Although Ebay has been around for decades, I think that a lot of us forget that it’s ever there. For me personally, I don’t like auction-style purchases- I don’t like getting my hopes up on an item and then losing it, and I also don’t like knowing the cost of an item. However, a few of the bigger lifestyle and fashion bloggers that I follow have been promoting eBay and as a Canadian, it could very well give me access to brands that I normally can’t purchase. In line with my style resolution to take more risks, I decided to take a chance and buy my next handbag on eBay! I’m sharing my tips and tricks to tackling it.
I am by no means an expert in eBay, but I did do a fair bit of research prior to purchasing off of eBay. There is an element of risk with eBay, as you can’t see your item in person prior to purchase, but there are ways to protect yourself and your money. I have been looking at the Emma Satchel from Fossil for quite a few months now, and I need a new handbag to start afresh- I thought that this was a good purchase to test out eBay, as it’s relatively inexpensive (to a lot of things I could buy there), and I can find a good amount of information on it. This post will be focused on handbags but can be applied to other items as well.
Auction vs Buy It Now
I personally stick with Buy It Now items- I limit my search to Buy It Now to avoid getting caught up in auctions that I have no intention of participating in. A lot of people like the challenge of auctions, and if you are patient and smart about it, you can save a great deal of money. However, you might also get your heart set on something only to lose it to someone else at the last minute or be priced out. Sticking with Buy It Now might mean that you could pay more but you know that it is going to be yours immediately!
If you aren’t in the US, shipping and customs can be a real pain in the ass, no other term seems to sum it up. There is nothing like thinking you’ve saved a ton of money only to find out that you have to pay 30% of the price in customs when it comes into your country. eBay uses the Global Shipping Program- you pay your customs cost at the time of purchase (determined by postal code), meaning that you don’t have to worry about a surprise charge later on and it should theoretically keep your item moving once it crosses the border. It also allows you to purchase items from brands that may not be available in your country!
Do Your Research
I highly recommend doing your research on the item that you are buying- look up reviews, pictures (from both the maker and outside sources), videos on YouTube, whatever you can find. It makes it easier to try and spot a fake, and also gives you a better idea of what you are buying in general. If it is a handbag, check the logo (size, font, spacing, placement, style), stitching, materials, lining, handles. Depending on the brand, it may come with authentication cards, serial numbers, date stamps, and other manners of authenticating it- ask the seller to see these prior to purchasing! If something feels off or wrong, take a pass and move onto the next item.
eBay does offer buyer’s protection in the case that something is fake or not as promised, but you only have 30 days within receiving your package (or within the date that you should have received your package, if it didn’t arrive). You have to reach out to the seller and attempt to resolve it with them, eBay will step in if there isn’t a resolution in three days! However, if you do miss this somewhat short window, PayPal offers you 180 days to file a claim. Part of the reason that I decided to try out eBay was the double layer of protection with PayPal- although I hope that I never have to use it, it is nice to know that it is there if I need it.
While my tastes don’t run exactly cheap, they also aren’t overly expensive either. Other than owning a Mulberry Bayswater one day, I have no plans to own a handbag that costs much more than about $400- I believe that you get the quality that you pay for, but I also don’t believe in carrying around a handbag that is worth more a mortgage payment. If you are planning to buy a high-end, luxury item, I would do my due diligence, above and beyond. (Many bloggers seem to buy Chanel, Dior, and Gucci items on eBay- I would be leary of purchasing a $5-7,000 item without seeing it.) Yes, I’m taking a risk with my Fossil bag but at the end of the day, I can always file a claim to get my $165 CAD back. Next week’s post will be my review of the bag itself!
Have you purchased anything from eBay? How was your experience?