Pros, Cons & Tips for eBay

When we lived in the US, I did a lot of online shopping. It’s just at a completely different level than online shopping in Aus. One year I did ALL my Christmas shopping online, mostly through eBay. It was so great to not have to fight the crowds at the shopping centers.

Since moving here, it has been a bit harder to shop online. However, since losing 10kgs, my clothes have all become too big. I am never, ever going to complain about having this problem. But it is a problem that needs a solution! So the first place I turned was eBay.

So far I’ve “won” 2 skirts and a pair of shorts. And the best part about eBay is that you can often find brand names for a fraction of the cost you’d pay for them new. The 2 skirts I’m awaiting arrival of are French Connection and Jigsaw, for the grand total price of $30 including shipping. I’m also watching a lot of auctions from sweaters to shoes to Lorna Jane work out gear.

French Connection Skirt $12+shipping

Jigsaw Skirt $10+shipping

Denim shorts for $8+shipping

Here are some pros and cons about eBay shopping:


  • Name brands at low prices.
  • A huge variety to choose from.
  • Shopping from the comfort of your home.
  • Pre-loved items that are sometimes once- or never-used.


  • Not everyone gives accurate descriptions of their items. Touch wood I’ve never had too much of a problem with this.
  • Sometimes things get “lost in the mail” (or not shipped – have also not had a problem with this yet, and eBay does have a reporting process).
  • You can’t try things on before buying them.

For me, I think the pros far outweigh the cons. And it’s always fun to receive something in the mail, have it fit perfectly, and know that you’ve scored a bargain in the process!

I understand eBay isn’t for everyone, but if you want to give it a go, here’s some tips for buying through eBay.

  • Ask for more photos if you don’t think you can get a good idea from the ones offered.
  • Check seller’s scores – how many transactions have they made and what is their percentage? If it’s less than perfect, I also go and read what the complaints were about. Some people like to complain about silly things.
  • Watch an item until close to ending time then think about your bid.
  • Only bid what you’re willing to pay – if you lose the item, so be it. Bidding wars are how you end up paying too much for an item.
  • Speaking of paying too much, know about what you’d be pay for the item new from a store. Sometimes eBay is not cheaper, and the peace of mind you’d have getting it new or from a reputable seller (for e.g. if you’re buying camera or computer equipment) is worth paying the bit extra.
  • Check frequently – new items are added every day! You  never know what might pop up tomorrow.

Do you shop on eBay? What’s the best bargain you’ve got?

Linking up with Jess at Diary of a Stay at Home Mum for #IBOT


37 thoughts on “Pros, Cons & Tips for eBay

  1. Great tips hon! Ive bought a few things online but only some Canvas pictures from ebay thus far – i think when i lose weight i’ll be happier to shop online, but i still really need to try things on at the mo i’m so in between sizes!
    Those shorts and skirts look MINI! You have done SO SO well with this weightloss journey! xxx

    • It can be very difficult to buy online when you’re in between sizes. Some places have a size chart so if you know your measurements you can have an educated guess, but can still be very difficult. One of the skirts is a bit tight, so my goal is to get into that. but the shorts, which are the next size up, are too big, so I must be in between sizes, too! Thanks Meagan – have been working hard!

  2. Great tips! I love eBay to sell my unwanted items. I haven’t thought about clothes shopping on there though! Will have to check that out 🙂

    • It’s pretty hit or miss! I tried selling some stuff on there but it wasn’t really worth my time in the end (I didn’t think). But love grabbing a bargain on there.

  3. yep – great for Thunderbirds and Jackie Chan dolls….I am selling clothes I’ve bought online that look bad and all the toys the wee girls grown out of. A hassle but better for the environment and I’m trying to control my book depository habit…(cn’t buy anything unless the money’s come into paypal from something I’ve sold on ebay.

    • It is good for the environment! Recycling! One man’s trash is another’s treasure and all that. I think that’s a great motivation – the more you sell the more you can spend at book depository (another great online shopping site!)

  4. Great tips though I am not much of an eBay buyer. I much prefer to shop local. Having said that though I do have some stuff that I am meant to be listing for sale.

    Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses #teamIBOT

  5. I have only ever bought (not sold) stuff on eBay – Pandora charms, stuff for the house, DVDs – and have seen people getting into bidding wars where they have paid way more than what they would have at the shops. So far we have received everything we have bought and it has been as described.
    I am thinking about trying to sell stuff on eBay but not sure if I want the hassle. We did a big clear out of the laundry and I landed up donating it to AWL and Lifeline – we probably could have made some money but I couldn’t be bothered !!!
    For me, I wouldn’t buy clothes unless I had tried on the same brand and size in a shop but I do see how much cheaper some items are. (I have about 5 plastic boxes in the roof with bigger and smaller clothes in and I just rotate them with the clothes that are in my wardrobe depending on where I am in my weight loss/gain journey !!!!!!)
    You have done such a great job with your weight loss and should feel very proud of what you have achieved.
    Have a great week !

    • Thanks L. I got rid of all my too big clothes. I felt like keeping them around was too much of a safety net. I have no choice but to keep the weight off now, or I’ll have to walk around naked! And NO ONE wants to see that! Selling on eBay is much harder than buying. And yes, clothing can be difficult, but they have all kinds of things on there! i love it!

      • ok my original comment went awol… so the above makes no sense.. lets start again. I SAID…! i’ve been to chicken to get on E-Bay but hearing such rave reviews makes me re consider, what great finds!

    • LOL you crack me up! I think your original comment went missing because it said “Lynadl? Who is Lynadl?” and sent it to spam LOL! I suggest starting with one small inexpensive item to dip your toes in the eBay water! Just test it out!

  6. Some great tips there, lovely lady! I think the important thing you pointed out is to remember that eBay doesn’t necessarily mean it’s cheaper so we need to stay strong on what we will realistically pay for the item in question.
    But hey, look at your great finds!!!
    And if I haven’t said it before, congrats on losing 10 kgs! I know it’s not so much the actual weight loss but the feeling good inside that counts. You go, girl 🙂 xxx

    • Thanks Grace! It’s been a long hard slog, so even more motivation to keep it going I think! And yes, eBay can be fantastic, but also can be a bidding-war-trap. It’s easy to get carried away on the high of “winning” an auction!

  7. Oh ebay…..I forgot about ebay…I used to get heaps of clothes for the kids there but haven’t looked for ages. I should check it out again.
    Congratulations on your weight loss!!

    • It is a GREAT place for baby and kids clothes! My sister has stocked up on things for her little Miss due early December. I should have mentioned this in the post! Thanks Bec!

  8. I’ve done a bit of ebay shopping, but not a whole lot. I am getting more into shopping online though; it’s just so much easier!
    Speaking of Lorna Jane clothes though inspires me to have a look for them. I love LJ

    • I just won a pair of shoes, “never worn” (look good in pics will see when they show up) for $2.25. Can’t go wrong!

    • I watch an awful lot too, and most times forget to check them before the end then miss out! Oops! Though I do have the eBay app on my phone and it sends a reminder when items are ending, so that sometimes helps!

  9. I’m a big fan of eBay and have so far avoided being stiffed on any of my purchases. I found Lorna Jane secret socks, cheap as chips a few weeks ago, but so far nothing else in my size. I also buy a lot of my vegan make up from there – not all of it is available in Oz, or the companies won’t ship here.

    • Oh good to know about the vegan makeup. I haven’t had a bad eBay experience yet. In saying that, the French Connection skirt was shipped last Thursday and isn’t here yet. So fingers crossed its in the mail today!

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