Aug 13, 2013

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Finding clothes on eBay can be tricky- most people want to see, touch, and try on clothing before they bite the bullet to purchase and fork over their money. With eBay, you take a completely blind chance ordering that pair of Valentino shoes hoping they run as a true size 9 and not more like a 7.5. So what can you do?

1. There's a lot of junk out there. Before shopping for clothes on eBay, know what it is you're looking for. Are you looking for vintage clothing, a white leather fringe jacket, a new cocktail dress for an upcoming wedding? What? Knowing what you're looking for will make it much easier to set criteria in their search preferences and narrow down your list of eBay listings.

2. Some clothes are sold by eBay businesses, and some are sold by individuals cleaning out their closet. Businesses need to make a profit (duh.) so you're going to be paying the "retail" price for an item verses the $3 they paid at a garage sale for the item. Businesses' prices will be higher than individuals selling, but they also run their site like a BUSINESS, meaning: return policies, easy shipping, more honesty about the condition of the clothes, etc. Some individuals, however, are very honest about the condition of clothes and good about all the same things businesses are. Its up to you. As long as the asking price, or the the bidding price, is fair to you, go for it.

3. A picture says a thousand words. If a seller has a dozen pictures of the item their selling, it means their more serious about their product and their eBay site. If it only has one or two pictures, I wouldn't buy it.

4. Louis Vuitton? Don't count on it...
Assume most designer items that aren't truly vintage or aren't from an acclaimed eBay store are fake. Don't take the chance. With clothing, make sure the photos they post have a picture of the label. They may say its a Chanel jacket, but without a photo of the label, how are you supposed to know?

5. Know that some poor conditions can be fixed and others can't. A broken zipper, small tear, loose threads, or a new sole on a shoe can all be fixed by your local dry cleaner or tailor. Stains? That's another story...

6. Aren't the bidding type? Put into your search preferences the 'Buy It Now' option. This also doesn't require you to pay what the seller is asking. Give them your a [low] and negotiate up. 

7. Sometimes, you can negotiate shipping costs. If an item is very expensive, or if you buy a few pieces from the same individual/eBay store, they may negotiate out your shipping costs. But careful, this must be pre-negotiated before you buy so they can change the invoice.

8. If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is.

9. Don't buy anything without full disclosure. If a seller isn't specific about return policies, the condition of the item, sizing, etc., email them and ASK. There's usually a human being on the other end of that email who would be more than happy to answer questions to make a sale.

10. You can always resell if an item isn't what you thought it would be.

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