Thank you for the great comments on last weeks ebay how-to, Common Misconceptions about Buying Lingerie on EbayВ : )В This week, Ill take you through some of my personal experiences with ebay when it comes to brands and sellers, and show how you can use these insights to spend your time and money better when shopping on ebay for lingerie.
Ive broken each brands profile down into volume (# of listings), how frequently new and unsold items are listed, and what kind of deals you can expect from both personal and professional sellers. As I discussed last week, personal sellers are usually regular people who bought something, and for whatever reason (didnt like it, the item didnt fit, they couldnt return it, they needed money, etc), they decided to sell it on ebay. Personal sellers may be very experienced and professioanl, but Im making this distinction by whether or not they make their livelihood by selling things on ebay. Professional sellersВ do just that. Some pretend to be personal sellers, some dont, but you can usually tell by the number next to their name (over 250 is a safe bet). Return policies tend to be better with professional sellers, and deals tend to be worse. See below for a breakdown of how personal and professional sellers vary by brand. Well talk more about В how you can use this to your advantage next week.
So without further ado, here is Part 1 of aВ breakdown of some of my favorite brands to use in the roundup posts, and what volume and styles of sale Ive seen from them. Enjoy!
AGENT PROVOCATEURВ (including LAgent, vintage & Soiree):
Volume: Extremely highвЂ“ 5,000+ listings, often closer to 6- or 7,000 (Item Location settings on Worldwide).
New items added, not just re-listed: High, betweenВ 10-40 truly new listings per day, more on Sundays.
Items re-listed: Also high, maybe 60%. Still a very high proportion of sold items though.
Deal profile, professional sellers: Many professional sellers keep prices on sold-out items pretty high, but there are somewhat frequent periods where bidding on older sale items will start at $1 or so (though shipping is always high for these listings). Also, a fair amount of whats on offer during sales like these are less in-demand sizes (A cups, E & F cups, XS or XL bottoms) so it limits the field a bit.
Deal profile, personal sellers: There are great scores to be had here. People unfamiliar with the particulars ofВ Agent Provocateurs return policy (weve all been there) often seem to turn to ebay. Some sellers dont want to spend the time to research the name of the style of what theyre selling, which limits the number of people who see the listing, since many buyers used saved searches in the face of the sheer number of AP listings, and re-listings. However, this means that these listings (of items ranging from a Gloria bra to a Machina bodysuit) usually go for ridiculously cheap. Keep an eye out for them if you have the time to. On the other hand, a fair amount of sellers try to make as much of their money back as possible, (only 20-40% off current season for example), but there are plenty of personal sellers who just list something for $30 and sit back to see what happens. AP personal sellers are easily the source of the best deals Ive gotten on ebay (hello Demelza and Annoushka sets). They are awesome, and its very worth following their ebay store if you find a niceВ one who wears your size.
NOTES: For Soiree, there are far fewer new listings from non-professional sellers, and a higher proportion of re-lists. People do buy Soiree off ebay, but honestly the deals are never amazing.
LA PERLAВ (including Maison, Studio, Black Label, Malizia, etc):
Volume:В Extremely highвЂ“ 5,000+ listingsВ (Item Location settings on Worldwide).
New items added, not just re-listed: Low to medium. Usually around 10-15 totally new listings.
Items re-listed: Very often, easily the majority.
Deal profile, professional sellers: Professional sellers definitely make up the bulk of La Perla listings, unlike Agent Provocateur where its more even. Prices from these sellers tend to stay around the original La Perla sale prices (which are pretty high to begin with, usually only 40-60% off). Some professionals are lower than others (theres a few in particular who are great), or offer sales, but in general youre never going to be jumping up and down from these deals. You can find a lot of beautifulВ pieces from previous seasons in mint condition though.
Deal profile, personal sellers: I wont say theyre rare, but you just dont see the good deals from La Perla personal sellers in the volume you do from AP sellers. I would guess three to seven totally new listings per day for the primary brand. Also, again in contrast to AP, the majority of personal sellers do not know the style name for what theyre selling, so saved searches miss out on a lot here. Which is frustrating, because when its good, its very, very good with La Perla on ebay. Also, you can get lucky with Black Label pieces here in a way you simply cant with Soiree.
NOTES: Sellers will occasionally forget to mention that something is Studio La Perla, as opposed to main brand La Perla. I dont know much about the quality jump, but there does definitely seem to be one, so keep an eye out for tags if youre suspicious. Also you can always just message the seller and ask. See last weeks article for why youll usually get the truth from a dodgy seller if you ask directly.
New items added, not just re-listed: Very often.
NOTES: I rarely use Victorias Secret in posts (and therefore dont have the personal experience to be able to make a profile for it) simply because I lack the motivation to tackle that particular ebay behemoth. Ive absolutely seen pretty stuff from them, so while I dont buy or wear them personally, its really not about the brand itself. Its just the sheer volume of personal sellers trying to sell their bras or sets at any price that puts me off, and there are tons (seriously, tons) of new listings every day. Im sorry I cant be of more help VS fans : /
Volume: Quite low. Rarely more than 20 listings (see notes).
New items added, not just re-listed: Truly new items about once a week, butВ extremely worth the wait.
Items re-listed: Often. Theres a bunch of bras from older collections that have been up for at least a year, and there are some very pricy itemsВ waiting around for the right wallet to come along (or for the seller to lower the price).
Deal profile, professional sellers: Because of the low amount of listings, there are usuallyВ only one or two of these like most professional sellers, the prices arent mind blowing, but considering how high Bordelle retails for, prices arent outlandish either. The occasional good deal here.
Deal profile, personal sellers: Very mixed. Again, since Bordelle retails so high to begin with, even good sales run expensive, and there are many relistings because people wont lower prices. Still,В theres often something for between $50 and $100, and you can get extremely lucky. Also, to be fair, Bordelle on ebay is often about finding one of their sold-out cult items, or finding their classics (like the Angella dress) for more than 50% off. For example, anyone familiar with the GallardiaВ yellow silk and chantilly lace bodysuit? One sold last summer for around $200, which is pocket change compared to its original list price of $1200- 1500.
NOTES: If you go and look up Bordelle on ebay, youll get around 60 listings. Frustratingly, Bordelle is one of the primary victims of sellers mentioning brands in their titles to promote an item theyre selling which is actually from a totally different, lesser known brand. While this can occasionally introduce you to cool new designers, its actually against ebays policies and gets pretty annoying after a while. It can be a pain to sort through all the excess listings, trying to find the real thing. Unfortunately, in spite of the small number of new Bordelle items that get listed, this is why saving a search for this brand doesnt work well.
Also, you may want to add -latex and -rubber when searching for Bordelle, theres a latex lingerie brand called Westward Bound with Bordelle in the name of one of its prints.
STELLA McCARTNEY LINGERIE:
Volume: HighвЂ“ 700+ listings.
New items added, not just re-listed: Truly new items turn up often, but not in high volume. Maybe one to five a day.
Items re-listed: The majority of listings are repeats, but there is also a pretty high sell rate.
Deal profile, professional sellers: Id guess 60/40 professional to personal sellers. That said, professional seller prices are comparatively low for Stella McCartney Lingerie. Its partially because this is not a particularly expensive brand to begin with (at least when it comes to luxury lingerie), but listings for over $50 are definitely the minority. Most professional sellers, like personal sellers, stick with a price around $30 and wait for a bite or a bid. Also, while professional sellers in other brands seem to mostly stock up on popular sizes (B and C-cups), Ive noticed a fair amountВ of A and D+ bras from Stella McCartney sellers. Not sure if this is more a reflection on a higher percentage of A and D+ bras being made, but either way, its awesome to see so many E-cups available from a mainstream brand. That said, if youre looking for a 38 band, or a 30 or lower, unfortunately youre not going to have much luck here.
Deal profile, personal sellers: Theres a very wide price range here- Ive seenВ that beautiful quilted silk wedding bustier sell for $20, but there are also personal sellers listing bras for 20% less than the original price. Id say $10-30 is the primary range, and you can find some really awesome pieces from older collections here.
NOTES: Personal sellers will post lots containing Stella McCartney with some regularity. Sometimes its just items from the designer, but Ive seen mixed lots ranging from Victorias Secret, to Agent Provocateur. And there was one listing for a lot of two bras thats haunted me (both were lightyears away from my size), one bra was Stella McCartney, and the second bra was a Carine Gilson balconetteВ from the Sonia Collection. I believe they sold together for $29.
KIKI DE MONTPARNASSE:
Volume: Low but stable, usually 50-75 listings.
New items added, not just re-listed: Maybe one or two truly new items a day.
Items re-listed: Often, prices are pretty high and this is not quite on the main drag of brands people look for on ebay so traffic isnt what it is elsewhere (for example, Bordelle or Stella McCartney).
Deal profile, professional sellers: It seems like a lot of Kiki de Montparnasse sellers are halfway between professional and personal sellers rarely have over 200 sales, and prices are high but not exorbitant. Either way, those prices dont change. This brand retails very high to begin with, and markdowns arent stellar. Half the listings are over $100, with a quarter of those being way up there, from $300 to $800. That said, there are always items under $50, which you wont see most other places for Kiki de Montparnasse.
Deal profile, personal sellers: There is the occasional great deal here, but it seems like this brand is one thats somewhat restricted to people who really know lingerie, so theres not going to be someone posting a bra for $15 to see what happens. That said, there are a lot of items from very recent collections up for lower than sale prices, which is pretty cool.
NOTES:В I dont know the brand that well, but from what Ive seen on ebay, the size range is pretty much limited to A-C. On a separate note, there is some very lovely, and very pricy, loungewear from this designer up for sale as well.
Volume: Low but stable, usually 30-50 listings.
New items added, not just re-listed: Not often, a few times a week at most.
Items re-listed: Very frequently. Much like Kiki de Montparnasse, I.D. Sarrieri doesnt seem to get that many searches. Also to be fair, items are either from very old collections or very recent ones, but the latter is usually priced pretty high.
Deal profile, professional sellers: There are only a few, but they make up the majority of the listings, and while prices are pretty reasonable considering how high I.D. Sarrieri retails for, they also dont drop.
Deal profile, personal sellers: More infrequent, unfortunately not a tremendously higher sell rate. Like Bordelle, this brands ebay presence can be about finding sold-out cult items, but when those items are listed, its usually high. That said, there have been some amazing pieces at great prices. One of their chantilly lace bodysuits with Swarovski crystal accents sold for $100 a few months ago. If you like the brand, its definitely worth checking in every so often.
NOTES:В For whatever reason, the vast majority of the listings are for bras. Also, skip the search headacheВ with the I.D. (or I D, or IDSarrieri) and just type in Sarrieri, its much simpler.
Volume: Very low, not stableвЂ“ 5-30 listings.
New items added, not just re-listed: Listings from this brand fluctuate so its hard to tell. On average, maybe once a a week, if that.
Items re-listed: Often, mostly from professional sellers who price high.
Deal profile, professional sellers: Its not a highly populated majority, but professional sellers do have the most frequent presence for this brand. As I said, prices from them tend to run high, usually only 40-50% off retail.
Deal profile, personal sellers: You can find great things from this brand on ebay for an amazing price because of the personal sellers. Its not a very regular thing, but sets will go for less than $40, and you can find very cool, out-of-stock items like bodysuits for decent saleВ prices.
NOTES: While Lonely is pretty well known at this point, I believe its also a smaller, more independent label than the rest of the brands on this list. As much as I love ebay, no part of your purchase goes to support the brand, and some brands need that support more than others. Ebay can certainly facilitate introductions to smaller, pricey indie brands, but make sure to spend some money with the actual brand too.
On a separate note, this probably reflects the brand itself, but I dont think Ive ever seen a listing for a D cup. And finally, I dont recommend searching for lonely lingerie, most sellers are pretty good about including lingerie in their titles, but you might miss out on personal sellers who just say something like Lonely lace bra Just search for lonely and refine the results down to intimates & sleep.
Ive spent a lot of time on ebay in the service of The Lingerie Addict (and lets be honest, in the service of my top drawer), so while this post is entirely based of my personal experience, I hope you found itВ helpful! We made itВ through some of the big brands this week, but tune in next Sunday for Part 2 of Ebay Brand Profiles, including Hopeless Lingerie, Carine Gilson, Chantelle Paris, Rosamosario, Chantal Thomass, Deborah Marquit, Felina and many more : )
Leave a comment below if there are any other brands you want me to cover next week, or if youve had different experiences than mine with any of theВ brands from this post. Feel free to share any shopping victories youve had with these designers on ebayВ too : ) AndВ if youre the lucky bastardВ duck who got that Carine Gilson/Stella McCartney lot mentioned above, I publiclyВ salute you for getting the most wonderful dealВ on ebay Ive ever seen.
Happy bidding : )