PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Like many fans, David Chamberlin of Sewickley Hills went online to get an authentic Sidney Crosby jersey.
“I thought I was buying a real NHL premier jersey, and when I received it, it was very clearly not that, and it shipped from China,” Chamberlin told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Monday.
Chamberlin ordered through a legitimate sounding website – hockeyteamstore.com.
“It used all the NHL imagery. It looked like a real site that was based here in the U.S.,” he said.
But when the jersey arrived, he noticed subtle differences.
“It’s a blank sleeve, instead of having white stitching saying Reebok,” observed Chamberlin.
The packaging proved it came from China even though a fake label said “Made in Canada.”
“Unfortunately, with all the excitement surrounding the Penguins winning back to back victory, this is an opportunity for counterfeiters to swoop in and try to take advantage of that excitement by victimizing fans,” says Tom Prochnow, group vice president of legal and business affairs for NHL Enterprises.
It happens to thousands unwillingly, says Prochnow.
Yinzers in the Strip District sells both licensed and unlicensed merchandise.
“People will ask if it’s licensed and some people will want licensed over a $10 shirt that just says Pittsburgh on it or something like that,” says John Coen, Yinzer’s store manager.
But not everyone.
One t-shirt with the words, “Back to Back World Champions,” is not licensed by the NHL.
So what, say a lot of folks.
“If the price of the merchandise is less because it is not licensed, you say?” Jon Delano asked shopper Cathy Smith of Morgan.
“All the better. All the better,” she responded.
But Chamberlin paid for authentic and got less.
Since he used a credit card, he’s disputing the charge.
Delano: “So you expect to get all the money back?”
Chamberlin: “I do. I do indeed.”
NHL’s Prochnow agreed.
“A lot of times the credit card companies will reverse the charges, if you complain to them that you’ve received a counterfeit product,” he said.