How Reliable is Authenticity Verification

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When you purchase a jersey, you want to make sure its authentic, right?  The only way to be 100% sure that the item you are purchasing is authentic is to research it yourself or view the research done by a reputable part, with evidence!

MeiGray supplies us with a great resource in their population reports.  It is a document that contains the serial numbers stitched in the jersey along with the information with the jersey including player, set, team, size, and other various notes.

Data systems are only as good as the data provided to them.  This begs the question, what data can you trust? 

This year, we have seen some new developments when it comes to special event jerseys.  We have seen inconsistencies in the representation of items being pre-sold or auctions, as in the case with the World Cup of Hockey jerseys where jerseys were marketed and sold without identifying their wear dates allowing the switch of sets among various purchase platforms.  The purchase, whether auction or sale, did not know if their purchase would be for a 1 period or multi-game jersey and in many cases this was not disclosed until delivery.

In current auctions you will see “The item is digitally scanned and logged into a database allowing customers to verify the hologram online.”  When you reference their authenticity verification website you will see:lookup

Once you punch in the information, they will tell you if your item is authentic or not.  Yes, this statement only applies to their holograms for autographs.  You can see they have not updated their information for their jerseys, however the look-up system is still what jersey collectors use to see the data collected about their items.

If the item is collected by Fanatics, then logged into their database, you should be able to identify the difference between the jerseys that were worn and the jerseys that were issued because the game has already been played, right?

Punch in any of the numbers representing Jared Coreau.  Keep in mind, Coreau was a late announcement as the starting goaltender for Detroit.

Each record indicates that Coreau did not play in the game.

This match shows he did, along with the box scores and all other data surrounding the game.

Why does this matter if its so easy to prove?  New collectors often do not know the power of their own research.  Many hang on the providence of a letter of authenticity or a serial number look up system that do not offer additional information.  This could be as far as they look before determining they are not longer interested in the item, after all, the issuing company would know the most about the jersey, right?  What if 6 jerseys were made, 3 worn and 3 issued?  What if a milestone was had in period 2 and you do not know which jersey you have?  Wouldn’t you want your information to be correct and proven?

The biggest question I have is if the data is recorded after the game, wouldn’t it be correct?  If its recorded before the game, how can you be certain which jersey was worn in which period?  Clearly, whatever the case may be, records do not get updated as information changes.

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