eBay used to be the place where I would buy expensive items, like electronics, on the cheap. But eBay has grown to sell basically everything for cheap. I use it to buy anything and everything these days. Here are some of my favorite things that I like to buy on eBay to save money.
1. Expensive Items that Are Unlikely to Be Scams.
The first thing I bought off eBay was a used Macbook. It was not the best idea because you never know how the computer was treated in its previous life. Because I’ve gotten wealthier and electronics have gotten cheaper, I’ve never bought many electronics on eBay, but my early experience still made it clear in my mind that eBay was a place for electronics.
Though I bought a used Roomba on eBay (best puchase ever), I don’t think of eBay as just for expensive electronics. Now I think of eBay as the place for expensive everyday items. But I use it now for less expensive everyday items. I love buying generic electric toothbrush heads, Clarisonic brush heads or Root Coverup spray. Those things are expensive! But you never think of getting them on eBay because it seems a bit silly to save money on drugstore buys. All of these items are about $10/each but you can get them for a few bucks each if you buy in bulk on eBay.
I should mention that I never use eBay to buy things that can easily be scammed – such as expensive liquids. I’ve heard of people purchasing Papi van Winkel bottles and filling them up with other liquids. I’m also skeptical of perfumes, lotions, other alcohol, and really anything that can easily be scammed. For those, stick to sellers you trust.
2. Items that I lose all the time.
I’ve lost the right hand for six pairs of gloves. SIX! I can’t even mix and match the pairs I have. Continuing to spend tons of money on buying gloves is almost literally throwing them away So I buy gloves in bulk on eBay. Also socks, because the people who can keep their socks from disappearing are tough task masters. Or robots. Having a sufficient supply of socks and gloves keeps my hands and feet warm in the winter and keeps me from spending my time wondering how I can possibly lose so many of these items in such a short period of time.
There are also items that I expect to lose in the future and just want extras for. You can always use extra chargers or earbuds. You can have them at work, at home and for travel. I paid $30 for a charger cable from Best Buy because I forgot my charger at work. On eBay a charger is only a few dollars. If eBay has cheap version, you can make your life easier by having little extras. You don’t have to trek out to the store. You don’t have to spend $30. As they say, if money can solve the problem, sometimes it should.
3. Things that you can’t buy anywhere else.
eBay has a lot of great Asian sellers that sell tons of cute weird stuff you can’t get elsewhere. I love getting awesome Fitbit bracelets with cute designs that Fitbit refuses to sell for some reason. They’re much cheaper than additional Fitbit bracelets and I always get complimented on the funky designs.
eBay is an amazing place for popular Asian items. Because I’m Asian, if I buy anything from a Chinese seller, marketing for Chinese women, it fits like a glove (but my self esteem is hurt because I’m a size XXL in China). Also you can just buy weird Asian beauty products. For $2, I bought 50 cotton sheet masks that I use as a base for lotions and serums. That means I can have 50 sheet masks for pennies instead of $3/per mask. I don’t even know where else I could get cotton sheet masks in America.
4. Outdated items.
I’m basically an old person when it comes to shopping. I find something I like and then I want to buy it again and again forever and ever amen. It’s so much more efficient than trying out new shirts and shoes and socks. Who has the time?
But stores have it in their minds that we want newer items. They never keep the exact same pair of jeans for sale no matter how much you love them. And by the time you realize that you’ve fallen in love with these jeans, they’re sold out and you’ll never find them again.
eBay solves this problem. Something I love doing is when I find a great pair of sneakers that works for me, I will buy the same exact pair for new or almost-new on eBay. I can’t get it in the stores but eBay has been surprisingly good to me in terms of finding the same exact great products I know work for me.
5. Trendy items.
Finally, use eBay for a bit of fun. Try out the latest trends. The 80’s are in fashion now if you’re into that. Chokers, velvet, jelly shoes. Sometimes it’s fun to add a little bit of strange to your regular wardrobe. eBay makes it easy and cheap to see and try a wide variety of styles of trends. Find what works for you and don’t break the bank on stuff that doesn’t.