Whenever you buy clothes off eBay you can’t help but think ‘Who died in this?’ But amongst the dead peoples’ clothes and cheap counterfeit junk there are bargains to be found. Follow these tips and you’ll find them.

Some general points:

– Look for items ending at antisocial hours. When selling an item I always schedule the auction to finish on Sunday evening when most people have the time to check their eBay (and bid). A lot of people don’t put much thought into it. Consequently, their auctions finish at 2 am on a Tuesday morning. Look out for these, as you’re likely to be only up against automatic bidders.

– Have a figure in mind and stick to it. Before you start bidding ask yourself: ‘what is the maximum I’d pay for this item?’ Don’t go over that. There’s no point getting involved in a bidding war.

– Make bids in irregular amounts. Often, people will only bid in whole numbers – £20, £5 etc. Put in bids at £7.10 or £20.01. You never know when you might catch everyone else out.  

– If you don’t ask, you don’t get! Drop the seller a direct message and say ‘I’ll be willing to offer X amount if you stop the auction now.’ This works best with more expensive items or if the person doesn’t know the true value of the item.


This is a contentious subject. Some people are vehemently opposed to buying shoes off eBay. I understand their reasoning; after all, why would I want to buy some DIRTY shoes off someone’s disgusting, DIRTY feet? That being said, I’ve found some real bargains on there. Here are some tips:

Filter by ‘New with defects’ in the condition dropdown. More often than not, these are ex display stock, and the ‘defect’ amounts to a scuff or two in the leather – which you’d pick up after a day of wear anyway. I’ve saved £80 off the retail price on a nice pair of Barker shoes due to a supposed defect.

– Ensure the listing has photos of all sides of the shoe. The top of the shoe might be looking really nice – but the sole could be completely destroyed. You want to make sure there are enough photos to give you an accurate representation of what you’re buying.

Save a search with your favourite brand and size. For example, I have ‘Grenson size 9’ saved, and always search by newly listed so I can get in there before everyone else.

Beware of ‘Used’ condition. You can normally tell by the sole of the shoe how much it’s been worn. Many people will say ‘only been worn a handful of times’ – but they would say that. Saying ‘I’ve worn it so much it’s become fused to my foot’ doesn’t sound nearly as appealing. If a shoe has been lightly worn, you can always spray the inside with disinfectant once it’s arrived.

Always look for ‘returns accepted’. Though two pairs of shoes are both size 9, it doesn’t mean both pairs will fit your feet (or both individual shoes will!) Shoe sizes differ tremendously. If they don’t accept returns, it’s likely a dodgy pair of shoes.


I bought a Tom Ford aftershave in a department store and loved it.  I then found the same bottle for £15 cheaper on eBay and decided it was worth a gamble. I hated it. Either they water them down, sell a dud batch, or it just isn’t the real thing. Stick to department stores if you’re on the lookout for cologne. When it comes to putting chemicals on your body it’s not worth the risk.



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