Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ebay is a Costumer's Best Friend!

I love ebay ,some might say I'm addicted to it!.

 I can't go a day without going on it and browsing for my next big find. You see I have champagne taste on a beer budget. I want the best I can afford for my costuming and reenactment gear, I want the god stuff not the drivel one can find at the craft store! This is where ebay comes in. ebay has everything, and usually for a great price as well! I always say if it's not on ebay it doesn't exist, and that is almost true if you are wiling to do repeat searches for the items you want.

French Empire diadem that recently sold on ebay, unfortunately not to me...

 Even things as obscure as french empire diadems and 18th century shoe buckles may be found. And many things useful for costuming and reenacting , like vintage lace,  various fabrics and many articles of antique accessories and jewelry are always plentiful.

Vintage metal shoe clips, one of my latest finds.

Many people tell me they don;t use ebay much because they are overwhelmed by the seer amount of stuff on there or never win any auctions because they get outbid at the last minute.
So here's some tips for a successful ebay hunt.

Use the ebay search engine instead of searching by categories, I find it gives better results, because sometimes things are not labeled in the category you would expect them to be in, searching by keyword will bring up all items in different categories.

Try different words that discribe the same thing, like antique tiara, antique diadem or antique hair comb, the thing you are looking for may just be waiting for you labeled under a different name than what you have been using in your search.Similarly look for seller mistakes,like misspelled items, you will be surprised how many people can't spell!

 Many times people have no idea what they have, they are selling. A carriage parasol may be labelled as a child's parasol, also the earlier period parasols where much smaller than the late Victorian and Edwardian parasols most people are familiar with, the same thing goes for large paisley shawls, they are often mislabeled as tablecloths. Also try different spelling of a word many people can;t spell and misspell their ebay listings!

My dainty parasol was labeled as a child's parasol but it's not, from the 1860;s
Try searching international ebay sites, the thing you are looking for my just be waiting for you somewhere in Britain or Germany,I have had great luck with getting beautuful things from both countries, some sellers abroad do not accept paypal or ship outside of the EU however it's worth a try and if you don't speak the language try using an online translator.

Got these lovely Vintage hair combs on ebay Germany.

Save favorite sellers and searches it makes repeat searches for the same thing much easier, I now have a go to seller for all my sarees cameo;s and block printed fabrics that are saved in my ebay.

Indian block printed fabric from one of my favorite sellers!

If you are cheap like me you can sort your results to start with the lowest price item, make sure to sort it by lowest price+shipping otherwise it can be misleading.

If you like several items a seller has see if he will do combined shipping so you can save on shipping charges.

If you don't have the patience or time to wait for an item to go to auction you can search the buy it now option, this you can sort by price as well so you can find the cheapest instant gratification around!

rag curlers i got with the buy it now option. I got 3 packs of them and the seller combined shipping for me. This way got the 3 packs for what I would have paid for one at the store!

Some buy it now items  have a best offer option, this can be a great thing! I have often offered the seller half of the asking price and gotten the item , just last week I bought a mid 19th century paisley shawl that had a buy it now price of $170, I gave the seller my best offer of $75 and he accepted it! I was floored and I'm now the super excited owner of a huge 19th century Kashmir shawl!

My beautiful Kashmir shawl! I love it I'm so proud, it's probably the best deal I ever got from ebay!

For those who have the time and patience to wait around for an auction I would suggest to always try to bid for an item right before it actually ends. Don't bid days in advance, you are likely to be outbit that way. I wait around and sit on ebay when an item ends and put in my bid 5 seconds or so before it ends that way it does not give others enough time to outbid me! If you have problems with remembering that you are waiting for an auction to end  you can set yourself an online alarm clock. Or you can use an automated service, like esnipe that will do the last minute bidding for you, for a small fee of course...

Got Edwardian embroidered bonnet veil for a good price by bidding about 3 seconds before the auction ended.

Look for crazy end times, items that end in the wee hours often get fewer bids than items that end during normal waking hours , this is especially good if you happen to be a night owl like myself, even if i go to bed at  am and an item ends at 5 am I'm still very likely to be the last person that bids on it before going to bed!

I often get semi precious beads for necklaces like these Lapis Lazuli  ones from sellers in China. Because of the time difference they usually end in the middle of the night, and I get them for a fraction of what I would pay in a craft store

Well those are all the ebay buying tips I can think off right now.... and now on to more pretty pictures of awesome stuff I got from ebay!

black 1890;silk/wool blend lace stole,. I wear it as a mantilla. got it form someone who thought it was merely vintage for $20

Mixed lot of Buckles got it for $17 turns out there where several antique cut steel buckles in there that usually cost about $20 a piece!

Original regency pierced horn brise fan. This baby is my pride and joy! Came from ebay.uk

Hand carved antique pear wood fabric stamp for block printing ,I plan to use this to make some block printed ficus.

Rabbit fur muff. this came with a matching collar, got it for a song last winter.

Large Vintage faux coral belt buckle. got it super cheap from ebay Germany

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