Monday, March 14, 2016

E-bay shopping guide ...

Sergio Rossi shoes I got on E-bay.
Catherine Malandrino dress on E-bay.
 Now that I'm over 40 and looking to put a child through college, I don't have the disposable income I used to have for clothes. That said, I don't skimp on quality! Well-made clothes don't come cheap, not should they, but to accommodate my budget I've been having to get a bit more inventive on how and where to get my quality clothes. Throw in the fact that I'm a single mum with a house and dog, a full time-job, a part-time job, a blog writer and I volunteer for various charities and I don't have the time to "shop around".
One way to solve my problems? E-bay. There is no shame in buying quality made clothes off E-bay or at consignment stores. A few tips:
  • Have a budget -- if you know you can't spend more than $50 a month on clothes, don't bid $49.99 on that Ann Klein pencil skirt (you know there is probably shipping involved). And if you don't win that skirt with an auction bid you can live with, trust me, there will be another one for sale soon.
  • Buy the basics then build on them (great article about the basics here by Vicki Archer) -- white shirt, little black dress, black trousers, neutral/solid colored jacket, black shoes. Having a solid quality foundation for a wardrobe is the same as having a solid quality foundation for a building.
  • Ask questions -- if an item is priced very low and the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. You can gauge the authenticity of most items sold by individuals (its a whole different game when you are dealing with companies who sell things for people as a business) by asking questions like:
    • What did you pay for the item?
    • Where did you purchase the item? 
    • When did you buy the item?
  • Account for shipping charges -- some E-bay sellers offer luxury goods for very cheap but then hike up the shipping charges to make up for the low prices (it does not cost $50 to mail a pencil skirt in a bubble envelope from California to Florida).
  • Mind the measurements -- just because you wear a medium in one brand doesn't mean you always wear a medium. Ask for the measurements of the item before you buy.
  • Look for the tags -- people who are selling the real thing know that you want to make sure its the real thing so they show the original tags, boxes or packaging of the product. If it doesn't have any kind of  tag or packaging, be wary.

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