How to shop eBay like a pro

by Irene


     I have been shopping from eBay for the last 5 years. I can admit that about 70% of my wardrobe comes for eBay. It is a wonderful site really; a big, online auction market where you can find almost everything. When it comes to clothes shopping though, it can be a little tricky. Here, I present you some tips I have acquired over the years for a more smooth ebay experience.

  • Looking for something particular? Search multiple times. In my experience, I have found that many ebay sellers don’t list the name of an item. For example, if you are looking for the Proenza Schouler PS1, the seller may have listed it as ” Proenza Schouler bag”. If you are very specific about what you are looking for, and want to have greater chances on finding it, you will have to play around with words on Search.
  • Filters are your friends. It amazes me how many people don’t know or don’t care about using the search filters! Filters are there to make your life and your search easier. Almost every seller uses specific filters to make their item more discoverable, and you should take advantage of that. Also, price preference is everything for the person on a budget. When you limit your options to what you can afford it is very likely to find what you want in your price range, faster.
  • Take advantage of the saved searches function! For those who don’t know, when you run a search, you can actually save that search (for example: Christian Louboutin pumps) and ebay will send you an email once a day for all new items added under those tags. It is time saving and super effective, and if you think about it, an everyday newsletter with items that you are interested in.
  • Ask sellers for measurements. This tip is usually common sense to everybody that shops online for clothes, however, when it comes to ebay it all the more handy. On online retail shops, like Shopbop, the measurements are given and so it is easier to get your specific size.  When on ebay, however, due to the abudance of brands, it is almost imposssible that you will wear the same size in every brand. That’s why asking for specific measurments will aid you in buying something that truly fits. Additionally, measurements help when buying vintage clothing, because the sizes of vintage clothing differ to those of today’s attire.
  • Ask for more pictures. Usually, when listing an item, sellers get a limit of 12 free pictures, but many of them only list about three. If you find an item which you consider buying, ask for more pictures. Most importantly, ask for pictures in different lightings. I once purchased a dress which looked grey on the stock pictures the user has used, but turned out lavender in real life. If a seller uses stock pictures, don’t rely on those pictures. The seller is doing it because they are most likely bored to take actual pictures of the product they are selling. Therefore, don’t be hesitant about requesting extra shots; it is your right as a buyer after all.
  • Ebay sites located in different countries can get you a better deal. When it comes to high street shops, there is no ebay site that competes to ebay UK. Because there are more high street stores in the UK (Topshop, to name one) on ebay UK you will find more items related to the high street stores there. However, always ask for a shipping quote and check exchange rates, because what might seem a good deal, may actually cost more than you would expect.
  • Bidding on an item. Finally, the last step is bidding (and winning, hopefully). Many people have different techniques on winning an auction, but for me, the most important thing is to know how much you are willing to spend on said item. When an auction is going, it is usual to get carried away, but when you are not careful, you will overspend. Know your budget from the beggining and stick to it. Also, if you are prone to getting carried away in the final minutes of an auction, you can always place your maximum bid hours before the auction is over.

I hope those tips help you next time you go on ebay. Do you have any tips for a more smooth ebay experience?