Vintage, Customised & Independant Boutique buying guide

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As a seller of all of these items, I have noticed and come across a few problems in this area. The main issues being sizing, dodgy refund policies and quality control. If you buy items that are vintage or customised from sellers or boutiques, and you can't actually see the product before purchase, chances are you'll end up with an ill-fitting, badly made and definately unattractive item.

This guide is aimed to help you get the best picks from ebay and avoid ending up with something less than you had hoped for.


1. Not ALL customised or vintage clothes are well made or in a good condition or even attractive just because they are rare or unique. Don't be tricked into thinking that just because it is 'customised' or 'vintage', that it will do anything to flatter your figure. I myself have seen and in fact created a few abominations that should be incinerated.

Most will fall apart in the wash as they are made with poor quality materials or by unskilled or inexperienced individuals. To avoid this, try to buy from sellers with multiple listings; there are quite a few that sell gorgeous items and are fantastically made, rather than the person getting rid of an old school project.

2. If you are buying an item, you NEED to make sure you get EXACT measurements otherwise there's no chance of a refund if it doesn't fit. The main problem is the confusion with skirts and dresses. With skirts, sellers don't know whether to list an item as a hipster or not. A skirt with a 28 inch wastband is usually described by me as a very small size 6, but i've seen them on ebay described as a size 12. Sure, it could fit everyone between those sizes, but on a 12 it would squish your stomach and look horrible wheras on a 6 it would be a hipster. This is the reason why you need to measure yourself as sizing standards on ebay are awful as they are in your high street. To find out how to measure yourself correctly, have a look at this site

3. Try not to buy from sellers without refund policies. Personally, i allow refunds for items if they are not exactly as described or faulty, and would pay postage both ways. Some sellers try to get out of this by saying 'no refunds' in the listing. if the seller says this, you need to email and ask for exact measurements, and if there are any flaws in the item. If they get this wrong, you can complain rather than having nothing to go on. With most vintage items, there are likely to be minor flaws even if this is just fading or tiny amounts of wear.

Also try to gage the conidition before purchase. If the listing says 'minor flaws', ask and say WHICH minor flaws. What is minor to someone else isnt necessarily minor to you.

4. If you are buying a 'genuine' vintage item, it should be made from natural fabrics or rayon, as most synthetics were created in the last 30 years. I have noticed a lot of sellers try to flog 'fakes' that they may not even know are fake, and asking high prices for these genuine articles. Theres no problem buying imitation vintage items, but if they are in perfect condition, made from polyester and the sellers asking £250 for it, steer clear as they are definately not genuine.

In summation

1. Don't buy an item just because it is 'customised', rare or unique as there are lots of horrible, badly made things floating around. Try to buy from established sellers or those with multiple listings. There might be a few gems however, so keep your eyes open.

2. Ask for exact measurements, especially if the seller does not have a refund policy. This way if the item doesnt fit, you can file a dispute through paypal to get a refund or exchange

3. Try to avoid sellers without refund policies, or email and ask for measuremen and flaw information before placing a bid

4. If you are being sold a genuine vintage item from the 1920's, it should be made from natural fabrics or one of the items on this list:
Also try to gage the conidition before purchase. If the listing says 'minor flaws', ask and say WHICH minor flaws. What is minor to someone else isnt necessarily minor to you.

I hope this guide will stop someone ending up with something like this:

Remember to give me a thumbs up if this helped you.

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