Frugal Living: How to Save on Clothing {Part 2}

Yesterday we discussed the benefits of making a thrift store run on a regular basis. Today I’ll cover the essentials for shopping on Ebay.

Ebay Basics
If you or someone in your family have a particular brand preference, Ebay is a great way to save big. Even with shipping fees factored in, I have managed to find some thrifty deals on top brands that are new or like-new. Here are some suggestions to increase your success:

  1. Be careful with huge clothing lots – Large lots attract plenty of bidders, which tends to drive up the price. They also often come with steep shipping fees. Since many large lots are sold by professional sellers, you may notice they contain just a few nice pieces in order to pique interest, with the remainder being a bit lackluster. On occasion you may come across one that is exactly what you need with reasonable shipping fees and a decent price. But overall I generally find my best deals from small lots of 3-7 items of clothing. They are more often sold by regular folks looking to clean out a closet and not by a professional seller.
  2. Don’t get swept up in the competition – It’s easy to get caught up in the competition of the bidding process.  I confess I’ve been guilty of this myself.  When you find something that fits your needs, decide on a firm price (including shipping fees) and stick to it.  If you lose, another opportunity will be right around the corner.
  3. Don’t drive up the price too soon – If you’re and old hand at Ebay then you probably already know that early bidding attracts more bidders and drives up the price. Use the “Watch This Item” feature and save your big bids for the last hour or so.
  4. Check the sellers rating – Make sure they have good feedback from previous buyers. This is a pretty good indication of what you can expect with your transaction.
  5. Keep your goals in mind – Use ebay as a way to accomplish your goal of maximizing your clothing budget.  Stick to items that fit your needs and avoid the extras that may be enticing.  If you find a great deal on jeans but you already have plenty in your closet, then consider carefully whether they would be a good use of your budget.

Assignment: Browse through the clothing section on Ebay and do some reconnaissance, taking note of the shipping fees, popular items and best bargains. This will give you a general idea what you can expect when you need to buy clothing again.

Come back tomorrow to learn about clothing consignment sales in your area.