Buying second-hand clothes is a very personal thing. I love them, particularly because the ones I get my hands on are designer pieces that I wouldn’t be able to afford brand new! Where do I find all these gems? The answer is eBay. I use eBay in a very specific, habitual way; it cuts out a lot of stuff I’m simply not interested in and allows me to find some amazing clothes. Let me show you some of the pieces I’ve bought over the past few years on eBay and how much I paid for them:
Hugo Boss Dress – £3.20
Malene Birger Printed Blouse – £7.99
Chloe Leather Jacket – £25.99
Topshop Beaded Camisole – £0.99 (not designer but highly beautiful!)
The items I’ve bought may not to be everyone’s taste but they are all beautifully made, high quality and I’ve had so much wear out of them! If you would like to know how I bagged these, here are some tips you might find useful when navigating eBay:
- Search by designer. If you like a certain designer, type in the name and search only in the ‘Clothes, Shoes & Accessories’ section. For example, I love Malene Birger clothes and regularly find some amazing items simply by searching for ‘birger’ on a whim! This works well for lesser-known designers, I’ve yet to find a legitimate Chanel bargain on eBay! It pays to not search generically, I’ve lost the will to live after searching ‘black dress 10’.
- Search for ‘Buy it Now’ listings. To get first dibs on new listings, sort the results by ‘Time: newly listed’. This is how I got my hands on the Bella Freud dress! Some people just want to sell their items as soon as possible without having to wait for an auction to end; by keeping an eye on new listings, you can instantly buy items without the hassle of bidding.
- Look out for unsocial auction ending times. My Chloe jacket ended at about 1am on a weeknight; I wanted it so much, so I stayed up, bid and won it (I was the only bidder)! These listings often end with no bids or only one, simply because they aren’t scheduled to end at peak times. Sunday afternoons and evenings are peak times and it’s difficult to get a bargain, as so many people are browsing the website.
- Bid within the last few seconds. I believe there might be some sneaky software out there, which gives bidders a higher chance of winning an item, but this is the method I use. Think logically about the item you’re bidding for; how much are you realistically prepared to pay for it (depending on the condition, quality and brand). When you’ve decided your maximum bid, sit and wait for the auction to end. With about 20-15 seconds to spare, type in your bid but don’t confirm your bid until only 5 seconds of the auction remains. This works to ensure you don’t get carried away and go over your maximum bid; it should give you a slightly higher chance of winning the item.
- Look out for misspellings. These items are harder to find and therefore, should have fewer bidders. Try a website called Fat Fingers, which will look for misspellings on eBay, when you search for the correct spelling on its website!
Things to be mindful of on eBay
- Seller feedback. If it’s less than 85%, I tend not to bid on their items.
- Used clothing. When you receive the clothes, they are likely to have been washed (as any good seller would!) but, it doesn’t hurt to give them a spin in your own machine, just to be sure.
- Postage. High postage can put buyers off but remember, you’re paying for the seller’s time and effort into posting the item (including its packaging cost and a trip to the post office).
- Measurements. If you want to be absolutely sure an item will fit you, ask the seller for measurements.
- Fakes. These have been rife in the past, although I believe eBay makes it much more difficult for these to be listed now.
I hope you’ve picked up some handy tips from this post! Do you like eBay? Have you found anything exciting on there?