If you’re like me and like to invest in designer items – you might struggle with finding pieces that are hard to come by in big department stores! Most of the items I want lately have been out of stock and who honestly has the time to travel hundreds of miles from store to store or to be put on some long wait list? eBay is a MECCA for everything online and chances are that the bag or the shoes you’ve been hunting forever for are just a click away. Even my new Balenciaga sneakers and LV On the Go tote can be found on eBay and they are guaranteed authentic!
I have personally been on eBay since the early 2000’s (thanks mom for starting my account early) and have bought everything from clothes to designer items to beauty, etc. One of my favorite things about eBay is 85% of all things sold on eBay are brand new and available with the “Buy It Now” option which means no bidding or waiting necessary! If there is something you can’t find anywhere else, ask yourself – “did you check eBay”?.
You might have this preconceived notion that shopping for designer goods on eBay is risky (I was that way once too) but I want to share some tips I personally use when shopping designer online so you get the best value for your money and make sure that your purchase is authentic!
Do Your Homework
I like to think of my designer buys as an investment (hey – most of them increase in value of the years) and like any other big purchase, I want to make sure that I get the best value for something . With that being said, online shopping can get tricky with these type of purchases because the web is filled with fake designer goods. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is so it is so important that you do lots of research before you go “adding to cart”. Whenever I find a better deal for something on eBay, I head over to a department store first to look at the physical item (if it’s in stock) and really get a grip on the way everything looks from the material on the outside to the stitching on the inside. If something you are looking for is out of stock, ask a reliable friend, relative or even co-worker who has the item if you can check it out. I’ve had an instance where the stitching on a photo was so much different than the one on the physical bag I saw and this saved me from getting scammed online!
The more photos a seller has of the item you are trying to purchase, the better because there are more things for you to compare. However – with that being said you do want to be careful of sellers posting photos of real bags and selling counterfeits. A good trick is to message the seller and kindly asking if you can see the bag in different lighting. This would entail them having to take more photos for the product for you and should give you a better idea! If they refuse to take more product shots for an investment piece like my Louis Vuitton backpack for example – they are not trying hard enough to sell an authentic bag and it’s time for you to find another seller!
Research the Seller
This is just as important as doing your homework on the product. Once you come across a listing that catches your eye, stop and dig into the buyer. If their ratings are low, that is usually a red flag. If they have good ratings but are a relatively new seller, do more research. Take a look at other listings they have and read other users’ feedbacks so you have an idea of their customer service. Do they have a good return policy? This is especially important for a new seller so you can take the leap and purchase with less risk.
Along with research, don’t be afraid to ask the seller all the questions on your mind about the listing! If you’re shopping for a fun pair of designer sneakers like I was recently, ask them if they have receipts, authentication cards, etc. These kind of questions will help you get a better idea of the authenticity and condition of the product.
If you are still not sure, eBay offers a service called eBay Authenticate which helps protect buyers by providing expert authentication services to independently check details to help you buy with confidence. This service is also helpful for those who want to sell on the site since it gives you an expert’s opinion of how to price a listing.
If there is an “it item” you REALLY want for the season, do some online window shopping and watch for price changes and sales – eBay always has great sale events too so you’re bound to find something sooner than later. Right now, I need some new workout gear so I have been eyeing the Adidas sale going on until September 4th! There are so many good finds that are 75-80% off right now so make sure to check out all the products included in that sale here.
Read the Fine Print
Watch out for listings not selling the actual product! You can avoid this by reading the entire listing. You might also learn more about the condition of the item this way. Watch out for wears on the corners and hardware, especially that might not be shown in the photos. The seller should fully disclose all wear. If light scuffs are unacceptable for you – ‘preowned” may not be the best option for you!
If the price of something is too good to be true, then it probably is. However, if the price of a super coveted bag is high, it doesn’t mean you are being ripped off. Many designer goods appreciate in value over time! Be prepared to pay more for an exclusive or hard to find item even if it is from past seasons.
Alright – so you found something you love and are ready to checkout. Don’t have a credit card to use? You can link your debit card on Paypal and use PayPal as your protector. PayPal purchases are automatically protected and you can easily dispute them if needed! If PayPal rules in your favor (they are amazing with buyer protection policies), they will refund you and take on the hassle of getting the funds owed by the seller. If you do not have PayPal then definitely check if your credit card offers a buyer protection policy and use that.
I hope these eBay tips help you the next time you’re in the market to shop designer goodies. Again I have used and loved eBay since the early 2000’s as both a buyer and a seller and it truly is a great spot to find almost anything! Let me know what you’re shopping for and if you have checked eBay for it! Chances are they have the gold you’re looking for!