Over the years Ebay and I have made good friends. Whilst I might not agree with everything Ebay does, the site supports me to buy and wear second hand, sustainable fashion and to inject character into my home with furniture that has a history. Op shops offer the same wonderment but just not in the same quick and accessible way for me. I can’t tell you have many times friends and family have asked me for guidance on buying or selling with Ebay. I suppose my Ebay strategy is similar to my strategy for social media and for life: just be kind, live with love, be respectful, lead with a genuine version of yourself.
We have been on a budget since I quit my well paying job with Qantas to become a Midwife, Rick was an apprentice electrician then and it was my first experience of a tight budget since before buy clomid bodybuilding adulthood. As the parents of 2 young children the need to budget has of course continued. While I studied to become a midwife I was working part-time in a high end fashion store in Carlton and realised [was SHOCKED by] how common it was for women to completely change their ENTIRE wardrobe of high quality garments, often Australian or New Zealand made designer items. This was not only common, but frequent along with the changes in season. The realization refuelled my interest in buying clothing online as I began to search for those brands and delve into a world of high quality sustainable fashion available at a fraction of the retail cost. The savings could be spent on travel, garden, fun – whatsoever. Excitement and possibility got me past the message of my youth that only people in poverty needed to wear someone elses clothing. A perspective shift. It was quick and easy. It didn’t hurt.
I have it on my mind to acknowledge that it isn’t sustainable to be changing up clothing every season and nor do I believe that the clothing on Ebay is majority from that source. Knowing that was happening was the catalyst. My own take after time is that a lot of clothing with a life left in it is sold on Ebay because of a change in size, taste or need. Anyways I already had a bunch of old favourite brands and I knew my size in those clothes. I also could ask friends what their favourite brands were and so on. How did they become my favourites? Generally by being brands that had stood the test of time for me, brands that fit me well and lasted long enough to stand in my memory. Great candidates for purchase second hand. That sort of quality equates to sustainability in my mind too. When you buy second hand there is, for your purchase, no energy required to make the clothing as it already exists. In terms of what carbon footprint you are wearing it would be much less than that of wearing a new garment IYKWIM?
Then there is the question of ethics and fair trade in fashion which I absolutely have in my thought processes probably even ahead of Australian made clothing and possibly even with furniture. However that question is somewhat offset by the simplicity of buying second hand where I think the social and environmental benefits for removing production from the equation contribute. Still, I do preference fair trade fashion even in my second hand searches, just as I try to preference natural fibres. Again I also buy new from time to time. My dear friend last week sent me a message on FB that said “Please don’t unfriend me, I bought a jumper at Target.” A joke 😛 We both laughed and we both know real life, sometimes you have to do what is easy and know that your other behaviours offset the not so ideal ones. I bought new jeans because I had an immediate need for them one day and found a great fit. You don’t have to be a a permanent strict greenie – just make small changes :). You’ll feel great about it. Especially when people are commenting on your $350 Sacha Drake dress that you bought for less than $50 and will resell when you are tired of it.
In terms of furniture my thoughts are that something with a story to tell has so much more warmth and heart to offer a household than a ‘something new’. Now please don’t think I am looking around your home with this foremost in my thoughts. ‘What I love most about my home is the people that I share it with’ – yep, that great quote. What I love most about being in your home is being with you. Also don’t think I don’t have times where the right thing for me is to buy new in that context too. For example I bought new rustic kitchen stools because they were Australian handmade stools that we could custom detail. However the same premise of it being great to remove the new production energy drain remains a compelling incentive to look for second hand as your first port of call in decorating a home.
I want to get this in as I think it very important side step topic. Life being so cyber based now I am very aware on Ebay that I am talking to another person. Text on a screen are often words from a mouth and I think about this when I write message on Ebay and most places online. If you wouldn’t walk up to a person and just launch into sentence without saying ‘Hello!’ then don’t do that on Ebay. I write message that start with ‘Hello’ and end with ‘Thankyou’. So this is just what is right for me, and the reason is centered on being respectful to other people and not letting the cyber world take away my ‘human-ness’ (I created a word and that’s just fine).
My Ebay Bidding Strategy
Step 1. Place a token bid of courtesy to express your interest. This bid should be near to the current or asking price.
Step 2. Set an alarm for 5 minutes the end time of the auction and make sure you have access to a device or computer. I almost always bid from a computer with 1 click bidding enabled.
Step 3. Bid again within 12 seconds of the end – people call it ‘sniper’ but I call it bidding at the auction rather than before the auction and I consider a sniper has made no effort to declare their interest. By placing that courtesy bid, other interested parties are aware that you will be making bids and that they need to consider theirs in that context. I think it good for all involved.
What should your bid be? You have to decide what is right for you. I think about what I would feel afterward if I saw that it had sold for X dollars. I keep thinking about that I and make a single last seconds bid that is the most I would be willing to pay without looking at the end value and regretting not going higher. [I do always make my bid not a round number – like $72.77 for whatever that is worth! Always felt more superstitious than substance.]
Finally, how do you keep your eye out for your size/style/colour with spending hours online? Make use of saved searches to avoid being a slave to Ebay and go enjoy your life. You simply run a search, I would use advanced options and drill down to get results that are in my area or price range – and then click the ‘Save Search’ option. That’s about it. Then you check back to your Ebay account or the app which I use and you are alerted to new listings that meet your criteria. Use technology to facilitate your sustainable life and look fabulous 😛 xx
PS. Ebay should totally be paying me for this post 😛 [they’re not].