eBay shopping tips


If anyone asks me where my favorite place to shop is, the answer, hands down, is eBay. I kind of view it as a massive, easy to search thrift store, that has everything you could ever want, along with items you missed out on. You can also save quite a few bucks too.

I wouldn’t say I am an expert, and I spend way too much time bidding on used designer shoes after a few glasses of wine on Friday evenings, but I’ve definitely got few tips and tricks, so I figured I’d pass them along.

Because you can seriously score and save, in oh so many ways, on my beloved eBay.

A few reasons to just love eBay in general: Usually free and fast shipping, competitive pricing, and with saved searches, you can pretty much make it as personal of a shopping site imaginable. Plus, a lot of the sellers are small businesses, so anytime you make a purchase, someone literally does a happy dance.

I also highly recommend steering clear of any NEW or UNUSED designer anything. If you want designer (you know the lines where an item costs a month’s rent or two) I definitely suggest always searching for used items. It tends to filter out all the knock-offs. 

Also stay clear of any super hot/in-demand items. You won’t save and will spend too much for something simply because it’s selling out. Just wait a few months. 

Ok here are a few more tips and tricks…

Get super particular with your searches. Then save them. The way you can check back in and see if something new popped up or something you’ve been looking for was listed in your price range. I’m currently on the hunt for a pair of MOTHER tomcat roller chew jeans – So I have a search saved for “MOTHER tomcat roller chew 26 – condition:used” and I search for size 27 too. You can get super detailed and chances are eBay will find something. Vintage Led Zeppelin tee size Medium, there’s a dozen. Wildfox “My name is Rio” tee that is like 6 years old. I’m still on the hunt…

On that note. It’s my favorite place to buy jeans.  It’a ridiculous how much you can save, plus the jeans are already broken in for you. Wins for everyone. See some jeans you like. Search for those suckers baby. search. 

Always search for used items if you are wanting to save. Always. I pretty much only buy used stuff on eBay. I have yet to be let down by this decision. And it’s crazy how much you can save. Especially with shoes, jeans and tees. I’ve scored $100 Current/Elliott tees for $20 simply because someone wore it a few times and washed it for me. And running shoes? People with sneaker addictions are your friends. I got my favorite pair of Nike Pegasus +30’s (that are discontinued) for $25, and they looked and smelled brand new. I love used stuff.

It’s a great place to save on beauty products. See an item you like at Sephora/Violet Gray/some product someone recommended? Search for that sucker on eBay. You’ll find it cheaper. Promise.

It’s a great way to find old/discontinued items. See a pic of a tee on Pinterest that’s from a few years ago. Search for it. Save the search. You never know when it might pop up. I saw this studded leather jacket from Zara that was about five years old. Some guy was selling that exact one (he was in Italy – I’m also a fan of buying internationally if you don’t mind the shipping delay and costs. It’s been a great way to find hard to locate/really cool items.)  

Defects are your friends. A Tiny little hole, stain, scratch, or rip can have you scoring something at 90% off retail value. A lot of the time it’s something you can easily fix, or take to a tailor and it will be as good as new.

Choose to bid vs. buy it now – This way you don’t go above your price range. So if I see a pair of used Isabel Marant sneakers. I put my maximum bid at $67.99 and walk away. If it happens, it happens. Most of the time I get outbid, but I stay within my budget. I do like the buy it now option for items too, just only if it’s a really good deal.

Don’t forget the kiddos. – It’s a great place to scoop up some deals on kids clothes. I’ve just noticed people like to hike up the prices a bit for some reason for kids stuff. Or maybe it’s just because I was looking for used Patagonia gear for Levi.

Levis. So many used Levis. Jeans, jackets, overalls, you name it. This is the mecca. Same for Wranglers and Lee, and any other type of used jeans that make the best cutoffs.

If you don’t know the exact name of something, still search for it. I’ve searched for “retro sunset sweater" and found the exact sweater that I was looking for that retailed on free people for $250…for $100 because there was tiny hole in it. I lost the auction. But still, found that beauty.

Be weary of items with only one picture, or little to no description – The more pics and info, the better.

It’s not just for clothes and beauty stuff – Refurbished electronics (I get my little fujifilm xp 60s on eBay as certified refurbished), duvet covers (great deals on west elm and CB2 items), rugs, artwork (that’s a whole other post in itself), frames…seriously you can look for anything and by just using a little common sense (probably steer clear from buying used underwear and swimwear), can find some great items at good discount.

So there you go.

Next time you see something that catches your eye, or that you missed out on, or a product that has your name written all over it, head on over to eBay. You just might save a little dough, and have a fun time searching along the way.

All items pictured above were found, used, on eBay, and are now loved by me.

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