eBay trick for clothes shopping

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jacob
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eBay trick for clothes shopping

Post by jacob » Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:42 pm

Being somewhat slimmer and taller than about 90% of the local population :? , I find it practically impossible to find the right-sized pants in thrift stores. It's even hard to find them in retail stores. Hence, I've resorted to buying pants online and taking the chance that they will fit. I don't know why it took me so long, but recently it occurred to me to try looking on eBay to buy in bulk.

Search "NNxYY pants lot", "lot" being the magic keyword!

I "won" an auction that came not only with 5 pairs of pants but also a matching assortment of shirts and sweaters in the correct size allowing me to dress up as "corporate middle manager" come Halloween or the next TV/podcast interview(*) I paid ~$40 total (incl. shipping) which makes it about $3/piece which is quite decent compared to thrift store pricing and even better compared to the total ~$700 retail price :mrgreen:

(*) So maybe the internet will finally shut up about my sense of fashion :-P

chenda
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Re: eBay trick for clothes shopping

Post by chenda » Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:59 pm

Cool, so are you going sell the stuff you don't need again on eBay ?

jacob
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Re: eBay trick for clothes shopping

Post by jacob » Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:10 pm

It's conceivable that I could sell a few of them back and achieve net-zero costs. In all likelihood, I'm probably too lazy. Part of the reason I bought in bulk is that I just don't want to spend that much time clothes shopping so I'm willing to tolerate some inefficiency and just donate it onwards. Money makes me lazy. I'm turning into Scott 2 :D

Laura Ingalls
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Re: eBay trick for clothes shopping

Post by Laura Ingalls » Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:30 pm

While I suspect I am easier to fit I do something with thrift store bag sales. I find a couple things I know fit and that I need. I stuff the rest of the bag with random things that look interesting. I try to wear it all one or twice and keep the winners and re-donate the rest.

Jason
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Re: eBay trick for clothes shopping

Post by Jason » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:19 pm

This is why I've thrown some fun money into Stitch Fix stock. Couture for the middle-class. Despite the issues, people still prefer to shop on line than deal with the retail changing rooms. It's data driven Like Netflix for clothes. I haven't tried it, but am considering. Maybe it would be appealing to the Scott 2's of the board, of which I believe I am one.

mooretrees
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Re: eBay trick for clothes shopping

Post by mooretrees » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:58 pm

My coworker used to have an ebay shop and she said the tricks to finding good deals are to look for items that are misspelled name brands and especially when people have a minimum bid. They won't get the traffic they need because their items aren't coming up in the main searches as they are not spelled correctly. I haven't tried it, but she swears by it.

Sclass
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Re: eBay trick for clothes shopping

Post by Sclass » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:13 pm

I love eBay lots. They don’t seem as good as they used to be. Not as many deals, at least on the lots I search for.

My thrift stores are picked over and seldomly have clothing for my average build. My solution to cheap thrift store clothes is buy XL and do alterations. It is a lot easier than it sounds. Pick up a cheap used sewing machine. Watch YouTube to learn basic alterations.

There are tons of XL clothes on the racks. No shortage of big people I guess. My wife is petite and I can make a pair of jeans made for a 6’ big girl look great on her. A little tailors chalk, some pins and just pinching here and there to see where excess fabric needs to be taken in. I basically make a new garment out of the excess fabric.

The trick I use at eBay for clothing is buying the same brand and style of shirts and pants there. That way it always fits even if the color is different given they use the same patterns.

horsewoman
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Re: eBay trick for clothes shopping

Post by horsewoman » Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:18 am

Sclass wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:13 pm
My thrift stores are picked over and seldomly have clothing for my average build. My solution to cheap thrift store clothes is buy XL and do alterations. It is a lot easier than it sounds. Pick up a cheap used sewing machine. Watch YouTube to learn basic alterations.
....
The trick I use at eBay for clothing is buying the same brand and style of shirts and pants there. That way it always fits even if the color is different given they use the same patterns.
YES on both tips. I'm pretty tall for a woman, so I need a size ten (of EU 40) in length but a 8 (EU 36) in width - impossible to find clothes. So I mostly thrift or take donations in size 40 or 42 and alter them to fit me. It is easy to do and fun, if one is a little bit handy with a sewing machine.
Ebay I love for jackets and winter gear (--> more difficult to alter!). I've had some good finds in the past.

My husband (slimmer and taller than about 95% of the local population!) forces me to patch up his trousers until they are practically new trousers, with more added material than original. My daughter calls him a hobo all the time, but he wears it as badge of frugal honor.

The kid (same stature as her parents) is super picky when it comes to fit and she almost exclusively wears H&M stuff - which I absolutely refuse to buy new for ethical reasons. Luckily she is happy to wear second hand, otherwise we would need to move to a nudist community...

Sarouel
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Re: eBay trick for clothes shopping

Post by Sarouel » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:06 am

I'm seriously jealous of your sewing and alteration skills, my last shirt-to-dress project turned out rather unsatisfying...
Any tips for a novice in sewing? Most of the blogs etc I found were mostly concerned with sewing from new fabrics.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: eBay trick for clothes shopping

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:53 am

eBay is unfortunately not as good as it used to be. I do still buy clothes there occasionally though. It seems to work best for me when I know that the sizing and cut of a brand/item will work for me. I look for items that are new or have been worn only a couple of times to avoid surprises like stains and damage. I like midrange, brand name products. Too cheap and why bother with eBay, just buy the shirt new at Old Navy for $5, too expensive and there is too much competition for worn out, marginal items (e.g. Patagonia). It depends a lot on the item you are looking for really.

Sclass
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Re: eBay trick for clothes shopping

Post by Sclass » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:26 pm

Sarouel wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:06 am
Any tips for a novice in sewing?
Start out simple. For the record I’m a novice. I’ve been doing “survival sewing” for about twenty years. To me it is just a money saving skill. I only got good enough to save my money.

For altering I like to start by getting a really inexpensive used garment that I don’t worry about ruining. Turn it inside out and look at its seams. You’ll find that most clothes are put together from a few panels and a few seams joining them. I make a mental picture of how removing material off the seams and bringing the panels together will change the geometry.

Put on the garment and start pinching and pinning. It gets pretty obvious where fabric needs to be removed and how much to remove. I use binder climbs to hold my place then I mark up the garment with tailors chalk after I take it off. I basically cut the existing seams and remove material. You cut and sew as much as you want to. The more you do and the more you distribute your cuts the prettier the outcome.

The head seamstress in this video always inspired me. Seen at 10 minutes in. They use a single needle and thread and alter at a blazing speed. These ladies are brilliant.

https://youtu.be/XcnI-H0duDU

horsewoman
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Re: eBay trick for clothes shopping

Post by horsewoman » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:07 am

@Sclass - those are very good tips, I second them.
Sclass wrote:
Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:26 pm
Put on the garment and start pinching and pinning. remove material. You cut and sew as much as you want to. The more you do and the more you distribute your cuts the prettier the outcome.
I would add, that putting on the garment inside out makes pinning even easier, because you can sew exactly along your pins without turning the shirt. Sclass probably meant that, but I think it is worth to point it out especially.

Another important thing is pressing. In school (when I trained to be a seamstress) there was a great emphasis on pressing (= ironing during sewing).
It makes such a difference in the finished garment. When sewing I have always my iron running and press every seem I sew. You can iron both sides of the seam allowance to one side, or to the left and the right, which makes the look even sleeker on the outside. Just google "Pressing seam allowance" (in German: Nahtzugabe auseinander bügeln).

You can make a shirt more form fitted by placing darts (German: Abnäher).

Those are a few buzzwords for further study :) Sewing is really not that hard, and if you practice on old garments you have no losses. It is also a good idea to completely take apart an old shirt to see how the pieces look flat and how they are attached to each other. The difficulty in garment sewing is to fit a 2D shape around a 3D shape. Once you have understood the underlying principles (darts, curves and gathering) it is not so puzzling anymore.

Good luck @Sarouel, and if you have questions just start an new tread and I'll happily coach you a little. We have hijacked Jacobs ebay thread! Sorry!

Sclass
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Re: eBay trick for clothes shopping

Post by Sclass » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:37 am

horsewoman wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:07 am
I would add, that putting on the garment inside out makes pinning even easier, because you can sew exactly along your pins without turning the shirt. Sclass probably meant that, but I think it is worth to point it out especially.

Another important thing is pressing. In school (when I trained to be a seamstress) there was a great emphasis on pressing (= ironing during sewing).
It makes such a difference in the finished garment. When sewing I have always my iron running and press every seem I sew. You can iron both sides of the seam allowance to one side, or to the left and the right, which makes the look even sleeker on the outside. Just google "Pressing seam allowance" (in German: Nahtzugabe auseinander bügeln).

You can make a shirt more form fitted by placing darts (German: Abnäher).

We have hijacked Jacobs ebay thread! Sorry!
Yep it’s officially a hijack. :lol:

I’ve tried turning the shirts inside out. I assumed it wasn’t proper to do this so I stopped. It definitely speeds up the pinning process. I found it hard to button up my shirts to check fit when they are inside out.

I had to look up darts.

I use an iron when I hem pants. It makes better looking hems. I’ll try this tip out on shirts next go round. This makes sense. They always have a steam iron going in tailor shops.

The 2d 3d is something I’m still trying to learn. I remember reverse engineering ski pants in college and finding out the back panels were a slightly different dimension than the fronts. It was an awakening when I went ahead and sewed the copies together and a butt form popped out on the backside :D This year we made custom Halloween costumes and I tried really hard to make my collar stand up like Dr. Strange’s. It’s all in the curves. Took a few attempts.

Image

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Ego
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Re: eBay trick for clothes shopping

Post by Ego » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:03 am

What a great twist this thread has taken! I think we need an alteration thread where these skills are taught.

What are some examples of professional quality sewing and tailoring equipment and why are they useful?

Sclass
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Re: eBay trick for clothes shopping

Post by Sclass » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:53 pm

Yeah sewing is a great way to repurpose discarded stuff. It is amazing what gets donated away because the colors and style are dated, or people lose or gain weight.

The problem I’ve found the available selection at second hand stores is getting smaller. I’m not sure why. Maybe eBay entrepreneurs are grabbing all the good stuff that fits common shapes. Maybe the thrift stores have wizened up and are taking more items straight from donation to eBay. I get the idea Goodwill and Salvation Army separate anything off of value and divert it to their eBay department. Maybe the poor people are getting smarter. The stuff in my local shops is the dregs.

XL is my only hope these days. The shops I frequent have this color coding system where the price goes down if it doesn’t sell. Apparently the XL stuff moves slowly and I can scoop it up for less as the inventory ages. Then it is just time for the scissors and needles. I’ve been dressing dirt cheap for years this way.

I look forward to learning stuff from @horsewoman. Please post up some projects in your journal. I try to share some of my more interesting ones in the fixit log or the sewing thick stuff thread. Occasionally.

I’ve had good luck with $2 rotary cutters from stores like Daiso and Miniso. The quality is good and they make cutting a lot easier. They need to be used with a plastic cutting mat. They are easier than scissors for some kinds of cuts. (This may be because I don’t know how to properly use scissors or my scissors are too dull. The fabric moves all over on its own when I use scissors and I have trouble making precise cuts).

Like this.
Image

For pinching fabric I’ve moved away from pins and I use these. I just grab a pinch of fabric and clip it on. Once I clip an area I can easily mark it up with chalk. It is really good for visualizing a multi cut modification while wearing the garment in the mirror.

Image

EdithKeeler
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Re: eBay trick for clothes shopping

Post by EdithKeeler » Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:33 am

I wanted to post about my recent success using Jacob’s “trick” with eBay.

I buy most of my clothes from the same couple of places, and I pretty much know how stuff from there is going to fit. Earlier this summer—after reading this post—I bought a lot of 7 T-shirts on eBay for $25, including shipping. All were in brand new condition, fit perfectly, and I’ve worn them all summer. (I’m hard on casual T-shirts...).

Recently I expanded beyond the category of “casual stuff I don’t care too much about” into “office attire.” My office is business casual, and my general “uniform “ is black, navy or tan slacks with an oversized blouse. I bought one top that I’ve worn at least once a week this summer—$10. I bought 4 more for winter, and two arrived with original tags. None was more than $15 (the limit I’ve imposed on myself) and these blouses sell for $50 and up. (One tag was for $70). Yeah, they’re all from a season or two ago, but who cares? I’m not rocking polyester avocado green pants suits, so I’m ok.

Thanks, Jacob, for the suggestion.

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