Why Are Jerseys So Expensive? 3 Tips To Save

If you are looking to add the jersey of your favorite player to your fan collection, your heart might skip a beat when you take a peek at the price tag. Jersey prices can be a bit outrageous. Why are jerseys so expensive?

Jerseys are expensive for several reasons:

  • They represent the premium piece of fan apparel, therefore retailers can charge a premium price.
  • They have custom finishes like detailed stitching on logos and names that drive up the cost of production and ultimately, the cost of sale.
  • For most major sports, there is only one official producer of jerseys. This gives that company a monopoly in the jersey market space for that sport, allowing them to basically charge whatever they want without having to worry about competitors coming in at lower prices.

**If you scroll to the bottom of the page, we have 3 tips on how you can save money buying jerseys.

Jersey Deals

**The official online shops for the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB often run sales and promotions, which might help you save a bit of money. Click on the affiliate links below to check to see if there are current sales.

One issue with buying jerseys is getting the wrong sizes, which can be very annoying. Jerseys are traditionally very hard to size, especially when you are buying them off the internet. We own and review jerseys here at Sports Fan Focus so that you will have an idea how they fit. Visit our Jersey Resource Page to view our review and comparison articles.


Despite prices, jerseys are a great addition to any fan collection. There is pride associated with sliding on a jersey of your favorite player and the team you support. But because prices are so high, you will want to be sure that you buy a jersey that fits you properly and satisfies what you are looking for. (At the end of this article we will provide some tips on how to save money buying jerseys.)

We hope this article will be a resource for you during your jersey buying process. In this article we will:

  • Discuss jersey pricing for the NBA, NFL, and MLB.
  • Discuss, with a bit more depth, why cost is so high for some jerseys.
  • Talk about the risks in buying used jerseys online.
  • Give some tips on how you might be able to save money on jersey purchases.

***Getting ready to tailgate? Visit our article about Tailgate TV Setup to get 4 ideas on how to get TV setup at your next tailgate.

Why Are Jerseys So Expensive?

As we discussed above, jerseys are expensive mainly because they are in high demand, considered premium fan apparel, have detailed finishes, and because each major sport only has one sole provider, which allows that provider to drive up costs without fear of competition.

Because sports create an intense emotional connection between the players and the fans, jersey providers can charge premium prices and rely on that emotional connection to drive fans to look past the price and make a purchase.

The truth is, owning a jersey is fun. It feels good to represent your favorite player and team by owning that player’s jersey. Even though it can be expensive, it’s a fun and engaging way to show off your fandom.

And ultimately, all things considered, if you take good care of your jersey, you can get several years of wear out of it, really driving down the impact of the overall price.

Jersey Prices For Each Sport

It’s important to remember that there will be different levels of quality in the jerseys for sale. Leagues will offer a basic, cheaper version of their jerseys (sometimes called ‘replica jerseys’) and then also offer more premium, higher-priced versions of their jerseys that are exact matches for what players wear during the game (often called ‘authentic jerseys’).

In this section we will briefly cover each type of jersey that are offered by the major sports leagues in America, and what an estimated cost will be for that type of jersey (prices will vary depending on player so we will provide a reasonable estimate of overall cost).


Nike is the official uniform provider for the NFL, and jest extended their contract with the league through 2028. They replaced Reebok in 2012. Reebok offered a cheaper ‘replica jersey’ and a more premium, higher-priced ‘authentic jersey’.


For more information on how NFL jerseys fit, visit our NFL Jersey Size Guide.

Nike changed course on this and decided to offer three versions of jerseys for fans to buy (Game, Limited, and Elite), in this order of pricing:

  • Cheapest: Nike ‘Game’
  • Intermediate: Nike ‘Limited’
  • Most Expensive: Nike ‘Elite’

Nike Adult NFL jerseys usually range in price from around $100 to $350, with many different price levels in between based on jersey type. The most expensive jersey, the Nike ‘Elite’, has the same premium finishes as the jerseys the pros wear on gamedays.


Nike is also the official uniform provider for the NBA. There are two main types of Nike NBA jerseys available to NBA fans: Nike ‘Swingman’ and Nike ‘Authentic’. Fanatics also makes an NBA ‘Replica’ jersey that is available through the official NBA shop. These three jerseys are priced in this order:

  • Cheapest: Fanatics ‘Replica’
  • Intermediate: Nike ‘Swingman’
  • Most Expensive: Nike ‘Authentic’

The Nike ‘Authentic’ jerseys are the premium version of the NBA jerseys and will be a true copy of what the players wear during games. Nike’s AeroSwift technology is used for the authentic jerseys, which increases the mobility of the product and creates a lightweight feel when worn. To learn more about how NBA jerseys fit, visit our NBA Jersey Sizing Guide.


Nike is the official uniform provider for Major League Baseball. Click here to view our MLB Jersey Size Guide. Nike offers two types of MLB fan jerseys: ‘Replica’ and ‘Authentic’.

Just like in the NBA, Replica is the cheaper of the two, and does not have the premium finishes that the Authentic jersey has.

Authentic MLB jerseys are the same as what the players wear during Major League Baseball games.

Before buying an MLB jersey, you will want to click on our size guide above and learn about the differences between ‘flex base’ jerseys and ‘cool base’ jerseys. The fit and type of material differs between the two and may help you make your decision on which one to buy.

3 Tips To Save Money on Jerseys

  • Buy on Black Friday – Many fan apparel sites will run “Black Friday” sales on the friday after Thanksgiving. Those sales might extend all the way to the following Monday (“Cyber Monday”). This is a great time to save money on your jersey purchase.
  • Use Cashback Site – The cashback site that I prefer is Giving Assistant. Giving Assistant allows you to save a percentage of your purchase and they will deposit it into your paypal account (or donate it to a charity if you choose). This is an excellent way to save money on all things not just fan apparel. It’s easy to use, you just go to their website and search for the online store you wish to save on (NBA Store, NFL Shop etc). This will give you access to a certain percentage cashback once you click through their link (and also give you access to potential coupons to apply).
  • Buy During Off-season – Some fan apparel stores will run sales on jerseys during that sport’s off-season. Monitor prices for a few months during the off-season and see if you can catch the jersey you want on sale.

Jersey Deals

**The official online shops for the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB often run sales and promotions, which might help you save a bit of money. Click on the affiliate links below to check to see if there are current sales.

Paul Johnson

Paul has been with us from our beginnings. He focuses on a wide range of sports, including NFL, NBA, MLB and golf.

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