I get all my clothes from eBay and it’s so worth it
Here’s how you can do it too
So, you’re broke – aren’t we all. But why is it that you always get that I-need-a-whole-new-wardrobe-now fever when you’re struggling to stretch your pennies over a few more weeks, having accidentally burnt most of your student loan on double vodkas?
My friends – I have the answer.
It may have a reputation for being a site full of old furniture and people’s dirty underwear (sad but true), but with some genius advice from me, a self-certified eBay guru, you too can find many a bargain and fill your student flat up with pretty things that you probably don’t need – but definitely deserve.
Don’t be too fussy
If you’re the type of person who feels queasy at the thought of buying and wearing garments that have been pre-owned by potentially unsanitary strangers, you might find that eBay is not for you.
On the other hand, consider how much money could be saved by buying a pair of shoes that have been worn once or twice and then carelessly discarded into someone’s to-sell pile. £90, that’s how much – when I bought a pair of almost-new white leather ankle boots for £19 that originally retailed at over £100.
And if you really can’t stomach the idea of using someone’s smelly secondhand shoes, there’s a lot of stuff on eBay that is completely new – just look out for the catchy acronym BNWT, or ‘brand new with tags’.
Search for something specific
Unfortunately, eBay is not ASOS. You can’t just browse through the site and its millions of listings having typed ‘nice top’ into the search bar in some kind of desperation for something to wear with your fave jeans on next week’s big night out. ‘Sheer black long sleeve top size 10’? Now that’s more like it – the more specific, the better.
If you’re a real brand person, eBay can also be a great place to find designer or branded pieces being sold by desperate people doing clear-outs and forgetting that that old t-shirt of theirs is worth £80.
If you’re really lucky you’ll find things like this for ridiculously low starting bids, making them affordable enough for us sneaky students.
You’d probably be surprised at how quickly some pieces can appear on eBay straight from the high street – I’ve walked into Topshop before, seen a skirt I liked, and then gone straight home and eBayed it at half the price. Smug? Who, me?
Be prepared to scroll for a long time
Whilst I might be proud of my wardrobe full of eBay bargains, I’m less proud to admit how much time I’ve probably spent scrolling up and down its hallowed pages in my many years as a fashion victim.
There is A LOT of shit on that site, and to find the gems you often need to click way too many ‘next’ buttons until you find the gem you’re looking for. Some might say it’s not worth it – I say no pain, no gain. What’s a bit of repetitive strain injury if you can snag a vintage army jacket for £2?
This one is probably the dodgiest tip – but if you’re truly dedicated to the cause, you’ll want to know the secret to always winning those bids. Most eBay listings have an auction format with an ending time, and this can often mean that close to this time, popular items are fought over.
I imagine this showdown between bidders would be very aggressive in real life, but in fact it just means that several feverish shopaholics are sat behind their computers furiously tapping higher and higher amounts of money into the bid box in an attempt to get their sticky fingers on the item of their bargain dreams.
To avoid getting sucked into the online game of wanting to outbid other people so much that you spend more than intended, try using one of the many ‘auction sniping’ websites. Provide the item details and your login, and this strange software basically makes your bid for you, but at the VERY last second – so that nobody else has time to enter a higher bid before you emerge, victorious. Evil laugh.
Welcome to the dark side.