Thursday, 16 January 2014

My Guide To Pin Up Finds On eBay: How To

Now, not to blow my own trumpet, but I do regard myself as quite an eBay connoisseur and have been using eBay for over 5 years. Whenever I post my 'eBay finds' posts or post a treasure I've found online on Instagram, I seem to get asked 'how do you find these things?' or 'what do I search to find things like this?' so I thought I'd just make it easier and do a blog post on how to find the best things on eBay because it isn't always as easy as just searching 'Vintage dress'! I tend to go for the more Buy It Now option as opposed to Auction and I normally am looking for more Pin Up/Reproduction over authentic vintage (which is typically easier to find in Auctions).
So, here is my collection of best tips on finding the best bargains on eBay!

I think one of the best things to know is keywords - Know what you're searching for
Think outside of the box. Not all dresses are going to be listed as 'Pin Up' or 'Rockabilly'... However if you click the 'Search in description' box when using these words your search will be a lot more productive. A lot of my purchases and best finds are going to come from Hong Kong and similar countries - shipping is usually free or very cheap so if you don't mind waiting an extra week or two and would rather pay less then I suggest filtering your search to sellers just outside the UK.
My top keywords/phrases to search for are:
Dress with belt
Wiggle Dress (Always a good one)
Pencil Dress
Pin Up Dress
Rockabilly Dress
Retro Dress
Sailor Dress
Nautical Dress
Military Dress
(Obviously subsitute 'dress' with whatever you're looking for, whether that's a top or a skirt)

Be specific. Use descriptive words to find what you're looking for. I know that sounds obvious, but being more definitive with your searching will save a lot of time and filter your search down to what you are actually looking for. Think of the features you love the most about your favourite clothes whether that is a certain print, fit or colour. It's better to search for 'bamboo handle handbag' compared to 'vintage handbag'.
Go onto the popular vintage reproduction sites, such as Collectif or Bettie Page Clothing pick a few things you'd love the find for cheaper and then search for them! Obviously, they aren't going to be an exact copy but if you are willing to compromise for the sake of saving £50+, then get searching, girl!
My top specific terms to search for are:
Cherries
Anchor
Peplum
Halter neck
Gingham
Plaid
Tartan
Fruit
Wicker
Bamboo Handles
Leopard
Animal Print
Shawl
Capri
Circle Skirt
Mid Length
Buttons
1950
1940
Fifties
Swing
Polka Dot
High Waisted
Also, I have noticed that a lot of sellers use name's of famous icons to sell there products so the best ones to search for are:
Marilyn
Audrey
Dita
Bettie Page

Don't be put off. Try not to judge a dress by the model wearing it because it is more than likely she doesn't have the same body shape as you and she, herself, probably doesn't even have the straight-up-and-down body that is shown in the photos! Also, remember that mega curves aren't exactly 'high-fashion' in countries like China and Japan. Just think 'how will I look in that wiggle dress? Hips and all?'. Also, there are a lot of sellers (normally, UK-based) who sell out of season or deadstock clothing from brands like Dorothy Perkins and M&S in multiple sizes, don't let the brand put you off though! Some of the most gorgeous dresses I've seen on eBay are from highstreet well-known brands. If anything, that should be a shake in the right direction because at least the quality will be there!
A dress may not immediatly scream 'pin up', but pair it with some victory rolls and a swipe of red lipstick and you're suddenly a vintage bombshell!

Here is a prime example of finding 'dupes' for highend reproduction at a fraction of the cost:

eBay's version - £8.99                            Bettie Page Clothing's version - $86
FYI, I own the eBay version and I absolutely LOVE it! It comes in loads of colours as well and it is located in the UK so the shipping is super fast!
Here is the link -

So, that concludes my top eBay tips for finding what you're looking for and saving time/money.
I hope you enjoyed! If you have any tips please share them in the comments section as I'd love to hear them!
With love,
Amber Rose <3