How to clothes-shop on EBay like a professional stylist*.

*By absolutely no means am I a professional stylist, what a ridiculous and misinformed claim.

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me where I got my dress / skirt / necklace / bag from and I replied with a gleeful grin and ‘EBay’, I would have an extra $5 this week and that makes me think that writing this post is a good idea.

More impressively, it’s been asked a few times now by people from the confidential section of the paper, and while the answer often isn’t what they’re looking for, the sting of never-in-a-million-years being able to afford a wardrobe full of current season Sass and Bide and Kookai is soothed and refreshed by the knowledge that my outfit is usually cheap as eff, and still awards a compliments (or five, this week) (look, it’s been a really good week and I’m gonna ride it, okay?).

Know your style.

This one is handy by all standards, but it will really help you hone in on what you’re looking for. I’m a big fan of the flowy, bohemian-but-not-crazy-looking thing, so I usually start with ‘boho clothes’, ‘hippy clothes’, ‘bohemian style’, ‘white lace’, ‘maxi dress’ etc etc and go from there. A lot of the sellers speak English as a second language (amazing, some days I can barely manage one) so after looking around for a while you’ll really get a hang of how they say what you’re trying to.

Know your sizing.

Do not order anything without checking the measurements first. I repeat. Do not order anything without checking the measurements first. It’s usually not a big deal re: cost if something that was meant to make you look like Kylie Jenner resembles a muumuu or a shirt you bought for camping in wouldn’t fit over your head without chopping it off, but it’s a bummer to wait six months, open the parcel and feel yourself sobbing internally over a woe you could have avoided.

Know why it’s so cheap.

Sometimes, you hit the EBay jackpot. Sometimes the goodies arrive within a couple of days of ordering and when you pick them up and throw them on, they fit like a glove (especially handy if they’re actually gloves) and the style, material, colour, way they make you feel is just all so right. They match the pictures on the website exactly, and life is bliss. Sometimes, you do not hit the EBay jackpot. I’d say you have a 50/50 chance of siding each way. Look, the clothes are the same price as a cuppa and if they’re truly awful, at least you can have a laugh at their expense. And then use them as curtains or cleaning rags.

Know that you earned the hell out of those compliments.

Sometimes when I tell people where I got my stuuunnniiinnnngggg red floral wraparound dress from, the do not join me in celebration or whip out their phone and demand a link, ASAP. They act like I’ve cheated, which is ludicrous because it is way easier to walk into a store and try on something that costs the same amount as my weekly mortgage repayment and boot-scoot outta there. EBay shopping is hard as shit, and rewarding as hell (hi Grandma, thanks for reading!). It’s highs, it’s lows, and it’s a serious glow of satisfaction when you nail it.

Go forth and be brave, young financially disadvantaged youth of my readership! Have fun, because when you realise fashion isn’t really scary you also realise that that’s what it’s all about xo


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