While Cardinals fans are eager to commemorate their team’s return to the World Series, MLB is warning innocent shoppers to be on the lookout for counterfeit souvenirs. That t-shirt you picked out for your son? And the pennant for your grandpa? They may be knockoffs… and therefore rip-offs.
Businesses worldwide lose an estimated $600 billion annually due to counterfeiting, but they’re not the only ones who lose out. Fans that mistakenly purchase counterfeit merchandise risk buying products with misspelled player names, poor quality screen-printing, inferior embroidery and materials that fall short of quality and safety standards.
In the last twenty years, MLB – together with the Collegiate Licensing Company, NBA, NHL, and NFL – has participated in the seizure of more than 10 million pieces of counterfeit merchandise, valued at more than $369 million. MLB officials are expecting more of the same in 2013 and are encouraging fans to take the following precautions:
- Look for the hologram sticker or holographic hangtag and a sewn-in label or screen printed notice identifying a license that has been authorized by Major League Baseball Properties to produce “official” licensed merchandise.
- Shop at MLB-authorized retail locations, such as the Official Team Store and MLB.com, rather than buying items from street vendors, flea markets, or other questionable sources.
- Beware of ripped tags or irregular markings on apparel.