Friday, February 10, 2012



How to shop for clothes on ebay like a pro.

Ebay clothing shopping can be an absolute joy allowing you to find hidden treasures that you simply couldn't otherwise obtain. Using ebay you can source items from all over the world, acessing literally millions of people's closets, finding unique, one off designs that nobody else will be wearing. Ebay can also allow you to buy things of a quality that perhaps you could not normally afford or to buy the items that you normally buy cheaper.

However, be warned. As a novice buyer many of my first ebay purchases were sources of huge disappointment. That beautiful Diane Von Furstenberg dress which arrived with ripped seams, the tiny Tocca dress sold as new without tags, but which arrived pre shrunken from a hot wash. There are many traps that the novice buyer can fall into but which are easy to avoid if you know just a little bit about ebay. Here are six tips to shop eBay like an pro.

1. Be specific

To save time scrolling through pages of fashion, keep a wish list of must-have items and store it on your cell phone or computer. If you would not compromise on the size, color, or fabric in the store, you don’t make the same mistake online.

2. Do your research

Knowing your fashion history will help with shopping for major fashion labels; consider buying something from an earlier season. Tomas Maier–era Bottega Veneta bags aren’t cheap, but one from before his tenure at the house may have the same signature intrecciato leather weave but should be more reasonably priced.

3. Check seller feedback

If you are considering buying an item on ebay the first thing to do is to check the seller feedback. This quickly tells you the number of transactions that the seller has been involved in and how their customers have rated their conduct in these transactions.

As a rule a feedback score of 98% positive plus shou
ld make you reasonably comfortable, over 99% should make you completely comfortable. If it is lower than these levels you should read what people have had to say. Sometimes lower feedback is not the fault of the seller, but of buyers who have not read the auction terms such as delivery times correctly.

4. Read the measurement

The thing to remember with buying clothes on ebay is that sizing varies dramatically between stores and designers. If you purchase something that is a size 6, because that is ordinarily your size, and it doesn't fit you will not be able to get a paypal refund. In this case it is not the buyers fault.

The way around this is to take a similar piece of clothing that you already own. Carefully measure any parts that are important to you. Compare them to the measurements listed by the ebay seller. If there are no measurements listed contact the seller and ask for the specific measurements that you want. Remember: no reply? Don't buy.

5. Jump on a trend early

As soon as a collection is posted on sites like, get a head start on the trends by looking at vintage versions of what’s feeling new. Chandelier earrings are set to be big for spring (Dolce has good ones) and are a very easy eBay get.

6. Ask for more photos

Not every seller knows the power of taking the perfect product shot, so don’t be deterred by a poor set of images. Contact the seller for more options if you feel that you’ve found what could be a diamond in the rough.

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