eBay can be a shopping paradise if you’re seeking affordable luxury fashion. Designer clothes and accessories are available at a fraction of their usual high prices. There are plenty of heart-stoppingly brilliant bargains to be had, but before you bid make sure you read our top ten helpful tips.
1. Check feedback ratings to ensure you’re buying from a reputable seller. Ideally a seller should have at least 98% positive feedback for you to feel confident bidding. If they score less than this, read any negative reviews and find out exactly what the issues were for unhappy customers.
2. While you’re at it, study the fine print. If your coveted bag/sunglasses/outfit arrives and it’s a cheap knockoff rather than the high quality item you expected, can you return it for a full refund? Also watch out for extortionate delivery charges – some sneaky sellers overcharge for postage and packaging to earn a little extra cash.
3. Beware of suspiciously cheap Buy It Now items. If a dress is worth over £1000, why is the seller happy to sell it for £40? This kind of price difference could mean a counterfeit product and a major case of buyer’s remorse.
4. Search thoroughly to find the object of your heart’s desire. Search for mis-spellings of popular designer names. Sellers often make typos and misspelled listings will attract fewer bids, meaning there’s more chance of you snagging a designer bargain. There are even websites to help you find mistyped listings – check out FatFingers, BayCrazy, GoofBid and BargainChecker.
5. If there’s a particular luxury item or brand you’re lusting after, add it to your Favourite Searches so you receive an email every time there’s a new listing that matches your criteria. If only the exact item you crave will do, make your saved search as specific as possible.
6. It can be tempting to bid as soon as you find something you love, but this will unnecessarily inflate the price. Instead, set a reminder on your phone ten minutes before the auction ends and make sure you’re near reliable internet access at crunch time. The exceptions to this are items with a reserve price. If there’s a minimum unspecified amount the seller wants to reach before selling, email to politely ask what the magic number is. They don’t always disclose it, but if they do it can save your time and confirm whether or not this is an item you want to enter a bidding battle for.
7. When entering your maximum bid, always add a few extra pence to increase your chances of beating off competition who are likely to bid in round numbers.
8. Baycrazy’s Zero Bids tool finds you items ending soon with no bids so there’s no need to engage in bidding warfare.
9. You can try haggling on Buy It Now items or items with a high starting price and no bids. Click Ask A Question and write a polite, charming email asking if they would consider your offer. Don’t be blunt or rude as this is likely to annoy them.
10. If you have a smartphone, download the eBay app so you can bid on the go, keep an eye on your favourites and do a spot of pocket shopping to liven up time spent on public transport.
Happy luxury bargain hunting!