Why Are Jerseys So Expensive? (11 Reasons Why)

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Yasmin Fisher

Yasmin Fisher is a fashion-loving shopaholic who has spent the last 10 years in customer service. She loves finding great deals, and thrifting is one of her favorite weekend activities.

Jerseys are popular sports apparel that are available to every child and adult. Apart from playing a key role in sports, jerseys are fine shirts that often hold sentimental value.

If you are an avid NFL, NBA, or MBL fan, you know that replica and authentic jerseys can be pretty pricey. However, have you ever stopped to wonder why? Here is what I found!

Why Are Jerseys So Expensive?

Jerseys are expensive because they’re made with top-tier fabric and treated to become waterproof or water-resistant. Jerseys are always in high demand since they’re used everywhere, from schools to major sports leagues. Some manufacturers’ association with sports teams can also increase the cost of jerseys, especially if these jerseys are printed or labeled.

If you are interested in learning more about the different types of jersey fabrics and the brandings that can increase the cost of jerseys, keep on reading!

1. Jerseys Are Made With Coated Synthetic Fabric

Jerseys are typically made with synthetic fibers like polyester, which are significantly stronger and more resilient than fabrics made of natural fiber like cotton.

Moreover, jersey fabrics are treated to become water-resistant or waterproof to cater to an athlete or an active person’s needs.

So, since jerseys are made with fabric that is durable and can wick moisture, jerseys can command higher prices.

2. Jerseys Are Difficult To Make

Jerseys are manufactured using special equipment that must be overseen and programmed or operated.

Additionally, creating jerseys is not a fully-automated process. Companies still have to hire a lot of workers to take care of the more delicate aspects of manufacturing jerseys.

Of course, operating machines and paying workers are expensive, and companies have to charge a high price for their jerseys to recoup their expenses.

3. Jerseys Are In High Demand Globally

From schools and national leagues to international sports stars and fans, jerseys are in high demand year-round.

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Naturally, this high demand gives manufacturers the freedom to place heftier price tags for their jerseys.

Even with the competition in the jersey market, there is no shortage of clients in every industry and economic level, making jerseys expensive.

4. Branding Impacts Jersey Prices

Not all jerseys are made equal. Depending on the manufacturer, some jerseys may be flimsier and less reliable than others.

Additionally, some manufacturers invest more in the fabric and technology they use to make their jerseys less prone to fading and other damages.

Another way branding impacts jersey prices is the association of jersey manufacturers.

For example, if a manufacturer supplies for popular sports organizations, their jerseys will be pricier.

5. Jerseys Associated With Athletes Or Teams Have Higher Value

5. Jerseys Associated With Athletes Or Teams Have Higher Value

Jerseys of famous sports teams and athletes tend to fetch a higher price, especially if these jerseys are considered official merchandise.

That said, apart from the top-tier fabric and printing you can expect from these jerseys, they carry the value of the athlete and sports team printed on them.

Further, this is especially true with sports teams like Real Madrid. Since you are paying for the value of these brands, the jerseys have to be expensive.

6. Shipping & Import Fees Impact Jersey Prices

Jerseys may be compact items to ship, but given the current port congestion and shipping troubles due to the pandemic, shipping fees are at an all-time high.

Also, jerseys incur import fees upon arriving at their destination country. Even a relatively cheap tariff can make your final purchase’s cost bigger.

So, if you are buying authentic Real Madrid jerseys from the UK, you can expect a considerable portion of your purchase to be dedicated to shipping and import fees.

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Therefore, this would explain why most jerseys are expensive.

7. Nike Has A Monopoly On Most Major Sports

If you are buying jerseys from major sports like the NBA, NFL, and MLB, it is essential to know that only one company produces their jerseys, Nike.

Since these sports have some of the biggest fan bases in the world, Nike can demand higher prices for its jerseys and still secure massive sales from avid fans.

Further, Nike’s monopoly on the jersey production for major sports means jerseys, which are already pricey without Nike’s branding, become even pricier when they hit the market.

8. Jerseys Come In Varieties

Even minute nuances in a jersey’s material and design can significantly increase the value of a jersey. These nuances are often related to fabric, stitching, and finishes.

Also, there are different types of jersey fabrics, namely single jersey, interlock jersey, clocqué jersey, slub jersey, jacquard jersey, and stretch jersey.

Additionally, jerseys with stitched-on numbers and letters are typically priced higher, even though sports jerseys worn on actual games use screen printing.

These varieties cause differences in jersey prices, and the more premium the fabric and the stitching or screen printing, the more expensive the jersey becomes.

9. Resellers Place Huge Markups On Jerseys

Jerseys are hot commodities, primarily if these jerseys feature famous athletes and sports teams.

That said, it is not unheard of for resellers to buy replicas and authentic jerseys in bulk only to resell them online for higher prices. In fact, even avid fans can take part in this practice.

To recoup their investment, resellers can place significant markups on the jerseys. Since official stores have run out of stocks, fans have no choice but to purchase from resellers.

Nevertheless, you can expect that even licensed distributors will mark up jerseys, as that is the leading way they generate profit. Regardless, markups make jerseys expensive.

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10. Jerseys Still Have To Be Marketed

Whether a company produces jerseys for student-athletes or major sports stars, they will still have to market their products and services.

Marketing can be costly, regardless of whether the company is running a big-time campaign or small-scale social media advertising.

Therefore, to cover these marketing expenses, jerseys must be sold at a high price.

11. Premium Pricing Makes Jersey Seem More Valuable

Unless you are in the fashion or sports industry or you are an avid sports fan, it is unlikely that you can quickly determine the value of a jersey simply by looking or touching it.

Instead, most people determine a jersey’s value based on its price. If a jersey is expensive, it must be made from higher-quality materials.

Additionally, the more expensive the jersey, the more satisfied consumers feel about their purchase. This premium pricing strategy is one of the reasons jerseys are expensive.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why clothes are so expensive, why hoodies are so expensive, and why underwear are so expensive.


Jerseys are made from durable fabric designed to wick away sweat, making jerseys more difficult and time-consuming to create.

Also, apart from the labor cost, companies face high demands from different institutions, mainly sports clubs, and enthusiasts.

When you factor in Nike’s monopoly on major sports jerseys, the manufacturer’s brand, shipping fees, and reseller markups, it is easy to see why jerseys are expensive.


  • Yasmin Fisher

    Yasmin Fisher is a fashion-loving shopaholic who has spent the last 10 years in customer service. She loves finding great deals, and thrifting is one of her favorite weekend activities.

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