shopping hacks

How To Find The Best Vintage Clothes On eBay

If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you’ll know that I’m pretty obsessed with vintage clothes. It all started when my nan handed me a patent leather, Louis Feraud belt when I was 12 and I haven’t really looked back since. In fact I would say a good 50% of my wardrobe is vintage and it’s way better quality than anything I’ve picked up on the high street. This is why scrolling through eBay has become such a habit for me, because I can get a Hardy Aimes blazer cheaper than a tee at H&M.

I post everything I pick up on my Instagram and I get loads of questions from you guys about how I find the best pieces and what I search for. It’s actually way easier than you might think but I’ve put a few of my go-to tips below that I think you’ll find really useful.

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Select The Vintage Clothes Category

This is the number one thing I would say to do as the true vintage pieces tend to be listed here. It’s so simple but once you’ve searched for your item you need to make sure that you’re looking in the ‘Vintage Clothing & Accessories’ category. I would then narrow it down further by clicking ‘Women’s Vintage Clothing’ or whichever one is more applicable to your search. I know this is really simple but sometimes eBay will default your search into the ‘Women’s Clothing’ category and you’ll miss out on all the vintage!

Search For An Exact Item or Decade

There is so much on eBay that it’s really worth getting specific with your search, especially if you don’t have hours to scroll through items. For example rather than looking for a vintage dress try ‘1920s style dress’ or ‘flapper dress’ to narrow it down. You can also search by decade, like ‘1970s’ and then select the ‘Women’s Vintage Clothing’ category to find pieces from your favourite era.

ebay-vintage-shopping-hacks-style-rarebitShop By Size

I love shopping for vintage blazers but if they’re too big the shoulders can look a bit crazy so I always include my size in the search. This helps to eliminate all the pieces that would be too big or small for me so that I’m only looking at garments that fit. That being said I don’t mind them being slightly oversized so I search ‘vintage blazer 8, 10, 12’ which brings up all the items in the sizes I’m looking for.

Consider Alterations

If you find something that’s one of a kind but it’s not in your size then it’s 100% worth investing in alterations. Some vintage pieces are so timeless and going to a tailor is a great way to get them updated. It may be a little pricey, but if you’re going to wear it forever then it’s a good investment.

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Remember The Brands You Love

I’ve made a list on my phone of all the vintage brands I love, especially the ones that I know are great quality, to help narrow down my search. Some of my faves are Escada, St. Michael and Louis Feraud but there are some great brands that I forget about so it’s always worth noting them down.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For More Pictures

As a lot of the listings on eBay are by regular people and not shops some of the listings may not have the best pictures. I’ve asked loads of times for people to send me more and 90% of the time they reply because they want to sell their item.  Don’t be afraid to ask for close ups or specific angles either so that you know exactly what it looks like.

Or For Measurements

One of the hardest things about shopping online in general is finding clothes that fit but vintage clothes can be particularly tricky. There’s quite a few listings with vague sizes too like ‘medium’ which doesn’t really mean anything, so I’d definitely ask the seller for measurements. This is especially good for high waisted, vintage jeans or skirts that you want to sit really tight around your waist.

Save Your Searches And Favourite Sellers

There’s this really great feature on eBay where you can save your favourite sellers and searches. This is so useful as all your categories and shipping preferences will be saved too. I use this a lot for my favourite brands or if I’m looking for a specific thing as I can just click on my favourite search and it’ll bring up all the new items. It also works for eBay sellers, so if you find a great vintage shop you can save it to your profile too.

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Get The App

This is dangerous but also amazing and I’ve found some of my most loved pieces on the train home from work. The eBay app is way easier than shopping on the desktop version and it also means you can bid on items when you’re not at home. It’s also free so there’s no excuses.

These are the basics and as much as they’re really simple tips I hope they’ll help you guys to find some great vintage pieces. I love shopping on eBay and I also love that it’s totally sustainable and saving lots of clothes from landfill. Which makes me feel way better about spending too much money… whoops!

The dress I’m wearing in this post is vintage Mondi and the belt is vintage Escada both from eBay. My bag is vintage Dior, which was a hand-me-down from my grandmother but I’m sure you could find one on eBay too!

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Sale Shopping Hacks You Need To Know

sale-shopping-hacks-style-rarebit-fashion-blogI’m a pretty hardcore sale shopper which is mainly because a. I’m so broke and b. I kind of like the thrill of it. Ever since I started buying my own clothes I’ve been addicted to getting a good find and with all that experience you bet I’ve discovered the best sale shopping hacks. It pretty much comes down to having a good eye and a lot of patience but aside from that this is what you need to know…

Take a look at your wardrobe first: Sale prices can seriously convince you that you need a canary yellow pair of trousers in your life but trust me, you don’t. It’s really easy to get swayed by a good deal but looking at what’s in your wardrobe first will help to to curve your spending in a more useful direction. Start by noting what you wear the most, what you never wear and anything that you need more of and then try to keep that in mind as you shop.

Shop mid week: Most sales start mid week so if you want to get the first pick then this is the best time to go. It’s also way quieter than at the weekends and it’ll be way more relaxed than trying to push through the crowds on a Saturday.

Set aside some time: It’s pretty impossible to have a good rummage in 20 minutes so if you want to get the best out of the sale you’ll need a few hours. Most of my fave purchases have been found hidden at the back of a rail so it’s worth taking the time to pick through the clothes and not have to rush.

sale-shopping-hacks-style-rarebit-fashion-blogTry on everything: Ok, ok I know this is really obvious but if there’s one sale shopping hack you need to follow it’s this one. Not trying on clothes is why so many of us have unworn items hanging in the wardrobe and it’s such a waste of money and space. Hitting the changing room is also the best way to experiment with pieces you wouldn’t normally go for and try something new.

Wear a dress and slip on shoes: Just to make the above way easier.

Order online and pick up in store: The best way to sale shop if you want to guarantee your size is by going online as soon as the prices drop. Don’t get it delivered to your house though as it’s way better to get free delivery in store. That way you can have a rummage through the rest of the sale and try on anything that wasn’t online at the same time. Then when you’re done you can return or exchange items in store too so the whole process is really easy.

Try the expensive shops: The sale is the best time to invest in something you wouldn’t normally be able to afford, especially pieces that will last a long time like a coat or a handbag. The biggest sales are always in June and January so it’s worth holding off on big purchases until then.

sale-shopping-hacks-style-rarebit-fashion-blogBe wary of trends: It’s cool to find on trend pieces in the sale but just be wary of things you won’t be able to wear for long. Chances are, if it’s discounted then it’s already on it’s way out and probably isn’t worth it.

Sign up to mailing lists: If you want to know when the sale starts then you’re going to have to get on the mailing lists. I know it can be really annoying but it’s a good way to get discounts inbetween sales too that you would normally miss out on.

If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be: Sometimes you can hang around and wait for something to go in the sale and then before you know it, it’s gone. I know it’s frustrating but it’s just not worth getting annoyed about. There’s loads of good stuff to be found and maybe it just wasn’t meant to be.

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Sale shopping hacks you need to know…

Dress // Zara 

Earrings // H&M

Shoes // M&S similar here

Photographs // Sarah Barnes