A good part of my wardrobe ended up in my wardrobe thanks to eBay. I already said here why I like to shop on eBay and for this post I tried to select the most random stuff I got there so you can see that there really isn't anything that can't be found there. The trick is finding it. Since a bunch of people's been asking me how do I find my way around the jungles of eBay, it only makes sense I make a post about it. But I have to warn you in advance, although there are some tricks, the biggest trick is time - eBay shopping takes time.
- First, it really helps if you know what you're looking for. eBay isn't like Asos or Boohoo, you can't just browse around the site or check for the latest arrivals. You can, but it will take you days. You have to have a specific item in mind, for example chino pants, floral blazer, striped jeans, sheer maxi skirt, wet look leggings, quilted bag, skater skirt, fur coat, backless dress, bandage pencil skirt, whatever. I usually see something I like online or on a person and then check eBay.
- If you're looking for a knock-off, let's say a Chanel bag lookalike, you can't search for "Chanel inspired bag" or anything like that because it's against eBay rules to put the label in the item title if you're not selling that label. You have to find the right adjectives to describe it (quilted in this case). Some sellers also put "designer" in the name of their knock-off items, so you can search for "quilted designer bag". If you want Isabel Marant knock-off sneakers, you have to look for "wedge sneakers", and so forth.
- You don't know how the thing is called? No problem. Check sites like Net-a-porter, Zara, Topshop, Boohoo, Asos - they always describe their items so you'll know how to look for the thing you want, because if you don't narrow down your search, you'll get too many hits and you'll be losing time sifting through stuff you don't even want. For example, if you search for "skirt", you get 592 288 hits, if you type in "skater skirt" you get 12 285 hits. See what I mean?
- I never type in size or color, because that will automatically cancel out all the sellers that don't put sizes or colors in their titles. I use menus on the left side of the screen. First you click "Women's Clothing" under Categories on top. Then you click "see all" next to "Size" and you tick all the sizes that correspond to you and one size up and down (if you're 8 or M you tick 6, 8, 10, S, M, L, One Size: Regular and Not specified). Why? Because each seller gives measurements and you can then decide which size will fit you best. The same goes for "Main Color": If you're looking for something in beige or nude, tick beige, brown, yellow, white, ivory and anything similar to the color you want, because different people see different colors differently. And then ALWAYS tick "Not specified" because some sellers don't fill in those categories so you won't see their items, but can possibly sell the item that you're dying to get.
- The same goes for material, length, style, etc - check what you want and things similar to that (this comes in handy if you're looking for a leather skater skirt - just tick "leather", "faux leather", "PU") and ALWAYS check "Not specified" as well.
- Under "Condition", I first click "see all" and then tick "New with tags" and "New without tags". (If I don't find what I'm looking for, then I un-check those two and check only "Used".)
- Then I usually check "Buy it now" because I'm too impatient to wait for the auctions to end. (Again, if I don't find what I'm looking for, then I check "Auction" too.)
- Then under "Sort", which is on the top right side above the items, I check "Price: lowest first" (not "Price + P&P: lowest first") and I scroll to the bottom of the page where you'll see "Items per page" under items and I set that to the highest number possible.
- Then you start looking.
- Never buy the first item you like! Open various possible items in separate tabs and compare shipping fees to see which item will actually cost you less.
- Also check seller's feedback (on the right side of the screen, next to the blue "Buy it now" button), the higher the better. Keep in mind that 96 % positive feedback isn't considered high, if it's not at least 98 %, find something else. (You can also click on the seller's name above feedback and then "see all" next to "Latest feedback" and then negative feedback to see what kind of problems other people had.)
- Now you found your item, you like the seller, you like the price and the postage, now you have to see what size will fit you. Take an item you already have in your closet that's similar, measure it and compare measurements with the item you want to buy. Check the skirt's length so see if it will cover your butt, check the top's bust measurement to see if you will be able to get it over your boobs, check the legging's crotch measurement to see if they will reach past your vagina's hairline, everything. Never look at the model or the manikin and say: "I'm her size, it fits her perfectly, I'll take an S." No. Bad idea. Measure everything. If the seller didn't include measurements, find something else or write them asking them for the measurements (scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Ask a question".)
- If you're buying a bag, take a piece of paper, cut out or fold it according to the measurements of the bag you want to buy and hold it against your body in front of a mirror to see if you like that.
- If you're buying rings, your best chance is to buy those that are adjustable (you can squeeze them to fit your finger).
- I always check the UK eBay first, because I'm from Europe and then I don't have to pay any tax, but if I can't find what I'm looking for there, I'll check the USA one too (keep in mind you'll have to pay 20 % extra for anything that costs more that €21 because of the tax). I also check the German one (I got that harness in a German S&M shop, not at all surprising). You also have to know that you can find sellers from Asia on all of the eBays so keep in mind the 20 % tax if you buy stuff that costs €21 or more - under "Price" with blue "Buy it now" and "Add to cart" buttons you have "Shipping" and "Item location" where it says where the item will be shipped from.
And that's it. Not at all difficult, but can be time consuming. So don't freak out when you see that you have to go through 2 000+ hits, make an evening out of it: Put on some nice music, pour yourself a glass of wine, sit on a vibrator, whatever tickles your fancies and have fun - eBay shopping is fun. Next week I'll post eBay shopping tips: shoes edition.
White top: H&M
Everything else: eBay