As part of my life as a raging pauper, I spend most of my time and most of my minimal disposable income online. eBay is like some sick obsession of mine. Except, well really it's not sick (unless you mean sick in the way the youth of today mean sick) - although it definitely is an obsession.

When you're extremely poor but also extremely addicted to shopping, you've got to find a way around it. I want to pay the electricity bill (well, more like I have to than want to) but also look good doing so. I don't want to be seen stumbling out of the electricity meter room in my block of flats after taking my latest reading  (as the eternal slave I am to Scottish Power) looking like a tramp, or people might think I live in there. And you know what; it'd be a darn sight cheaper.

You can buy ANYTHING on eBay. Make-up, accessories, bags, shoes, clothes, perfume... mad little trinkets you'd never even knew existed. I mean if you've got a bit of cash - eBay is like Narnia for you - you never know what you're going to find. You can buy a car if you want to! Or a kidney.  But sticking on the right side of the law: you can get some seriously amazing stuff if you know what to look out for.

I buy and sell on good old eebs. Although I hoard like the most pointless stuff ever and have a graveyard to fake eyelashes past (RIP) my attitude to clothing has changed dramatically post University.

Once I've worn it - I sell it. 

Or sometimes, if I don't get round to wearing it - I'll sell it too. I obv keep my faves and my wardrobe staples - but trends come and go and once you've been tagged in that statement sequinned dress, you ain't going to be wearing it again. So (if you can bring yourself to) SELL IT!

Here's a few handy pointers about eBay and getting a serious bargain.

1. If you know your stock or are passionate about a brand - you can quite easily pick up on items that other people don't see the potential in. 

Some people just don't take a good photo of what it is they're selling. The angle, blurriness and lack of contrast in some images could make a pair of Louboutins look like a pair of Crocs. Not even messing. I've seen photos people must have uploaded by mistake of their dogs, when it's supposed to be an ASOS coat. Either truly hilar or a serious case for the RSPCA.

So if you see a truly horrend photo - take a look at it. If you know what you're after and can decode the blur - you're onto a winner. Provided that other people just skipped over the listing. And didn't read this blog post.

2. Search for misspellings and typos. There's even a website for this, called 'FatFingers' which basically cashes in on seller's typos, misspellings and mistakes - mostly on electronics like iPads etc.

If someone's listed something with a title which doesn't accurately describe what it is, you can walk away with the ULTIMATE bargain. Think Kath Kidston instead of Cath Kidston. Lypsy or Lipsey or LISPY instead of Lipsy. Kert Giger instead of our mate Kurt Geiger. There'll always be at least one. And it could be yours for a fraction of what it's worth.

3. Times of the day are dead important. 

Think of when you've got free time to sit and browse the web. It's normally on your lunch hour, or when you get home from work after dinner, right? Well yeah, everyone else does that too.

So chances are, the bids are going to get pushed higher than what they'd do during other times of the day. What I'm talking about is listings that end early Monday afternoon. The first thing in the morning. Late on at night. Sunday morning, 8am, while most of us are lying in a pit of vodka and shame. Get a cheeky bid in before the rest of us have even achieved consciousness. And that Celeb Boutique dress could be yours.

4. Watching. 

Unless you want to get bidders in a frenzy and push the bids up too soon, if you see something you like - watch it. If possible, bid right towards the end and sneak that YSL out from under the other bidders nose with 2 seconds to spare...

And if you're selling on eBay, follow these steps in reverse


A little attention to detail can make you £££! And a slight unnoticed slip of that perfect acrylic nail can cause a typo which could cost you £££! So spend five minutes checking over what you've written.

2. Pictures are SO IMPORTANT. 

You wouldn't go on a date with someone you met online who had no pictures / whose photos were an undecipherable blur, so your buyers wouldn't buy a dress they couldn't see properly either.

If it's got embellishment or a special feature, take a nice close up photo that does it justice. Always do a full length shot so your buyer can see what it actually is you're selling - and quickly - as they trawl through the masses of listings.

3. Even if you're up and writing your listings at 4am (whatever floats your boat) you can schedule your listings so that they end at better times. Would you be up and shopping at 7am on a Sunday morning? No. So neither would your target audience. Set it so that your listing goes live at a more sociable hour.

What's the best thing you've ever bought off eBay? Your BIGGEST bargain? Ultimate find? Best eBay sale price? Leave your comments in the box below. And most of all, enjoy penny pinching you gorgeous lot

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