I will demonstrate with images how to distinguish between a genuine polo and a fake one. But of course, I wouldn’t start without a short story.
Recently, one of my customers visited the store and couldn’t hide his excitement on his recent vacation in Dubai and how he had discovered a “cheap source” for the popular Polo by Ralph Lauren polos, t-shirts and shirts. He also mentioned that he had also made arrangements for periodic deliveries to Abuja from this Dubai based retailer. I was silent for a while. The thought of losing a customer to another retailer hurts, but of course that’s a part of business I have learned to consistently deliver great and unequalled service and quality and perhaps to come to terms with it if does happen. However, I was prompted to let out a loud “wow” after he mentioned a certain ridiculous price at which he bought them. Well, my customer’s excitement was only short-lived. He called in yesterday with the bad news.
The t-shirts and polos lost their colors at first wash, stitches were pulling apart and contrast colors staining main colors.
This prompted me to do this post.
The collar-neck t-shirt with the signature pony from Ralph Lauren is arguably the most popular polo in the world and the absence of an open wholesale channel to source for the authentic merchandise, has created a multi-billion dollar profitable parallel market for fakes and knock-offs that thrives with impunity especially in the developing countries.
Unfortunately, the poor quality fakes are been sold for the price of the authentic ones and unsuspecting lovers of the brand have continued to fall victims.
The following steps would help you spot a fake polo by Ralph Lauren round-neck or collar-neck t-shirt.
STEP 1 – BRAND LABELS
Take a close look at the Main label.
GENUINE: The label of an authentic polo by Ralph Lauren shirt comes with an incredibly neat stitching and a clear space exists between “Ralph” and “Lauren”.
FAKE: For very bad fakes, there is little or no gap between “Ralph” and “Lauren”, the stitching is usually rough and too close to the polo box.
Take a Look at The 1st Attached tag Below the Main Label
Although Ralph Lauren polos, shirts and t-shirts come in various fits; custom, classic, slim, the specific fit is usually attached below the main label.
GENUINE: The attached label of an authentic polo by Ralph Lauren shirt has a slightly rough border or edges. This is quite discrete and always overlooked by the counterfeiter and as well as the buyer.
Just underneath this tag, or the other side of the tag, a “CF number is present”
FAKE: The attached label is in most cases absent for very bad fakes and present but usually without rough borders or edges in knock-offs.
Usually no CF number is behind or underneath the tag.
2nd Attached tag on the left of the Main Label
The label on which you have the Size, e.g XL; the country of manufacture e.g MADE IN CHINA; the composition, usually 100% cotton.
GENUINE: when this label is...