How I Source A Gorgeous Secondhand Wardrobe On eBay

There's a big push on 'slow fashion' at the moment and it's one of the only fashion things I can actually say I got to the party first with. If you're not clued up, slow fashion goes against the fast fashion industry and it's cheap, mass produced items, commonly designed to imitate the designs we're seeing on the runway. Slow fashion focuses on shopping consciously with a focus on the sustainability of our wardrobes. One aspect of slow fashion encourages the recycling, up-cycling and re-purposing of pre-loved clothes and this is what I want to focus on today.

I'm a bit of an eBay fanatic; I can't get enough of it. I use it to create a wardrobe full of second-hand clothes which suit my style and personality. And I often get compliments about the piece's I'm wearing which turn into surprise when I say 'oh thank you, I got it on eBay'. For some reason I think my generation on the whole tend to turn their nose up at secondhand clothing but I'm so passionate about it.

My wardrobe is largely sourced secondhand and this is for a number of reasons. Firstly, it's a heck of a lot cheaper! I very rarely spend more than £5 on an item on eBay; if truth be told, I manage to nab most of the items I buy for around the £1 mark. When you think about how much these items would cost new in the shops, I'm saving yourself tonnes of cash. Secondly, it helps to make my wardrobe stand out a little bit more. When you shop secondhand, you can source gorgeous pieces that are no longer on the market and through that your outfits can become more unique. Forget the latest Spring 2020 Topshop pieces that everyone and their mum is wearing; shop secondhand from seasons gone by and you're so much less likely to walk down the street past 3 girls also rocking the same skirt as you. And thirdly, it's a more sustainable and eco-friendly way to shop.

I recently nabbed this beautiful Next jumper for less than a fiver, which I am rather chuffed with. It was new with the tags so I saved a pretty penny on it. Today I styled it with my New Look burgundy mini skirt and black Accessorize ankle boots.

Today I thought I'd share five of my best tips for sourcing a truly gorgeous wardrobe on eBay, full of pre-loved clothing which still has a whole lot of life left in it.

1. Think outside the box with your searches.
Don't just search 'Size 10 top' or 'Size 14 dress' and keep it at that, eBay is a big place and there are tonnes of gems to be found if you know what to search for. Search brand names you love, specific styles (like 'peter pan collar' or 'tea dress') or occasion names (such as 'casual', 'work' or 'races'). The search 'blogger' also pulls up some fantastic pieces as worn by style bloggers.

2. Don't limit your searches by size.
When you search eBay you're searching through a mountain of different brands, all of which have different sizing so it's best to not limit your searches by only looking at one size. Select a range of sizes surrounding your dress size, for example I'll include size 6-12 and S-M in my searches to make sure I'm not limiting my potential findings.

3. Save your favourite searches.
With eBay it is really simple to save your favourite searches or sellers and have the links to new listings emailed to you each day. I have picked a handful of my favourite fashion brands and have alerts set up so that all of the new listings related to that brand come up in a notification on my phone. It means that you never miss a gorgeous new item and often get a head start when it comes to watching and starting to bid on the piece. To do this on the eBay app, just type in the search you want and then hit the little heart button on the top left hand corner, where it says 'Save'. You can also do this for your favourite sellers so you never miss an item.

4. Try misspelling your searches.
We all know that eBay is a big place so it's unsurprising that some fantastic items can get lost in it's depths. When sellers are uploading lots of items one after the other it's easy for a misspelling to slip through unseen. By simply altering the spelling of your much loved brands you can discover listings nobody else has spotted and nab yourself a true bargain. For example, I managed to secure a beautiful Joanie top for just 99p simply by adding another n when I typed it into the search bar.

5. Don't bid unless it's special.
I've saved my most important tip for last because it's an important one. When you scroll through the app and find so many gorgeous fashion bargains peeping back at you, it's easy to go a bit click crazy and bid left, right and centre. But it's important to step back and really consider before you bid. Do I really love this piece? What will I wear it with? When will I wear it? Is the cost worth it? I like to go through listings and watch them to give me time to contemplate the purchase before I commit and only about 10% of my watched items actually end up in my wardrobe.

Do you tend to shop on eBay? Do you have any tips?
I'd love to hear about your best eBay bargain too!