How to Buy Vintage Clothes on eBay

I recently made a video blog (I refuse to use the word vlog) about how to shop vintage on eBay. I had a lot of fun turning my office into a studio, playing host, and editing my video.

I hope you watch it. Here’s a recap of what I covered:

  • Check the seller and make sure they have good ratings and reviews.
  • Use different search terms to find what you’re looking for (dress, shift, or frockvintage, retro, or original).
  • Look in different categories to find items with potential (women’s, men’s, vintage, 1960s, etc.).
  • Decide what price you’re willing to pay for an item and don’t go over that amount; it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy.
  • Consider shipping. The cost of shipping can make a deal, not such a deal. Other times, free or low shipping is an incentive to bid.
  • Look for different types of items from your favorite designers. (For example, DVF is known for wrap dresses but there’s always a bidding war for them. However, scarves and shirts are less in demand, and sell for less.)
  • Take your measurements and be honest with yourself. Don’t bid on something that isn’t going to fit.
  • Vintage sizes are different than contemporary sizes. I’m usually a 4 or 6 but in vintage I wear a 10 or 12. Look at inches, not garment sizes.
  • Buy larger rather than smaller. You can always have an item taken in. (Keep tailoring costs in mind though, since they’ll add to your costs.)
  • Consider how you can make an item your own. If it’s a good price, but dated, can you remove the sleeves? Change the hemline?
  • Pay on time so you made the seller happy, get good reviews, and keep your auction karma in good shape.

Do you use auction sites to get thrifty finds? What’s your best score? How have you made a vintage piece yours?


Filed under Fashion, Thrifty

4 responses to “How to Buy Vintage Clothes on eBay

  1. Kudos on your first fashion video blog, very professional and I enjoyed watching it. I felt like I was watching a TV show, you are a good host with excellent tips. Looking forward to more!

    Love the royal blue jumpsuit and the way you have accessorized it!!

    I’ll stay tuned in …

  2. Some great tips, I have bought a few dresses on Ebay. My favourite was a green floral fifties dress which I got for £20. I always forget the cost of shipping though.

  3. You really are so very cool Jean! Would you be willing to share some of your favorite sellers and/or common searches? I’d like to check them out!

  4. Yes! I’ll do that. I don’t always save sellers’ info. But there are a couple of eBay stores that I love. I’ll post an eBay outfit and leave some tips about searching.

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