Answers to Every Question You’ve Ever Had About Buying and Selling Fashion on eBay

When it comes to scoring amazing deals on designer pieces or tracking down something specific you love (like that pair of heels you loved two years ago, but never actually made the move to buy), there’s nothing better than eBay. Even so, the amount of shoppers who are skeptical, confused, or downright scared of it is way too high, a big bummer since the fashion is major on the site.

“It’s grown to a $15 billion-a-year business,” Marcelle Parrish, Head of Fashion at eBay Marketplaces, told us, with shoes and bags proving to be especially popular (a pair of shoes sells every two seconds and a purse every five; on mobile, the numbers are seven and eleven seconds, respectively.) Within the North American market, there’s an average of 34 million listings per week across all fashion categories; the most popular women’s brands are Coach, Diane von Furstenberg, Missoni, and Valentino.

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For newbies nervous about winding up with a counterfeit, hear this: you have no reason to freak out. “Nothing is more important than the trust of our customers. When you buy or sell, we have your back,” eBay’s Vice President of Global Trust, Laura Chambers, said. The site’s Money Back Guarantee is a well-seasoned system where shoppers register a complaint and eBay assists in a negotiation of sorts. The majority of sellers will do a return and refund, even if the option was marked as not available on the original listing, and if things get cantankerous, eBay steps in. Bottom line: you’ll never be stuck with the world’s worst fake and be out a few hundred bucks.

Tips and Tricks for Buying on eBay

1. Search Smartly Start with the obvious keywords, and take advantage of filters available on the left-hand side of the page to wade through a large amount of matching listings. Griff Griffith, part of the community and education team at eBay, suggested further customizing the results you see by re-sorting by price once you have the general search right.

2. Pay Attention to the Little Clues
As diligent as the site tries to be, there are fakes posted. The easiest way to avoid buying something fake is to pay attention to any red flags. Is the price way too good to be true? Are pictures scant or badly out-of-focus? Is something just a little off, whether hardware wrapped in plastic or a logo that just doesn’t seem right? If you feel iffy about it, listen to your gut. Also to check: for shoes, is there a full range of sizes listed? If a seller in China has every single size of Isabel Marant ankle boots available, something’s fishy.

3. Check Out the Seller
eBay’s format includes feedback that gives you a snapshot of who you’re buying from. A brand-new account with no reviews or previous sales, but a crazy cache of Chanel bags listed? It could be legit…or not. Click through to see the other items a seller has for sale for a good feel if you’re browsing the wares of a 30-something fashion fiend who’s cleaning out her closet or someone with a single fashion item that looks glaringly out-of-place alongside non-related items like tech gadgets or game consoles.

4. Do Your Homework
Before shopping a designer bag, some due diligence is in order. Know different brands’ hallmarks of authenticity (we covered Chanel, Balenciaga, Celine, and more); eBay has a robust section dedicated to educating shoppers too.

5. Now, Actually Start Bidding
Decide your top price before things get going to avoid being swept up in the excitement. You can enter your max bid off the bat, and eBay will automatically increase your offer as other shoppers join in. If you’re more into watching the shopping action as it unfolds, download the app and get your clicking finger ready (a lot of bids come in during the last five or ten minutes of an auction). If you win, pay promptly.

Tips and Tricks for For Selling on eBay

1.Write a Lengthy Description and Use Lots of Details Imagine what you’d want as a shopper and give your prospective buyers that. The more information the better, as it’ll instill confidence in you and answer any questions they might think of. eBay has fields for all sort of characteristics, including specific measurements and materials; take advantage of those areas and answer.

2. Your Item Title Should Be Keyword-Rich
Shoppers are typically super-specific, so beefing up your headline will help to get more potential buyers. Use the brand name (and make sure it’s spelled correctly), but also include the size, material, color, and a style name if relevant.

3. Take Good Pictures (And Lots of Them)
Pictures can make a huge difference whether your item sells, so add as many as you can to your listing. Take the general shot, but also zoom-in on hardware, embellishments, and any tears, scratches, or discolored areas. Consider angles that will also reveal something additional about whatever you’re selling, whether it’s hanging it from a door knob or adding a common item in for size relevance (think a dollar bill, a water bottle, etc).

4. Start Your Listing on These Days
Per eBay, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the best days to post items. (We’ve already heard that Tuesday is also the best day to shop online).

5. Be Realistic About Pricing
Setting your item at a too-high price is a sure way to never sell it. Consider how much you paid for it and what similar items are being sold for. Certain designer items will hold their value really well (a lot of designer handbags, jewelry), while other pieces decrease drastically as soon as you remove the tags.

6. Consider Offering Free Shipping
Plenty of serious sellers we’ve chatted with have encouraged offering the incentive. “Shipping items fast and free is one of the keys to being a successful seller on eBay,” Linda Lightman, CEO of top eBay shop Linda’s Stuff offered as a suggestion. When you purchase and print potage through eBay’s portal, you’ll also save on the prices the local post office would charge you (you can simply tape the label to your package).

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