Collecting stuff has always been an annoying habit of mine. It can be an outright obsession.
I’m fully willing to admit there was a time when the Mrs & I scampered around collecting Beanie Babies because, well, it was fun? Maybe a little higher on the cool scale was my one time laser focus finding everything related to the comic book and cartoon, The Tick. Point being, I do have a predilection for collecting stuff and soccer gear certainly has it’s place in my life.
While I’ve collected all sorts of stuff, I’ve yet to obtain a thing that ends up being of significant value. Now, “significant” is really related to it’s original price. I fully doubt I will ever own something that singularly will make me wealthy or deserving of a star appearance on Antique’s Roadshow. There might be a one of the many Tick figures I own I could sell for $40-50, but why? Certainly none of those damned beanie bags are worth even what we’d paid for them.
But maybe I’ve stumbled into finding I do possess something a lot of others desire.
Back in 2006 Nike announced it was releasing a “limited edition 3rd kit” for the US Men’s National Team. It was a one-time deal for the team’s final warm-up game before Germany’06. Being a total Kit Nerd, I was immediately interested and when I saw it, I had to have one. So I placed an order.
Seen here the design is pretty “soccer jersey 101”. The sash, the collar, the trim bits on the edge of the sleeves – but this also re-introduced a new USSoccer crest and it carried the fantastic “Don’t Tread on Me Snake” (DTOM) logo. It was an homage to the 50’s US Team kit. It was a no-brainer to buy. I think I paid $70 for it. Ends up Nike didn’t do a giant run of these for the public and the only others were the one made for the players .
When I received it I was stunned to find out Nike really rushed this piece. The material, even for 2006, is a brutally heavy polyester and everything opposite of “DriFit”. It’s a fucking sweater of a jersey. It’s also itchy as hell and I ended up only wearing it once, in my house, while watching a game. Just sitting there, sweating even more than normal during a US game, I had to put it in the washer afterwards. It’s sat in a drawer ever since. It should also be noted everything other than the Nike swoosh is sublimated into the shirt. I’m told the player’s authentic game versions had a heat transfer for the crest. This does not. I have to assume (and hope) the authentic jersey was made from some different material than this – as what I have would be torturous to wear in a game.
Several months ago I was talking with a friend who really is into trading and shopping for soccer gear. It was through him I became aware the DTOM jersey was now a collectable and worth multiples of what I’d paid for it. In fact there is a “salesman’s sample” of the shirt that’s been up for sale on eBay for months, priced at $599. Now, the fact it hasn’t sold tells us 6Benji’s is just too much for a jersey – even an original ’94 Denim (for many the Holy Grail of US jerseys). I tried to figure out what this jersey was selling for in the open market, but couldn’t find any other than the aforementioned eBay offering. My buddy insisted it was rare and would fetch big bucks if I was to put it up for sale. But I still didn’t understand what “big bucks” meant.
I didn’t know what the fair market value was and that’s when I stepped down a rabbit hole of soccer gear insanity. There is a Facebook group I was “accepted” into and it’s sole design is to trade, sell and share soccer gear, but also alert people to stuff on sale at discount stores. Apparently a ton of these $110 jerseys end up at Ross and Marshal’s across our great land for sale at massive discounts. Who knew? There is also a couple of reddit pages dedicated to the cause. One for selling, one for swapping. Hundreds, if not thousands of posts from people who love soccer gear just like I do.
Trying to figure out a fair market price for the DTOM, I put up a post on the Facebook page and it was somewhat like putting your finger in tank of piranhas. While there’s been a bunch of comments, its the direct messages I’ve received from people trying to buy the jersey that’s the nuttiest. From the seemingly honest, to those trying to pull a fast one in less than 24 hours I been offered anywhere from $50 to $375 to “tree fiddy”.
I really don’t know what to do. Should I just take the best direct offer, or should I jump into the eBay pool where I could stand to generate an even bigger interest in it? Not trying to be greedy, but when you have a collectable item, it’s only fair to one’s self to insure you sell it for what the market is willing to pay.
I did get one piece of advice: “Wait till the 2018 World Cup”, he suggested, “It will certainly sell for $800+”. Doing that certainly would either, a) ensure the US fails to qualify for the 2018 World Cup or b) Nike re-issues the same jersey. No doubt, one of those two, if not both, would happen.