Ebay has always been full of fake snapback hats, but until recently there has never been fake deadstock hats available. Now its not just sellers in China but all over the US that sell cheap copies of "Sports Specialties" and even "Starter" hats.
The trend began when a flood of Mighty Ducks fake snapbacks hit ebay, fresh from some sketchy Chinese alibaba.com trader. Since Disney still owns the copyright to the Mighty Ducks logo, you can't even buy Mighty Ducks retro snapbacks, hence why the vintage ones are worth so much. Some Chinese dude obviously saw the price tags on real vintage Ducks hats and started up his own Eastern basement project. Now you can buy fake Sports Specialties hats in just about any team. They're cheap as hell but they aren't even worth $5.
The whole concept of selling fake deadstock is pretty dumb. Its the vintage heads who want real Sports Specialties and Starter hats, and they are the dudes that know a thing or two about hats. Anyone with any knowledge of vintage can tell right away these hats are fake.
Here's a few examples:
The "Sports Specialties" Script
Notice how the label is stitched into the band at the top and bottom. This particular Sports Specialties tag should hang loose at the bottom. There's also not a single other tag on the hat. Every real sports specialties tag has the pro team logo on the band as well as the hat material and country of manufacture. Also, none of the fake hats ever have a hang tag. The scripture on the front is stretched way too high and the logo on the side is double the size it should be. The crown also slopes at the wrong angle and the sweatband should not be white not black. See this real hat for a comparison:
This hat is too funny. Manufactured by the same rogues, its a rip off of the Logo Athletic Spike hat. But it has the same sports specialties tag inside! Surely no one falls for this?
Here's another from the same seller. A fake starter hat this time. All these hats are a cotton twill material, despite the fact that a lot of the designs would likely be on a wool hat. The general quality of the stitching is the giveaway here. The Star of the Starter logo isn't fully formed and the S is too thick and chunky. The inside tags are better this time, but of course there is no hang tag. The stitching on the underside of the brim is a giveaway too. Its so sloppy the red cotton of the top side is completely uneven when its comes into contact with the green underbrim.
Things to watch out for to avoid fake Sports Specialties and Starter hats:
1. Has the hat been photographed inside a towel?
2. Is the price much lower than industry standard? There is usually a reason.
3. Is there a hang tag?
4. What else is the seller selling? Do they have a lot of sketchy looking shit?
5. What is their feedback like? Negatives?
6. Does the stitching and quality look good? A 20 year old hat still beats any modern fake on quality.
7. Are there sellers all over ebay with the same hat? There's a reason why a Script heather Sports Specialties Bulls hat is worth so much - its rare!