Summer Selling – Mens Shorts

This is part one of a series on clothing to sell during the summer.

I wanted to take a dive into mens shorts to start.  It doesn’t matter how familiar you are with shorts it’s a pretty easy thing to purchase, photo, ship and list.  The key is to have an idea of what sells so you’re not wasting a lot of time for a few dollars.

The goal of this post is to give you some quick insight for some common, pre-owned brands and styles to look for that will make selling shorts worth your time this spring and summer.  If you run across any high-end designer shorts like Burberry, Louis Vuitton or Versace don’t hesitate to buy!

A couple of brands that I wasn’t real familiar with that re-sell very well that aren’t ‘common’ are Rick Owens and BAPE shorts.   It’s not a bad idea to familiarize yourself with them so you know what to look for.

Cargo Shorts

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Cargo shorts seem to be the most consistent seller out there.  They average good returns.

Some top brands to look for include:

  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • True Religion
  • Polo Ralph Lauren
  • Patagonia
  • Rock Revival

The average price for ‘mens cargo shorts’ on eBay is $14.19 over the last 90 days.  That doesn’t excite me a ton but the brands listed above have a decent re-sell average from $18-$25 with the potential to sell for higher.

Sell them in a LOT

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By far the best way to sell average brands is in a LOT.  Check out this Levi’s lot that sold for $100.00 plus shipping.  If you can buy shorts for a decent price that are clean and group them in LOTS of 3, 4 or 5 the return seems to be pretty good – $40 to $100.  You can make a LOT of any brand but some higher selling lots include:

  • All the brands listed individually above
  • American Eagle
  • Levis – including denim
  • Hollister
  • Hurley
  • Eddie Bauer
  • Tommy Bahama
  • North Face / Columbia

Golf Shorts

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Golf shorts range from more athletic (Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, Etc) to dress (Peter Millar, Footjoy and more).  Some of the top-selling brands to look for:

  • Loudmouth
  • Travis Mathew
  • Footjoy
  • Peter Millar
  • Lululemon
  • Nike, Adidas, Under Armour

The average price over the last 90 days on eBay for ‘Golf Shorts’ is $15.84 but the brands listed above will generate a higher price.

Hey – another idea…Sell them in a LOT

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Just like cargo shorts – a good way to make a nice profit is to sell them in a LOT of 3,4 or 5.  Some top-selling ‘Lots’ include:

  • Polo Ralph Lauren
  • Lacoste
  • Adidas
  • Nike
  • Under Armour

If you run across Callaway or other golf brands, LOTS are a great way if you have enough to group together.

Vintage Shorts

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Vintage shorts are really hit and miss.  Just because something is old doesn’t mean it’s going to sell.  I would encourage anyone to research ‘sold listings’ before investing a bunch of money.  That being said – here are few to keep an eye out for.

  • Polo Ralph Lauren – I love this stuff and it applies to all vintage Polo.
  • Lilly Pulitzer – Bright, Vibrant and Wild Patterns do best.
  • Ocean Pacific Corduroy
  • 70s / 80s Adidas 3 Stripe Satin

Basketball / Sport Shorts

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Team basketball shorts also seem to have strong value.  I realize March Madness just happened and prices may be inflated somewhat but nonetheless I would buy every time I find them.   In a way, they are like vintage shorts – some do great and some don’t do anything at all.  It’s best to research before buying.  In general a few things to look for:

  • Older style Nike or Adidas Brands
  • Older Jordan
  • Vintage Nike Tennis Shorts


It’s not a perfect list…but YOU can help.

This is more of a general ‘guide’ to help raise awareness of things to look for when buying shorts this time of year.

I’d like to learn from you.  What advice do you have about selling shorts?  What has worked for you in the past?  What brands have you had success with?

I’d love to hear about in the comments.


Have a great day!


2 thoughts on “Summer Selling – Mens Shorts

  1. Jesse — now you’re talking my language!

    Overall, the above is spot on. I’d add a few brands to your list of average ones that sell well: Banana Republic, J.Crew, Buckle & Duluth Trading Co. — I would lot up anything from BR or J.Crew that isn’t a unique pattern or style or isn’t pretty new (past 2-3 years).

    Some other quid pro quos–

    Patterned shorts (except for Loudmouth brand) don’t sell very well and don’t bring as much solid colors. The exception to this rule is woodland camo shorts, which will sell well in just about any size.

    Size matters a lot when it comes to selling men’s shorts. 34, 36, 38 & 40 waist sizes are easily the best. My general impression is that anything else with sell for about 60% what those four sizes sell for when talking about the same item / color / brand / condition.

    A few things that sell really well are:
    1. Abercrombie & Fitch cargos that are the thick woven twill (as in the picture above). They aren’t easy to find, but easy $30 for smaller sizes and poorer conditions (larger sizes and excellent condition are usually around $50+).
    2. Loudmouth & Lululemon — both harder to find, generally, but both sell very, very well. I think the thing with them is generally the market just doesn’t have much by way of inventory so the price gets driven up. Prices will float depending on the style, but I’ve sold both brands in the last 12 months over $50.
    3. Vintage Lucky, Buckle brand & Polo Jeans. Co. jean shorts. Think late 90s carpenter style shorts. Never huge money, but an easy $25-30 if in the “big four” sizes (see above) and the condition isn’t bad.
    4. Vintage 90s Tommy Hilfiger shorts — especially ones that you can see the red/white/blue logos on the outside of the shorts (usually $30ish).
    5. The aforementioned Duluth Trading Co. shorts are another easy $30 for each pair. Again, not very many of them listed online in the secondhand markets so it drives the price up. Don’t be afraid of these even if they show a little wear or have some staining as these are geared toward blue-collar workers / industries.

    One final thing that I’ve sold with some success in the past are lots of shorts with mixed brands in the same style. Think 4 pairs of khaki cargo or chino shorts in size 34. I’ve marketed these to younger men who might be looking for shorts to wear to work for a summer job at a golf course or summer camp. I’ve sold Old Navy, Mossimo/Merona, Sears brands, Kohls brands, etc. in lots this way.

    I love the idea for the series — summertime can be very trying, even for those of us who have been through it before and know what to expect!


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