I buy a lot of clothes and I mean A LOT and if you are wondering how on earth I afford to keep it up, well here is my story…
A few months before I left the UK in 2011, I decided that I was going to sell off most of my things. Even though the trip was planned for 6 months, I knew in my heart that it was properly going to last a lot longer. When I lived in London I had this amazingly huge built in wardrobe (think rows and rows of shoe storage included in that!) and I had an awful lot of clothes. I got sucked into that Primark phase where I’d buy loads of clothes purely because it was cheap and I could always rely on that ‘fast fashion’ to keep up with the trends but then I’d never even pull the tags off to wear them which just meant wasting a lot of money. The irony of thinking I’m doing well with buying cheap clothes only to throw them away which resulted in wasted money. I do however, have some Primark clothes that I’ve had for years which I still wear regularly and I wouldn’t say no to there being a Primark store here in Sydney.
I hadn’t really ever been on Ebay before I had planned this round-the-world trip and decided to give it a go. Because I had booked the trip only 2 months before I left, I knew I had to make some extra cash fast. So I started selling my clothes and I sold a lot, but what I really learnt about Ebay is more about the buying side. I started to realise that I didn’t really need to go to the shops anymore to buy even the basic of things such as make up, toiletries and clothes. The best part about this was it became soooo much cheaper to buy off Ebay for these everyday items rather than popping into my local Boots in the UK or Priceline here in Aus.
Now living in Sydney where, lets face it – it’s ridiculously expensive, it’s quite rare for me to purchase most of my items whether clothes or toiletries from a shop. Yes, the pay is amazing here but I still think in ££ and not in $$$ and I probably always will. The $ has dropped this time round living in Australia, so it’s not quite as bad as it was in the year I lived here in 2012.
OK, so let’s brake it down by what I mean is expensive. For instance let’s go with make up. My L’oreal Mascara is around £8 ($16) in UK while over here in Aus it is around $30. I will usually buy this from Ebay for around $9. Mac Makeup is probably the most expensive I have ever seen in any country here in Aus. For my Studio Fix Foundation which costs approx £20 in UK costs $50 (£25 approx and more at £35 back in 2012 with the exchange rate) here in Aus. Unfortunately, I can never find Mac Foundation anywhere on the net that costs less than $50 to post. That’s the problem with living in Australia, I am soooo far away from anywhere and postage is sky high if bought from overseas (unless they offer free postage of course!)
In terms of fashion, Zara is about double the price here to what it is in UK, and I’ve even spotted some Primark Dresses (yep, I knew that brand very well) in some of the Aussie High Street stores selling for a good $69.99 (approx £35) and with the label under their own shop name.
So now, I’ll buy most of my clothes off Ebay and I’ve found some awesome things. I’ll pay attention to social networking sites to see what’s going on in the fashion world and that was the reason why I joined the daily fashion outfit sharing site WIWT (What I Wore Today). I really missed the fashion in the UK back in 2012 and found this site from the UK MSN where I began to upload my outfit everyday to see if people liked it so I’d know if it was working or not and then best of all see what other people were wearing back home. I’d go green with envy over the choice that you guys get in the UK High Street. I really missed the UK fashion while I was living in Sydney in 2012. Maybe it was because I couldn’t buy very much as I was saving for another round the world trip, but this time round I’m managing to suss out how to buy decent clothing for next to nothing (in Aussie terms) now.
Seeing as I’m a high street girl through and through, I’ll mainly shop the following brands on Ebay:
Zara – Mainly for Skirts (no website as of yet for Aus)
Topshop – For everything
Country Road – For Jumpers
Witchery – For Jumpers
Sportsgirl – Love their shoes and jewellery
H&M – Ill browse through every so often but I’m unsure of my size there now as it’s been too long since I saw one of these shops!
asos – There are currently some skirts I have my eye on and people sell Asos stuff for next to nothing on Ebay.
So yes, these four shops exist in Sydney (asos obvs online and H&M not in Sydney YET) but I’ll usually pop into them maybe once a week to see what’s going on and then I’ll always try Ebay to see if anyone is selling that item before I consider purchasing it. You see, from what I’ve noticed is Australians will pretty much spend quite a lot of money on clothes and if they do wear them then its only once before they are on Ebay and a lot of those items are still in store. It’s funny because you can buy so cheap in UK and pretty good quality. If you manage to find a cheap store in Aus then the quality is terrible, and I mean SHOCKING!! The moral to this is patience with shopping. Most of my clothes are probably not straight out of the shops but unless I really, really want an item then I’m not paying top dollar for it.
I do also like going to Charity Shops and Vintage Markets. I’ve been to a few markets now and Kirribilli, Sydney has to be my favourite and by far the cheapest as you can buy clothes for $2 there and you get some people selling some amazing designer brands too. I think I’ll save the market stuff for a separate post for now. Another point to mention is there are a lot of UK online stores now shipping to Australia (YES!). I always sign up to their newsletters because brands like ASOS have sales all the time and discount codes. I will mention this in more detail on another separate post.
I’ll also do a search on Ebay UK too. The choice is way bigger and better on the UK site and clothes are way cheaper in comparison to the Aus one so I’ll do a search on there and then email the seller to see if they will ship. You’d be surprised how many will do this even though it may say ‘seller does not ship internationally’.
Back to Ebay, always email the seller to ask for measurements, unless they have already stated it. People always ask me how I find clothes to fit me from it, but I only shop brands that I know very well. Saying that, Zara is one brand where the sizing is all over the shop. I’m a small in some things, a medium in others and even a large in some. Mental!
Not everytime I purchase off Ebay is a success. Yes I’ll get some great things, and other times I’ll be sent something terrible that doesn’t fit at all. I always buy items that I know that I can resell if needs be. How do you know what will sell? I don’t know really, I just look at what sells a lot and always knowing what is in fashion obviously helps. For instance, my friend had this beautiful Zara jacket in the UK and someone put it up on Ebay for a Buy It Now price of $30, but they listed it really late at night (this was luck for me). I bought it instantly knowing that even if it didn’t fit, I knew I could sell it. After paying $30 for it, I then sold it for $100. You have to know that when it comes to selling, always list the item that will end on a Sunday night between 6-8pm. This is the busiest time for Ebayers. Think about it, what day of the week are you going to be browsing through Ebay? People who list their items to sell on a Friday/Saturday night at 8pm aren’t going to make very much money. Same goes throughout the week during the daytime. How many people are going to be bidding on an item that ends at 10am on a Monday morning while you’re at work? Luckily for me, I am one of those people and that’s how I get my items cheap because no one else is bidding at that time. Another good tip is I always wait until the very end before I put a bid in to make sure the amount doesn’t rise too much. This is incredibly annoying when I’m on the other side selling as I obviously want to make as much money as possible. I also always think ahead with seasons. I bought my pastel pink Zara coat off an Ebayer in February (summer here in Aus) for $150 and then other people selling it started to sell for $400+ a few months later.
So now I’ve gone and given you my Ebay tips, I’m now going to tell you that I’m going to be selling some clothes on Ebay this week. Try not to bid at the last minute, just for me yah?
Details of my Ebay listings will be coming soon!