Internet host of counterfeit Texans merchandise

December 3, 2012 8:26:39 PM PST
Houston Texans gear is selling faster than any other NFL merchandise this year, and it may be on your Christmas wish list. But be warned, because you'll never believe what we found when ordering Texans gear online.

Kevin Gwinn is a die-hard Houston Texans fan and he wanted to show it.

"I wanted a jersey to represent the Texans," he said.

So he set his sights on a JJ Watt jersey.

"I Googled 'JJ Watt white Texans jersey,' and probably about 10 to 15 sites come up," Gwinn said.

Gwinn says all the sites seemed legitimate and looked a lot like the Houston Texans' own online shop, so he picked one for $95.

"They asked for my credit card, I put it in," he said.

Seven days later his jersey arrived -- only it wasn't the jersey he ordered and it wasn't the real thing.

"When I opened the package it was a Whitney Mercilus jersey, which was disheartening," Gwinn said.

It's the kind of complaint the Houston Texans are hearing more often.

"People are purchasing things online, they are ordering a blue JJ Watt jersey and a white DeMeco Ryans jersey is showing up, or something like that, in the mail and they don't have anyone to call back," said Jennifer Davenport, director of marketing for the Houston Texans.

Davenport says the Texans have no connection to these sites and issues this warning to consumers:

"Everything is going to have the NFL tag and that's even easy to replicate, but you can look for the NFL tag on things," she said. "And then if you are seeing things at a discounted price or if the store at Reliant Stadium is charging one price and you are finding it a lot cheaper somewhere else, it's probably a sign that it's not a licensed product."

Monica Russo with the Houston Better Business Bureau says many of the fake sites are registered to companies in China and the merchandise is likely counterfeit.

"Take a look at that website, find out who it's registered to and where it's registered at," Russo said.

It's a lesson learned by Gwinn. He tell us he'll wear the Mercilus jersey for now but be more diligent next time.

"I'm still a Texans fan," he said.

The site Gwinn ordered from claimed to have a return policy for $85 in shipping. That's $10 less than his original purchase.


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