I stand in my closet, staring at rows of sweaters and long sleeve shirts, dress pants and jeans feeling…lost. Why is it that last week I had 4 great outfits in a row that made my butt look cute and brought out the color of my eyes? But now I stand looking at the same clothes with nothing to wear. Maybe this green one, it looks great with brown slacks. I try it on. Nope, ruined by the “washable” red marker I was attacked with last week. Or maybe this gray sweater with a white blouse underneath. Nope, shrunk a little and I don’t do mid-drifts. That’s it. I need new clothes. Which means I have to go (interlude of the Psycho stabbing-scene music)…SHOPPING!
I have a love/hate relationship with shopping. I love cute outfits that fit just right. I love accessories and outter wear. And I love adding a few new items each season as some of the older items rotate out. But I hate department stores, parking lots, hot dressing rooms, coordinating outfits and spending more money than I really wanted to because it was 5 hours in and I was desperate. I am venturing to say that I am not alone with this dilemma. But this is not a blog post of despair people. No no! This is a message of hope in the bleak reality that is the shopping mall. I have stumbled upon a secret that is too delicious not to share. I may have solved world wide wardrobe hunger!!
I have never been a big eBay user. But early last year I signed up for an account and surfed for a rare birthday present at a good price. I successfully found the gift and reveled in that first time high that comes from outbidding someone. (There should be warnings about that rush…but that is another topic.) As the buzz wore off, I noticed a link for “Women’s Clothing.” I assumed this would be like digging through a virtual yard sale box of used clothes. And 50% of what I found on the other side of this link was exactly that. But I also discovered something I had never heard of – Mixed Items & Lots. By selecting this category I was presented with 10,000+ postings for groups of items in a particular size. After some searching I found a lot of 8 summer shirts, 2 sundresses and a skirt all in my size. I was able to view detailed pictures, read descriptions of the items and reviews of the seller. The starting bidding price was $23.00…JACKPOT! Hungry for another deal, I bid and won. Carefully keeping my expectations low just in case, I waited for the package to arrive. When it did I was thrilled! Everything fit, looked great and the purchase gave me great options all summer. As the summer sun faded to the crisp air of fall, I went back to the watering hole for winter. I surfed the category every night for a week and then…(interlude of heavy drum pounding in anticipation) I found the mother of all good deals. 30 total items: 25 of the 30 were new with tags still on them. 16 sweaters & shirts, 7 pants/jeans, 2 jackets, 3 necklaces and 2 pair of earrings, all put together in mix & match outfits and all in my size. Cost = $175.00, no bidding, just buy it now. My head began to swim…”I can’t get two complete outfits for $175.” With wild eyed fury I purchased it and 3 days later it arrived on my door step. TaaDaa, updated wardrobe.
Based on these experiences I definitely plan to use this method of shopping again for the spring. If you are busy, hate shopping but love clothes, a mom of young ones who get real bored real fast in dressing rooms, don’t have time to put great outfits together or (like me) are not skilled at the art of trendiness I highly recommend this option. A few quick tips for first time shoppers:
- be patient if you don’t see your size lot – there are people on eBay who do this for a living. I am not a cookie cutter body by any means yet have been successful in finding lots in my size.
- check out the seller’s reputation and rating – see what others have said about their experience buying from this seller.
- pay through pay-pal quickly – it helps your ratings as a buyer and it gets the seller moving with the shipping.
- pay close attention to the shipping charges – if it looks crazy it is.
- don’t buy lots that don’t have good pictures of the clothing – the good ones will even show pictures of the tags too.
- once you find a seller you like, save their information for your next trip. Different sellers have different styles so once you find one that sells your style you may want to return over and over.
- if you chose a “buy it now” option, make sure that the items you are looking at are the items you are buying & not just an example .