New to buying on eBay? Read these tips for 5 star shopping on eBay and score high-end fashion at a decent price.
On eBay You Can Find New Items with Tags
Many people have the misconception that all items on ebay are used. On the contrary, I often found fashion items that were new with or without tags. For instance, when I was looking on ebay for a new pair I found this Lew Magram Collection suede pants. They were new with tags for $30 plus shipping! This price is a real steal for a high quality pair of new suede pants with lining. Another example are my Dior over-the-knee boots.
Know Your Path
If you want to buy an item on eBay for a low price, you should ask yourself a few questions first before starting to search.
- What item do I want?
- Do I want to go for new or used, and in the latter case what conditions are still acceptable?
- Do I want to buy or bit? If there is a bit and buy option, which option will I use?
- Do I want free shipping, low shipping rate, don’t care about shipping rate?
- Would I also consider international offers?
Watch the Market to Be Informed
Once you made these decisions, log in and set the search options accordingly. Browse the offers of the kind of item, and add them to your watch list. This means don’t care whether it is the color or size you are looking for. Use the watch list develop a feeling for the market value of the desired kind of item. You may see that some items may have a color-related market value. When neon colors are It, a neon yellow pliage will be more expensive than the sunflower-yellow pliage, for instance. Prices may also depend on the size. This means do not rush into buying before you are well familiar with the market. I usually watch for a month to six weeks before I go to the next step. Note that the buyer market is better off-season as than less people are interested in the item. For instance, I got my Dior over-the-knee boots and Harley Davidson booties in summer.
Tip: Prices vary by brand. High-end brands are the most expensive even when used, followed by bridge and less expensive brands. If you are interested in a particular brand, do the market check for that brand alone. You can download a list of designers and brands worth looking for on eBay as a starting point.
Get Serious about Buying
Now that you know the prices, set your upper price limit. Clean your watch list from all items that exceed it. Then review the left items. Do they meet your real idea of what you want to buy (e.g. color, size)? If not, delete them as well.
Next read the return policies of the remaining items. Remove all items with return policies that you cannot accept. Also take a look at the shipping costs and policy. Many sellers offer free shipping, but not to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam. Some even refuse to ship to these destinations!
Only add new items to the watch list that you like with respect to price, and all your item criteria, shipping and return policies. A return option is especially important when you buy shoes.
You may also want to ask the seller questions about the item. When online shopping I buy by measure. Therefore, I ask for the flat measures when I am interested in clothes. I also try to find a size chart of the item’s brand to ensure that the item fits.
Have a Bidding/Buying Strategy
When you are bidding, you are offered to set your maximum bit. You will not have to pay the maximum bid, when the bid of the last bidder before you plus the required bid increase is smaller than your maximum bid. Make yourself familiar with the bid increases. Choose the maximum bid accordingly, but add a funny small addition to what the real step would be. This way you reduce the risk to have the same maximum bit as a competitor.
Do not start bidding before close to the closure. Instead analyze the bids to identify bidders that use the maximum-bid option. If there is one, a chance to still win the bid is, to sit at the computer in the last 60 seconds or so, and submit the highest bid.
No matter whether you bid or buy, always pay immediately to get a 5 star review from the seller. Some sellers namely do not sell to buyers that have a less than four star rating. You don’t want to miss out on something great because of that.
Leave Feedback on the Seller
Give honest feedback. If you are happy with the seller and item, give a five star rating. Never give a bad rating on shipping costs! You accepted the shipping cost in the first place when buying it!
Have you bought items on eBay? What did you buy? Were you happy with your purchase? If not, what did hold you back?
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Photos: G. Kramm
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