This is simply not true. I will explain why this is not always true and give you some tips on how to purchase legitimate jerseys for a steal!
I have been selling on eBay for 6 years and have over 30,000 positive feedback for sales of NBA, NFL, NCAA jerseys, from Reebok, Adidas and others. Our business purchases these products directly from the manufacturer.
What they say - The (bad) Argument
Legitimate sellers have to pay over $100 for an authentic jersey. Any seller who can afford to sell it for less must be selling fake jerseys.
The Economy, stupid!
Let's say it was true that sellers have to pay over $100 for an authentic jersey (it's not.) Market demand for a player's jersey determines what it is worth. I don't care how much a re-seller paid for Michael Vick's authentic jersey shortly before he was arrested - He's not going to get $100++ for it! You win some, you lose some, and you sell the losers at a loss. No one can afford to buy them and sit on them.
The Economy, stupid! (Part 2)
Reebok makes hundreds of thousands of jerseys a year. Reebok would love to sell every authentic jersey they make for $250, but they can't. So they do clearance, closeout, and liquidation. They cannot afford to keep inventory sitting around, either. This is where many of the legitimate jerseys on ebay come from.
But wait! Price can be an indication of something wrong when...
The jersey you are looking at is a brand new release. For instance, when Brett Favre joined the Jets last year, buying an authentic Jets Favre jersey for $50 would be impossible before the season starts. This is where the argument of price does apply - Reebok is not closing out anything Favre / Jets in the first season! Give it 6 months and we'll talk.
So how do we avoid fakes and still get a good deal?
Read the guides. The stuff on feedback, quality, and seller location can all be helpful in determining if a jersey is legitimate. If you see a very low price on an item that still seems "too good to be true," ask them about it! They may have a real answer for you - I will! Also, if there is a seller you have your eye on make a "test purchase." Find a polo or something small that you like, and if it is authentic, chances are so are the jerseys.
Be smart when you pick your seller, but don't just throw money at them! There's no reason to pay $60-$120+ for an authentic jersey when the market is flooded with them. 10 minutes of research can save you $50 - That's $300 an hour!
Take care of yourself folks. Shop wisely, save money, and use ebay how it was intended - To stick it to retail!
Windy City Wholesale