Broke and liking eBay

I awoke poorer today than yesterday, as did you, if you have investments in the equity markets. I'll be giving eBay a closer look for everything from cosmetics to clothes.

I've made a few brilliant clothing and accessory purchases, and since my investments are eroding by the hour, expect to be trolling for more.


- Pants I tried on and liked at Talbot's, now 75% less
- Vintage Georg Jensen bracelet (absolutely authentic), half the price of new one in a Jensen boutique
- Twe
nty spray-samplers of a favourite scent (perfect for gym bag or purse)
- Two bags from Groom Paris at one third retail

- Sheared mink duffle coat ($1200, appraised locally at $7500).

ve I ever been stung? Rarely: A counterfeit Hermes tie for le Duc and a pair of green turquoise earrings that were badly set. I learned from the experience, see Tips below.

Here are mine, and please share your own:

- Check the seller feedback at Toolhaus; you can see reports of the negatives. I rarely buy from someone with over 1 or 2% negatives
- Don't deal with sellers who want to be payed by wire transfer; I choose those who use PayPal, which offers good protection
- Avoid sellers who say "it is unpressed" or "you'll have to dryclean it"; if they sell grotty merch, they don't care much
- Don't buy opened cosmetics or fragrances
- Measure garments you wear and compare to measurement of item listed; sizing can vary even in a brand you know
- Use the search/notification feature that e-mails you about what you're looking for, and if you are working at controlling your impulse spending, don't look at other stuff
- Use your "My eBay" page to track what you bought, and review it to learn what was "fun while it lasted" and what was truly a sound choice
- Think very hard before buying anything flawed. A friend who yearned for an Hermes scarf bought one with a small stain. She has to fold it a certain way every time to hide it. She would have been better off saving to buy a scarf in excellent condition that she can wear without that nagging stain
- I like to pay by bank transfer using PayPal; that way I don't use my credit card. Without a sales slip, it's too easy to forget what I bought till the shriekingly high Visa bill comes
- Change your eBay password every few months; don't use the same password for eBay and your e-mail.

Every time I log on, I stroll though a vast electronic souk, full of reputable merchants, thieves and oddballs. Where else could I find the fantastic, funky and ferocious under one roof, while sitting at home in my bunny slippers?


WendyB said…
Dang, too bad about the tie. Good tips though. Don't forget sniping!
Duchesse said…
Wendy: I should have followed the rule "If it's too good to be true, it's fake." And yes, sniping is cool!
materfamilias said…
One of these days, I really will have to lose my eBay virginity. You make it seem very worthwhile, especially for jewelry and scarves.
Julianne said…
I have never bought anything from Ebay, but my husband does all the time. I have tagged you for a meme :-). I do love your blog!
Duchesse said…
Julianne: Thanks, I enjoy reading yours too! I'll do a meme-light as its crazy right now.
I once bought a Nordictrack from a Ebayer who had a seller name like"I love pythons" and once I got the machine I was convinced that snakes had slithered all over my ski machine. I never used the machine. Ever since I have pretty much stayed away from Ebay.

Great advice. But, I best stay away from Ebay. I don't need another place to spend money.
Susan B said…
I'm an ebay chicken. I've only bought really small, inexpensive items like notecards.
Anonymous said…
I ebay all the time, I sell and buy and Duchesse, I agree with all your tips. Checking their feedback is the best one. Check if they write snarky comments back to people as its a good warning sign, or if they give nasty feedback to others too. Having said that, I have been done over only twice on over 400 transactions.
Duchesse said…
Belette: Snakes on a Track, eeew!
Cybill: A few times out of 400 isn't bad and I'll bet you got some great baragins.
Pseu: Most I've spent was $1200 but I spoke with the person and established that he had a real store, and it worked out just fine.
Anjela's Day said…
How did you find out the tie was a fake Duchesse?
I bought a handbag for my daughter's High School graduation. $750, Marc Jacobs normally $1,200 as a much-longed for present. Now, four years later it looks even better and she is never without it.
In 198 my boss presented me with a large Mark Cross duffle bag in a beige canvas with this beautiful blonde leather.
Years later, living in Venice, California, the house was broken into and they stole my beautiful Mark Cross bag- I tried to replace it, but couldn't.

Then I saw it- not a Mark Cross but a vintage Marc Jacobs carry on bag in a lovely, cognac coloured leather. It was a good deal, would have sold for $1,500. I know the man on eBay only sells Marc Jacobs and I took the bag to the Marc Jacob's store in New be sure, as I wouldn't have a clue as to what was authentically Marc Jacobs. But, there are certain guidelines on eBay that I also followed. Some fakes are so hard to tell though.

Four years later...the bag I have is still the perfect carry on- though I did cringe when someone helping me unload the car in Ireland placed my bag down, next to the pig sty. "Don't they know it's my Marc Jacob's vintage bag"I silently said. The pigs looked longingly at it. I have since learned that good leather is better as it wears and some friendships are more important :)
Anjela's Day said…
The bag was $500.
And the year was 1980.
Duchesse said…
Anjela: tie was cheap silk copy. Yes a durable bag is an enduring joy, and your eBay carryon is a story of how you can find treasures!

I got a wonderful French leather brief-bag on eBay for about $200- if only I could find another.
Duchesse said…
materfamilias: You can call me after your first time :P

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