How to Bag a Bargain on eBay!

How to Bag a Bargain on eBay!

It’s no secret. I love eBay. I love a bargain.
I love an eBay bargain.
God bless eBay!


Over the years, I’ve managed to score a few nifty finds on eBay. Most for under a tenner. Many of them have been quirky dresses in brand new or barely worn condition. However, I’ve bought anything and everything from craft supplies to  indian dreamcatchers (I swear it was a present!) My  eBay purchase history reveals me to be a girl addicted to pretty dresses. I can live with that, after all, aren’t we all just a teeny bit in love with dresses?

Bright and early, one Sunday morning, I found myself in bed with a huge, Cath Kidston mug of cwoffee and the laptop, ready to do some research for this post. I wanted to show you what bargains are out there! So, following my own advice, I found a range of dresses that all sold for buttons…under a fiver (including post and packaging!)

My friends sometimes ask where my dresses are from and when I tell them, inlcuding the price tag, they ask me how. So, without further a do, the juicy bits…let’s go bargain hunting!

Five Ten Top Tips for Bagging an eBay Bargain!

1) Use the search function. If you’re in the market for a new dress, what does it matter what brand it is as long as it’s fabulous? Keep your options open. This is how I find bargain dresses.
 
In the search bar, type in ‘dress’ > Click Women’s Clothing > Set price at a limit (bargainous price to be set by you!) > Click ending soonest. 
 
2) Be spontaneous. Not the best advice to give to a shopper, but on eBay you don’t have time to umm and ahh. The first questions you should be speedily asking yourself is, ‘What size is it?’, ‘What’s the condition like?’ and ‘How much is it?’ As an aside, when considering size, think about the brand. Have you ever worn that brand before?
 
3) Pick your time. Don’t shop on eBay around pay day.  It’s like shopping in Primark at midday on a Saturday. Busy, competitive and full of tat. When you think about it, it makes sense. I’ve done a quick search on eBay and seen 3 dresses I like already…all for about a tenner in total, including post and packaging. Why so cheap? Because people are in bed enjoying a Sunday morning lie in. Think about it. Alternative times to shop tea time, Friday or Saturday evening, you get the picture.
 
4) Shop ahead of seasons. Planning to go on a beach holiday this year? Need pretty little dresses? Well, start looking now. Only draw back is if you are planning to lose or gain weight. On the other side of the coin, need jeans for the upcoming winter? Yes, get looking when it’s forecast to be a scorcher. On the plus side, if they don’t fit, you can always sell them for twice the price come autumn.

5) Check out what else the seller is flogging. If a piece of clothing isn’t made by a well-known brand or high street chain, then it isn’t likely to be a highly searched  item. I’ve snapped up a few quirky dresses on the cheap, just by quickly checking what else the seller is offering. Best scenario? If you like more than one item from the same seller. Most sellers I’ve encountered have been happy to combine postage.

6) Know when to cut your losses and admit defeat. Sometimes, it’s just not meant to be. Yes, you do have that cute, bright pink cardigan which would look perfect with the monochrome stripes of the item. But, is a second hand Primark dress really worth the price it’s just skyrocketted up to?  As sad as it is, you have to know when you’re out. Ask yourself, ‘What’s my top price?’ and stick to it.  Anyhow, what’s with eBay’s terminology ‘Congratulations! You won this item!’ …congratulated for typing a number and clicking a button. Clever.

7) Check out ‘Items ending soonest’ in the Women’s Category. Or the male clothing category. Choice is yours. Sure, you’ll have to sift through a pile of rubbish, but if you set your price to a limit you consider a bargain…you may find a ruby which slips through the net and into your wardrobe.

8) Never buy a used item of white clothing. Obvious really. White. Stain magnet. Urgh.

9) Don’t be afraid of asking questions. If you have the luxury of time, maybe you found an item with an hour left to go? Then ask any questions you have using the ‘Ask a Seller’ link.  It’s always worth checking with a seller.

 
And the best piece of advice I could ever give you…


10) Never bid more than you are prepared to lose! Sure, it seems like a bargain, selling at a too good to be true price. Just consider, how much would it be worth if it were to arrive damaged or marked? Nine times out of ten, clothing arrives just fine. But sometimes, just sometimes, it may be damaged beyond a quick whizz in the wash. Sure, you can message the seller, or open a case in the resolution centre, but there’s always the chance you’ll end up out of pocket.

So, there you have it! My insider knowledge of eBay. What are you waiting for? Ready, steady…shop!

What eBay bargains have you bagged? Are you an eBay relic or newbie?

If you do follow my ten top tips, I would love to see what you bought! Please do share!

Pstttt…before I go. Check out this beauty I picked up recently:

 

It’s currently winging its way to me via pigeon post! I plan on teaming it with white tights and prancing around as Veruca Salt! I kid, I kid. Black tights and Mary Janes all the way.

As always, much love,

Donna x (Loves EBay 4ever!)
Liebster Award !

Liebster Award !

I’m so excited to have been nominated for a Liebster Award by the lovely Erica. The Liebster, taken from the German word for ‘beloved’, is a chain-letter award sent to up-and-coming bloggers from bloggers.  One thing, you have to have less than 200 followers. Check! So, as a newbie blogger of two months, I’m ultra flattered.  
 
 
Rules are rules and I intend to stick to them, just the once. So here are 11 random facts about myself. Sitting comfortably? With a brew? Let’s begin!
 
1) My first piano lesson was at the age of 5, from the piano teacher who lived next door but one. I couldn’t even reach the pedals, but my mum sent me because all the other children in our street were taking lessons. I’m so glad she did.
2) I have a total appreciation for Alphabeat.
3) Four years ago, Florence Welch barged into me, sending me flying and spilling my drink. She never apologised and I have never forgiven her.
4) I have 3 ‘beauty spots’ on my stomach which form an equilateral triangle.
5) I’m in love with pink lillies, despite my hay fever trying to keep us apart.
6) I’m five foot 1 and a half. I lied. I’m actually five foot, but I like to add the inch and a half.
7) My mum almost called me Louise.
8) When I was 14, I went on a school trip to New York. At the time, I totally didn’t realise what a big deal it was.
9)  If I go the races, I buy The Racing Post to choose my horses wisely.
10) I was born at the end of October, making it the law to wear fancy dress for my birthday night out, every year. Yes, I have good friends.
11) I used to have long, very curly hair. People told me I looked like Katie Melua. I loved it.
 
 
And now, the questions from Erica!
 
1. What is your middle name, and would you change your name if you could?
I don’t have a middle name. My mum was going to name me Louise, then she thought Donna Louise, then decided it would be totally unfair as my brother didn’t have a middle name. If I’m in a bar and someone, of the male variety, asks me my name, I tell them it’s Laura. I wouldn’t change my name to Laura, it was just the first thing I thought of and it stuck.
2. What was your first ever concert, and the last you went to?
My first ever concert was The Hives in 2002, at Liverpool Guild of Students. I wanted to be right at the front and instantly regretted it when they launched into ‘Hate to Say I Told You So’. I ended up crawling through the crowd. The last gig I went to was Spector,  at the HMV Ritz in Manchester. It was a birthday present from Katie (see above). We had a giggle.
3. What is your favourite movie, and can you recite a line from it for us?
Lost in Translation! Mainly because of Bill Murray.
Bob: You want more mysterious? I’ll just try and think, “Where the hell’s the whiskey?”4. Tea or coffee, and how do you take it?
Coffee, milk, 1 sugar please.
5. What was the last book you read, and are you a kindle or original girl?
Totally an original kind of girl, there’s nothing better than the smell of a new book. I’m reading The Hunger Games trilogy at the moment, on the second book.
6. Scrambled or poached, and with what on the side?
Not fussy, if you’re making…I’m eating.
7. Can you play an instrument, and to what level?
I’m a bit of a Jack of all trades, master of none. My main instrument is piano, I’m working towards my grade 7. I would describe my level as Les Dawson after drinking. I play guitar, clarinet, cornet to some level and also recorder…if I can include that.
8. What one food would you survive on forever, and can you cook it?
Forever is  a long time. I don’t think I could survive on anything forever.
9. Lindsay lohan’s best movie is meal girls. true or false?
Totally true. Love that film.
10. Pink is obviously the best colour, but what’s the second best?
Green!
11. Next to me, who is your favourite instagrammer, and give me their name.
@whatpeggysaid @missehudson @monty_rose  …go see!
 
My nominees
1) Susanne from Predict the Day
 
By law, I’m supposed to nominate 11 up-and-coming blogs, but since both Erica and Kim are now sighing under the weight of all their Liebsters, I think I’ll give them a night off!
 
Here are my questions:
1. Do you drink Whiskey? If so, how do you take it?
2. Capital letters. Important or not?
3. Which celebrity would you most like to meet? Dead or alive?
4. Do you enjoy your job? Why? Or, why not?
5. What part of your body do you love the most?
6. What is your most embarrassing moment?
7. What is the best beauty tip you have?
8. Best holiday you’ve ever been on?
9. What is your favourite CD?
10? What is your claim to fame?
11? Are you part of the Ryan Gosling fan club?
 
So there you have it! Thanks to Erica for the nomination! It’s made my week!
 
As always, much love,
 
Donna x (Geek extraordinaire!)
 
 
 
 
Hairspiration

Hairspiration

Playlist  :: Sometimes – My Bloody Valentine :: Hall of Mirrors – The Distillers :: Just Like Honey – Jesus and Mary Chain :: About a Girl – Nirvana :: Morning Has Broken – Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster ::

A playlist loaded with scuzzy, distorted guitars, 60s sirens and a brand, spanking new year,  this blog post can mean only one thing…it’s time to talk hair.

Hairspiration – the coming together of two nouns,  one common, one abstract…one purpose. To create a super noun! Erm, I mean, one purpose… to show my hairdresser exactly how I want my hair to look. Show not tell. Show not tell, as I’ve learnt …from bitter experience.

How many times have we been to the hairdressers ready for a change, knowing exactly (in our head) what we want our hair to look like and ended up with a totally different lo0k? Answer? Too many!

 
You may have heard me say before, but I don’t intend to write my new year’s resolutions until, at least, 14th January. But, lately, my long hair has been crying out for change.

I love, love, love 60s hair. Tousled layers, choppy fringes and plenty of hair. However, I’m always fighting a constant battle between my natural Kate Bush hair and my alter-ego GHD sleekness. So, I’m going to be brave and be a little more natural, in an attempt to get my long locks a little like these lovely ladies.

And then, there’s the small issue of the fringe…
Hairdresser: How do you want your fringe cutting?
Me: How long have you got?

I’m particular about my fringe, it’s simple to me but is always hard to explain. Just above my eye sockets, quite blunt and rounded at the edges. None of this in your eyes m’larky, looks great but migraines are a bugger. You get the picture!

 

So, put them altogether and what do you get? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see! What’s for certain, I’ll be handing all these pictures to my hairdresser at my next appointment! (It’s okay, they’re used to me. They expect it.)

Does the new year inspire a new hairstyle for you? Who are your inspirations?

As always, much love,

Donna x (Zooey Deschanel wannabe)
 Pstttt…with a little help, I managed to add the Google Friend Connect button! Look!  
Berlin Calling!

Berlin Calling!

Playlist :: Berlin – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club :: Tiergarten – Rufus Wainwright :: I Live in Berlin – Robots in Disguise :: Kreuzberg – Bloc Party :: Born to Die in Berlin – The Ramones :: Summer 78 – Yann Tiersen ::
I should not be left alone with the Easy Jet website, not even for one second. I swear in a past life I was a travel agent. So, following my ‘I Heart Copenhagen!’ blog post, I did indeed pop off to check out the sale. What did I find? Well, I shall tell you… a bargain. A bargain indeed. A return flight to Berlin for £65 per person. I kid thee not! Go looksee!
 
So, I booked it! Even though I’ve already been to Berlin, circa 2009, the year that it snowed. It’s one of the few cities that I’ve ever wanted to return to. As a back to work treat, I also booked accommodation… an apartment near the Brandenburg Gate. 
 
On January 14th, I intend to write my New Year’s Resolutions. I never write them on the 1st, new year is far too sentimental for that. Already, I’m considering travel as a high priority. It’s the detail in life. It makes me happy.
 
For now, I’m going to immerse myself in Berlin films from now until May. You may have already seen these, good aren’t they?
 
 
Have you indulged in a January booking? If so, where are you off to?
 
Much love,
 
Donna x (Currently going cold turkey on Easy Jet)
In Music I Trust

In Music I Trust

Playlist :: I’m Waiting for the Man – The Velvet Underground :: All Day and All Night – The Kinks :: Substitute – The Who :: Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys ::
Everybody has one of those songs. You know? The song that will innocently and randomly play on the radio and trigger a wave of emotions and memories …in an instant, leaving you gasping for sentimental reasoning and finding none. For me, I have many. I am a music addict (as well as a nautical addict) and over the years, I’ve acquired quite a few of these songs.
(To name a mere few!) Some of these songs include:
 :: Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell :: Shoreline (7/4) – Broken Social Scene :: Whirring – The Joy Formidable :: Drops of Jupiter – Train :: Stand Inside Your Love – The Smashing Pumpkins :: Mirror Kisses – The Cribs :: Carbon Monoxide – Regina Spektor :: Aside – The Weakerthans ::
Granted, some of these are obscure, thus saving me from the thunderbolt jolt as it comes on at thee most inconvenient time. ITunes random can be a bugger though.
I’m new to the blogosphere and you’ve time to get to know me well (tea, biscuits and a chat anytime!). Those that know me in real life (waves to Katie), know that I am completely and utterly in love with music. That may sound sentimental, but I honestly don’t think I could survive without music. It stirs my emotions, eases my pain, settles my mind…or any other cliche you care to think of. Give me a gig over a night out on the tiles, any day.
Why add a playlist at the start of a blog?
If life was merely text and image, where would we be? I’m a big believer in the detail. Life is about finding the detail which makes you smile, be it art, love or music. For me, it’s music. So, naturally, a blog post needs music. If I’m losing you at this point, just smile and nod, indulge me.
You may notice some of my blogs begin with a playlist. This is because I am always surrounded by music. I’m never far from Spotify, BBC Radio 6, or a CD of my favourite songs of the month. However, the music I put at the top of my blog posts are the music which is influencing me that particular day. For example, today I’m in a 60s mood…maybe it’s my hair do, who knows? Think The Kinks on extremely loud with distorted guitars, that’s my mood! I could put obscure song lyrics as blog titles, but where is the fun in that?
I’m sure there must be a new fancy way of sharing my playlists with you via the medium of Spotify, or LastFM? However, it’s likely you’ll have some of these tracks in your music library. Honestly, I’m old fashioned and quite a visual person…I simply like the way it looks at the top. Much prettier than a link!
So, in music I trust. As do some of these happy musicians I’ve snapped over the years.
Top to bottom: Casio Kids, Crystal Castles, The Charlatans, Friendly Fires, Plan B, Delphic.
So, what are your trigger songs? What do they remind you of? What are your top 3 favourite songs?