My first eBay purchase was over 10 years ago. Things were different then. Most eBay sellers were just regular people, not huge re-sellers or consignment stores. It was a friendly, personal and stress-free experience. Then came the age of small consignment sellers. Then huge consignment sellers. And then came the fake items, fraud and other hassles I now know to be a permanent risk of the eBay shopping experience. I’ve had my ups and downs with eBay. At times I though I would never buy or sell again. But with some extra precautions and acceptance of occasional pain-in-the-ass transactions, I decided to continue to buy pre-owned. I’d estimate about 50% of my wardrobe is from eBay.
Very few bloggers talk about buying things pre-owned. There are two main reasons for this. The first reason would be the obvious one… they don’t buy pre-owned. This may or may not be tied to reason number two, which is the lack of (at least perceived) money-making potential from pre-owned purchases.
I want to be clear. Blogging actually brings in a good amount of money if you put some time into it. Even on this teeny tiny blog, when I was blogging regularly, I’d easily make $1500-$2000 per month. Not bad for a hobby! The best way to make money blogging is to subtly convince others to buy what you’re suggesting. And you can’t exactly convince someone to buy something that isn’t available. Most bloggers realize this quickly and forgo posting outfits featuring not-currently-selling items, whether this be no-longer-available retail purchases or pre-owned purchases. Its logical, and I did just that for a while. But I didn’t enjoy it. Everyone was buying the same items and posting the same (or similar) outfits. I felt like I was competing with “professional” bloggers, who, for some reason, always seemed to look 100x better than I looked in those exact same items. I didn’t actually want to wear most of the stuff I bought, so I felt like I needed to keep buying more (leading to a wardrobe full of stuff I didn’t want to wear). Pointless, huh? Don’t get me wrong, the extra money was nice. And if I can link an item I’ve bought or am wearing, I certainly will (like below!). But blogging isn’t my full-time job, and I don’t do it for money. I do it because I enjoy it!
There are some things that are totally worth buying pre-owned. I’ve found absolutely amazing deals on so many current-style maternity clothes (hence my inspiration to write this post). Especially designer jeans ($178 COH jeans for $60, $189 Paige jeans for $40, $265 AG jeans for $30…) and dresses ($88 Ingrid and Isabel dress for $20, $159 Isabella Oliver dress for $40…). If you know anyone who is struggling with the cost of maternity clothes, I’d definitely recommend at least trying eBay! There’s a similar theme for non-maternity clothes. Designer jeans are always easy to find and are super cheap. And the same goes for dresses (if you need a dress for an event, try eBay before a site like Rent-the-Runway… it’ll likely be as cheap or cheaper and you get to keep the dress). You can find good deals on lots of other stuff, too, but it can take some work.