Tuesday, November 22, 2005

My eBay Shopping Guide

A little while ago, I wrote about a great skirt (below) that I purchased on eBay. With a very cute sweater ($6.49 from Target) and handmade Italian shoes (on sale from Marshall's) I've worn my pretty little skirt to two dress-up parties, and received lots of compliments about my outfit.

So here's my strategy for buying great skirts (and other items on eBay). Chic, classic or trendy skirts (originally sporting triple-digit prices) are available for very low prices (one buck to $45 and up). The skirt featured in the picture below cost $8.99, plus $5 for shipping.

The Frugal Duchess eBay Rules

My little eBay shopping guide is based on my experiences. Please feel free to chime in with your own tips.

Get a grip on your own closet/style/size

Take stock of your measurements and the gaps in your closet. To buy a skirt, you should know the width of your waist/hips and the length of your legs, especially from waist to knee...Trust me: On an earlier purchase, I got burnt because my delightful little silk skirt ($4.99, plus shipping) was too short. A bargain is not a bargain if the skirt doesn't fit or if it matches nada in your closet. Pick up ideas from magazines.

Narrow your search on eBay.

You can search by brandname, designer, retailer. Or you can search by description, such as: Pink Tulle Skirt Anthropologie. (My favorite search).

Determine if you want an item that is new with tags (NWT), almost new or "gently worn." You can search for least expensive, most expensive or quick-ending auctions.

Research the seller.
Read customer comments/ratings. Scrutinize shipping and handling fees. (A $1 skirt is not a bargain if S&H fees are outrageous. You're better off at a hometown discount chain.)

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