How to buy clothes on eBay

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I would love it if I could afford to shop from ethical labels all of the time, but sadly this is not possible, so this is where secondhand shopping comes in. And as a working mum I don’t always have the time or patience to visit charity shops until I find something I want, so when I need new clothes, then more often than not I head straight to eBay from the comfort of my sofa. I’ve been buying on eBay for 3 years now so I like to think I know a thing or two about shopping online on eBay and getting a good bargain.
Searching
eBay can be a bit daunting if you just type in say, size 14 dress.  A search like this will throw up thousands and thousands of results (455,578 at time of writing!).  A much better search strategy is to use the advanced search functions on the sidebar to really narrow down what you are looking for. This saves you from scrolling though hundreds of pages.  For example, say I want a red dress, in a size 14,  with long sleeves.  I can specify all of these things  in the advanced search bar, rather than doing a generic search for a red dress. I can even specify my budget, if I would prefer it to be secondhand or unworn, if I want it to be a specific brand, and if I want them to be located in the UK only.  I find this to be a much more effective search method that’s much quicker in narrowing down what I want.
If you find something you like then have a look at the seller’s other items.  The chances are that they might be selling some other clothes that you also like.  It’s often a lot cheaper to package several items together and post them, than it is to post two separate parcels, so a lot of sellers will offer a postage discount for multiple items.  If it’s not specified, email the seller to ask.
Consider buying out of season.  For example, if you know you will need a new pair of winter boots then buy them in the summer.  Less people will be looking and bidding on them out of season, helping you to get them for the best price.
 If you are looking for something on eBay and are unable to find it you can set up an alert, whereby you will be contacted when someone lists an item on eBay that matches your search criteria.
When it comes to buying baby clothes on eBay I would tend to avoid buying individual items of clothing as postage costs don’t make it particularly cost effective. For best value stick to buying bundles of clothing – just type in, for example “girls bundle 6-9 months” to search for all the girls 6-9 month bundles.  I also find buying bundles of basics such as vests and sleepsuits very cost effective – once I bought 16 vests for 99p and £2.80 postage.
Watching and Bidding
Add an item you like to your watch list, and set a reminder on your phone for a few minutes before the item ends – that way you won’t forget about it.
If you can, look out for items that end on weekdays during the day.  They tend to go for less than items that end at the weekend.  Of course, this is only effective if you are able to bid during these times.
If you don't want to pay for postage you can look for those items which are in your area, for example 5 miles away from your address. I often use this option, it is very cost effective, saving me lots of money.


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