Shopping habits are changing, and as Milwaukee's retail landscape continues to evolve OnMilwaukee.com is pulling out the credit card for a full week of retail, shopping and commerce content. Stories about local stores, national retailers, online shopping and more. OnMilwaukee.com "Retail Week" will highlight shopping through a creative and diverse lens.
Real, or fake?
That is the question most often put to sports fans.
Real, of course, is the best. Who wouldnâ€™t want it? But â€¦ fake is cheaper. More easily accessible. It comes right to your house! You donâ€™t even have to leave the couch.
And, on game day, no one really cares.
This is why there is such a proliferation of fake "authentic" sports jerseys. Itâ€™s why you can find them "off a truck" or online or outside any stadium for a third of the cost of the real thing in the official team shop.
Sports fans love supporting their team. They love wearing the jerseys, and they want it to be "authentic" â€“ just like the proâ€™s wear. Yet â€“ no one really wants to spend around $200 for that Robin Yount throwback, or that Ryan Braun road jersey.
Get it for $35 from God knows where online? Done.
I own a fake jersey and I own a real one. One was a gift, bought online for $40. One was retail â€“ but on clearance â€“ for $85. I could immediately tell the difference. The sizing was wrong on the fake one, the stitching began popping out almost immediately and the NFL logo wasnâ€™t right.
But you know what â€“ I didnâ€™t care. Not one bit. And if I wore it out, no one else would, either.
Itâ€™s an odd part of fashion, even sports fashion. Usually, you want "name brand." You want to pay as much as you can and show off that you did. You want to "wear what the proâ€™s wear." But not in this case. Not with jerseys.
Honestly, $200 or more is just too much. Itâ€™s too much at $100. Then, if your guy changes teams, you may never want to wear it out again. Yet, we want everything stitched on. We want the special patches. Silk-screen? Thatâ€™s â€¦ cheap.
Some fake jerseys are really well done, and Iâ€™ve never come across a true horror story in terms of misspelled team or player names or the wrong number. Iâ€™ve heard of them, though.
People can tell, though â€“ even if youâ€™d like to think they canâ€™t.
"I know guys who know jerseys too and they go to the ball park and they say 75 percent of the jerseys you see are knockoffs," said Mick Pavlovich, owner of Stadium Sports Stuff off Bluemound Road in Milwaukee.
"Iâ€™ll see pictures in the paper, like a Packers game with the Lambeau Leap where they jump in the stands and all these guys are hugging him I go thereâ€™s a knockoff jersey. I can tell by the thickness of the numbers and the trim on the sleeves."
He laughed, but only for a minute.
The fake jerseys cut into his business. The leagues work with the United States government to stop the importation of such material, but itâ€™s nearly impossible to stop. As long as people want fake jerseys, theyâ€™ll get them. And then guys with local shops like Pavlovich suffer the consequences.
But, he understands it. Completely.
"They buy the knockoffs off the internet and theyâ€™ll get them for half the price for what we can sell them here, even less sometimes," he said. "Some of those knockoffs are horrible looking but some of them are pretty good. I go, well, who am I? Iâ€™m poor myself so I figure I canâ€™t blame a guy if he can get a jersey and heâ€™s happy with it and he pays $40 for it rather than playing $80 â€“ who am I to say? I donâ€™t know his financial situation. But thatâ€™s really hurt us."
Real, or fake? Chances are I know which way youâ€™ll go when youâ€™re looking to buy that next "authentic" sports jersey. But if you go fake, head over to your local sports retailer and pick up a hat or a T-shirt, too â€“ chances are you saved enough money on the front end to do that.
There is a HUGE difference between "replica" jerseys (MLB replicas run about $100) and fake jerseys. Replicas look authentic to 99% of fans and cost about 35% what an authentic jersey costs. Fakes or knock-offs look fake. There are usually more than a couple things off about a fake (to avoid lawsuits). Just as most women can tell the difference between a coach purse and a cheap knock-off, men can tell the difference between a replica and a fake jersey. Wait for the replica you want to go on sale and do it right. Do be cheap and get a knock-off.
This is just a response to the market, you can get a replica official MLB jersey for $100 or and official one stitched letters and everything for $250. Here is the truth with Coach bags and Sports Jersey's, why spend $250 when you only need to spend $30. It seems everyone knows a "jersey guy", hey $30 bucks and I can get you any jersey you want guy. Needs will respond to the market, if price is too high even for a official replica then screw it I'll get a almost the same jersey for $30 bucks. Want people to stop buying fake purses and jersey's? lower price, that's it!
2 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jim Owczarski
Published Jan. 27, 2015
The Milwaukee Bucks are now officially in the second half of the 2014-15 season, having completed 44 of their 82-game schedule. Currently, they are an Eastern Conference playoff team. Are they overachieving? Are young players arriving early? Or, might an "accidental" playoff berth set the franchise back in its quest to acquire a difference maker?
Published Jan. 26, 2015
Coming out of high school Keifer Sykes would look at the recruiting rankings -- and have to scroll down a ways before seeing his name. While he was buried in what turned out to be one of the greatest classes to ever come out of the state of Illinois, Sykes used it as motivation at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Now, four years later, he's one of the state's best college players.
Published Jan. 23, 2015
In just his second full season as a major league starter, Wily Peralta turned in one of the best seasons by a young starter in Milwaukee Brewers history in 2014. Now, the 25-year-old is looking to take another step in becoming the franchise's ace of the future.
Published Jan. 22, 2015
There are fewer busier people in the local sports scene than Mike Zimmerman, the owner of MKE Sports & Entertainment, which operates not only the Milwaukee Wave, but three baseball teams and The Rock Sports Complex in Franklin. OnMilwaukee.com managed to pin him down for a Q&A about what he's involved with (and what he's not), from baseball to soccer and how he tries to balance it all (or, how he doesn't).
Published Jan. 21, 2015
Milwaukee Bucks second-year forward Giannis Antetokounmpo likes to throw down, and the fans love it -- so the "Greek Freak" will participate in the NBA Dunk Contest during the All-Star break on Feb. 14.
Published Jan. 21, 2015
OnMilwaukee.com takes a first look at Downtown Milwaukee's newest nightlife addition -- The Pub Club, located at 1103 N. Old World 3rd St.
Published Jan. 20, 2015
The Green Bay Packers had a 12-point lead with four minutes left on Sunday against a Seattle offense that, to that point, had not scored a touchdown and turned the ball over four times. After the punt, Russell Wilson and his minuscule quarterback rating had 3:52 to work try and score twice. So what happened?
Published Jan. 18, 2015
The Green Bay Packers looked like they were headed to Super Bowl XLIX by dominating the Seattle Seahawks for nearly all of the NFC Championship game Sunday in Seattle. Then, it all unraveled in just 44 seconds.
Published Jan. 16, 2015
We've seen this act before. Twice before, actually. And both times the Green Bay Packers returned from a trip to Seattle as losers. This time, much more is at stake with a a berth in Super Bowl XLIX on the line and the Packers believe they're ready to author a different conclusion.
Published Jan. 15, 2015
The chorus in the Green Bay Packers locker room after a divisional playoff victory over Dallas last week was that they are a better team than the one the Seattle Seahawks trounced in week one. That is true. But the Seahawks are different, too, and still better.