You’ve obviously heard of eBay, but how do you use it to your advantage?
In this video I walk you through how to shop men’s clothing on eBay for cheaper than you’d pay at retail price.
We’ve all heard of eBay before, but how do we use it to our advantage?
Yes, it’s the place to go for a bargain… but there’s also a lot of junk you need to filter through.
You’ve also got sizing issues, poor quality items, counterfeits and the pain of returning items if they don’t fit…
So how do you get the most out of eBay?
In this article today I’ll show you how to save money by shopping on eBay alongside showcasing an outfit I bought from eBay for a fraction of the retail price.
Too Tired To Read? Watch The Video Below
I wanted to first show you the outfit I managed to put together using eBay. The savings? Around £300 – £400 from what I would pay in the store for all of the items brand new.
In fact, the full outfit (minus the shoes) cost just £80.
Price is of course one of the biggest perks of eBay, but with this outfit it wasn’t just about saving money.
I opted for a smart/casual outfit that consists of timeless wardrobe essentials. The Field Jacket is something I’ve wanted to own for a while, and this Green Merc Field Jacket can easily be dressed up (like I have in this outfit) or dressed down (I’ve worn it with a simple t-shirt and jeans combination).
The half zip jumper from Charles Tyrwhitt is again versatile, and something I’ve never worn before. It’s also something I don’t already own, so it’s not going to be worn just once and then hoarded away.
The trousers are definitely my favourite item from the look, the Grey Flannel Wool make them smart but comfortable and Pal Zileri is a brand known for quality. The sizing was an issue on the trousers, but I managed to get the waist adjusted and the length by a tailor.
In fact, sizing (as I’ll talk about later on in this article) is one of the biggest challenges of shopping on eBay.
The trouser alterations cost around £25 and I also had the jumper slightly altered (it was pretty loose) which cost £8. Even though this is an additional expense, the difference in how they look and feel after the alterations makes the additional investment minor.
Overall I was extremely happy with the outcome, and most importantly each individual item fits perfectly into my existing wardrobe and remain pieces I can wear with multiple outfits.
But how did I do it?
How did I find the items of clothing?
At that price?
Saving over £300 overall?
Here’s how… 😉
Shopping Smart on eBay
eBay is the biggest boot sale/garage sale you can imagine. There’s a lot of junk, but amongst that junk there’s a lot of treasure.
The issue most men face when shopping for clothing on eBay is filtering through that junk.
When shopping on eBay get your ‘hacker’ hat on, because it’s not as simple as searching for something and finding the treasure straight away.
In the video I walk you through this in more detail, but using the filters provided by eBay alongside using different search phrases will give you a much better chance of finding what you want for a lower price.
For example, I hardly ever buy something on a ‘Buy it Now’ auction. Why? The price is set, and it’s a price where they’re going to be typically profiting from.
Therefore I’ll always filter the results to show the standard auction (where the highest bidder wins) alongside sorting results by ‘Ending Soonest’.
Finding items on eBay when they’re just about to end (and bidding late) will not only save you time it will save you money.
Here’s an example…
I’ve searched for ‘mens wool suit’
The results will show a few ending soon, alongside a few Buy it Now listings and some sponsored listings. I want to sort by ‘Ending Soonest’, as I’m online and ready to bid.
Here’s a screenshot, showing a Hugo Boss Suit ending in 49 minutes at just £20 right now. (Not something I’d personally buy, but just an example).
Alongside sorting your results you also want to use the filters on the left, filtering out the items that won’t fit you alongside items you necessarily won’t want.
In the screenshot below I’ve simply just filtered by my size.
Again, there’s a few real bargains there.
If you’re still finding yourself hunting through the results filter some more. The options you have are endless, excluding and including certain brands, styles, patterns alongside sorting by price.
The filter feature on eBay really is your best friend. Use it.
As already mentioned don’t stop at just one search phrase either, switch things up, add brand names, add colours and you’l get more targeted results.
For example: Search ‘mens wool suit’ alongside ‘suit supply wool suit’, ‘navy wool suit’, ‘double breasted wool suit’, ‘hackett wool suit’ – you get the idea.
What To Look For
Let’s face it, buying something on eBay and having to return it is the biggest nightmare of all.
It arrives, you try it on, it doesn’t fit, you then have to go through the process of returning it, paying for the return and starting all over again.
Sizing is definitely the biggest issue with shopping on eBay, but remember a tailor can alter the garment if it doesn’t fit perfectly. Just make sure you read the listing thoroughly, ask questions about the size (how tall/big is the person who used to wear it) and make sure you know your measurements.
Alongside sizing focus on the quality of the garment. Look for damages to the material and look for listings with high quality, close up images.
Authenticity is something to be aware of on eBay too. There’s still a lot of counterfeit goods on eBay and avoid anything coming from China or Buy It Now prices that are well below retail price.
Feedback on the sellers profile is something to consider as well, see what people have said about their previous items (specifically clothes) and make sure they’re reliable.
High End Brands
Last but not least I very rarely search for low end/high street brands. Why? Typically, lower priced items will start to wear quicker than something that’s made from more of a premium fabric. By the time it hits eBay, you’re not going to get many wears from it. I’ll always stick to designer/more expensive brands that focus on quality.
No man knows every brand that exists, therefore doing your research before hitting eBay is an important step.
Look at blogs to see what they’re recommending alongside what brands/designers specialise for certain garments. For example if I was looking to buy a new suit, I’d hunt for advice on what brands to look for.
* Researching popular blog FashionBeans for a new watch to buy on eBay
Alongside getting advice from blogs head over to your favourite online stores and you can discover brands that way. I might head over to Mr Porter, take a look at their Knitwear section and find some brands/items I can search for on eBay.
There’s a few eBay stores/sellers that specialise in menswear as well, don’t forget to save these sellers alongside saving anyone you’ve bought something good from in the past. By saving them you’ll be notified when a new item goes on sale.
Reader Joey Monroe made some excellent points in regards to shopping on eBay, so good I wanted to include them.
Some reiterate points I made, but here are 5 things Joey suggests you consider when shopping menswear on eBay.
1) Take your best fitting examples of whatever you’re looking for and measure them. Get every measurement and you can use those as a basis for how the item will fit, especially if they’re the same brand.
Most people will have measurements listed, if not, simply ask them to get them for you.
I’ve avoided a lot of monstrously oversized buys doing this.
2) Be wary of poor pictures or angles where they may be trying to hide something. Ask for clear pictures if you need to.
3) If it’s a brand you aren’t familiar with, Google them and see how much they typically sell for, and reviews. You can avoid junk off-brands.
4) Realise that a lot of sellers won’t take returns, so do your due diligence, but don’t be too upset if you get burned. Do what you can to re-sell the item to recoup the loss.
5) Take tailoring into account. If you find a really nice item that’s off by just a little, you can generally have that fixed by a tailor. Sometimes the items won’t be bang on perfect.
Reader Rafael A. Castillo also recommends the following…
“Never buy something just because the price is right. If you can’t match it with your wardrobe it doesn’t matter how little that Prada shirt costs.”
So I’ve picked up some great items on eBay but I’ve also wasted a lot of money (and time) in the process.
This video and article should help you filter through the junk and find clothing at a cut price, alongside items of clothing that you can wear time and time again.
Purchased anything from eBay you were proud of? Share in the comments below.
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