Thursday, January 30, 2014

Budget shopping on eBay

I have a bit of a shopping problem: when I get bored, I like to shop (mostly for clothes). You can see how that would have been a problem for me when I was unemployed for a while (significant free time + a lack of income). The main way that I found to deal with it, was to turn to eBay; you can get some amazing deals if you are able to invest time in scouring. If you are not a fan of used clothes, you can even find clothes with the tags still on them for a bargain. Here is what I did to make my future searches a bit less labor intensive:
I went to the "Women's Clothing" category and selected my normal clothing size, as well as clothing sizes around it (since clothing sizes vary by brand). I then entered a maximum price of $15 (or lower, depending on what I could afford), sorted the auctions by "Ending soonest," and saved the page to my bookmarks.
This allowed me to easily hunt for deals whenever I was feeling the "shopping bug." If you are going to do much shopping on eBay (or just on-line, in general), I highly recommend you take your measurements and save them somewhere on your computer. This lets you get a good idea of how something will fit you without being able to try it on; a deal is obviously not a deal if you can't wear it (of course you may be able to have it altered). If something you are interested in doesn't have measurements, you can request them from the seller if the auction isn't ending too soon. Also, don’t forget to take the shipping cost into consideration when you are determining whether to buy something.

There is just something so energizing about finding an awesome deal with a little "elbow grease," that it has forever changed how I buy clothes. Here are my recent purchases on eBay:

Charter Club white floral dress (like new)
$10.00 + $5.60 shipping

Elephant wallet (new with tags)
$2.50 + $5.95 shipping

Spense black floral dress (new with tags)
$12.50 + $7.95 shipping

Twin popsicle brooch (new in package)
$3.10 + free shipping

Something I just recently learned about eBay now that I have began using it more often, is that they have a “Follow this search” option:

This option allows you to be notified by e-mail when new items are listed that match your search terms; or, if you prefer, you can turn the e-mail notifications off, and just use it to save your searches within eBay.

I wish I had known about this in May 2012 when I saw Bettie Page’s "Alika" dress on Girl With Curves' blog; I fell in love with the dress, but I just couldn't bring myself to spend $150 on an item of clothing. I searched for it manually on eBay on and off for over a year until I found it for a price I could justify in August 2013, admittedly still after much internal debate; it is not that I didn't think the dress was worth it, it is just that I’m cheap, and I didn't think I would get enough wear out of such a special dress. You can see my "Alika" outfit posts here.

Bettie Page "Alika" dress (new or worn once, I can't remember)
$105.99 + free shipping

Image from: Bettylicious

In addition to eBay, I also found some clothing deals at the Salvation Army, and at Gabi Fresh's closet sale.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let me know you are out there.