The Clock Stops Here...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The ABCD's of Ebay

I haven't forgotten my Steals and Deals promise...I stumbled upon Ebay when I was trying to track down skin care products by Dr. Denese. I took a gamble and typed in "Dr. Denese" and hit search. I had no prior experience, and thought that maybe 5 or 6 "gently used" items would show up. Lo and behold there were 667 items, the majority, N.I.B. (for you neophytes, that is "new in box"). Whoa...who knew???

In my minds eye, Ebay was like a giant tag sale...other peoples old junk, that I couldn't possibly be interested in... B.C. (before child), my husband liked to wake up early on Saturday mornings and go to the organized tag sales at large estates in our area. I could not fathom, for the life of me, why anyone could possibly enjoy perusing stuff that people didn't wish to take with them, when they moved...One day, sulking, kicking and screaming, I accompanied him...and of course, had a blast. Within four minutes, I was a convert, scoping out the local paper and planning our visits each Saturday. Over the years we acquired quite a few paintings by listed artists, a pair of antique chairs that I still love, and some lovely vases and other little object d'art, that we still have. You would think I would have learned not to be so judgemental.

The truth is, there are used items of course, but most of what is available is brand, spanking new and available at tremendous discount. I bought a brand N.I.B. flat iron by Pchi for $3.99. Granted, they charged $15.99 to ship it, but it retails for $150. There are a couple of key points: A) Purchase from well established sellers whose positive feedback rating is in the 99% range. If you only want new products, with tags and packaging, read the fine print. B) Check the return policies, since many items are final sale. If you have questions, email the seller ahead of time. "Watch" items you are interested in before bidding, or you will risk raising the auction price too early. They will give you email updates so you now when your auction will be "ending soon". C) Try to determine your maximum bid, ahead of time. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a bidding war, simply because you can't stand to lose, (been there done that). If the temptation is too great, or if you will not be available at the time your auction will commence, you can enter a maximum bid and leave it in fates hands. If it is meant to be, it will be yours. D) Pay for your purchases promptly, and if you are happy with your items, leave positive feedback, which you will get in kind. It is a two way street and sellers get to rate you as well.

What type of stuff have I purchased over the years??? Bobbi Brown and Mac cosmetics, a pear tree, a gold vintage watch, cocktail dresses, handbags, Hermes fragrances, La Perla bathing suits, Victoria Secret bras, fitness equipment, a cashmere throw for my bed, to name a few. All new, (except the watch) and had a fraction of their retail price. Almost anything, you could wish to purchase, is available on ebay. Search it yourself...Have I made mistakes? Absolutely, but I invariably find a happy home for my misses, who doesn't love a bahgin?

So there you have it...a master class from the "Ebay Queen", as I am known to my friend Ginger. Happy shopping and most importantly, to all the Mom's, Happy Mother's Day!


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