Holiday Shopping on eBay

Turning to eBay during the holidays may seem like a good idea. Here are a few tips for when and how to spend time searching for a great item, and what items to pass on.

  • You are most likely to find good deals on items that (1) People are unlikely to give as gifts, such as used items. (2) Items that people are trying to sell to get a few extra holiday spending dollars. Items that come to mind that fall in these two categories are gently used shoes or handbags, usually in the middle-high price range (too cheap would make it not worth it). (3) Unseasonable items. I’m talking about sandals, summer dresses, etc. We seem to forget (at least here in Wisconsin) that summer will eventually come around again.
  • Don’t waste your time on (1) Popular, big ticket items. People will always be seeking out bags like the Chanel Flap or the Celine Luggage. Instead, check out “smaller” designers, like Fendi or Mulberry. (2) Items that are frequently faked. Jewelry, Loubs, Chanel, Burberry, etc. Its just not worth the extra hassle, especially during this season. (3) Items that you could get in-store for just about the same price (and with a return policy). This may seem obvious, but its always good to do a quick search on Shopstyle or a similar site to figure out just how good of a deal you’re getting. Retailers will need to move that merchandise!!
  • Try these techniques for filtering out what you don’t want: (1) Think of a search criteria, whether that be a certain designer (ex: Helmut Lang) or an item type (ex: silk cashmere scarf). Click on the “used” filter on the left side bar. Depending on your preference, filter your results with the pull-down tab for “newest listing first” or “lowest price first.” You can further filter your results by tabbing over to “Auction only” or “BIN only.” I personally love auctions because they give me an extra few days to consider if I really want the item, and how much to spend on it. I currently use Gixen as my sniping service.
  • When to find the best deals possible? (1) In general, December is a good time to search for those items mentioned above. Come January, it seems that people tend to to more self-shopping (because they’re ready to shop for themselves again!), and there are less deals to be had. (2) Look for deals on BINs with immediate payment required in the days and maybe weeks before Christmas. I’m talking about more pricy designer items. People are willing to let items go for low prices to get immediate payments they need for gifts or cc payments.
  • I’ve found my best deals on the following items: (1) Mulberry Effie Satchel. This is a great, older-style Mulberry. Its adorable, and in great condition (small stain on the interior). I got it for less than $150 shipped. (2) Jimmy Choo Leopard Pumps, used maybe once. These went for $140. (3) YSL Tribtoo Patent Pumps in the tan color, nearly perfect condition. Less than $200 shipped.