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How to spot a fake Michael Jackson fedora?

How to spot a fake Michael Jackson fedora?

Michael Jackson’s signature military-style jackets and single-handed Swarovski crystal-studded gloves undeniably constitute an integral part of his persona. That said, the single most iconic part of his outfit is the black fedora, which he wore not only on stage, but also in his everyday life from the beginning of the 80s until the day of his death.

The first time Michael Jackson wore the black hat in public was at Motown Records’ 25th anniversary, where he sang his brand new hit “Billie Jean”. The song, as well as the album “Thriller” on which it appears, became a worldwide success. Even today, it is the best-selling album of all times.

Michael Jackson later regularly ended live performances of the song by throwing his hat into the audience after singing the last line “Billie Jean is not my lover.” In all of his tours, he threw a total 329 fedoras into the ecstatic crowds.

Here’s a breakdown of the total number of fedoras (one per show):

  • Victory Tour – 55 shows
  • Bad Tour – 123 shows
  • Dangerous Tour – 69 shows
  • HIStory Tour – 82 shows

Combined with his other performances, a total of 335 hats were taken by the fans. The six other shows that were not part of a tour are the following:

  • MTV Music Awards in 1995
  • the birthday party of the Sultan of Brunei in 1996
  • MJ & Friends concerts in 1999 (2 shows)
  • 30th Anniversary concerts in Madison Square Garden in 2001 (2 shows)

Although the majority of the hats caught by fans at concerts have either been destroyed or so badly worn as to be practically unrecognizable, the black fedora is still the most frequently encountered piece of Michael Jackson memorabilia at auctions.
The King of Pop was so much taken with these secret agent style hats that they became an integral part of his everyday life. What is more, even his backup-dancers wore fedoras identical to his. According to a conservative estimate, there were at least 150-200 other black fedoras besides the stage-worn Billie Jean hats, which Michael Jackson used in his everyday life. He donated every one of them to friends, guests, and charity organizations. Today, these hats are typically sold at $4,000–$12,000 at auctions.
Thanks to its frequency and its selling price, the fedora has become a favourite item for counterfeiters.

How to spot a fake Michael Jackson fedora?

However, by paying attention to the following details on Jackson hats, you can avoid falling for fake items. Original Michael Jackson fedoras have ALL of the below characteristics:

  1. His hats up until 1990 (manufactured by Maddest Hatter, Worth & Worth or Golden Gate Hat Company) feature a white liner, and the name and logo of the manufacturer is printed on the liner tip. However, the hats he wore regularly after 1990 lacked the lining altogether. This list is restricted to hats he wore between 1990 and 2009 (made by Dorfman-Pacific Co., Inc), as these are the most frequent ones.
  2. Michael Jackson wore two different sizes because of his hair (and his wigs): medium and large. The material and the size of the hat is always indicated on a small golden paper label on the inside. The X-Large sizes were made for his dancers.
  3. All of Michael Jackson’s hats are made of 100% wool. The unique identifier of this material is: WPL 5923. This code is also indicated on the golden label on the inside.
  4. All hats feature a 3.8 cm (1.5’’) black ribbon, and as usual for men’s hats, there is a bow above the left ear (i.e. left ear if you’re wearing the hat, right ear if you’re facing the person wearing it).
  5. The outer edge of the brim is neither bent back, nor is it sewed down. The curve is simply created by the shape of the cut.
  6. The height of the back part of the hat is lower than that of the front part. The top of the crown is dented in a triangular shape.
  7. If there is a Michael Jackson signature on the hat, it is a good idea to compare the signature to those on other signed hats or to consult a professional. In some cases, genuine fedoras are added fake signatures to boost their selling price at auctions. However, if the hat is fake, then the signature is also necessarily fake.
  8. The hats feature a black, leather-like paper sweatband with Michael Jackson’s name inscribed on it in matte gold at the exact point where the ribbon bow is placed on the outside. Michael Jackson’s name is inscribed with the same font in all hats. If the font is thinner, the hat is a fake.
  9. The sweatband is sewn into the hat with yarn using parallel stitches following the direction of its radius. The seam should NOT have an intermittent line pattern. (See picture)
  10. On the inside of the sweatband, roughly 2 mms from the edge, there is a deep groove. On the back of the sweatband, there is a small sweatband bow.
  11. The last but most important part of the originality inspection involves intuition. Let’s take the hat into our hands and smell it. Taking into consideration the provenance of the hat, let’s ask the question: is this hat really 20 years old? Are there traces of makeup or hairs in the hat? Does it have a solid provenance? Can you trust the seller or the auction house? is the best place to sell your authentic Michael Jackson hat at the highest price. Consign your Michael Jackson fedora with us!

Here’s why you never get the top price for your music memorabilia on eBay

Here’s why you never get the top price for your music memorabilia on eBay

Read on to find out three reasons why it is hard to find genuine memorabilia on eBay, and why you should avoid this site if you are planning to sell valuable original items:


– EBay is probably the world’s largest online marketplace. Millions of people buy and sell products in auctions hosted on this platform. Because of the high number of sales and users, it is difficult to monitor transactions, and many people take advantage of this issue. This is the reason why approximately 90% of music memorabilia offered on eBay today is fake. Nobody wants to buy on a market where forgery affects 9 out of 10 products. Users have low levels of trust in expensive items listed on the site. Therefore, serious buyers with larger budgets tend to avoid eBay, and prefer to spend their money at traditional auction houses.

– As a result, eBay remains a platform for collectors that cannot afford to buy at auction houses. However, there are tens of thousands of cheaper items on eBay related to any given artist: CDs, vinyl records, magazines, and T-shirts.

Even if your item is proven to be genuine, and it has a very strong provenance, there is a high probability that it will be lost among the other products, and few people will be able to find it. In the best case scenario, a few hundred people will notice your listing, but if you do not have many deep-pocketed bidders, there is no chance that your item will receive a lot of bids and a high final price. A Michael Jackson signature rarely reaches a final price over $1,000 on eBay, whereas traditional auction houses may be able to sell the same item for $3,000. This is due to the fact that auction house catalogues reach thousands of people contrary to eBay listings. Furthermore, auction houses also notify collectors about auctions through newsletters, and they publicize them in online media as well as in fan forums.

– The joint “Buyer’s protection” service of eBay and PayPal carries additional risks. Ebay currently prioritizes the buyers’ interests over sellers’ interests. This means that if a buyer raises a complaint claiming that he received an empty (opened) envelope when you posted several rare Michael Jackson concert tickets, eBay will almost certainly decide in favour of the buyer. As a result, the seller will have to refund the price of the items. This is what happened to the seller in this picture, who sold an authentic Michael Jackson fedora worth $8,000 on eBay. The buyer claimed that he received an empty package. Even though the transaction had a tracking number, eBay did not care. The buyer got his money back and ran away with the hat.


Why you never get the top price for your item on eBay


As a result of this unfair and annoying situation, even sellers owning rare and valuable items avoid eBay, so the percentage of fake memorabilia continues to grow on the online marketplace.


Introducing (AM) is currently the number one safest auction marketplace where users can buy and trade music related memorabilia, just like in traditional auction houses. Such memorabilia include signed or inscribed items, stage-worn or personal clothes, props from music videos or even music awards. Consign your item HERE. allows users to list products even if the actual sale takes place on another website (e.g. eBay). Therefore, AM is a practical solution for people who want to generate more publicity for their memorabilia.

Other auction sites where often as many as 80% of the listed items are fake provide no chance for collectors to voice their opinions. As a result, the counterfeit signatures almost always end up in the collections of unsuspecting novices. offers a solution to this problem: features an extensive database of music memorabilia. It is constantly updated by users with memorabilia traded on eBay or at other auction houses, and their authenticity is checked by authorized users. Voting rights are given exclusively to users that are deemed exceptionally knowledgeable with regard to a certain artist. These “Expert” users are entitled to vote memorabilia “genuine” or “fake” in order to help less experienced collectors.

  • We request users to provide photo identification upon registration, so we can catch fake users who intend to use the site for fraudulent purposes.
  • Sellers proven to have repeatedly attempted the sale of counterfeit products will be permanently banned from the site, and their information will be published in our Database of Fake Products.
  • All listed items remain visible on the website even after sale, regardless of their authenticity. is therefore a database of music memorabilia as well as of buyers and sellers; a marketplace built by the users and shaped by the community. also offers traditional auction house services. Anyone can consign their memorabilia to any of our regularly launched auctions. Collectors of the given artist are notified about such auctions on a weekly basis.
The community can also review the items we ourselves sell, so we do our best to eliminate fake items and only sell genuine products at our auctions. Compared to other auction houses, our Buyer’s Premium and Seller Commission rates are the lowest at 15% each.
Read more about Why consign with us?

Currently, allows the sale and purchase of the following 26 types of artist memorabilia:
AC/DC, Aerosmith, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Cher, David Bowie, Eagles, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Freddie Mercury, George Michael, Guns N’ Roses, John Lennon, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Led Zeppelin, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Prince, Queen, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Whitney Houston
Additionally, the value of the listed music memorabilia must exceed $200. only allows for the sale of items with a value higher than this amount.