Tips and Tricks for Shopping eBay

I like to shop. I live in the Yukon. These two things are not particularly compatible. Online shopping is the best thing to ever happen to me and I’ve been practicing for about 15 years. Lucky for you because I’m here to share some of the best tips of the trade!

Today I want to focus on eBay because it is an absolute goldmine. It’s a great way to create a more sustainable and responsible closet, find pieces that no one else will be wearing, and score pieces from spendy brands for a fraction of the original retail price. It’s also a great resource if you are into vintage.

So, without further blah, blah, blah, here are my top tips for scoring a great deal on eBay!

  1. Know your size. This means measurements! Shoulder to shoulder, armpit to armpit, chest, waist, hips, inseam, and rise! This is especially important when looking for vintage pieces because vintage sizing is smaller than modern sizing.
  2. Include as much detail as you can in your search. What size are you looking for? Colour, material, style, decade, fit, location, free shipping, and price, to name just a few, are all options you can narrow your search by.
  3. Check seller feedback. This is important. I only order from sellers who have 95% or higher positive feedback. I would also recommend not buying from sellers who have only sold a few items, though if they have an item you’re dying for listed then it might be worth the risk.
  4. Check the shipping costs. If, like me, you live in a remote area this is particularly important. $20 for a cashmere sweater is a bargain but not if the shipping costs $40. I tend to confine my buying to North America for this same reason. Also make sure to check that the buyer ships to your area.
  5. Shop on www.ebay.com, not www.ebay.ca. All the Canadian items for sale will still come up but, because it is the US site, the selection is better.
  6. Read the seller’s return policy. You don’t want to get stuck with something that doesn’t fit or is damaged. Make sure the seller will pay the return shipping costs, if not you lose out on that money.
  7. Try searching for misspellings. Not everybody is great at the whole written word thing. Try Madwell instead of Madewell, Parda instead of Prada, Ralph Laren instead of Ralph Lauren, the list goes on. With some luck you might just find yourself a gem and be the only bidder! Here’s a sweater that I’ve currently got my eye on and I can bid at my leisure because other buys will miss it!
  8. Save your searches. Once you have narrowed all of your parameters down to the exact item you’re looking for (for example, Gucci brown horse-bit vintage loafers size 7.5) you can save the search. You’ll receive email alerts when someone posts something that matches your search and you won’t have to reset all your item specifics when you go to do your search again.
  9. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you want more photos (for example, I often ask for a photo of someone wearing the item if one isn’t already posted), need more information on the sizing, fabric, any flaws, etc. ask. If the buyer isn’t willing to answer your questions then move on to the next seller. A good seller will want you to be totally happy with your purchase and will do as much as they can to ensure that happens.
  10. If you’re looking for something specific don’t get discouraged if you don’t find it the first time around. People all over the world post items everyday so chances are good that if you keep searching you’ll eventually track down what you’re looking for!

And that’s it! As with anything, with practice you’ll get better so get out there and get shopping friends!

xo,

Poutine

Shopping for Lunch

Yesterday I spent my lunch break shopping with a colleague. Ostensibly we were shopping for her but, let’s be real here people, shopping is my raison d’etre.

I scored this super cute and floaty dress for half price and it was mere pennies my darlings. Pennies. I’ve been really into dresses lately because they’re a one-and-done item. A dress an outfit makes! So simple.

I was immediately attracted to this one because of the drop waist and animal-esque print!

Floaty Dress

Dress: Zoomz Women’s Fashions (Whitehorse, Yukon), Shoes: Taxi 

I styled it for work with pointed toe nude flats and my signature accessories – rings, my watch, and a dangly necklace. I also plan on wearing it with sneakers on the weekend and with tights, boots and a cardigan for the winter!

Accessories

Watch and rings: gifted, Necklace: Sarah Mulder

What have you been loving this summer?

Living Light

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Hello lovers.

I moved in with Mr. P&P recently. So far it’s swell.

That’s not what I’m here to talk about though, I want to talk about living a little bit lighter. Not physically lighter (sadly) but materially. Before I left my apartment I went through all of my stuff methodically and got rid of anything that I don’t need or use or want any more. This included half of my wardrobe. That’s right half. Now all of my clothes fit into one closet and they don’t even fill it up.

Living with a capsule wardrobe for the winter really helped narrow my focus in terms of what I actually wear and define my style clearly. I don’t plan on limiting myself to a certain number of items anymore but I do plan on shopping more mindfully from now on. That means thoroughly thinking through (say that three times fast) any purchases before making them, and investing in quality rather than quantity. I want a well curated wardrobe of classic pieces that all work together, fit properly, and will last. I never want to stand in front of my closet again and think that I have nothing to wear.

Here are a few pieces that I’ll be saving for over the next while:

  1. This classic black bag will see me through many seasons. It’s perfect as an everyday bag and is large enough for me to carry around all the stuff I like to have with me at all times.
  2. This leather jacket is beautiful and versatile. It’s the perfect finishing touch to dresses and jeans and tee-shirts.
  3. These sandals are neutral enough to wear with a lot of different outfits and colours and should hold up well over the years.

If you’re looking for some inspiration on decluttering and/or simplifying, here are a couple of resources that I’ve found helpful.

i. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
ii. Light by Coco
iii. Un-Fancy

Do you like purging your stuff once in a while or do you hang on to everything?

Currently Obsessed

Why hello there kittens! I’ve been without internet access for the last month and a bit so it’s been a while n’est-ce pas?

There have been some changes in the Poutine world, all of which are good. I’m the proud auntie of a gorgeous baby boy, I’m settled into a fab new apartment (would you be interested in a bit of a tour?), and I start a new job tomorrow!

Anyway, I just wanted to give you a sneaky peek of some products I’ve been crushing on lately.

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The Body Shop Early Harvest Raspberry Body Scrub. I love the idea of body scrubs but most of the ones I’ve tried leave an oily film on my skin. Not so here folks. This stuff is divine and rinses off completely so that you are left with smooth skin and nothing else! It smells like raspberry jam,  looks like raspberry jam, but it most definitely does not taste like raspberry jam.

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I obsessed over this lip balm for months before actually purchasing it. This is a total indulgence. It is tres expensive. I regret nothing. The Dior Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm works with your body chemistry to turn your pout the perfect shade of pink for your skin tone. It has a faint minty scent and is super thick and hydrating. One swipe lasts several hours. I’ve been going for minimal make-up this summer and this is the perfect finish for a glowy daytime look.

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I love bold, fluttery lashes. I think the right mascara can really make your eyes pop. Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes fits the bill. Last night I went to town and applied about six coats. I could see my lashes from 3 feet away. Delicious. I chose the non-waterproof formula and I do find that it smudges a bit at the end of the day. All in all though I’ve been enjoying this mascara.

What are you crushing on this summer?

Reverse Shampooing

Hello my darlings! Have you missed me? There have been some pretty major changes in my life recently, the biggest being that I’ve moved home to the Yukon to be closer to my family. I’ll be starting a new job next month, as well as moving into a new apartment. Can’t wait to start decorating! You can look forward to more of the same old content in future posts with a slightly different, northern perspective.

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Every day for the last month or so I’ve had a great hair day. It’s not because of a new product or treatment. It’s because of a simple, and free change I’ve made. Curious? All I’ve done is change the order in which I wash my hair. I now condition and then shampoo. Easy peasy!  You would not believe the difference it makes! The idea is that by conditioning first there is no heavy residue left in your hair and you’re left with a lot more body. I’ve found my locks to be smoother as well.

Have you tried reverse shampooing?

Soap and Glory

Well hello! Here we are in 2014. I can’t believe it, can you? I had my birthday and now I’m a year older, if not any wiser. So far this year has been tumultuous. Without going into any great detail, it’s not been great. That said I’m starting fresh and 2014 officially begins now in my world. Happy 2014 friends!

So I’ve already talked about the Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Buttercream. You know I adore it. You know what else I adore? The Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash.

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I like it so much that I went all the way to Burnaby to get it. I had to take a bus and the sky train! It took an hour. I regret nothing. The scent is the same as the lotion. Light, fresh, and limey. It lathers beautifully. The product itself isn’t super thick but it suds up really creamy and rich. There’s a tone of the stuff in the bottle as well, it’s 500 ml. I’ve been using it for three weeks and only about a fifth of the bottle is gone!

This body wash is a total win. Do I recommend it? You betcha. Scoop it up, you won’t regret it. It’s available at some Shopper’s Drug Marts, and online at Sephora’s website.

Have you tried Soap and Glory?

2014

Happy New Year friends!

2013 was a wonderful year. I want to thank you all for reading my blog and making it the fab experience it has been for me. Let’s hope 2014 is just as great!

Have fun tonight and keep on sparkling!

Ok. I’ve made myself feel a bit sick with all of that sugar so I’ll cut it short!

Luv ya,

Poutine

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Image from Pinterest

Last Minute Gift Guide

Hello friends! Are you all looking forward to the holidays? I know I am! A bit of time off from work, a visit with my mama, parties to attend, and lots of yummy food are just some of things I’m excited about! I’m also pretty excited about all of the Christmas naps I’m going to take.

So for today’s post I’ve thrown together a few last minute gift ideas.

We’re down to the wire but better late than never, right? If you see something you like, click on the picture and it’ll take you to where you can buy it!

1. Cute socks.

I know this seems kind of boring, but I actually think a cute pair of socks makes a really sweet gift. Everybody needs socks! This pair is from the Gap and I think they’re adorbs!

Socks

2. Soap and Glory.

I am, like, soooooo loving Soap and Glory products right now. I’ve blogged about the Sugar Crush Body Butter, but I also love the Sexy Mother Pucker lip gloss, and most of the whole friggin’ line! These products are just so much fun.

Soap and Glory

3. Books.

Books are a great idea and you can always find one that is perfect for the person you have in mind! Some of my current picks include:

“It” by Alexa Chung

It

“Man Repeller” by Leandra Medine

Not that I need help repelling men (I’ve got that sorted) but I think it sounds like a fun read.

Man Repeller

“And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini

I’ve read all of Hosseini’s books and I loved them. I read this one in one sitting – it’s that good.

And the Mountains Echoed

4. David’s Tea

This stuff is delish and it makes a great stocking stuffer!

David's Tea

What’s on your last minute gift list?

And now back to regularly scheduled programming

Hello. My name is Poutine and I’m a chocoholic.
You guys, I had horrible news the other day. The Body Shop’s Chocomania line, while permanent,  is not very popular. I believe my exact response was, “Steeeeelllllllaaaaa!” I jest, but I was tres disappointed. I don’t believe I’ve ever fallen so hard for a product line before. This stuff is divine. In addition to the dry oil, I have now purchased The Chocomania Body Scrub and Chocomania Shower Cream (they had a 50% off sale and I am only human).

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The scent is truly spectacular. I cannot get enough. It’s not sickly sweet or fake, it’s just like high quality dark chocolate. The scrub isn’t too gritty or harsh, and it leaves my skin soft as a baby’s behind. Lovely. The shower cream suds up nicely and leaves a light scent on the skin. It’s just grand.

So, my pets, next time you’re at the Body Shop be sure and pick up some of Chocomania products. They might not be around for long. Anyway, I’m off to eat whipped cream straight out of the can to comfort myself.

Happy Thanksgiving!

What’s your fave Body Shop scent?