Why Did This Disney 'Aladdin' Shirt Sell For $6,000?
Remember that Macklemore song about thrift shopping, where he mocked people who spend $50 for a T-shirt? I wonder what he’d have to say about whoever bought this vintage “Aladdin” shirt for $6,000, especially since the purchase came on a digital flea market of sorts.
Corbin Smith put the shirt, originally printed in 1992, up on Virtual Flea, which IGN calls “a livestream for vendors to sell their used goods since most flea markets have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Smith was reportedly looking to flip the shirt, which he got for $500 last year, for $2,000. With a starting bid of $1, he watched as the shirt went for a total of $6,000.
That “someone” would be me lol 👋🏾 https://t.co/RY27LTkE20
— Corbin (@CorbinGMH) September 17, 2020
“Before that moment happened, I’ve never had more than like $4,800 to my name,” Smith told The Wall Street Journal. “And I made more than that off one piece of cloth.”
It’s not just a piece of cloth, however. Nostalgia and exclusivity bump the price of something even as simple as a T-shirt to astronomical value. And, let’s be real, the all-over print design of this T-shirt is pretty awesome. We would totally rock it, though that asking price is a little steep.
But, as IGN also points out, a lot of these shirts were gone forever after their original run in the 1990s, and some were only printed for the film’s crew and related parties. With Disney still as popular as ever and nostalgia being one of the most powerful sources of additional value, this shirt was destined for a high sale price.
The buyer, Josh Adams, who goes by ShirtCheck on Virtual Flea, says he has one of the biggest collections of vintage movie and TV shirts in the world, having spent $10,000 so far building his collection.
So, to answer the original question in our headline: Why did this “Aladdin” shirt sell for $6,000? And why will it likely sell for an even higher amount in the future? The short answer is nostalgia. The longer answer involves the fact that younger generations are getting older and have money to spend on things like nostalgia, and the ever-growing loss of childhood and youth in their lives prompts them to spend whatever expendable income to grasp that feeling once again. Even if it is “just a piece of cloth” to some, it’s much more to others.
So, while one order might seem like "just a T-shirt order," rest assured there's a ton of value to the end-user. And sometimes, that value continues to grow over the years.