Friday, February 09, 2007

10 Steps to Finding the Perfect Bag on eBay

The Manolos that I am currently bidding on...

The Cosmopolitan that I am drinking during my bidding process

The Burberry that I won

Only 1 minute and 36 seconds left…TIME TO BID!” The rush of adrenaline that I get when I’m about to win an auction is enough for a doctor to prescribe medication. Ladies and Gentlemen (and the Shopping Obsessed) what I am talking about is the epidemic of eBay.

Being recently forced into making a budget cut due to my indentured servitude of completing an internship, this has left me with a less than functional “Bag Budget.” They say that when life gives you lemons make lemonade, I say when your cash flow becomes detrimental to your health, you must outsource!

I have purchased many items from eBay, and have had only FABULOUS experiences with my new favorite store! Here are some just to name a few:
Cashmere Burberry Scarf, Burberry Cosmetics Case, Bluetooth Headset, Adrienne Vittadini Handbag, Blackberry, Coach Passport Case, Juicy Couture Beach Hat, Limited Edition Ugg Boots, Coach Planner, etc. and etc! In total I have purchased 22 eBay items, and have loved each and every item more than the last!

eBay’s campaign is “Whatever IT is, you can get IT on eBay,” and they are 100% correct. As a ‘Budget Fashionista’ veteran I am constantly looking for steals and deals; eBay has turned out to be my perfect window of opportunity.

You can “eBay” your basic designer handbag such as; Gucci, Prada, D&G, Louis Vuitton; or your vintage accessories by Chanel and YSL. Also be sure to check out hard to find designers like Trina Turk or Goyard; as well as one-of-a-kind handbags.

Unfortunately, you are bound to face the issue of a “knockoff” or “imitation” handbag; so as an eBay connoisseur, I am here to give you some *VIP* tips to ensure your success at this online shopping experience:

1. Always type in “Authentic” when searching for a specific designer item. Also note the prices. If your dream Gucci bag is selling for $700 and the seller is only selling for $90, then this item may not be authentic.

2. Check the sellers’ feedback, if it is less than 95%, read the comments. It could be as minor as a misunderstanding customer, or as bad as never receiving the item from the seller. If you are noticing a recent pattern of negative feedback, I recommend that you not purchase from this seller.

3. Read ALL PRINT carefully, often times a seller will or will not mention that the item has minor scratches or stains.

4. Make sure to read the return policy, some sellers' make all sales final, while others are more lenient and will accept returns. Make sure this is exactly what you are looking to buy.

5. Become familiar with the eBay lingo. Here is a crash course: ‘NWT’ – New With Tags, ‘NWOT’– New Without Tags, ‘LN’- Like New, and ‘NIB’ – New In Box.

6. Understand that once you bid on an item it is like signing a contract. It is final and you are now agreeing to pay for the item at the price you just listed.

7. DO YOUR RESEARCH! Often knockoff bags will appear to look real so be aware of the correct placement of labels, color patterns and overall appearance of bag.

8. Most sellers will offer an item at a “Buy It Now” price. This takes away from the bidding process and lets you buy the bag immediately. This is great if you are set on the bag and the price is right. Hurry! Don’t let it get away!

9. Paypal – This is the service most buyers and sellers prefer when sending payments. It is safe and secure and free to sign up!

10. Don’t be afraid to ask a seller a question, if they are professional they will respond in a timely manner. A seller will also let you know about the shipping fees associated with this item.

Here’s a bonus tip:
**Be Patient – it can take up to about two weeks for all transactions to clear and be shipped. If you are looking for a specific item and you cannot find it on your first shot, always go back even 24 hours later. There are millions of listing posted on eBay a day, and that day, may be your lucky one!

Most importantly HAVE FUN! In my opinion nothing else is better than sitting home on a Tuesday night sipping a Cosmopolitan in my pajamas and knowing that I will be getting a new YSL Muse bag for less than retail!


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