I can’t believe I only have one more week of bedrest (assuming we make it to the big 34)! Staying “busy” these past few months has been quite a challenge. One of my go-to pastimes has been browsing eBay. Like I’ve mentioned previously, a significant amount of my baby purchases were pre-owned. Of course, I’ve done some shopping for me as well! One of the (admittedly trivial) things I was looking forward to this pregnancy was “dressing the bump” and taking bump pictures. I accepted that it just isn’t going to happen, and I gave up buying maternity clothes months ago. Instead, when I’ve been browsing eBay, I’ve been looking for things I can wear or use postpartum. I’m mostly buying clothes in my pre-pregnancy size, perhaps a size up, depending on the item (like shirts that would be tight in the chest). Over the past few months I’ve found some fun items, some of my recent favorites are below! I also found my long-time wish-listed (over-priced) handbag for a steal. Its huge, and will make the perfect diaper bag!
As always, thank you for reading and thank you for your support, especially during these past few months!
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.
I used to sell on eBay all the time during college and med school. Money was always tight. If something was sitting in my closet unworn, it was quickly sold off to fund the next purchase. But then residency started and I 1) had a livable income, and 2) didn’t have a lot of free time. So eBay selling was put on an indefinite hold. And the items built up (in my studio, cluttering my tiny space…). Just this week I finally gave in and spent a valuable off-day listing everything on eBay. I listed about 40 items in total. Since I really just want everything gone, I listed my items for cheap so they had the best chance of selling quickly. Success. So far I’ve sold over half of my items, and have made over 1k.
Trends I’ve noticed selling this year:
Best selling items: Lululemon! Wow, these all sold in hours! Some items literally sold in seconds. I definitely could have listed them for more. This encourages me to buy more… 😉
Worst selling items: Pretty much all casual wear. I’ve hardly sold any J. Crew, even at ridiculously low prices. Jeans – even $200+ AG jeans – not selling. Elizabeth & James, Inhabit, Paige, Rag & Bone… all not selling well.
Overall sales: Down. Its well known that selling in the summer is slow. It typically picks back up in the fall. But, as more and more re-sale sites are popping up, I wouldn’t be surprised if sales continue to be slower than in past years.
Given these trends, I’m even more encouraged to do these things: First, I’ll continue to spend money on workout gear. I wear that stuff all the time (under scrubs, as casual wear and to my daily yoga). I love buying from Athleta because of their great customer service and “give it a workout guarantee.” I haven’t needed to sell anything from them because of this, which is really nice. I have a few items from them that I adore, like the Ahimsa top and Scoop neck cocoon sweater (both able to be dressed up and worn to work on casual days). But for the majority of my workout gear I still rely on Lululemon (and their awful return policy). Their items really are hit or miss for me. Some stuff is amazing, like the power-y tank (I wear one of these nearly every day now… because I’m too lazy to wear and wash regular bras now-a-days). But other stuff just doesn’t work out for one reason or another. Its reassuring to have the option to sell it for a good price if its just not cutting it after a few wears.
And the other takeaway from this would be to stop buying so much junk. I’ve talked about this over and over again. I’ve actually been doing really well at curbing my impulse buys, more likely due to decreased free time than increased self control (there are admittedly a few buys and returns, too). I’m thinking about my purchases for longer now before buying, and only really buying (and keeping) pretty basic pieces that are comfortable and fit well. My only recent purchases have been J. Crew’s sleeveless drapey top in pesto, their stretch suiting tank in white (its rare to find an opaque white tank), and almost.. it could still happen… the gorgeous falsetto cross-stitch pump. I haven’t seen a pump that stunning in quite some time. I also grabbed a few Ann Taylor basics this weekend at 40% + 25% off (with ANNWELCOME6). I’ll try them, but most will likely make it back to the store (Mixed media tank, White pants #1 and #2, Silk cotton cardi and Evie leather pumps). Given these shopping strategies, don’t expect to see any exciting outfits on this blog!! 🙂
Hope your Memorial Day weekend is nice and relaxing (if you’re lucky enough to have off)!