Ten Tips for Finding Great Vintage Clothing on eBay

I’ve been buying and selling vintage clothes on eBay for five years. It’s fun…and
sometimes frustrating. Here are some tips to help you find the best vintage clothes
on eBay.1. SEARCH REGULARLYeBay allows you to list auction or fixed price items for 1, 3, 5, 7, or 10-day periods.
Most sellers choose longer periods because they are buying more advertising for
their money but I’m finding more and more 3-day auctions. So try to do your
searches at least every 3 days.2. SEARCH MISSPELLINGSIt’s easy to misspell Furstenberg and to type Pulizter instead of Pulitzer. If you can
find a quality designer item that has a misspelling in the title, you will probably
compete with a much smaller pool of buyers for the item.3. DON’T JUST SEARCH THE VINTAGE CATEGORY.Not everyone offering vintage clothing is a vintage dealer. Sometimes people are
just clearing out Aunt Anna’s clothes from the attic and don’t have a lot of
experience with either vintage clothes or selling on eBay. Often you’ll find these
items buried in the Women’s Clothing category which appears before the Vintage
category in the eBay listing process. So search for VINTAGE VICTORIAN BLOUSE in
the Clothing & Accessories category rather than VICTORIAN BLOUSE in the vintage
category.4. SEARCH TITLES AND DESCRIPTIONSNot all sellers include the word VINTAGE in their auction titles. To be sure you find
all the VINTAGE VICTORIAN BLOUSES, be sure to check the box under the search
field to search both titles and descriptions.5. GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR SEARCHESIt’s easy to find high-end vintage by searching for a designer’s name but you can
also find high-quality items by searching on fabrics (brocade, velvet, mink,
cashmere), searching for high-end department store names (Saks, I. Magnin, Bonwit
Teller) or searching for ESTATE SALE buried inside auction listings.6. USE AN AUCTION SNIPING SERVICESellers, of course, want you to bid on their items as soon as possible. Their hope is
that several bidders will become interested in the piece and bid up the price. Smart
buyers take a different approach. Instead of entering their highest bid early, and
watching it get bumped up by other bidders over the next few days, they wait until
the final seconds of the auction. Even better, use an auction snipe service. For a
small fee, these companies will place your bid in the last few seconds of the auction
and you don’t even need to be at your computer! No more forgetting that you
wanted to bid on something–the snipe service does it for you. I like these services
because if I enter my highest proxy bid too early, someone can keep bumping up
the bid trying to discover what my highest bid was. If I enter it in the last few
seconds, I may end up getting the item for a lot less than if I bid in the first few
hours of the auction.7. ALWAYS CHECK SELLER FEEDBACKAgain, not everyone offering vintage clothing on eBay is a vintage clothing dealer. If
someone has great feedback but has been selling auto car parts, it might be wise to
ask the seller a few specific questions about the item before bidding. What you
think of as Mint condition and what they’re calling Mint condition could be vastly
different. Also, as a seller who talks to other sellers, I know that sometimes
negative feedback is left for sellers that is unwarranted. Or things like Katrina
happen and your auction item never gets sent. A negative feedback or two every
couple of years is not a big deal. What you should be wary of is a pattern of recent
negative or neutral feedbacks. Drill down and read why they were left. If you are
unsure about a seller’s responsiveness, send a simple question to them and see how
quickly and accurately they respond.8. KEEP A LIST OF YOUR FAVORITE SELLERSYou can add a seller to your list of Favorite Sellers by clicking on the link in one of
their auctions. You can also sign up to be emailed when your favorite sellers add
new items. You’re never out of the loop and it makes browsing a lot more fun when
you are looking at items that you consistently like.9. BROWSE, BROWSE, BROWSEBrowsing eBay can be just as much fun as browsing at the mall. Looking for
bargains? Browse through vintage by Lowest Price First. Want to see the crème de la
crème? Browse by Highest Price First. If you have lots of time, do what a friend of
mine does: every day, EVERY day, she browses the Newly Listed vintage category
items and stops when she reaches the first listing she saw the day before. She
wants to make sure she never misses out on a great item.10. PIGGYBACK ON ANOTHER BUYERDo you find you keep losing auctions to the same buyer? Do you find that the same
people seem to be bidding on the same auctions as you over and over? Piggyback
on them by doing a SEARCH BY BIDDER. Enter their bidder ID and you will be able
to see a list of all the items they are currently bidding on. Chances are good that
they have found a great vintage item that you missed!With these tips you should be able to find all kinds of vintage clothing and
accessories on eBay. One final tip: be sure to pay for your items quickly and
establish good feedback of our own so you can continue to buy vintage bargains on
eBay.Copyright 2005, Mary Kincaid.