If you love to grab a fashion bargain, chances are you've already tried your hand at shopping on eBay. I'm an online shopping addict and it's fair to say that the majority of my fashion purchases have been made via the internet over the past two years. Whether I'm looking for a sold-out dress from last season, a one-off vintage number or a designer handbag with a not-so-designer price tag, I'll always search for it on eBay. If you're new to the world of online auctions, here are some of my top tips and tricks for snagging a fashion bargain.
Look for out of season items
Want an amazing piece with a seriously cheap price tag? Look for items that are currently out of season. Winter is the ideal time to pick up designer maxi dresses at incredible prices as less people are searching for them during the colder months. The same applies in summer. Look out for investment winter coats and boots which you'll often find at rock-bottom prices during the middle of summer.
One of the biggest pitfalls of shopping online (regardless of the website) is that you can't try an item on before buying. Take proper steps to ensure that your item will fit by asking for the measurements beforehand. If the seller hasn't listed the exact measurements, send them a message to ask for waist, hip, bust or leg measurements. Stick to stores and brands that you know already fit well. If the item is still available in store, go and try it on if you can. Vintage clothing always tends to come up small, so don't fall into the trap of thinking your usual everyday size will automatically fit. Always ask for detailed measurements to avoid disappointment.
For added piece of mind, check the seller's feedback and returns policies. Some business sellers may offer exchanges and refunds while many personal sellers do not. The feedback will tell you if other buyers are happy with the service, if postage times were fair, if the item was as described and if the seller's communication before and after buying was good.
The colour and pattern of an item can vary between different cameras and computer monitors. If you've found an item you love, check to see if other sellers are selling the same item and compare images to check the picture is true to life. You may also want to search for the item online to read more detailed reviews. Brands like Miss Selfridge, Very and Tesco clothing all allow buyers to post reviews of clothing they have bought from their sites. The reviews will give you a better indication of details like fit (is it true to size?) and fabric quality.
Auction ending times
Evenings and weekends are the most popular times for auctions to end. If you want to try and snap up a bargain look for items that end outside of these hours, such as midweek daytime, very late at night or very early in the morning as less people are likely to be watching items during these times. If you won't actually be online when the item is ending, set a maximum bid and eBay will automatically outbid others until you reach the maximum amount that you are prepared to spend.