The Ultimate eBay Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Buy Authentic Items

The Ultimate eBay Shopping Guide by popular New York blogger Covering the Bases

Guys, I am what you call an eBay pro and I'm about to share all my tips and tricks for finding the perfect deal online! 

The Ultimate eBay Shopping Guide by popular New York blogger Covering the Bases

The Ultimate eBay Shopping Guide by popular New York blogger Covering the Bases
The Ultimate eBay Shopping Guide by popular New York blogger Covering the Bases
The Ultimate eBay Shopping Guide by popular New York blogger Covering the Bases

Step by Step eBay Shopping Guide:

1. Research the item: So this is actually a little pre-eBay research but research the item you're looking for. For the post let't just pretend we're searching for a blue pair of Chanel flats. The pre-research would include reading reviews online, looking at pictures, trying to understand sizing, knowing price ranges... etc. I would even go so far as to going into a department store and trying them on for size. When buying on eBay you want to be sure of sizing because returns are strict and vary from seller to seller. 

It's also good to know how you look in them, how they fit, the difference in sizes... everything like that. You also want to look at the item (the shoe in this case) and look for their correct markings, stamps and logos -- so now you know what a real one looks like and have a sample for comparison! 

2. Search in eBay: You've done your research and now we get to the search of it all. You type in what you're looking for (ex: chanel ballet flats) and see what pops up. Its also good to search for different variations of the same thing. Ex: chanel ballet flats, chanel ballet, channel bow flats, chanel flats, chanel blue flats... etc. See what pops up for you because every seller may list their item differently. 

3. Narrow and filter: This is where I start "my process" after I hit the search button I narrow it down to US only. I find that most of the counterfeit items come from outside the US and looking only in the states will also help with communication and a speedy shipping time. 

From there I usually like to filter it to only "buy it now" items. I've bid on a couple things in the past but have had my suspicions about it more than once. Sometimes sellers will bid from a different account to drive the price up, sometimes they put minimums on the listing so even if you win but are under their limit you won't get the item. And it's also SUPER stressful IMO. I get all anxious and shakey if I'm going to win or not. I rather just sift through the BIN (buy it now) listings and know the exact price they want for it.

After that of course you can narrow it by size, color... everything! I usually like to put the size in my search (ex: chanel flats 39) just because sometimes a 39 shoe can be listed as an 8 or sometimes mismarked as a 10. I don't like to go buy what the seller thinks the conversion is -- I like to go by the number on the bottom of the shoe. This is why we tried them on beforehand!

4. READ and re-read the listing: Say you have your perfect listing and you're interested -- next step is to read every. single. thing. they have listed on the page. Full screen the images (and go through them twice), read the description, their comments, see if there have been any questions, read the shipping cost, where they are from, what the condition is, the color, the payment... EVERYTHING. 

Then read it again.

5. Research the seller: Everything check out? Now it's time to research the seller. I never buy from anyone with less than 10 reviews (as a buyer or a seller). It's a BIG red flag if they have (0) or (1) review because it means they're either super new and not reputable or are a fake/scam account. Just easier to avoid at all costs. 

On the right hand side of the page is their seller name, their reviews and their % ranking. 100% = great seller. anything below 90% is very iffy, proceed with caution. To read more about them click on their name and it takes you to their seller page. It has feedback ratings, number of positive, neutral and negative reviews and a place that says "see all feedback." Click on that and see what the people have to say. 

Here you can see reviews (I like to filter to their seller reviews since I am buying from them) and look at not only the review they got but also the items they are selling. Usually pages list the same types of things (like designer items or home items, just the same "level" of stuff). One bad review doesn't deter me or a really old bad review. But if there are multiple or ones that say they are selling fake things, it's not the listing for you.

You're also able to check out "items for sale" which shows you everything this seller has listed. This will help ease your mind on if they are selling things along the same line. But if they have like one $100 LV bag and the rest is VHSs and old sneakers I'd be cautious. 

On this page you're able to (on the left hand side, scroll down) see "completed listings" and "sold listings" -- I like to check here to see what they've been selling and if they have sold my item before. If I'm looking at a pair of navy chanel flats and they have sold 3 pairs of the exact same shoe thats a red flag. 

But after all of this, the listing checks out and passes the test then you can move on to the next step! Before we go... trust your gut here. If something is off it's not worth it. Trust the reviews, what you see, how you feel about it. And note: if it's too good to be true, it's too good to be true. Walk away.

6. Add to wish list: If I find a listing that I think is reputable and something I would purchase, I put it on my wish list. I just let it sit for a day or two and let it all marinate. Usually I am purchasing something with a larger price tag and for that it's good to not just pull the trigger on the first thing you see. I like to see if I'm thinking about it non stop, if I take my time and decide that I do want to spend this money in this way... etc.

I also do this to see if any better deals come up. I'll search more on the site (there are new listings every day), I'll look other resale places and compare prices and condition of item. I'll think about resale value and if it's worth the price (Will I wear it? How often? How will I style it?) and I'll also think about how much I really want to spend on this item.

If it happens to sell before I'm ready, that's ok -- it just wasn't for me. If I'm really bummed about it then I know that the next time I find it I'll be ready to buy. Everything has it's way of working out!!

-Have you ever bought something that you found was a fake? I did but only once in college. This was long before I was a "pro" eBay shopper. I bought a pair of Tory Burch sandals that once I got in I realized were fake (I should have known from the price). But eBay is really good about counterfeit items. I emailed them, sent photos and explained what happened. They opened a "report" and contacted the seller and after a week or two I got a full refund. eBay is on your side here!

-What do you shop for on eBay? I mainly shop for designer purses and shoes. My red Celine, LV Pochette Metis and Neverfull, Hermes watch and both sandals, almost all of my Chanel flats and a pair of Stuart Weitzman boots are all from eBay (probably more but that is off the top of my head). I've also purchased smaller ticket items in the past few years for different campaigns -- I'm finding more and more that it's easier to shop on eBay for regular things than most department stores!

-What are other online resale stores you use? I like The RealReal, Fashionphile, Tradesy and Vestiaire Collective.

-Why do you buy second hand? Because I like to save money. I think if you can get it at a fraction of the price for close to the same condition you would in the store it only makes sense. I also have found some amazing deals on high ticket items that I love and wouldn't have gotten otherwise.

If you have more questions, add them below! Also if you guys want to shop a curated eBay feed of items I trust/think are a good deal, feel free to leave suggestions for items and I can put them in an upcoming post!

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