The Thrift manifesto (Part 4) - The Ebay Queen

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The Ebay Queen: Pandora Sykes

WHO? We’re very own features assistant and office go-to for all bidding wars tips


“The first thing I bought on eBay was a See by Chloé dress, to wear to my sixth-form ball when I was 17. It turned out to be far too big and I had to resell it, but by then I was hooked.

“I’ve saved a list of sellers I trust and I stick to buying from them. My best bargains so far have been a Louis Vuitton bag that was about a third of the price it should have been and a See by Chloé silk shirt, complete with its tag, which cost me $80, but was probably worth around $240.

“My favourite-ever purchase is my electric-blue velvet trench coat - $48 from a Canadian brand called Surrey Classics. People stop me in the street to ask me where I bought it. That’s why eBay is so great – you can pick up things that are really different.

“My buying tactic is not to bid on an item until five minutes before the bidding is due to end. If that bid gets beaten immediately, I will wait until one minute before the end and put in a maximum bid that I know nobody will be able to top because they can’t type fast enough!

“I never buy jewellery on eBay, because it generally breaks and I’d also rather try it on. The clothes are usually shown in quite a few different photos, with plenty of close-ups, so you get a good idea of how they will look. You don’t tend to find that with the jewellery.

“Personally, I stick to buying designer or vintage on eBay, but I’ve found that high-street clothes sell ridiculously well too – particularly if they’re from Topshop. In fact, I’ve just sold two pairs of Topshop boots and made a profit on them.”


Pandora’s tips for thrifty ebaying

Don’t put in your maximum bid straightaway

“You’re bound to be outbid if you do. I often set my alarm for 3 am just so I can get up and put in a bid at the very last minute.”

Read the description carefully

“One of my friends thought, she’d bought a table, but when it arrived it was actually a doll’s furniture. She had not read the dimensions properly and photos can be deceiving.”

Check out the “super-sellers”

“Selling on eBay is a full-time job for a lot of people. They’re selling vintage items from a warehouse, so they tend to have really good stock.”

Check a seller’s feedback before you buy

“If they’ve had any negative or neutral feedback in the past six months, check why. Sellers are really well-policed on eBay, so make sure you take advantage of that.”

Don’t limit yourself to buying clothes

“eBay is amazing for furniture bargains – last week, I bought a huge cowhide rug for $240, rather than $560. It’s also fab for stocking up on cosmetics from America – I buy lots of Essie nail varnishes, as they’re half the price they are here.”

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