I won’t deny it, I like pretty things. And sometimes, that means loving something that is out of my budget. Not to be denied, I have found several ways to save money on things from designers I love. This will be the start of a little series on ways that I save money on higher ticket items. Today we will focus on how to save using eBay. I have found many an item that I love buying on eBay including Loren Hope jewelry, Lilly Pulitzer dresses, Vineyard Vines sweatshirts, plus many others.
Know what you want
eBay is not the place for easy scrolling and window shopping. If you don’t have something specific to look for, you will end up wading through pages and pages of Chinese knock-offs and totally random stuff. The best place to start before shopping on eBay is to figure out what you truly want. Always wanted a Lilly Pulitzer dress? Figure out a specific dress that you want (down to the name) and the size that you would need. Ideally, go to a store and try some of them on. Remember, returns are rarely offered on eBay. If you can’t get to a store, at least go to the designer’s website and look at the size chart. Love Loren Hope jewelry? Decide if you want a specific piece or if you would be happy with any necklace.
Now that you know exactly what you want, get ready to create lists! If you don’t already have an eBay account, create one. Then you can create saved searches. Start by searching for your specific item. Lets use Lilly Pulitzer Marlowe dress as an example. Your first search should be “lilly pulitzer marlowe.” From there, you can select a category (clothing, then dress, sweater,etc), specific size, buying format (auction or buy it now), condition, and price range. For this specific of a search, you can probably leave it as-is. I also always sort my searches low to high price. Once your search is all set up, hit follow. You can rename it if you like and set up to get notification of new listing if you like. I wouldn’t recommend that unless your search is super specific, otherwise you might get inundated with notifications!
Now that you have a specific search set up, the next step is to create a bit broader one. Search “lilly pulitzer dress.” Now you are going to want to filter it down to “dresses” and your specific sizes. Be sure to use both the numeric and alpha sizes. I also recommend putting in a top price in this search as well. Only want to spend $65? Put that in. The reason I suggest creating a broader dress search is because people don’t always put the name of the dress in the name, so you could be missing out on an item you love.
There might be some items that you will only want to do a broad search. For example, I have a search set up for Loren Hope jewelry and all I have is “loren hope” in the jewelry category. I do this mainly because there are not a ton of listings, so I don’t mind scrolling through a few earring listings when I just want a necklace. The best way to see if you will want multiple searches is to start specific and then broaden your search and see how many results you get.
Does a listing seem too good to be true? It probably is. There are going to be a ton of knock-offs, especially when looking at big designers. Just try searching “Kendra Scott” and see how many are for $10 or less. Probably not the real thing. Now, if you don’t care, and you just want an item that looks like the real deal, you can find great deals on eBay that way too.
Always be sure to read the full title and product description. Take a look at the photos. I always make sure that there are photos of the actual item if it is pre-owned. Another good thing to do is look at the seller’s reviews. Whenever you have a transaction, be sure to leave a rating! This helps other buyers (and sellers) know if the person is legit.
Be ready to buy
Listings can have a wide variety of listing time spans. Some might be as short as a day while others could be 10 days. Your best bet is to check your saved searches at least once a day so you don’t miss out on an item you love. Once you find a listing of something you are considering bidding on, make sure to add it to your “watch” list. I often bid on an item right away when I find it to make sure I get a notification when there are 5 minutes left in the auction. The majority of the bidding on an item will be within the last few minutes of the listing. If you have an upper limit for a price range, you can put your bid at that and hope you get the item. Or you can try to bid as it goes. There are also listings that are “Buy it Now” and you can just add those to your cart.
Have you ever used eBay to save money? What kind of items have you found? I’d love to hear if you have any tips on how to save using eBay! Let me know if you have any questions on how to save using eBay as well and I can help you out.
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