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

Casual Friday

Most of the offices I’ve worked at have had some kind of casual Friday policy. I think it’s fun and it helps to boost moral. I enjoy having the chance to show off a bit more of my personality (not too much –  I don’t want to scare people!) at work. I tend to push the envelope a bit when it comes to business casual by incorporating lots of bright colour and fun accessories, and I see casual Friday as a chance to push it even more!

I think today’s outfit is a perfect example of my philosophy when it comes to dressing for the office, fun and fashionable, but polished and professional at the same time.

OOTD #1

OOTD

Cardigan: Unknown, Top: The Gap, Jeans: American Eagle Outfitters, Pumps: Nine West, Belt: Abercrombie & Fitch (eBay), Necklace: Gifted, Watch: Belonged to my dad, Ring: Etsy

Shoes

Fun fact: I’m 5’2 & 1/2″, but in these shoes I’m 5’6 & 1/2″! It’s fun being tall!

Would I get away with this casual Friday look at your office?

Outfit of the Day

I don’t know if you guys are interested in what I’m wearing, but I certainly am! The only reason I don’t do outfit posts is that I don’t have a photographer (I seem to be the only single gal in the blogosphere); however, I’ve decided to do one and see how you like it!

So, without further ado here is what I’m wearing today! Please excuse the poor iPhone photo, it’s the best I could do:)

OOTD

Top: Guess, Skirt: Kensie, Boots: Aldo, Tights: eBay, Necklace: House of Harlow 1960, Ring: Etsy, Watch: Belonged to my dad

I bought this skirt from Beyond the Rack two or three years ago and it’s one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. I find myself reaching for it at least once a week!

Do you have any favourite wardrobe staples?

The Latest and Greatest

This looks like an ordinary workday outfit; however, friends, I assure you it is not! What’s so special you ask? Well, my legs are super warm and cozy because I have on fleece lined tights! Ta da!

Tights

I’m not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. Any time before 10:00 am seems, frankly, very rude! In spite of my own proclivities I know that we North Amercians live in a 9-5 world and so I do my best to conform. Bleh. I wear a dress or skirt to work 4 out of the 5 days a week because at 7:30 am my sleep addled brain is simply unable to comprehend any outfit that requires picking out more than one piece. The problem? During the “cold” Vancouver winters my gams tend to get a little chilly in your typical tights. Enter these Legale Plush Lined tights! With their modest, fleecy lining my stems are warm and toasty and my mornings seem a teensy bit less evil filled.

I snagged mine on eBay for about $10, but I understand that Beauty Mark here in Vancouver carries fleece lined tights for about $40.

Have you been lucky enough to score a pair?

On the Wonders of BB Cream

I’ve been riding the BB Cream wave for about a year now, and I do believe I am hooked. I love BB Cream because it’s so friggin’ easy! Good-bye cakey, super spendy, powder foundations, hello easy, breezy, one-step wonder!

I’m sure you’ve all heard about it by now, but just in case you haven’t, BB Cream is a Korean 8-in-1 miracle product. It’s original use was for recovering plastic surgery patients to cover their scars. Those Korean geniuses decided to adapt it as make-up and the rest was history! BB Cream is a moisturizer, a cover-up, a foundation, an anti-aging product, and a sunscreen all in one magical little tube. The real-deal Korean versions also contain a skin lightening ingredient, something which I certainly do not need. I actually think the fact that some people still feel the need to look whiter speaks volumes about our supposedly inclusive society, but that’s a subject for another post.  

I started my BB Cream adventures with Marcelle (did you know that Marcelle is actually exactly the same as Clinique?) and was pretty happy; however, in typical Poutine fashion I had to try out the real deal. After a bit of research I got my little behind over to eBay and in no time flat secured myself a tube of Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream for about $6 (the Marcelle version costs about $20).  BB Cream 1

Well, colour me impressed. The Missha cream is quite thick, it takes a bit of elbow grease to work it into your skin, but once there it’s not budging! It goes on slightly ashy and gray but after five minutes or so it settles down and adjusts to your skin tone beautifully. One of the things I love most about BB Cream is that it doesn’t feel like make-up, it feels like a rich moisturizer. It’s light, fresh, and looks natural. I really don’t like that super cakey make-up look. The whole idea of make-up is to highlight your natural beauty, am I right?

BB Cream

Verdict? Hustle your butts over to eBay and snag your little miracle in a tube ASAP!!

Have you tried BB Cream yet?