Sunday, May 05, 2013

Best Buys: eBay

I'm often complimented on my ability to shop successfully on eBay. I don't think it's particularly difficult so here's a rundown of my best buys, plus some tips for finding items that will work for you.

Most worn:
Navy jacket

This Long Tall Sally was bought as part of a suit for £10. I knew the skirt probably wouldn't fit me, and it didn't, but it was the jacket I was after anyway. I put the skirt back on eBay, kept the jacket, and wore it a lot last spring and summer. It is lovely and fitted and looks great with jeans or over a dress.

Red jeans

I was reluctant to buy into the red jeans trend for fear it wouldn't last. So I decided eBay was a good place to find a pair for a lower price and paid just £5 for my pair (which are New Look Tall). As it happened coloured jeans took off and I've been wearing mine about once a week for the past 18 months. Which makes them pretty good value, cost per wear.

Grey knit dress

I had a grey knitted dress from New Look Tall that I loved, but when I lost weight it became too big for me. I spotted the same dress on eBay, two sizes smaller, and snapped it up to replace the one I had (which then was sold on eBay itself). I have done this a few times now, replaced an item in smaller size via eBay: a black shrug, a pair of jeans that I loved the cut of.

Coats – teal & houndstooth

I know the magazines will tell you to spend as much as you can afford on a winter coat as you'll wear it everyday, but as someone who is always on the lookout for a bargain I will often search eBay for a winter coat. My best two buys in this area have been the teal Long Tall Sally coat I wore all of this winter. I loved the colour (I was determined not to have black again) and it was in beautiful condition and a wool/cashmere blend. A few years back I got a houndstooth coat for just £7. It was secondhand but I wore it for about three winters before it finally was past its best. I loved that coat - it was a Dorothy Perkins Tall one and had a belted waist making it super flattering.

Next Tall grey hoody

I saw this is the Next Directory years back, but dithered about too long and when I finally decided I wanted it, it had sold out in my size.  So when I spotted it on eBay I pounced and made it mine.  I wear it a lot around the house - it has thumb holes in the super long sleeves so it's really cosy in the evening, and I tend to throw it on on a weekend morning before I've decided what I'll actually wear that day.

Best bargains (brands etc)
LK Bennett peeptoes
LK Bennett leopard peep toes

We all know how expensive LK Bennett shoes are, even on eBay, so when I saw this pair, worn just once, for under £30 I bid on them and won.

Bench sweater

My friend's sister is as tall as I am and one day I saw her wearing this sweater in brown.  I knew that if it fitted her it would fit me and it has thumb holes which I love!  I got a brand new one in black for a fraction of the RRP on the Bench outlet store on eBay.

LTS leather jacket

Ah, the tall girl's ultimate dream: owning a LTS leather jacket.  At £200 this year (and almost as much in previous years) I thought there was no way I was ever going to own one, but then two came up in my size on eBay.  I won one that had hardly been worn, and for about of the price it would have been new.  And that is why I love eBay.

Zebra print flats
George Zebra Flats

I was looking for zebra print shoes and, thanks to my inability to type and the seller's inability to spell, accidentally searched zebra 'pint' flats and this pair came up.  Not many other people found them due to the spelling error and they were mine for just £2.99.

So, tips for buying on eBay. Lou makes a good point: stick to brands you know. I (generally) know how Long Tall Sally items fit me, along with other tall brands (eg. I know not to attempt to buy Topshop trousers or jeans in a size 10 but that I may be able to get away with LTS or Next ones in that size). I know which of the ‘normal size’ high street brands tend to have longer than average sleeves (hello Primark and H&M). Occasionally I will take a chance on a brand I don’t know, but when I do it will be for an item such as a skirt, or dress that flares from the bust, where the fit can be less precise.

I think I am quite lucky with eBay because there is a good second hand market for tall items. This is the one time it is beneficial to need tall sizes - they tend to be quite expensive to buy in the first place so people will usually sell their items on, rather than giving them to charity. (I know this because I do the same with my specifically Tall items.)

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