5 Things You Don’t Know About Buying on Ebay

Have you ever wondered how people get such great deals on ebay? They seem to have designer bags, fabulous sunglasses, and the cutest clothes, yet you never seem to have the luck that they do.

Here’s the thing: It’s not luck.

It’s strategy.

I’ve written before how to successfully sell on e-bay. I’ve also told you how to wheel and deal on e-bay, but that post really discussed auctions with the “make an offer” function (my personal favorite).

The thing is, if you really want the high-end goods, you’re going to have to bid.

But you need to think through some things first.

1. Ask yourself how this item will enhance your life. This will determine how high you will bid. I’m a huge proponent of always weighing needs vs. wants. Every label that I own has come to live in my closet at a fraction of the original price. It’s ridiculous to me to pay full price for anything. In my mind, everything can be talked down. If a million dollars dropped magically in my bank account tomorrow, I’d still be haggling with people and calling around for the best prices. I just think it’s fun. I may have a problem – at least The Hubs thinks so.

2. Search for used items. I understand that some people might not want to wear used clothes and shoes, but things like electronics, e-readers, ipods, watches, jewelry, etc. hardly show wear and tear if they are taken care of. It’s kind of like buying a used car. Once the dealer fixes it up, you can hardly tell it’s been driven. The same applies to many types of merchandise. Just make sure everything you buy on ebay allows returns.

3. Have patience. You never know when an item will pop up. Ebay is super cool like that. Sometimes, I keep an eye out for a product for months before I buy it.

4. Once you find the item you want, do not bid until 1 minute or even better, until 30 seconds is left on the clock. I’m serious. Do not drive up that bid any more than you have to. When you see the clock hit 1 minute, enter the absolute highest you are willing to pay for the item into the “max bid” section and no more. The computer will automatically bid up for you. May the best man or woman win.

5. Communicate with the seller if you lose. You have no clue what they have up their sleeve. They could have the exact same item in their inventory ready to post the next day. You never know until you ask.

Now let me offer a practical example of how this strategy can work.
Enter stage right – My new watch:
This watch was one of those things I consider half need/half want. I already have a nice watch that was a gift from my parents, but I wanted something that was super waterproof. I know I’m going to be in the pool, at the beach, in the rain, etc. in Grenada a lot over the next 2.5 years so I searched around incessantly for a watch that was waterproof to 330ft, unlike my current watch which I can only really wash the dishes with.
Yeah, watches that waterproof are shcmancy I found out, and they are definitely out of my price range.
I found this one that I liked which retails for $225.00 at Fossil.com
Amazon was a bit nicer at $219.00
But who am I kidding? The blog’s name is Budget Blonde after all. It would be blasphemous for me to buy such an expensive watch.
So I waited.
and waited.
And one day on Ebay, I saw a seller that had not one but TWO of these watches that were “new with defects.” The defect was that they were missing a pin…. and since I have a freakishly small wrist, I knew I would take several links out anyway and it wouldn’t matter.
So I bid twice.
And I lost twice.
I was frustrated, but I refused to go over my top limit of $70.00, even though I knew even $100 was a good deal. 
I e-mailed the seller and sweetly asked if he had any more. He didn’t write me back for a long time, so I forgot about it and figured he thought I was craaa-zayyy. Then about a week ago, he e-mailed me and said there was another one up for auction. It had two defects – one chipped crystal, which I couldn’t see in the picture and still can’t see in person unless I’m looking for it. It also had a missing pin.
I guess the defects scared people off, because I got it for $25.00!!!
Not a mistype – $25.00 for reals.
It felt amazing to go in the Fossil store today and to have them take out the links for free.
The cherry on top?
My exact same watch was sitting prominently in the front case, with the $225.00 price tag on it.
So just do your homework, network with the seller, be patient, and you can get great deals like this too!
Happy Ebaying!

Pretty Profits

We have a great Dillards in our area where all the clothes go when they don’t sell at a regular Dillards. It’s a pretty sweeeeeet place, kind of how I envision heaven really with 70% off stickers and “take an extra 50% off that while you’re at it” stickers. While recently there, I scored this Michael Kors dress for $14.00. It was a bit snug on me in the dressing room, but I thought the deal was too good to pass up since the original price tag was $109.00! So, for the first time ever, I bought something for the sole purpose of selling on Ebay! I listed it as a “buy it now or make an offer” because I love to haggle…..and….
I was SO excited because my dress sold for $33.00 + $7.00 shipping! So I made over 100% profit even after the eBay fees came out!
Isn’t it cute?

Yeah, I wanted to keep it for myself but alas my bootay is too big! Anyway, I went back to the same place today and got this 100% silk Ralph Lauren dress for $35 (original price $199.00!). It’s currently listed on Ebay, so keep your fingers crossed that this one sells too!
Has anyone ever tried this before? 
If you’re interested in learning more about selling on Ebay you can check out this post or read the blog My Dear Trash which got me excited about the idea in the first place!
{P.S. I just started a facebook fan page for Budget Blonde. I’d love it if you “liked” it!}