Yes, player of the Century jerseys are counterfeit. They are knock off jerseys that are manufactured overseas of a lower quality than a traditional football jersey. If you are caught trying to sell one (or more) whether or not it is autographed, they can be impounded by law enforcement.
MITCHELL & NESS does not make multiple player jerseys such as "Quarterbacks of the Centurty" or "Runningbacks of the Centurty" I love how some sellers claim the retail value of these jerseys is over $1,700. (You will probably see some of these jerseys to the right of this guide). If these have any NFL copyright info or NFL tags they can be impounded by law enforcement.
For those of you who doubt this fact, take a look at the Baltimore Sun Newspaper website. In June of this year (2007) Anne Arundle County Police raided 2 stores and confiscated over $30,000 in merchandise because the stores were selling unlicensed jerseys with trademarked logo's on them.
A lot of the places that were making the fake Mitchell and Ness started doing the Player of the Century jerseys once people started catching on to how to tell the difference between the fake and real M&N. They simply came up with this brand name so that it looks legit. If you wish to own one, that is your choice, but understand what you are paying for.
Be realistic in your purchase: Remember, an true Reebok authentic game jersey retails on average for $250. That means it probably cost a dealer in the range of $125 (using basic wholesale principals). That means you are not going to be able to purchase an autographed Reebok authentic jersey with a "BUY IT NOW" of $99.99. I had a conversation with a promoter who bragged about how good his knock off Reebok jerseys are. He boasted how his guy is so good, they even use different numbered serial numbers on the holograms. If he is going to lie to you about what type of jersey it is, how do you know he won't sell a fake signature also?
Be particularly careful of a seller of "authentic" jerseys from overseas. Especially from Asia. That is a real warning sign of counterfeit materials. See how long the seller has been selling on Ebay. If it is less than a year, be careful. It can sometimes take awhile before Ebay catches up with counterfeit sellers.
On the side of autographed memorabilia... almost all players will sign licensed jerseys... most will sign custom jerseys.... only a few will sign true knock off jerseys with fake tags... so if it is an autographed knock off, be really careful or you may be getting a fake signature also.
Do not be in a hurry to buy something thinking it will be your only chance. Most sellers have many of an item. If you have any doubt to it's legality, do the checking. If it is legit, it will be for sale again and then you can buy it.
If you purchased one believing it was real, you can actually contact the trademark department at Mitchell and Ness (email me for that contact) and they may be able to help you get your money back. They can also shut down illegal sellers to help others from getting burned. Please look at the about "ME" for Mitchell & Ness
Want to help the word get out? The more people that select the "yes" button for this guide being helpful, the higher up on the 'Guide List' it gets, thus getting more exposure for eBayers to read and learn. It is our goal to completely eliminate these scam practices on Ebay. Possible? Perhaps not, but the more people we educate about this scam, the more money they save, and the less sellers are apt to try to rip people off.