Designer Clothes - A Guide to Buying & Selling

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Buying & selling designer clothes from eBay, whether new or used, can result in a huge saving for buyers and good profits for sellers - that's probably why clothes are some of the most commonly bought & sold items on eBay. There are some things to be wary of though:

  • Size - one downside is the fact that you cannot try anything on. With some items you may be dead sure they will fit, such as socks. But what about the pair of jeans that retail at £100 that you've just won for £75. Sure, it's a bargain - but only if they fit. When buying from a catalogue company if it doesn't fit, you send it back - no extra charge. How many eBay members would offer the same service? If they did accept a return, you could still be £10 or so out of pocket for two lots of postage.
  • Genuine article- how do you know the item is genuine? You don't! Sometimes it can be relatively obvious and although you will definitely get good bargains on eBay, if it seems too good to be true then it probably is! I once bought an item described as "Ted Baker" but when I received it, the item was something else. It turns out that the seller had themselves bought the item from eBay and had been conned into thinking it was designer. It's not just the fraudsters that can leave you out of pocket.
Here are some things buyers and sellers can do to help the transactions of designer clothers much better:

  • Buyers - only bid on items you're almost certain will fit, or be comfortable with the additional cost in returning the item. It's a good idea to check the returns policy. If it's not clearly defined, ask! Also, request actual measurements. A Large is different if made by Diesel to if its made by Ted Baker, but an inch is an inch. Once you know the exact measurements, compare them to something you already own. Another alternative to returning the item is to sell it on again. I've done that and although it costs to list items and you'll be out of pocket from the postage, it'll be fun seeing whether it would fetch more than you paid for it.
  • Buyers - if you're not sure its genuine, then ask! It may sound silly but listing a fake item as genuine is different to blatently lying about its authenticity in writing. A seller will jump through hoops to convince you that a genuine article is just that. I'd be surprise if you get any response from anyone selling fakes - at least I never have. In this case, no news is bad news!
  • Sellers - list the actual measurements to save potential buyers from having to e-mail you, some won't even bother asking. Define a clear returns policy, a good one is to accept returns and offer a refund of half the postage costs. This will lessen the potential expense to the buyer and thus increase the likelihood they will bid if they're in doubt about size. Refunding half the postage may mean losing a couple of quid but I bet that buyer buys from you again in the future.
  • Sellers - include a photo of the tag inside the garment. This is normally the best way to tell a fake and will allow the buyer to make their own mind up. It will also show you have nothing to hide. If the item is used, explain why you are selling it, otherwise the buyer makes up their own story. A buyer will love to here it was a Christmas present and just doesn't fit or that both your brother and your sister bought you one! Don't lie though - if you say it is an unwanted present then the buyer will expect it to be nearly new, if it's not then expect bad feedback!
Finally, FEEDBACK - I am not someone that thinks feedback is the be all and end all. Nor would I think twice from buying from someone with little or no feedback. But it is still important that you leave it. This is the easiest way to show appreciation for the successful transaction and provides the best track record. If no feedback is left then many people will assume you were dissatisfied or worse, you're just ignorant. Let's be proud to be British and say thank-you! But also, an equally British quality, make sure you complain when necessary - you may save someone from the same bad experience!
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