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

Retail Therapy

I like shopping. This is no secret. I am also a fairly savvy shopper; I’ve scored some pretty amazing deals over the years. I get a bit of a rush when someone compliments me on something I’m wearing and I’m able to say “Thank you! It was a total steal at only $__!”

Today I’m going to share a few of my shopping secrets with you, my lovely readers. I’m going to focus on online shopping because, being from a part of the world with extremely limited shopping opportunities, I’m rather good at it.

So, in no particular order, here are some tips for being a savvy online shopper and scoring yourself some stellar bargains.

1. Flash sales websites are basically online sample sales through which you can score amazing deals on high end, mid range, and everyday items. I own four Matt and Nat purses, two of which were purchased from a flash sale site for about $30. Matt and Nat bags typically retail for $100-200, so mine were an utter steal! You have to sign up for these sites, and sometimes it takes a few days for you to get access, but it’s free to join and totally worth it.

My favourite flash sale sites are http://www.beyondtherack.com,
http://www.thepeacockparade.com, and http://www.hautelook.com.

2. Know your size. This means taking measurements. Most online retailers will have measurements listed in their size charts. Read them. There’s nothing worse than ordering something in your usual size only to discover that it doesn’t fit properly when it arrives.

3. Read the return policy. If something doesn’t fit, isn’t to your liking, or is in some way flawed, you want to know that you can return it and get a full refund including the shipping costs.

4. Know what styles flatter your figure. Do a little research. Are you pear shaped, apple shaped, boyish? Know your body type and read articles, etc. and learn what cuts, lengths, patterns, etc. work well for your figure. That way you can avoid owning a gorgeous trapeze coat that makes you look two feet tall.

5. Look for free shipping. Shipping costs can be steep, particularly if you live in a rural area. There are lots of sites that charge nothing for shipping, and many that have specials during which they waive shipping fees. One of my favourite online shopping destinations,
http://www.simons.ca reguarly offers free shipping and http://www.asos.com ships worldwide for free!

6. Sign up for email blasts and newsletters from your favourite sites and you’ll always be on top of the latest offers.

7. If you’re looking for something in particular but don’t know where to start, or have a question that I haven’t answered here, ask me! I love, love, love helping people find something they’re after and I will always take the time to help!

Did you like this post? Would you be interested in more tips like this in future? Let me know! xo

Simons

I’m a self-proclaimed online shopping expert. It’s a survival skill that I developed during my years and years living in the frozen Yukon, where shopping opportunities are nil unless you’re willing to pay an arm and a leg.

One of my all time faves is Simons. I’ve been a loyal customer of theirs for about 7 years now and they’ve never once let me down. Simons is only available in Quebec but they started up an online shop about 5 years ago and am I ever glad!

La Maison Simons

My latest Simons find. Get it here!

I’m loyal to Simons for a number of reasons.  The quality of the clothing is always excellent; they carry a range of brands/designers priced from outright steals to much spendier options; the sizes are bang on; the shipping is exceptionally prompt; and they’re Canadian! What’s not to love?

I’ve waxed lyrical about Simons’ virtues in the past, read that post here.

Do you have a favourite online shopping destination?