How to get good shirts? Money or be on a good team

I’ve spent the entire season trading shirts from teams in and out of my district. I spent time and money getting those “elite” shirts, people from the black market call, for the shirt you need more a little extra to get your hands on. I like trading shirts with teams that I compete with but I really like the shirts that get the more well known team. But whenever I ask someone to trade from those elite teams for a shirt the typical answer is either “sorry no” or “Whatcha got?” But when I looked at my list I didn’t see too much that could offer to compare to the shirt they were willing to trade. The value of a shirt depends on how good the team is, the rarity of the shirt, and lastly the person’s own interest to the shirt. The value of shirts do change from person to person but variability is very limiting. I wondered how far I would have to spend real cash to get those elite shirts and to even be in the ballpark as others have always been. I know a lot of people are on those elite teams and trading shirts for them are a breeze. Everyone already knows your team before you want to start trading shirts. So what do you tell new traders that want elite shirts? Spend a lot of money or try to be on more well know team.


Having epic shirts yourself can also help facilitate a trade. A solid image will get one a long ways.

I’ve also successfully traded half a fresh baked cake for a t-shirt before, it was quite the adventure.

Overall, it’s more about the connection in my opinion. If you have a connection with someone from a team, they are more likely to trade you a shirt. Friends like having each other’s shirts. “Elite” teams might be more likely to trade shirts with each other because they know each other better.


For me, the trade isn’t about the team, it’s about the story. My 2877 shirt is one of my prized possessions. It looks cool, and I won it via their 3D printed parts contest! or how could I forget when I traded the shirt off of a back of a 694 member after worlds!

Collect cool shirts, make friends, talk with people. Several people on 2702 have traded for “powerhouse” shirts with ours. Just have fun with it


As someone who used to find trading shirts, much less to competitive teams, to be an impossible task, I’ve been where you are.

But, after asking the very same question on a shirt thread a while back, I heard some of the best advice someone can give on the topic: JUST ASK

Ask everyone. Ask the pit. Ask the stands. Ask parents. Ask some random kid at the vending machine.

You never know when your going to run into a kid who’s interested in getting shirts, no matter what team you’re on? Why? Because verity is cool.

They will offten times take a trade for just about anything. After my first trip to Huston, I was a able to walk away with several shirts I never dreamed of having.

At first I was nervous as all heck, but after one of my mentors pushed me to talk to the first team, it got easier. After that I was off to the races, I talked to at least 10 different kids on 30+ teams until I found someone willing to trade.

Somtimes, it’s not about the money, but just persistence and confidence. Good luck!


Totally agree with this mentality. My 3357 t-shirt from IRI last year came from “the great cake adventure”, which was an epic story about a myself, 4 other teams, and half a llama cake. At the end of the day, the story was so fascinating, I decided that I was going to trade it for a t-shirt of one of the slickest teams of that year. That’s something that will stick with me forever.

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Ive done around 40 trades now, and almost all of my trades have basically been shotgunning and asking everyone on CD threads and Discord. Ive gotten a couple through connections, but honestly if thats all you’re talking to a team for dont even bother, it just makes you look (justifiably) bad.

Most recently, after playing with 5199 in one of the qual matches in Turing, I talked to a couple in the pit if anyone was willing to sell a shirt, and by elims Saturday i was a proud owner of one of their shirts. Sometimes, youll get a no (2471/1540 3 years trying) but if youre willing to be open people are always willing to trade, even if you arent an “elite” team. Even then, one of the shirts you do get might be something they want, if youre okay trading another teams shirt (some are, some arent, thats your call.)

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If you are fine with trading other team’s shirts I would advise trading with powerhouses in your area or teams you had good matches with or alliance with. If not, just badger people tbh and you might actually get people to trade.


A good chunk of my process getting to “elite” tier shirts parallels the One Red Paperclip, where a relatively humble start and trading for “marginally” better items can turn into something much larger. For example, trading locally with teams you have friends on can diversify your inventory for very low effort. Perhaps these shirts may turn into something larger at a different competition.

Different people have different values for a wide range of shirts. Anything from overall team success (254/1678), to strong branding (253/4414) can increase the value of your shirts. If your design looks like something slapped together in 10 minutes on MS Paint…yeah, it might be a little difficult to work your way up the trading chain.

Just keep increasing your inventory. Eventually you’ll get your Holy Grail of shirts!


My advice to you is to use the shirt trading thread to your advantage. Make some posts about wanting to trade, and also follow up with some other people’s posts about trades. That’s the quickest and easiest way to increase your inventory.

Also, sometimes the stuff from lesser known teams are the best. Granted, I don’t know how well known they are up in Canada, but I didn’t know who they were until this trade, but I practically live in my 2702 hoodie. It is by far my favorite trade from this season. And I got it by utilizing the trading thread. I got a total of 8 shirts this season, and it was my first season of trading.

I also recommend trying to get your hands on volunteer or event shirts when you can. It doesn’t really matter if the shirt is pretty or not at that point, it’s the fact that it’s from that event.


We don’t really know either. We don’t make the best robots, but we sometimes make cool robots. I think some of the Canadian teams recognize us for that. We just kind of do our own thing and try to be as friendly as possible. :smile:

For some reason getting the head through the hoodie is a bit of a squeeze, but once it’s on it’s soooo comfy! It’s honestly some of the best team swag I’ve ever owned.

The toques are also pretty neat. I’d recommend one for those colder months of the year. :wink:

@Gotcha My recommendation on how to acquire the shirts you want is to reach out to those teams and ask. This was our first time back at champs in a while. Had we known shirt trading was such a big deal for other teams, we would have probably brought additional swag to trade. In the past we only order the exact number of shirts for our team members, but if we know there is interest ahead of time, it’s really easy to increase the number of items we’re ordering. I think that goes for a lot of teams. So just send someone a message and see if you can co-ordinate a trade. Other folks in this thread have already mentioned the various channels in which those trades can be facilitated. I just wanted to back it up with an anecdote.


As a shirt trader, my collection is decent at best. (I’m still working on my sheet so bear with me).
Some of my trades I got by making connections with people and other times i just followed Eric’s advice.

Like Eric said, you never know who will have the shirt you want or knows someone who does. Don’t be afraid to walk up to one of those “elite” teams and ask them if you could trade with them. Worse they can do is say no. If they do, you move on or utilize other treads and websites to get the shirt(s) you want.
Realistically though, you don’t need money or a good team shirt to get am “elite team’s shirt” (Yes, other will argue and say otherwise). This is going to sound corny and I’m sorry, but be yourself and make connections with others.

Fun story: I spent a lot of the 2010 Championship looking for a Chickens shirt, but all I had was a 2791 shirt. Nobody had any idea who this team was, who wasn’t even at the Championship, so nobody was interested. Shocking, right? By the end of the weekend, I found someone who was willing to trade; I think they were trying to get rid of their shirt and gave up on getting a more notable shirt. I assured him “don’t worry, someday we’ll make it big and you’ll be glad you got this”.

Therefore, my suggestion would be to start promising your team will be an elite team in 10 years. Worked for me, and hey, worked out for 2791 too.


This year I ran into 2 members of 245 and traded a shirt after talking to them for a little bit the next day I had one of their shirts and the best advice I can give is to make friends and ask if you want to trade a shirt.

Is that what happened with the rest of our cake? Cool.

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Get out there and get known yourself in the FIRST community. Go to many event and makes friends with many teams. I get things from teams from and friends on teams who want to simply give me something from their team because they appreciate me being there.


if enough people from your team spam CD, people will eventually know who your team is. Bonus points if you like, win events too


I prefer the term “egregious posting”


Step 1: get a lucky team number
Step 2: make a meme video based off that team number
Step 3: :2nd_place_medal::2nd_place_medal::2nd_place_medal::2nd_place_medal::2nd_place_medal::2nd_place_medal::2nd_place_medal:
Step 4: :tshirt:


Arent you a psychic.

Oh my. Thats gotta be the best video. I wonder what happens when shown to the rest of my team…