I love vintage costume jewelry. It’s a cheap way to look distinctive and have fun with your style. I get a lot of my jewelry at flea markets, antique stores, and thrift shops, but I’ve come to find that ebay is a treasure trove of unique finds.
Recently I was looking for a gold-toned, slightly chunky, shortish necklace to wear to my friend’s wedding. I tried looking around the stores in Portland, searched on etsy, but didn’t find anything that really struck my fancy. Enter ebay. Now, I’m no stranger to this bargain hunter’s paradise. In fact, I bought my wedding dress (for my wedding next summer) on the site. It is a 1950′s gown that I’m planning to have a dress maker re-style. Awesome deal, great dress. But, that’s besides the point.
I can’t remember my exact search term for the necklace but it was something along the lines of “vintage gold-toned necklace.” Once there I was able to pare down the search by category, material, price, time ending, etc. After a little trolling, I came up with this baby. Including shipping, it came to $5.50. Oh, and the seller threw in a free necklace (the turquoise bead one) to boot. Suh-weet!
Here are a few little tips for navigating ebay to find great stuff at great prices.
1.) Once you’ve done your search, filter it by “Time: ending soonest.” This is a great way to find a bargain, because often you’ll find an item that’s time is about to run out and may not have any bids on it. You’ll stand a good chance at being the only bidder.
2.) Watch items. If you’re interested in an item but don’t want to bid on it yet, simply click “Watch this item” and it will keep it in your account. You’ll be able to monitor it and bid if you choose.
3.) Set up alerts. If you have something specific in mind (such as a brand name, certain style, etc.) this is perfect. Just log in to your account, search for what you’re looking for and click “Save this search and alert me later.” It will send you periodic emails alerting you to newly posted items that fit your criteria. I used this feature for my wedding gown and it worked out perfectly.
4.) Refine your search in the left column. You can filter it by a wide range of search terms which can really help to narrow down your search. If I’m looking for something truly vintage I make sure to click “Used” so I don’t get “vintage style” stuff.
5.) Add an ebay app to your mobile phone. This is a great way to watch and bid on your items right from the palm of your hand.
6.) Contact sellers after an item’s time had ended and not sold. My fiancee does this all the time. If he sees an item he likes, but doesn’t want to pay the price listed, he’ll wait for it to run out. If it still hasn’t sold, he’ll send the seller a message asking if they’re interested in selling it for another price. Very often they say yes and he winds up with a great bargain.