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Don’t get scammed: How to spot an OG Jordan jersey in a sea of fakes

We all want to be like Mike. Why else would Jordans fly off the shelves as soon as they go up?

With Netflix’s The Last Dance reminding us all why Michael Jordan and the ’90s Chicago Bulls are the GOAT, people want the merch. MJ was the most popular NBA jersey for years, so millions were made and sold. Because of that, millions were also faked.

Today, I’ll be telling you how to find a true Jordan jersey.

Always check the price… you get what you pay for

The price point should be your first warning. eBay is fantastic for finding deals and rarities, but it houses countless fakes, some of which are very well done.

You can inspect the fine details on the stitching but can save yourself time by looking at the price tag. If it costs less than $100, that shit is FAKE. When you think you’ve found a good deal, ask yourself: would you let an OG Jordan jersey go for less than 100?

Online, you’ll find ads for a new jersey, sometimes with tags, from $40-$80. Beware of these. They may use a picture of the real thing, but you get what you pay for.

Legitimately priced jerseys, OG to new, will run you from $100 on the very low end to about $300.

Authentic Jersey Chicago Bulls 1987-88 Michael JordanAuthentic Jersey Chicago Bulls Home 1997-98 Michael Jordan

If you’re looking for a new-made jersey, Mitchell & Ness sells them for $300 each.

Beware of people selling these Mitchell & Ness jerseys for cheaper though, especially if it has tags. The fakes are very realistic and easily pass as real online to the untrained eye.

Location, location, location

Where you find the jersey is about as important as looking at the price. eBay can be a gamble. The best way to know you’re buying a legit item is to go to the source. The NBA website, Mitchell & Ness, and Dick’s Sporting Goods sites will all carry official items.

Not trying to spend $300 on a jersey? No problem! If you’re cool with buying used but still good jerseys, a reputable jersey dealer is a must. Instagram pages like @90snbastuff, @the_jersey_guys, and @ameri_camden sell used and vintage jerseys.


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Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls, 1984/1985 Home Jersey. 🏀 Size M (Medium) 22” Pit-to-pit, 32” Neck-to-hem. 🏀 £100 + Shipping. **Offers Welcome**. 🏀 An iconic and rare item from the most popular NBA Player of all time, a throwback jersey from MJ’s incredible Rookie 1984/85 season with the Chicago Bulls. Where he made an immediate impact on the NBA and garnered Rookie of the year Honors as well as a starting spot in the NBA All-Star Game (the freeze-out one!). From when Jordan wore two gold chains and his first ever pair J’s went on sale. A Nike jersey in mint condition. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ #American #Sportswear #NBA #BasketballJersey #VintageJersey #RetroJersey #Throwbackjersey #MJ #AirJordan #ChicagoBulls #Bulls #Festival #Summer #MJMondays #Basketball #🏀 #Champion #ChampionJersey #Kobe #Lebron #MichaelJordan #Jordan #Chicago #Thrift #Retro #Vintage #90s

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These dealers offer fantastic true vintage jerseys. There is no question that when you buy from a reputable jersey dealer, you’re getting the real thing. These guys know their stuff and are willing to negotiate.

The finer details

For those inspector types out there, there are ways to check the legitimacy of a jersey.

One may need a supremely trained eye to tell by font size, but the stitching is usually a clear sign. If a thread does not end at the letter where it starts, it’s likely a fake.

When made by a major company, their craftsmanship is much cleaner and more precise before hitting the market. Fakes don’t have the same standards and will be sloppier, if even slightly more so.

The logos are where you can tell best. If the NBA logo looks a bit off, a patch is slightly to the side, or the Nike Swoosh looks scribbly, you know what the deal is.

This is hardest to tell on the Mitchell & Ness fakes, as the fakes contain some great detail. Even so, zoom in. You may catch a thing or two. Having a separate tab open to the genuine jersey to compare is a good strategy.

Ball hard and ball out, friends.

Why you shouldn’t invest in secondary Jordan models as your starter kit

In recent reports, a shipment of counterfeit sneakers was seized in Texas, on its way to Mexico. The shipment of mostly Nike and Adidas sneakers headed to get copped by unsuspecting sneakerheads across Central America.

But within that seizure, about 1800 pairs of Dior Air Jordan 1s lows were confiscated as part of the shipment. This is a telling sign that someone was looking to take advantage of a particular individual within the sneaker market.

Counterfeit Dior Air Jordan 1s low. Photo courtesy of Robb Report

Retro Air Jordan lows are not the hottest sneakers to buy if you are in search of drip or clout for being stylish — besides its association with the namesake and Nike logo.

But the secondary designs are considered a lower tier from the original high-top versions which is what Jordan sneaker culture is built on. Not to mention a sacred interaction with your sneakers.

Dior Air Jordan 1s low. Photo courtesy of Dior
Dior Air Jordan 1s low. Photo courtesy of Dior

Secondary Jordan models include low-top designs, mids, fusion series, and colorways that don’t reflect the aesthetic of Jordans as much as the red, black, and white colorways have.

This doesn’t include special collaborations like Travis Scott’s Jordan collaborations or special colorways like the Carolina Blues.

But it does include the strain of colors that Jordans can vary in after the original Jordan or retro version runs its course and have already soaked up all the hype.

Cactus Jack Air Jordan 1s. Photo courtesy of Sneaker News.
Cactus Jack Air Jordan 1s. Photo courtesy of Sneaker News.

And speaking of La Flame, which pairs of Cactus Jack’s dunks would you want more; the high-tops or the low-tops? Be honest with yourself.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

We can argue that retro Jordan 1s are as good in any style but that wouldn’t fair true to the original sneaker which was made in the high-top structure.

The sneaker which we all want is what we all saw and gravitated to out of admiration for the athlete.

Photo courtesy of Modern notoriety. Image of Bones Brigade in half pipe.
Image of Bones Brigade in half pipe. Photo courtesy of Modern notoriety.

Skate culture followed and found great use, as much as style, in the design.

Launched in 2020, the Nike SB [Dunk-Hi, De La Souls, Mork & Mindy’s] wave was a by-product of the growing skate culture market, and Jordan 1s were referenced for their use during the ‘80s introduction of the shoe to skaters.

Mork & Mindy Nike SB Dunk Hi. Photo courtesy of Stock X.
Mork & Mindy Nike SB Dunk Hi. Photo courtesy of Stock X.

The low-top version is the aftermarket trooper.

The pair you get when you at least one of the original cuts and colorways. Retro Jordan lows are no way clout chasers; rather, they are the nuanced version of the casual shoe for a sneakerhead.

Dior Air Jordan 1s low. Photo courtesy of Dior.
Dior Air Jordan 1s low. Photo courtesy of Dior.

Now, some retro Air Jordan lows may have been top sellers over the years, like the retro Air Jordan 12 lows which are up there in the ranks of best-sellers.

Those happen to be a rarer occurrence among the sneaker shopping elite. But that doesn’t give a pass when buying and wearing a sneaker, much garnered as the coolest shoes; the coolest series of sneakers in history.

I would argue you have to work your way up to dressing down in a low-top pair.

Air Jordan 12s low
Air Jordan 12s low. Photo courtesy of

To get a pair of Air Jordans is a pastime all of us Millennial and Gen Z-ers will remember as a sartorial milestone.

When we get a fire pair that isn’t distracting us with a color no one recognizes or a shape that is too distinct from the original, you have shown the sneaker world you have good taste but you also respect the game.

Money won’t buy you happiness but the right pair of Jordans brings a smile and can make you feel like you can “fly.”

Travis Scott in Dior Air Jordan 1s high. Photo courtesy of Dior.
Travis Scott in Dior Air Jordan 1s high. Photo courtesy of Dior.

Imagine if you have never worn a pair of Jordan’s before and you decide to get the first pair you see. This may be the Dior Air Jordan 1s low.

This is still a hot shoe, nonetheless, but the fact is you haven’t even dawned a pair of J’s before this moment.

Air Jordan advertisement, 1984.
Air Jordan advertisement, 1984.

Say you went to a popular reseller to purchase them for the roughly $10,000 ticket price, and sitting right next to them was the Dior Air Jordan 1s in the high-top cut, ticketed at about the same price. Assuming you have thousand’s to spend in the first place.

Would you really skip the high-top versions to swag out in a pair of Dior Air Jordan 1s in lows – as your first pair of J’s? Assuming you can afford either [or both] in this case, since you’re about to spend a small house down payment for sneakers.

Photo courtesy of Dior.
Photo courtesy of Dior.

Jordan’s are a collectible and a status symbol when worn – mostly social status. You are in the know but you have good enough taste to know which pair to get your hands on.

For the most part, “do you,” but consider the effort your sneakerhead friends have put into there collections and the coordination of the series of Jordan’s. Don’t pull up in low-tops to compete.

Dior Air Jordan 1s. Photo courtesy of Dior.
Dior Air Jordan 1s. Photo courtesy of Dior.

It’s like comparing an Eau De Toilette to an Eau De Parfume; one will provide a full day of a stronger scent than the other — the Parfume, not the toilette.

A worn-out pair of low-top Jordan 1s don’t have the same stylish effect as a worn-out pair of high tops, especially when you consider the collection of the wearer.

It’s a sacred pastime of the sneakerhead to have an acute understanding of why some pairs or more sought after than others and why respecting the OG’s of the game perpetuates sneaker culture.

Look out for this article on PAGE magazine.