I’m a fan of quality over quantity at this point in my life. But I like a discount as much as the next girl therefore I still turn to ebay when looking for designer items. After my last ebay related post there were several questions about how do I find the things I do. There are several things I think about and take into account when I shop on ebay for shoes. Here are a few of my past, well-worn finds.
First, the main issue with shoes is sizing. Just like clothes there are no returns when buying from ebay. (Unless you are a jerk and make up issues with items when there aren’t any. It’s ebay, not Nordstrom.) You have to know the brand you shopping for as well as be relatively sure that it runs the same all the time. The brands I look for on ebay are Manolo, Jimmy and Kate Spade. I’ve bought Tory Burch in the past but have since sold the entire collection. These shoes fit the look that I’m going for and are available at a significant discount most of the time. One brand that I wouldn’t recommend buying on ebay is Christian Louboutin which is generally all over the place when it comes to sizing. Plus, the discount isn’t as good as the other brands. You have to have done your brand research.
Second, you have to realize that this hunt is a marathon not a race. You are looking to make good, long-term adds to your wardrobe since you have decided to buy high end. I recommend looking for classics or classic with a twist. Nothing crazy that you will regret. It’s a completely different mindset. This shopping experience is taking place via your laptop and couch not at Nordstrom Rack. In this marathon of hunting down discounted designer I would keep a list of items you want to add to your wardrobe once or if they become available. It’s probably not a long list but it will keep you on track and not forget things you are looking for. And it will help keep you from getting “shoe goggles” and randomly pulling the trigger on something you don’t need. Then as items show up and fit your list they can be checked off one by one. You might also find that using this method that you might buy less because you realize that you don’t need everything on it.
Third, make a reasonable target price point for each brand. I’ve been lucky to get never worn Kate Spade for under $100 but have seen pairs for $150 I thought about buying. A full price pair of Kate Spade Karolina’s is $325 in the stores and an evening shoe is around $400. My goal with Kate Spade shoes is “new, with a box and 66-75% off”. Manolo Blahnik’s and Jimmy Choo’s are now over $600 for the most part. The nude Manolo sandal was new, unworn, with box. I paid just under $200 for them several years ago. Once again, I saved over 50%. It’s unlikely you will get new, unworn for a rock bottom price. But that’s not totally the point. If you compare your $200 Manolos versus new, close to $300 or more J.Crew shoes (which are much less quality) which product do you prefer? I wouldn’t be opposed to BARELY worn Manolo’s versus new J.Crew just because of quality and timelessness.
As an example of a product that lasts as long as you take care of it please look at the black, suede Manolo sandal on the right. I actually bought that shoe on consignment when I was in college. (Ignore that fact for this ebay post. They looked good with the rest of the shoes.) They have been to every kind of event, party and dinner you can imagine. Even up and down the hills of San Francisco on a rather tipsy excursion. I paid $100 for the pair and they had been worn twice. Divided over time, the pair has been worn well over 100 times and cost nickels per wear at this point.
The point is if you want quality and designer you can have it. It might take a little bit of time but with some patience an amazing shoe closet or at least a few special finds can be yours to enjoy for many years to come. I hope this helps. It’s not rocket science but it is a different approach that most people aren’t used too.