Thursday, October 8, 2009

How To: Ebay

I am a huge huge huge fan of Ebay. Mostly for the purchasing (or selling - but I usually buy - oops) of high end makeup I would have never been able to afford otherwise. Granted, if I really wanted to, I could probably purchase a few high end items here and there, but why pay full price when they are available for quite less than that? I am the queen of bargain shopping and why should that change for colored powder? You're right! It shouldn't.

Now, you're probably thinking, "but Jeweled Thumb, most of the makeup on Ebay is fake! Why should I chance that to get a bargain?".

Ok, there is fake makeup on Ebay, but that doesn't mean the majority of it is. In order to make sure you don't get the dreaded fake NARS and MAC Hello Kitty palettes, you need to do some research and follow some rules.

  1. Read the seller's feedback. No, this doesn't mean looking and making sure they have a 100% or 99.2% positive feedback, it means actually reading the feedback. Not too long ago, seller's had the ability to give buyer's negative feedback. Especially for those that didn't have a lot of feedback built up, it was safer to give a positive score and still write about the issues in the comment section. And even now, for instance, if a seller sent me something that wasn't described accurately and then refunded my money, what kind of feedback do you give? It's sometimes easier to just give the positive feedback (even though it's untrue) than to deal with a harassing seller.
  2. Read item descriptions closely. You know what bugs me? When sellers show pictures of piles of high end makeup and then in small print, it read something akin to "you are only bidding on 5 items". Read the item listing and you won't fall trap to the 5 items for $100 scheme.
  3. Learn packaging. Not only are there issues with the high end fakes out there, but there is plenty of old moldy gross product on Ebay. And why do people fall for it? Because some don't realize that the packaging is super old. If you are a fan of certain brand, learn some of the really early collections and packaging. It will save you a lot of headache (one of the worst ones is Sue Devitt - most of the stock in Ebay is super old!).
  4. Don't automatically think the worst. Some times things are too good to be true, sometimes they aren't. A few months ago, I purchased several high end items (YSL palettes) that if I had bought at a store would have easily cost me over $200 but on Ebay I got them for $25. After gushing about my awesome find on the makeup board, I was told that it was too good to be true. Guess what came in the mail a few days later? Perfect YSL palettes with the Nordies stickers still in place.
  5. Go against the wave. When do the most Ebay items end? Sunday. That's the day that they claim most people buy. So when should you look for items to end. Not Sunday. Say an item ends on a Monday. There's a less chance that others will be looking to bid or they may forget during a busy work week. Use other people's trends to your advantage!
  6. Know where your boundaries are. Would you automatically dismiss something in tester packaging? What if an eyeshadow had been swiped (even though used makeup technically isn't allowed on Ebay it still happens)? If you are a germaphobe, make sure you are buying items that have pictures of the actual item, not stock pictures. If you don't really care, you may grab a deal when there is only a stock picture.
  7. Remember if it gets really bad, Paypal is there to help. If your purchase is under $200 (I believe) and you paid with paypal and you either a) do not receive an item or b) receive an item in unfit condition, you can always make a paypal claim. No longer are the days where you had to wait for the seller to refund you from his own bank account (which he had cleared out conveniently). Paypal will give you the money anyway. I have never had a paypal claim not go my way.
Follow these guidelines and hopefully your Ebay experience will be one worth gushing over!