I’ve been a tad addicted to eBay the past couple of weeks.
It started with entire Saturday mornings spent browsing and hunting. (Yes, I am a loser like that.) I found things as cool as sew-it-yourself dress patterns by Karl Lagerfeld from the 80s; Kenneth Jay Lane enamel rings in varying floral species; and even the shop of the Kardashians where they’d auction off once-worn items, like a silky Rochas tank top or an Herve Leger dress, and give part of the proceeds to charity.
At this time, I was merely watching items, never buying, and I’d also get updates for when the bidding would end to be told that someone else won the prize.
Then one day, I took the plunge and used my brand-new PayPal account for the very first time. I was so nervous but I couldn’t resist. I found a New York-based seller who had a pair of brand new Margiela heels in my size. I had tried on a pair of the designer’s Lucite heeled pumps in Hong Kong 2 years ago and I’ve regretted not buying them. So when I saw the mint slides with their Lucite heels, I couldn’t resist. (Shoes make me so very very happy!)
I checked the seller’s rating and feedback and it was 100% positive, which gave me the needed boost of confidence to go through with my purchase. To my delight, he was so great to deal with—informing me immediately after I paid via PayPal that he would be shipping the item the next day and sending me an email again to give me the USPS tracking number.
A little less than two weeks later, (there was that long break for Holy Week so the government offices were closed) I received the notice from the post office that my shoes had arrived. They were as promised, perfect, brand-new, in the box, and absolutely wonderful. The only down-side to it was the amount I had to pay in taxes for customs and VAT since it was an international purchase (close to 95%!!!).
Lesson learned, use www.ebay.ph instead. Haha! Shopping via the local version makes it so much more convenient and a less costly shipping-wise. I found a cool, pre-owned Vivienne Westwood purse for so cheap! I just have to send it to Vintage Restore for cleaning. It’s like trolling through the ukay-ukays minus the dust, and with lots of cool finds to boot. Also, it seems easier to contact local sellers for inquiries as a lot of them post mobile phone numbers.
I got a few tips from the local seller I purchased the bag from:
1. Always check the feedback rating to make sure that the seller is trust-worthy. (There are incidents of people just posting photos of items they don’t actually have and they simply take your money and run when the auction is over. Crime of fashion, truly!)
2. Be wary and do due diligence if the preferred mode of payment is via G-Cash or Money Transfer systems as there have been incidents of people taking the money without delivering the goods.
3. If possible, do meet ups to receive and pay for the items, preferably in crowded and safe public places like a nice mall.
I know it sounds scary but I seem to have been really lucky with my first few online purchases. It’s important to build good feedback as a buyer also—many high-ranking sellers put bidding restrictions on their items to weed out joy bidders and cater to serious buyers only.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences from online shopping. For now, though, I’m on a shopping hiatus as I think I overdid it a bit in my excitement. Maybe I’ll try selling something next. Hmm…