Hi, I'm Simon and I've bought (and sold) a lot of vintage football shirts. I've put together my top 5 tips for buying vintage shirts. If you want to sabe the time and verification of them check out all my current stock in the menu above.
Top 5 Tips
1 - Have a focus of your collection
This is will really help when you start collecting. It looks great on social media when you have loads of random shirts on a rail but by focusing on one era or team you can learn what to look for in shirts and the prices to pay. You can also build, in my option, a more valuable collection if it has a overall purpose.
Ideas could be -
Every home shirt from xx team in the 1990s
The Premier League winners home and away shirt for every year
Special edition shirts and one off shirts for events
Full kits rather than just shirts (This is really hard in adult sizes)
1990s Goal keeper shirts
The home, way and third kit for your team for every season
I personally think having a focus helps build some knowledge of the shirts in a quicker time.
2 - Focus on the condition of the shirts
Simply put, buy the best condition shirt you can if you want to keep them as a collection. If you want to wear them to play in then take cheaper shirts that have some marks or pulls. This will save you money and you don't have to worry about damaging your prestigious shirt.
In my opinion, as the vintage shirt market develops there will be bigger differences in the price of shirts based on the condition. For example, if you take the Manchester United 1990 away snowflake, a mint condtion one will rise in value considerably to one with a number of pulls. The mint/ excellent condition shirts will be the ones that I see gaining in value the most.
NOTE: Remember, people have a very different opinion of what "very good condition" is. If you are buying a shirt make sure you check all the photos and zoom in to see the condition of the material, badges and any print.
3 - Be patient!
If you're looking at build a collection of vintage shirts take your time. Plan out what shirts you want and don't just go buying shirts like crazy hoping for the best. It's really easy to get on Google and start shopping for shirts without really checking your prices and the authenticity. Take your time, research the pricing and set your budgets for what you want to buy.
4 - Size matters
If you are new to buying vintage shirts and want them for a collection there is a premium on the popular sizes. Large commands the biggest premium and medium and XL are also popular. If you are buying size small or XXL then it is likely you will pay less for the shirt than M - L - XL sizes.
If you are buying size small look out for people trying to pass of large boys as a small. If the label says Y or LB or similar then you should pay a lot less for the shirt. Some of the 1990s shirts will fit like a modern small but being a youth still effects the value of the shirt.
5 - Look everywhere
The easiest place to start looking is google shopping and eBay. However, there are lots of other places where you can buy shirts, sometime at better prices. You can try Twitter where there is a good community of shirt sellers and collectors. There is also a number of Facebook groups for buying and selling shirts. If you are new to this there is a football shirt authentic check group where you can post the shirts pictures and tags and ask others if they are real or fakes. I am a regular poster in that group, as a general rule people will try and help you verify the shirts as legit shirts or fake.