Cost - Between $200 to $300
- Materials - Softer, 190-gram polyester mesh with quick-dry technologies
- Design and construction - Same striping patterns and cuts as the on-court jersey
- Printing and logos - Multilayer tackle twill letters and numbers embroidered onto the jersey. Unlike the other two jerseys, authentic only displays the NBA logo on the left shoulder area
- Sizing - Combination traditional and specific number sizing
A fake or counterfeit NBA jersey is marketed as authentic but isn't.
A fake jersey is not the same as a replica, and should not be confused with one.
You can avoid accidentally buying a fake jersey by being aware of what sets it apart from authentic
- Cost - New authentic jerseys cost between $200 to $300. If someone tries to sell you a jersey for far less than that, claiming it is NBA authentic, it likely isn't.
- Materials - Most authentic jerseys are made of polyester mesh and will feel soft and smooth to the touch. Fake jerseys are often made from poor quality materials that have a scratchy feel. The mesh used to make an authentic jersey has very small holes. Less expensive mesh contains larger holes.
- Stitching - The letters and numbers on authentic jerseys contain clean and consistent zigzag stitching with no loose threads or frayed areas. If you notice any straight-line or crooked stitching on the jersey, that could be a give-away. Turned inside out, the jersey's backing may contain a lot of loose threads and pieces that easily pull off.
- Labels and tags - Non-reputable manufacturers are getting good at making their counterfeit tags and logos look just like the real thing. Being familiar with what the real tags and logos look like should allow you to detect subtle differences.
- Quality - The most noticeable difference between a fake and an authentic NBA jersey is quality. Chances are, if you see loose threads, poor stitching, frayed edges, snags, loose backing, you're not buying a genuine authentic NBA basketball jersey. And be aware of fake 'replica' and swingman NBA jerseys too!
Decide which type of jersey you want
What kind of jersey are you in the market for, and how much do you want to spend? Narrowing down your choices always makes the shopping experience a little easier.
Do a little prep work
Know what to look for in the jersey you're shopping for. Be familiar with prices, and the differences between the jerseys. Be aware of the counterfeit market, and what to look out for in a fake jersey. When in doubt about a jersey's authenticity, ask questions. If you're looking at an authentic vintage basketball jersey, ask the vendor about its history and who they bought it from. If it's possible, closely compare the jersey with a genuine NBA one.
Choose an outlet
Shop reputable retailers who carry the kind of fan jersey you're looking for. If you come across a great deal by a lesser-known company, check out the outlet. Shopping online? A trusted company should offer live, online support and customer service. Read the vender's customer reviews and testimonials. Avoid shopping for an authentic jersey at some of the popular online auction sites unless you're able to contact the vendor and obtain proof of its authenticity.
Counterfeit is big business these days when it comes to selling NBA jerseys. Legitimate dealers offer customer service, and often times live online support so you can feel completely satisfied that you're paying for exactly what you want and what is being advertised.
While we don't currently carry replica NBA jerseys, we offer an array of affordable high school and collegiate team jerseys with options to fully customize. Show your team support with a custom basketball jersey from Epic. Just go to our custom basketball jerseys page and check out your options! When you're ready, select a basketball jersey and choose from among our convenient custom print packages, or opt to fully customize. Have a favorite collegiate basketball team? Check out our fan gear for all the fun ways to show your support this basketball season.