5 Tips for Shopping on eBay

ebay tips

I take pride in the fact that I am a master bargain shopper. I do have somewhat expensive taste and love nice, good quality things, BUT I rarely pay full price for things. My friends have always commented on my knack for finding such nice things for even nicer prices, and today I want to share some of my tips for how I do it.

One of my favorite ways to get great quality pieces without paying retail prices is eBay. I think there is a stigma associated with shopping on eBay, but if you know what to look for and how to go about it, it’s a gold mine. There are so many things that are listed on eBay that are brand new and still have the tags on them.

If you’ve never shopped on eBay before, or even if you’re pro status and want to up your game, here are my 5 biggest tips for shopping on eBay:

1. Know Your Measurements.

I like to stick to the brands that I know fit me well when I’m shopping on eBay. Places that I’ve shopped a lot and I know how their clothes fit me. It makes a big difference when buying used things and not being able to try them on first. Some people allow returns and some don’t, so always be sure to check that before you order if that’s really important to you!

If you aren’t sure of your size in a certain brand, you can check a retail website that carries that brand for a recommendation, or know your measurements and simply ask the seller what the item measures. You can easily do this with your favorite pants or top at home by measuring the length and width of the items. I sell on eBay quite a bit and get asked measurements a lot, it’s very helpful.

2. Look through the pictures, read the description and ask questions.

Make sure to look at every single picture. Sometimes people put the defect of something in the last pictures to hide it a bit. They should make a note of an issue in the items description, but they might not so it’s important for you to pay attention. Of course, if you get something that’s defective you can typically send it back and get a full refund, but it’s way easier to just know ahead of time if there’s an issue. If you have a question about sizing, ask the seller for the measurements of the item so you can get a better idea. Read the entire description and make sure the item is exactly what you think it is in terms of color, size, quantity, and what shape the item is in.

3. Remember: you get what you pay for.

If you find something for $5 on eBay, you just have to keep in mind the quality is probably what you’d expect for something so inexpensive. Wholesale things can be hit or miss on eBay. Nicer, better quality things are going to cost a bit more and be more of an investment. Notice if the seller is foreign, as that product could take a few weeks to get to you from overseas. Also keep in mind that things are used, which could mean they’re heavily discounted. New things typically are labeled “NWT” or “NWOT” for “New With/WithOut Tags”, and they should say what amount it’s been used.

4. Wait to bid until the last second.

You don’t need to bid the entire time the auction is open. In fact, I recommend you don’t bid at all until the last minute. The nice thing about eBay is they have their website and they also have an app. If you find something you like, you can add it to your “watch list”, which allows you to keep tabs on it without actually bidding. Typically, about 5 minutes before the bid is over, you’ll get a notification that the bid is coming to an end (make sure you allow notifications!). This is when I usually place my bid.

It’s important to keep in mind that other people may bid the same way, so you might have some competition at the end. In order to keep the price as low as possible, I hold off on bidding until the last 15-20 seconds. It can be pretty nerve wracking haha, let me tell you. But it’s fun! Some people keep increasing the bid the whole time it’s going on, but I think that’s pointless if you can just wait until the end and keep the bid lower.

Another thing you can do is message the seller and ask them to end the auction early for you. They might ask for a higher price, but it can’t hurt!

5. Read the sellers reviews.

Make sure you’re buying from a reputable seller that has good reviews. Typically, when people buy something, they’ll write a review on the process of the transaction. They can judge based on time the item took to ship, what the shipping cost was (if any), if the seller answered their questions, if the item was as described, etc.

If the person you want to buy from doesn’t have good reviews, I’d stay away as chances are, they don’t deliver quality items or aren’t nice to work with. In most cases, eBay will remove someone that is being shady. And they have a 100% money back guarantee, which I have actually used before when I got a fake item. That’s only happened once, and it was a really easy process to get my money back.

Here are some of my favorite deals I’ve scored:
Lululemon Pullover – I paid $65 vs $118 retail
Shop this look here.
Shop Lululemon items here.
White House Black Market Striped Shirt – I paid $8 vs $55 retail
Shop this look here.
Prada Sunglasses – I paid $46 vs $270 retail

Shop this look here.

American Eagle Jeans – I paid $17.99 vs $59.95 retail
Shop this look here.
Tory Burch Miller Sandals – I paid $130 vs $200 retail
Shop this look here.  

T3 Curling Wand– I paid $100 vs $270 retail

Shop this same curling wand here for $80!

See a tutorial for how to use it here.

Have you ever used eBay before? What was your experience??
Have a wonderful Wednesday!!

Leave a Comment


  1. Savanna wrote:

    Great post!!! I usually shop on Poshmark for good deals, but I will have to try out EBay now!

    Posted 4.26.18 Reply
    • pearlsandprada wrote:

      I’ve never used Poshmark, so I’ll have to see what they have going on!

      Posted 4.27.18 Reply
  2. Cyn wrote:

    Super accurate tips .. great outfits btw

    Posted 4.26.18 Reply
    • pearlsandprada wrote:

      Thanks so much I’m glad you liked it!!

      Posted 4.27.18 Reply
  3. JLyn wrote:

    I love eBay! I shop for pretty much everything there!

    Posted 4.26.18 Reply
    • pearlsandprada wrote:

      Me too! It’s amazing how much they have that’s either brand new or barely used. Treasure trove.

      Posted 4.27.18 Reply
  4. Laurel wrote:

    Excellent tips! I love shopping on eBay!!

    Posted 4.27.18 Reply
    • pearlsandprada wrote:

      Thanks so much!! Me too, I find so many great things on there!

      Posted 4.27.18 Reply


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