A little known fact- I buy most of my stuff on eBay.
Most people think it's a place to get used items or vintage pieces or just bid on auctions; however, it's actually a great place to find inexpensive clothes, beauty products, and accessories. A lot of sellers have surplus of items they don't want/can't use or some sellers even have pieces that they never used or received as gifts. I once bought a pair of designer sandals that were worn once- the seller had been hiding her shoe collection from her husband and he found it and made her sell them!
While eBay can be a great place to find some choice deals, it's also a bit difficult to figure certain things out. I've been buying (and periodically selling) on the site for over a decade, so today I'm going to share a few tips!
Look at the photos carefully- one mistake I hear a lot of is people not checking the photos. I don't mean the stock photo of an item, the actual photos of the item that is for sale. If there aren't any, request some. If it's a used item or a defected item, there should be actual photos. If there aren't, the seller might be fishy. A good seller wants to make sure you know exactly what you are getting.
Read the description carefully- in one of my law classes at UNLV, my professor described a case involving someone who spent thousands of dollars purchasing a big ticket item only to receive a photo of the item. Apparently they hadn't read the description properly and the piece for sale was the photo not the big ticket item. If you're buying something expensive, read carefully to make sure you are getting exactly what you expect.
When purchasing designer items, exercise caution- you can always request a copy of the receipt from the original purchase but know that this may not be available. If the item should have a serial number, there should be a photo of it and if there is not, request one. I tend to gravitate towards the gently used designer items instead of anything claiming to be new and authentic because I typically get a weird vibe. I'm not saying they don't exist but be careful.
Don't take any crap- utilize the eBay communications channels. Currently, I'm having issues with a couple sellers that have been going on for MONTHS. One seller promised me a refund for items I never received even though they supposedly sent them twice. The other seller sent me a pair of socks in two different sizes rendering the pair completely unwearable. Keep in mind- eBay will pretty much only help you within 30 days of the latest estimated arrival date; however, you can open disputes with Paypal within 180 days.
Beware of dates- if a seller is out of office, typically there will be a notation at the top of the listing saying the dates they are out of office. One big thing- if you are buying products from Asia, not the dates for Chinese New Year. A lot of sellers will not be working their stores during those 15 days (or possibly longer) so get your orders in well before or after the festivals.
Check scores- feedback scores can be very telling. Additionally, check when the negative reviews were made. If nothing negative has been made within the last 6-12 months, I'll usually ignore it. Often this is a good place to find out if other buyers have received counterfeit items in which case, move along.
Shop around- If you're looking at say, a set of Living Proof shampoos (they're listed in every size), shop around for a bit. Often you can shave a few dollars off your purchase by doing so because there's almost always multiple sellers. This is also a great time to compare the prices and ratings from sellers- a great price and a poor rating should cancel itself out.
Ask about discounts- if you're buying multiple items, it may knock down the price of the shipping if the seller knows you're buying multiples. Don't be afraid to ask!
I hope this helped make it easier to navigate eBay!
I'll be sharing a list of my favorite things to purchase soon!