eBay guide

After posting about this idea on Instagram a lot of people wanted me to post some of my eBay tips. eBay is probably the online platform that I buy most of my clothes from. If you cant necessarily go out thrifting or don’t have the time to rummage through rails, eBay is the easiest way to find fast secondhand bargains. I have been using eBay for nearly five years and have found some of my favourite most worn items in my wardrobe from there. But eBay can be overwhelming and it can feel like your constantly losing bids and wasting time and money. I sort of learnt the hard way with eBay and have made mistakes and it took a while for me to understand and get to grips with making the most of the website. So I thought I would share with you the best tips I ave learnt along the way:

  1. Search for particular brands – for example when you type into the search engine ‘pink top’ you will get thousands of items appearing and most of them will be from wholesalers and wont be what your really after. Instead type in specific brands and do it that way. On my saved Instagram stories under ‘Tips’ I have listed the best brands to look out for when thrifting. This list might come in handy and you could start by using that as a guide. I don’t tend do use many filters when I search and just go by brand looking at both set price/best offer and bidding.
  2. Sizing isn’t always obvious – while you might be a certain size in shops, remember to ask bidders questions as items can come up big or run small depending on brand. Also sometimes sellers get confused with European sizing and list items wrong. I always check the photos for clothes labels as they might let you know if they have made a mistake. Also google the specific item you are thinking of getting, there might be reviews online about fit and style that will help your decision.
  3. Do your research – explore websites to learn more about different brands to look out for on eBay. Sometimes I like to go to little independent shops when I’m out and about to see what brands are new for that season and that I should look out for when searching and thrifting. Once you have your own list of brands you like to search for on eBay, it becomes a whole lot easier to find things and curate a watchlist.
  4. Set yourself your max bid – this is where a bit of self control comes in. I have often got caught up in the excitement of bidding and gone over the price I was willing to pay and regretted the decision. When bidding, make sure you know your limit and stick to it as bidding wars can go quickly and prices can rocket fast so you don’t necessarily want to get caught up in it.
  5. Check out sellers other items – sometimes if you buy an item from a particular seller its worth checking out there other items, which you can do by scrolling down to their profile. Its often the case that will have other items in the same style and size that you want as they may be having a huge wardrobe clear out. Keep a note of sellers whose style you like and regularly check to see what they list.
  6. Make a curated watchlist and set yourself reminders – I like to curate my watchlist and edit it regularly to weed out items I might have decided I don’t want or gone off. eBay tends to only send the watched item reminders for bid items 14 minutes before the end. So I set reminders for myself in my calendar of when particular items are ending so I can be ready to put a bid in.
  7. Don’t be put off by bad quality photos – sometimes sellers will take quite bad photos of their items and therefore the item may not have many bids on it. These are sometimes the items I look out for. Case in point; I got an Isabel Marant Etoile jacket for around £10 and there was only one other bidder. This was mainly because some of the images were a bit fuzzy and the lighting wasn’t great. It wasn’t doing the item justice but I tried to see beyond this and look at the potential and it worked!
  8. Think about cost vs worth – sometimes before I get an item I decide what if it is too small or too big, is it worth taking the risk on the item? Will I make my money back if I sell it on again if it doesn’t work for me? How much am I willing to spend on said item? Make sure you think thoroughly and don’t waste your money (but don’t worry if you do sometimes, we have all been there! Live and learn!).
Free People Bomber Jacket, eBay – £16 (bid)

How to bid:

So this is where I have learnt the hard way. I have been the first to put a bid on an item that I am so excited about and a week later no one else has bidded and its 1 minute to go and still no other bidders and then 20 seconds before I think Im going to win the item someone comes in and nabs the item for only a pound over the price. So what did I do wrong; well these are ways to avoid this in the future…

  • Don’t necessarily bid straight away, definitely watch the item but resist the temptation to be the first bidder or if there is only a couple of bidders hold your horses
  • In your mind set yourself a max of how much you would reasonably want to spend on that item and be ruthless what is it really worth to you?
  • Set a reminder on your phone an hour before the bidding ends
  • Sometimes people will set a max bid and it will be hidden and might be higher that the bidding price that is shown so leave enough time to at least beat that bid
  • I usually wait about 50 seconds before bidding ends to put in my bid and set it as high as I am willing to go and hopefully will win
Equipment Shirt, eBay – £16 (bid)
I Am Gia Trousers, eBay – £23 (bid)

Last minute tips:

  • Sellers reserve the right to cancel an order if you don’t pay within 48 hours of winning an item, so keep that in mind and be prompt when paying. It also is courtesy to the seller and means you will be on better playing field in case there is something wrong with the order.
  • Remember most sellers don’t do tracking with items as it costs extra for them and buyers can be put off by paying £10 for postage. So remember your item might take up to a week to arrive and if an item is dispatched first class it will normally be with you next day and second class is two days but this can vary.
  • Sometimes its good to check with seller about when they are going to send off your item and also it can remind them! sometimes there human too and can forget so be kind and patient!
Maje Denim Jacket, eBay – £28.50 (best offer)

I really hope this blog post helps you guys and you take away some tips that might help you score some awesome items on eBay and please share with me your amazing bargains on Instagram @secondhand_stan

Cambridge Thrifting

A guide to Cambridge’s best charity shop destinations Part I

For my very first blog post I wanted to share with people where my love for secondhand started and that was with regular trips with my mum to our local charity shops in the heart of Cambridge City. I may be a bit biased as it is my home town but I have to say that Cambridge has one of the best selection of charity shops that I have been to. With an eclectic mix of people living in the city, you can find some really interesting and unique pieces. There are a few different key charity shop areas in the city and I’m going to break down these for you starting with my favourite spot for thrifting: Burleigh Street.

Burleigh St, Cambridge

Tucked just behind the modern shopping centre, The Grafton, Burleigh Street houses most of the go to charity shops and being concentrated on this one road makes it an easy and convenient place to rummage. The key shops to visit in my opinion and where I have been most successful are Scope, Mind, British Red Cross and Cancer Research. But in reality they are all worth popping into as you never know what you might find. So today on a sunny spring day I headed down to have a browse and my usual weekly rummage through the rails to see what I could find! I love making a ritual of my charity shopping experience and I like to get in the zone. I put on a podcast and delve right in. You have to be in the mood to look, and I mean really look. Sometimes you might find nothing and other days I leave with several bags but if you don’t have have the right mentality your never going to find anything. I love the welcoming attitude of the volunteer staff and I leave feeling like I have not only bought myself some nice items but my money is going to good use.

Cancer Research UK
British Red Cross Window Display

Below I have posted a few images of some items that caught my eye while I was browsing today. The Scope charity shop is one of my all time favourites. They get regular deliveries from their London branches so their stock is filled with cool designers like Bimba y Lola, Zadig & Voltaire and Equipment. For the designer clothing, their prices on more on par with that of the high street but if you are looking for something quirky and individual for an event, this would be the place to go. I once overheard one of the volunteers saying they have a regular customer come in each month and raid the designer rail and spend a lot of money on getting their whole wardrobe. Its definitely a hit with the locals and its great to see people have caught on to this and the shop is always thriving with customers. My most recent purchase from there? A fab pair of nearly new J Brand black leopard print jeans for £10. Safe to say I was pretty chuffed with myself.

Missoni Dress, £40 (Scope)
Toast Skirt, £9.95 (Arthur Rank Hospice)
Liberty Silk Shirt, £10 (Mind)

I loved all these pieces and as you can probably tell I am really living for those bright fun colours and patterns right now. I always look for something unique in charity shops and see it as a great place to try and experiment with my style. Its hard to experiment sometimes with fast fashion as you want to make the most of your money and buy staples that will hopefully last you but when I buy second hand I can afford to try different things and I end up feeling very unique!

Hope you enjoyed this little post and stay tuned for Part II.

Harriet xxx