black ribbon neck tie: 99p | eBay
As a BIG lover of plus size bargains, one of the most useful and reliable resources I’ve found for tracking down a variety of plus size clothing on a budget is good old eBay. I’ve always been incredibly grateful to charity shops and second hand shops for helping to keep me clothed when I’ve found myself in the position of not being able to afford ‘high street’ prices, but it could be difficult to dress the way I really wanted to because their plus size pickings can be really limited – which makes sense, they can only offer what has been donated after all.
I understand why less plus size than straight size clothes are donated to charity or recycled even though there are more plus size people in the world; it’s because plus size clothing options are notoriously restricted. I know I was much more likely to hang on to my older clothes for fear of not finding something like them again, so for years I was less likely to donate or recycle. Hopefully in time this will improve, it’s already starting to change as plus size brands get marginally better and more brands start widening their size ranges. I can now be more confident that if I let go of a polka dot dress, or a black roll neck, I’m highly likely to be able to get another in future relatively easily.
Anyway, back when I was looking for a place to buy alternative or retro looking second hand clothing, which I wasn’t finding in charity shops easily, I came across eBay. This must sound odd now as it’s one of the top 40 most viewed sites on the entire internet, but in the early 2000’s online shopping was NEW and eBay was a revelation. When I found that there was a much larger spectrum of styles for pretty much all tastes available in plus sizes it was emotional for me. I’ve had the same eBay account since 2004 (I went back to check for this post and I almost couldn’t believe it myself, I still don’t feel old enough to have been doing anything for 13 years!) so I thought I’d share with you some of the most useful eBaying tips that I’ve picked up over the (many) years of being a plus size bargain hunter on the site.
neon yellow envelope clutch: £2.99 | eBay
- First things first: get the app. If you have a smartphone, download the app and log in. It has all the functionality of the website and is much easier to navigate. Once you’ve logged in, enable your notifications. Having the app on my phone with notifications enabled has improved my eBay game tenfold as it allows me to see when new items are listed or when I’m outbid in the last few moments of an auction.
- Secondly: save some searches. EBay now lets you save searches and will send you notifications if you’re keeping an eye out for something in particular and it gets listed. For example, I currently have saved searches set up for for ‘size 20 vtg shirt’ and ‘size 20 trousers’ as that’s what need more of in my wardrobe at the moment. I also filter my search by ‘UK Only’ and ‘less than £3’ for the maximum chance of a bargain that won’t take weeks to arrive.
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- My third tip would be: know your measurements. The sizing of vintage clothing is very different to sizing now, and the sizing of modern clothing is all over the place, so pay less attention to the labelled size and seek out the meaturements of the garments. I always look for size 20 / 22 as my measurements are more in line with that size in vintage stuff, then I check the listing to see if they’ve popped the measurements in. If the measurements aren’t listed, drop a message to the seller to ask, lots of people are put off the item completely if the measurements aren’t listed and won’t ask – so you’ll be ahead of the curve!
- Then scope out the seller thoroughly. This is for a couple of reasons: first check out the sellers other items and if they seem to list lots of clothing in your size and style. If they do then they could be a good one to follow for the first look at their future listings. Also, and this is a more obvious reason, have a good look at their feedback and how long they’ve been selling on eBay for your own peace of mind.
- Lastly, bid for things as late as you can and use odd numbers. I absolutely hate this when I’m selling or when someone does it to me as a buyer and I get outbid – but as a bargain hunter it makes perfect sense and eBay is an auction site after all! If you find that something you have your eye on is due to end on a day you won’t be around then throw on a max bid and forget about it. Always end your bids in odd combinations, something like £6.53 or £6.07 so when someone tries to outbid you at the last minute with an even number you still come out the highest bidder.
70’s patterned red dress: £4.00 | eBay
So there we have it, all the tips and tricks that have worked best for me to get the most out of eBay, and helped in tracking down fabulous plus size bargains. If I had to narrow it down to the most useful tip, I’d say getting the app is the one – it has made searching for and keeping an eye on things I want to bid for so much easier.
Wanting another kind of bargain? Check out Printsome for fast t-shirt printing and personalise your wardrobe even more! They even do bags, umbrellas, and tea towels, how awesome is that?
If you’re a fellow eBay bargain hunter and have some cool tips in mind that I’ve missed out here then please do leave them in the comments below for us… well, that’s if you wouldn’t mind sharing of course!