Buyers beware! As vintage Harley t-shirt value continues to rise like the price of gold, they’re increasingly being targeted by counterfeiters. The knock-offs are mostly originating from vendors in southern California and are making successful rounds on eBay. Once their welcome has been overstayed they’re circulated around local flea markets where unsuspecting amateur eBay sellers purchase them with the intention of listing them for a quick buck. It’s a vicious cycle.
This report was inspired by a thread in our forum where experts are weighing in on a recently auctioned Harley Champion tee and a vendor who has a history of selling counterfeits. Brace yourself, this person has taken things to the next level – it’s like no other repro was have reported on before. If you thought, like I did, there are some t-shirts that are repro-proof, think again. Read the thread here.
So what’s up with the Golden State and why is it the counterfeiting capital of the world? This isn’t a knock against California, it’s about supply and demand – and in Cali more than any other state, vintage tees are in demand. To back-up this claim here’s a screen shot detailing our top 10 U.S. visitors in the last year.
Translation: Cali is by far the heaviest user of Defunkd in the U.S. and we love them for it. We think of their abundance of repro like the California gold rush. Genuine vintage tees = gold. Fool’s gold = repros. Fake gold and vintage counterfeits are by-products of demand and are most common in lucrative regions.
If you’ve been burned by a bogus tee don’t feel bad, it happens to the best of us. Defunkd has been duped as have many of eBay’s top vintage buyers and sellers. We even featured a Harley tee listed on eBay (below) that was reported to be fake by other reputable sellers who were also convinced by the listing and purchased it.
The repro landscape is cloudy and continually changing – so here’s what you can do:
- Keep reading our blog.
- Use our forum to ask questions and spread the word about your experiences.
- Pay close attention to this thread: Bootleggers and this section: Real or Repro
- Avoid unfamiliar vendors that suspiciously start offering sought after tees.
- Only purchase from reputable vintage sellers.
- Re-familiarize yourself with our numerous anti-repro guides.