eBay is my guilty pleasure that I go through love/hate spells with (you need to have patience). Buying on eBay is a great place to snaffle a bargain, hunt for that must have piece that you missed out on last season & uncover vintage gems. It is important to be smart about it though or the clicking away & bidding just becomes addictive rather than about spending your hard earned pennies. With that in mind I thought I would try & provide some helpful hints & tips that I have found useful, please let me know if you have anymore eBay pearls of wisdom to add.
1. Know what you want - eBay is up there on my list of time stealers. Using the key word searches are really important to narrow down your search. Think about brand, colour, size, style. A few confessions to make - if you do have the time trawling through the listing might give you the greatest bargain, also be aware that sellers on occasion misspell designer names (eg Mark Jacobs rather than Marc Jacobs) and this will appear in fewer searches and possibly a bargain for a canny searcher.
2. Price - the all important consideration. If you have added an item to your watch list & are ready to bid, I would consider how much you would hand a real person for the item (consider whether it will fit, how much you need/want it, the condition of the item & don't forget to factor in the postage costs). It is easy on eBay to get caught up in the excitement of bidding & forget that if you win it is a contract & you have to pay.
3. Check out the seller - have a look to see how many feedback scores they have, what is their reputation, how many negative feedbacks to they have. Get a feel for their listing in the language, spelling & detail given. Use the 'ask seller questions' feature if you want more details on the item. eBay listings with good, clear photos tend to be more successful, again though conversely if you are after a bargain & are aware of what you are looking for, a grainy fuzzy picture might put others off & leave you to snaffle a treasure.
4. You want it, how to win it? - The main eBay advice I would give is to wait as long as possible before you bid in the auction. The last 30 seconds or so is when the auction gets going & you can see how many people you are bidding against when the price goes up, keep your maximum bid in your sights & try to control your impulse to continually hit 'increase maximum bid'.
5. Some tips - look to see when the auction finishes (statistically Sunday evenings & Thursday evenings are when most people buy on eBay), an auction that finishes at 7am on a Tuesday will more than likely be less competitive, the eBay app allows you to bid on the go (dangerous I know but good for those auctions that end just as you have to leave the house), searching for non-seasonal items is a top tip - I tend to look for boots in summer time & playsuits in winter, there may be less selection but people when clearing out & selling don't consider whether it is the weather for the item & I have managed to score some great bargains (brand new tan Topshop ankle boots for £6 in June), do some research check to see whether the item you want is still available in store/online & how much it is selling for, some people's photography is heinous & searching online for an image of the item might give you a better idea of fit/colour/shape (I do this if I am searching for a Whistles dress or an asos item - so that I can see the original marketing images).
Some of the bargains I have snagged of late -
2. Sandro fur gillet - I have been living in this of late - £22
How does everyone else feel about eBay & the lure of a bargain? xxx