I have some lovely leather knee high boots that I love love love, but I have had them about 5 years, worn them out, patched them up and worn them out again, so I though maybe it was time to admit defeat and get some new ones.
They have been on my list of things to get for ages, and if I had been smart I would have gone and got some before My Make Do and Mend Year began, but that’s possibly a little bit cheaty…
So I hit E-bay. And I learnt several valuable E-bay shopping lessons.
1) Be patient! If you don’t see what you want first time around then just wait a few days and look again.
2) Refine your search as much as possible, otherwise you will be trawling through 1000’s of items that may be of no interest to you. For example, I typed in women’s boots, then searched by foot size, and you can even narrow it down to specific makes as well. You can also choose whether or not you see just auction items or just Buy it Now, or everything. I chose just auction items, as there seemed to be a lot of brand new boots from shop type sellers on there.
3) Be aware of how much the item would sell for new, or do some research to find out what is a reasonable price for a used version. Always bear in mind that you will have to pay P+P on top. I failed to do any of these things and have probably ended up paying not far off the original selling price. This is ok in this instance as the boots are in pretty much new condition, but I would have been cross if they had been scuffed or anything.
4) Look and see how many other bids there have been. I was a bit foolish here. The boots I bid on had had no bids, and had a starting price of £28. I just briefly looked at the picture, thought ‘they look about right’ and placed a bid. I was the only bid, and I won the item, BUT what I could have done is watched it, and then if the auction ended and the boots were unsold I could have contacted the seller with an offer. Is this cheeky do you think?
5) Make sure you have a good look at theother items available on the later pages. I rather hastily placed a bid on the first pair I saw that looked ok, and then saw 2 better pair on the next 2 pages-DOH!!
So I got the boots. And they are ok. I almost definitely wouldn’t have bought them if I had seen them in a shop. They are a little bit too big, and not as good quality as the last pair of boots I had, and not quite my ideal style when they are on! But they were as described and in brilliant condition.
So then I was faced with the dilemma of re-listing them and hoping I would get my money back (although I doubt I would because I was the only bidder on them!) and then bidding on something else, and hoping I got them, OR just sucking it up in the spirit of Make Do and Mend.
What to do..?
I actually posted the quandry on My Make Do and Mend Year facebook page (with some not so flattering pictures of my pasty white legs poking out of the top of the boots..) to canvas opinion, and the overwhelming response was to keep them. So I will. As I said, they are a little too big, but I can always wear an extra pair of socks, and I might mess around with them a bit to tweak the bits I am less happy about. They are not that great quality and I certainly don’t envisage them lasting as long as my previous pair, but they should definitely see me through the winter.
So there we have it. A new pair of boots, me slightly out of my comfort zone style wise, and some valuable E-bay lessons learned (hopefully!)