Don’t Get Scammed: the Ins and Outs of Shopping on eBay

Shopping on eBay

Everybody knows eBay can be a great place to find designer and vintage shoes at seriously slashed prices, but there are also some real horror stories out there. What can you do to make sure you find the good eBay has to offer and not the bad? Read on:

  •  Don’t shop eBay for yourself in December. This is when practically any desirable item in the world will be in the highest demand, and designer or vintage shoes are no exception. In addition to the shoe hounds who search eBay year round, in December you’ve got rich guys looking for the perfect gift for their accessory-obsessed wives, parents trying to find a shoe in the style their daughter loves for a steal, and brick-and-mortar vintage shoe stores willing to pay a premium for high-quality products on eBay because they know they’ll make the money back in the real-life Christmas rush. All this competition means bids will stack up and prices will be sky-high before you know it. During this month, just don’t get involved. Also don’t shop eBay for shoes from the current season. Not many people own the shoes yet, and even fewer are trying to unload them–but lots of people are looking for a low-priced pair. It’s the same situation: demand is high, supply is low, which makes for the opposite of a good deal for you.
  • Have the brand and style in mind before you search. If you come to browse and bid right away on what looks good, you’re likely to stumble across a made-in-China brand that only sells on eBay. These companies are often excellent at taking gorgeous, flattering pictures of their substandard products, but the shoes themselves are still flimsy and usually not even worth the affordable prices you pay for them.
  • Here’s the best part, our secret eBay weapon: if you can’t find what you’re looking for at a decent price. visit Type your desired shoe into the search box. This ingenious site will search eBay for all the common misspellings of whatever you type. If anyone out there has accidentally listed an “Oskar della Renta” or “Givency” shoe, nobody will be able to find it–unless they’re similarly spelling-challenged. This means nobody’s bidding, and prices will stay low. Using this tool, you can snare fabulous but incorrectly-listed shoes, minus the bidding war.

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