It's well known that when many women want to cheer themselves up they buy shoes. I don't know the statistics but I imagine the ladies shoe category on e bay gets more than it's fair share of 'hits' by women in search of that 'must have' pair.
And women are collecting more and more shoes in their wardrobe - 90+ pairs is not uncommon!
Firstly, an explanation.... BNIB or BNWT. If you are new to e bay you will need to know that these abbreviations indictate the shoes you are looking at are brand new in box, or with tags. It would follow that these will usually fetch more than an equivalent pair in a used or 'vintage' condition. However, up market brands will still fetch a lot of money whatever the condition, as many women adore designer labels. Oh, and another abbreviation you may come across is VLV . This stands for ' very lovely vintage '. Here on e bay of course, anything used but not old enough to be antique is classed as ' vintage ' !
Names like Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik were made famous by Sarah Jessica Parker (SJP as she is commonly referred to in e-bay shoe descriptions) in the t.v. show Sex and the City (SATC). Other names that catch the eye are Laboutin, Vivienne Westwood, Christian Dior, Prada, Versace, Chanel and the other top Paris designers. Arguably the best shoes come from Italy or Spain. But then I guess if you are interested enough in shoes to be reading this guide you are probably aware of this!
Don't be put off by the thought of buying second hand shoes on e bay.
Sometimes we buy them, wear them around the house or out for a an evening, realise they are not for us and want to find them a new home. I'm not medically qualified but I would say it's very unlikely you will catch anything nasty from such a find, but if you are concerned a quick wipe inside with some suitable antiseptic / antibacterial product will help elimate any danger. You could consider putting in your own liner especially when buying trainers. Few of us these days wear the same shoes day in, day out, so the wear that an individual pair is likely to have got prior to being advertised on e bay is usually negligable. However, it should state in the ad what condition they are in. Ask questions. If you are concerned about the fit or you have unusual shaped feet ask for the width measured across the ball of the foot, and the length. Then, compare these measurements with a similar style of shoe in your wardrobe. Remember of course that with pointed styles, your toes will not be going to the very end and measurements in this instance could be misleading. Heel heights can be misleading too. If the shoe has a platform, for example, then the effect of a 5 inch heel let's say, will be far less pronounced than without a platform. In my experience, more than 5 inches without a platform makes it painful and impossible to walk, without looking like Les Dawson in drag! Consider getting a size larger in very high heeled boots as the pitch of the foot makes your regular size seem very small sometimes. You can always insert a liner if they are little too big.
Check out the condition under the shoes. Vintage (30's 40's) leather soles can sometimes be rigid and crack upon use so do ask the seller if the soles are still flexible. Re-heeling / re-soleing is expensive and so do consider the cost of this when bidding on less than first rate condition. Also, is the seller including the box? You might not be bothered about a box, but if you need to re-sell them on e bay because they don't fit, they will fetch a better price if they come in the origninal box.
Sizes can be misleading. Here is the recognised ladies shoe conversion ....EU 37 is a UK 4, 38/ 5, 39/ 6, 40/41 7, 42 /8. As for the U.S. sizing, just remember to add ' 3 ' to your size (e.g. a UK 5 is a US 8) Vintage shoe sizes in my experience are a little trickier to get right so it really is important to go by measurements and not sizes where these are concerned. Do ask questions before the bidding ends because it's unlikely your seller will be refunding if they don't fit, although some do. When bidding on shoes from abroad, do make sure if you win that the seller puts 'used' shoes on the customs declaration or you might end up with a hefty fee to pay. Indeed, I am told that some countries have restrictions on the import and export of footwear but I have not come across any difficulties personally.
When you get your shoes, if they are used they may need a little work. Polish, brushes and silicone all help to bring shoes up to their former glory if they are leather. Synthetic vinyls and PVC just need a wipe over with a baby wipe or damp cloth. Shoe menders sell a brilliant kind of rubber that you can use on suede to get out the stains, (I find wire brushes a little harsh on some of the softer suedes).
I hope you have enjoyed reading this. If you have please tick the yes box below to improve my overall score. Thanks from Dressing-2-Kill