roma shirt twitter storm

roma shirt twitter storm

Wow – we found ourselves properly engulfed in a mini twitter storm today over the price of a football shirt. So we thought, rather than try to respond to everyone on social, we’d have a go at explaining our position here instead.

The whole thing kicked off when a kit fanatic – the brilliantly named Temuri Kitsbaia – spotted that we’d listed the very lovely Roma 2019/20 third shirt for a cool £199.99 and promptly posted a screengrab on Twitter.

Then, Ellis Platten, who we like, also posted on the same topic. He was nice at first (he said he loved us) but then said the price was greedy (which was a bit less nice but we still like him).

Much debate followed, largely criticising us for ripping off customers and unfairly hiking the cost of a football shirt. Some labelled it as exploitation, which seemed a bit much, but ok.

Anyway, here’s our mitigation.

Firstly, a tiny bit about us. We are three mates who started a football shirt business because we love football shirts. Just like you do. What started as a passion project has grown over the last few years to the extent now that we have actual employees and an HQ (that sounds glamorous… it isn’t glamorous).

The point of all this is that, unlike the growing community of smaller sellers out there (who we were once proudly a part of), getting bigger has meant we have overheads. Lots of overheads. Like rent, wages, taxes and so on. Of those, the most important is being able to pay our small but brilliant team a fair wage. That means that while we always try to keep our prices low, we have to ensure the business remains viable.

If a shirt is expensive on the site, it’s genuinely because we have had to pay a lot to acquire it. Like in the case of the Roma shirt. It is expensive, for sure. But it cost a lot for us to buy in the first place – and despite claims to the contrary in some of the comments on social, we didn’t buy it at cost price when it was available last season and hold on to it like evil geniuses.

We aren’t greedy. Really. Trust us when we say that you don’t start up a football shirt business to get rich. The hours are long, the margins are small. (It’s still a great job, though).

Sometimes, we get the pricing wrong. We list hundreds of items every week so it’s inevitable. And we’ve sold shirts for far less than their worth on plenty of occasions too. If you think an item is over-priced, tell us. Or don’t buy it. Either way, we’ll get the message.

We also work incredibly hard to create a great product and shopping experience and this takes money. The research, the photography, the design work and the distribution is all part of the package. We hope you understand that.

As you as football shirt lovers will know only too well, the vintage jersey market has gone mad in recent times. We used to be able to pick up classics for not too much and then sell them to you for a tiny bit more. But right now, that’s not possible. Demand is sky high and supply is short.

So, over the last year or so, our focus has been on developing our clearance range of more affordable shirts. It means we can buy in bulk and then pass the saving on to you. We’ll keep on doing that as best we can.

If we got the price on the Roma shirt wrong, we’re sorry. (We probably got a bit over-excited about a shirt we love and, maybe, paid more than we should have).

But do understand that we aren’t trying to be greedy or exploitative or any of the other things we’ve been accused of.

And, most importantly, know that we are genuinely grateful to all of our customers for the support you’ve shown us over the last few years. Thanks, guys.


Back to blog

Leave a comment