As you are reading this you have almost certainly seen that there are thousands of so called F1 team clothing items on eBay. You probably also realise that almost all of them are not genuine team issue only items.
I have been collecting genuine F1 team wear for five years and thought I should pass on some of my experience to hopefully help you minimise the likelihood of you getting burned like I did in the early days.
The advice a fairly simple: KNOW YOUR SUBJECT!
It's actually pretty easy to research the subject online.
I use online motorsport photo archives like Sutton Images (www.sutton-images.com) which are searchable. You can search for things like "williams AND canada AND 1997". This will show photos of the Williams team at the 1997 Canadian Grand Prix. You will see that they had a specific shirt used only for that race. You can then use those images to compare with the item on eBay to check that the shirt has all the correct logos in the correct places etc. If you are really serious you can often copy the preview images to your own computer and maintain your own library of images.
This is not a guarantee that the shirt will be genuine, but almost all the team wear sold as "genuine" is easily spotted as it bears almost no resemblance to the real thing.
It's also helpful to understand which clothing manufacturer made the clothing, as often the genuine team wear will have the clothing manufacturer logo and label whereas the merchandise often have a team label instead.
Also beware as some merchandise versions look like the real thing but the logos are screen printed rather than embroidered.
The most important advice I can give is ask questions. You're better off emailing a seller and asking the relevant questions to satisfy yourself the item is genuine before you bid than be disappointed when the item arrives.
I will endeavour to update this guide with more information and photos at some stage. Contact me via eBay if you have questions and I'll try to answer them.
F1 Shirts (Rick)
F1 Team Clothing Buyers Guide
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16 September 2008
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