Self diagnosed eBay addict

I wake up in the morning reach out for my iPhone and here’s what I do…

1) Check my email
2) Check my twitter
3) Check my blog
4) Check my eBay
5) Check my Facebook

For goodness sakes I’m not even joking! I often sit and try to cast my mind back to those days before social networking and online auctions such as eBay bloody existed, I know my life wasn’t boring so why do I now consider it to be just that if I’m unable to check-in to my 5 online hotspots throughout the day?

Yes, Social media is taking over the world and i’m happily clinging on and going for the ride!

Seriously though, I don’t sit for hours tweeting and liking, life won’t allow me. Yes, I’m a mother, I have a family to contend with! Yet I do find myself frequently popping in and out to my online life, modern technology such as the iPhone makes this an easy task to achieve.

Now, if you noticed number four on my list is to check my eBay. Now this much loved online auction site has griped many including myself, only I’m surprised just how long that actually took to happen.

As a lover of shopping its rather strange that I’ve only actively been buying and selling through eBay this year. My friends and everybody else I know seem to have been at it forever and although I’ve always been completely aware of such happenings I had never found myself needing, nor wanting to use it… Well till now!

I think that maybe the sensible side of my brain made sure I stayed away. I’m the kind of person whom is quiet easily drawn in and rather hard to suck back out!

Hands up… I absolutely love that land called eBay!

Now although I have recently sold items on eBay I’ve actually brought a considerable amount more. So, what is it about buying on eBay that I just can’t seem to get enough off?

The fonder of eBay in my opinion is one very clever so & so. It’s simple, we’re not just get the frill associated with shopping we are also getting the buzz of winning! Then there is that aspect of getting a bargain and who in gods name doesn’t like getting one of those.

I have had my fair share but a bargain can only be that if we really need such items in the first place. I’m currently hooked on bidding for dresses and pretty vintage style clothing for my daughter. I’m also always on the hunt for trendy boys wear for little man and the toddler as well as indulging my shoe habit a fair bit of late. But although you’ll often hear me state “You can never have to many pairs of shoes” in all honestly one can and I probably have!

So, what is it I’m checking when I’m reaching for my iPhone at 7am. First thing I need to check is that of my buying list… You know, items i’ve won and items I’m winning! Then I’ll check my watch list and make the early morning decision on wether I want to bid on any of them items. Next up its of to my Selling list, where I’ll check to see how any of my listings are proceeding and maybe share them via my connected social networks.

Now although I’m holding my hands up here and admitting that yes maybe I am a little bit of an eBay addict, I can still say with confidence that items I’m bidding on get a max bid which I stick to. There has been the odd item I’ve battled for but now I use a special technique “Would I buy it right now in a shop for the same price?” this normally does the trick.

As for selling, this is a buzz in itself. It’s great to list a desirable item then kick back and watch the interest and watchers grow. It’s also rather lovely to watch your item ending especially when the price rises beyond what was expected.

With three growing children and my own over flowing wardrobes caused by obsessive shopping trips and hoarding items for donkeys years I have a fair bit of stuff to sell. Unfortunately eBay are only allowing me to list 10 items per month and despite my continuous request for a higher selling allowance and ebays promise to send me a letter as verification of my address they still have failed to send it so I’m stuck. Another problem with selling on ebay is the fact that I never seem to transfer the funds made from my listings back into my bank account via PayPal to withdraw! Why not… Because I use it to buy more!

I’ve been reasonably lucky with my listings and this is mainly due to some great sellers tips passed around by friends here on the net. Here’s a few I’ve been introduced to which have worked well for me!

1) In most cases list items as singles (especially when selling branded clothing and lovely children’s pieces) this also cuts down your postage costs.

2) Don’t start your listing to high as it puts people off.

3) Add photo packs (great for free and reduced insertion days)

4) Be reasonable with P&P and offer a combined postage.

5) Recheck spellings before confirming a listing as you don’t want to be coming up on the listings over at “Fat Fingers”

6) Add pictures from varying angles

7) Don’t list for no less than 10 days ( this means your item gets seen more and end up in many a persons watch list)

8) schedule listings to finish at around 9pm as this is normally a child free time (unless your living in my house)! It’s true though it’s the most least busy hour of a person’s day, unless you work nights or are tucked up in bed.

9) List brand names and picture the labels

10) Reframe from listing a “Buy it now” price (this often makes people reluctant to bid more in the end if the item doesn’t sell before the end time)

11) It does no harm to hit the share button and blast out to your followers on social networks.

I do follow the above and for me it’s been beneficial.

But what about buying on eBay?
I’ve got some awesome buys for a steal, example… TOPSHOP woman’s coat (brand new with tags) original price £75.00 won bid at 99p and the P&P was £3.00, Infant Red LEGO Kickers won bid at £1.04 and the P&P was £2.70 and another great one was a bundle of girls clothing consisting mainly of dresses from next, monsoon and Zara, number of items 13 won bid at £6.00 and p&p 4.00

So… Is there a trick in getting things for monkey nuts?

The TOPSHOP Coat and the Lego Kickers both had typos within the listings title which I found using the “Fat Fingers” app available on iTunes. The clothing bundle consisting of 13 pretty dresses made the mistake of listing within the wrong category as well as having an early hours ending time.

I have found in the short time I have actively been using email that feedback is of great importance. I now read this before biding (unless the item is ending within seconds when I’ve discovered it and I really want it that is). I brought a pair of Adidas women’s trainers for a steal at 99p but the seller took my PayPal and seemingly never sent the item. I’m all for giving people the benefit of the doubt, but when you state, “I’ve sent so out of my hands” when I inform you it hasn’t been delivered. Then tell me on a second occasion, “I don’t care it’s your problem” then I get the sneaky suspicion you never sent it anyway. Yes it’s just 99p with a fivers P&P but it’s beside the point and after several attempts to reason with the seller and opening a case with email I gave her bad feedback.

Feedback helps buyers feel more confident in bidding on your items making you more money. As a stay at home mum and full time carer I just sell the odd item and then use the funds to bid on items I need for the children. But I can sell the money that can be made easily with the help of eBay and it’s something I’d consider come Christmas. If my sellers allowance is increased that is!

I’d love to hear from any eBay pros, please feel free to leave your comments and any useful tips or wise advice within the comment section below.

Below is a picture of a few items I’ve brought and what I’ve paid (yes there are plenty more from where they came from)!

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IF HANDBAGS COULD TALK!

I don’t know about you ladies but if my handbag could talk it would likely have a thing or two to say about its owner!

I have a multitude of handbags in a multitude of colours, in an array of shapes and sizes! Is it at all possible, that I do not have a handbag to compliment every single outfit in my wardrobe? Umm… I very much doubt it!

You see, bags and shoes are a love of mine, there my downfall when it comes to spending money, I just cannot resist! My motto of late seems to be, “The bigger the bag the better” though if I’m completely honest, thinking about it, I have to ask myself, “Is my love for the oversized bag, causing me to become more than a little disorganised?”

I swear… Merry Poppins has nothing on me! When I pop my hand in one of my handbags, I tend to lose a whole arm! The depth of the bag becomes endless, which makes routing around at speed, a little difficult.

Now, when purchasing my chosen bag, I want it to have that, “New Leather” smell, the one that screams out… “I’m new!” The right design and colour are of the up-most importance, yet, so is the interior! I like compartments, lots of them, a bag that boast efficient storage space. Though, why this is, I’m not sure, I simply don’t understand!

Why? Well, I may use the main inside zip pocket to store my iPhone, money or anything else of importance, but even this doesn’t happen all of the time! I’ve acquired the most annoying and horrid habit of quite literally lobbing ones belongings into what will undoubtedly become, the inner depths of the Bermuda Triangle!

As I’m stood with hand (oops, I mean arm) wedged into my bag, panic fills me as I say out loud but still to oneself, “Shit, I’ve lost my phone” Only I haven’t (well not really) it’s just buried somewhere between the lip gloss and address book in that oversized bag that seemed the perfect buy at one time, after all it was to be the perfect accessory to them beautiful Karen Millen shoes.

I envision the heads of women everywhere nodding rhythmically as they feel my pain, or maybe not, maybe it’s just me (gosh… I hang head in shame)!

Now although the phone scenario, is one moment that gets the heart racing almost to the point of a heart attack, I ask myself, “Can it possibly be any worse than the Oyster card hunt?”

Handbags on Southbank

Handbags on Southbank (Photo credit: The Style PA)

In my head I hear this voice, it tells me “Now place the Oyster card in the inner zip pocket of your bag… place the Oyster card in the inner zip pocket of your bag…” over and over again! So, how comes somehow, having been stood calmly at a freezing cold London bus stop for the past 40 minutes, when that bus does finally arrive, having slipped a hand in that inner zip pocket, I make the horrid discovery that I have once again ignored the inner voice and the Oyster card is anywhere but that inner zip pocket. I deluge in, gearing up for what now seems like a man hunt, I hear the tutting and sneers coming from those stood behind me, the tired peed of shoppers and worse, on a really unlucky day, I may even find that the backs of my legs are being rudely crippled by that inpatient mother stood behind, the one who’s just used her toddler and his oversized 3 wheeled pushchair as a weapon of mass distraction (No offence to mothers who use public transport as I’m proudly one myself).

So… ladies, my question to myself and you too, “Is the oversized bag designed to make one’s life easier doing the job it claims to do, or is it time to downsize that bag? After all, I’m pretty sure the bigger bag just results in me overloading it with my own or even the families crap. They see a big bag you end up carrying everything and anything. Though yes this is all simply unacceptable, the prospect of my oversized beauties transforming into tiny smart clutches’, is quite honestly very unlikely at all!

NEXT TAKES TRIBAL TO ANOTHER LEVEL

I love a good trend especially one that isn’t confined to the wardrobe! That’s why I’m loving  Tribal prints and how Next in particular have taken it and made it their own.

 This massive catwalk trend is being used by Next (one of the UKs well known, loved retailers) within it’s clothing & home range and I for one am loving it! 

 All the big names are doing tribal this spring and the print will be one that is sure to grace the windows of the high street stores as well as those more “Up market” stores… Yet, Next are not flagging behind, they have taken tribal by the horns and made it accessible and affordable for all. 

 I love many of the pieces Next are bringing to the high street this spring and the ladies tribal designs offer some real key pieces for the wardrobe of all “ladies that lunch” 

 Anybody that knows me, will know that I’m a lady who loves a shoe and the Tribal print ankle tie platform is certainly ticking all of my boxes and at £40 it’s definitely something of a steal!

 If this doesn’t do it for you, I really can’t see how any one can deny that these zebra print metal heel court shoes are anything less than divine! At £48 I’m already lusting after them and dropping hints to the man who claims to love me! 

 If its a sexy little spring number your after, how about the Tribal print woven dress at £38? It looks like it could well be a gift from the gods doing miracles for the waist.

 As well as the shoe, I have to admit to being something of a bag lover and this pretty little clutch bag definitely screams “Fashion diva” and is anything other than understated! 

 Will you be taking the tribal print into your homes, with beautiful pieces such as the stunning “Bronze Ceramic Vase” with an attached price tag of just £18 I’m considering doing so! 

 Other great tribal homewares from Next include these different yet stunning wired horses and my favourite, the “Lady Head” at a remarking £14… Now that’s a statement piece, for not a lot of money, wouldn’t you agree?

 I’m loving this years tribal prints and I’m loving how Next are bringing it into the living room! So, what about you guys, what do you think of the Tribal prints of the spring? Do you instantly love it or is it a trend that will grow on you over time? Maybe you just prefer it confined to the space in your wardrobe, or maybe, like me you wouldn’t mind one or two pieces dotted around the home! 

 Check out the awesome blog “Fishing for beauty” to discover how to take tribal print to your makeup bags in the wonderful “Tribal Print Tutorial Using Zoya Kristen