Mar 26 2012

Review: Personalized NBA Jerseys From China

*** UPDATE Oct 31, 2012 ***
I have successfully now ordered from supejerseys.com. Please read my review of the store.

*** UPDATE August 28, 2012 ***
The website jerseysfromchinaforcheap.com has evidently been closed down. I have not been able to contact its owner for a while to know if it has been relocated or what. A friend of mine has successfully ordered jerseys from supejerseys.com so I recommend to use that store instead. I have not yet personally ordered jerseys from them but when I do, I’ll report the results here.

*** UPDATE May 26, 2012 ***
Read my review of a larger order I organized with my friends.

In the past I have ordered personalized NBA jerseys from the NBA Store. It is the official distributor and the products are sanctioned by the NBA. However, I’ve been disappointed by two facts: the price and the quality. Mesmerized by the poor quality of the official jerseys, I began to seek alternatives. There are a few companies that sell personalized jerseys directly from China and in this post I will write about the experience from ordering from one of them, Jerseys From China For Cheap. But first I’ll introduce you to the official products ordered from the NBA Store.

The Official “Quality”

Just to give you a perspective to the poor quality that the official NBA store jerseys possess, I have taken closeups of the heat-sealed insignia. That’s right, pressed team graphics and name/number are practically the only option because the authentic embroidered jerseys cost $260 whereas the replicas cost $80. Plus shipping + taxes if you happen to live in Europe, for instance. I bought this black Miami Heat personalized road jersey in 2009 and look what has happened to the insignia:

The “paint” has worn out, not good. The shipping to Finland is ca. $20 and the tax adds $23 more – that’s $123 in total.

In 2010 I bought a personalized white Miami Heat home jersey. Now the letters were not “painted” but “glued” and look what has happened to them:

They are pealed off. I have tried to glue them back on but they don’t seem to hold on.

Here is a photo from the front side:

The fabric is really thin and porous. Here’s another closeup of the replica jersey:

Jerseys From China

I did some research and found a handful of companies that sell jerseys directly from China. Naturally I was precautious having read about the Chinese scams where the customers never got the merchandise. After googling awhile I decided to give Jerseys From China a try.

The company has a bunch of different URLs that can be confusing. Also the logo says “All American Sport Uniforms” that is not repeated in any of the URLs. Anyway, don’t let this disturb you.

I quickly found out from a forum that the company/web site is owned by a Canadian guy named John. He has not received very positive feedback – many criticize the rude way he may reply. The web site runs a live customer service chat application so I fired it up and tried how does it work because I had couple of questions in mind about the postage and the quality. The chat works great and I got the answers I was looking for from John himself. He was not rude but appropriate.

The Quality

I was amazed by the exquisite quality of the jersey. Every detail is top-notch, from the cloth to the stitches. Emblems, letters and numbers are cut from thick cloth and are sewn onto the jersey. So no more fear of the paint/glue getting off when you wash it. It also has exactly the same NBA Store Authentic tags as the official ones:

I believe that the official jerseys come in fact from the very same factory/factories but these jerseys bypass many middlemen who all take a proportion of the final price.

The Delivery Time

It took just over one month from placing the order to the shipping of the product. This was more than I expected but the Chinese New Year happened to take place at the same time so I was told that the factory was closed for two weeks.

It took two more weeks to arrive in New York. Why did I ship it to New York when I live in Finland? If you have a friend who lives in the States, it is possible to bypass the local customs/taxes if you ship the product to your friend and he repacks it and forwards it to you. The national customs usually don’t care about the packages that are sent between individuals so it is possible to get the product “tax-free”. Even though you have to pay the postage twice, it is often much cheaper than to pay the local taxes.

The Price

The jersey itself cost $54, shipping (to the US) added $25 and they charged an additional “Charges Collect Fee” (CC Fee) of $4.75 yielding a total of $83.74. The poor quality “one season” replicas cost $80 plus shipping. It becomes really expensive to buy a new jersey yearly. And if you want the same exquisite finish through the official distribution channel, you need to pay $260 plus shipping. Think about it.

The shipping from the US to Finland cost $11.80. It would have cost $35 to ship it directly from China to Finland (I guess the US has a “bulk discount” due to larger quantities).

I was looking for PayPal as a payment option as I have previously read that it gives the buyer a great protection against scams. This is not the case always, as I learned, plus PayPal takes a large commission. Jerseys From China doesn’t support PayPal even though it is mentioned on the web site so I paid with my credit card and it was not charged until the product was shipped. Great!

The Verdict

Quality Score
Authenticity
Quality
Price
Delivery Time

I warmly recommend Jerseys From China, they run a legitimate and honest business and you can safely order your jerseys from them without any fear of losing your money. If you are not a fan of the NBA, they also have a variety of NHL, NFL, MLB, Soccer and College jerseys to choose from.

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