I have a love-hate relationship with eBay. I love the concept of reselling items online and I love the variety of hard-to-find items. However, I hate the auction style, where you have to literally sit by your computer at the last few seconds to watch yourself win an item. It’s very daunting and stressful.

For the past couple of months, I have been trying to find work pants in a tall size and shoes in size 9 – it’s harder than you think when you are trying to buy second-hand.  The second-hand stores are hit-or-miss when you are trying to find specific items. eBay is no different and it is more viscous with bidders that swoop in to claim the items you have been hunting for hours.

Sometimes I think eBay is worse to shop when you are looking for second-hand clothes. You will always miss something, especially when a seller misspells a word or lists the item weird. You also have to read the item description very very carefully. Make sure you know what you are bidding on. You don’t want to bid on a pair of pants with a grease stain or a rip or from a smoke-infested home. I just wonder if the sellers really wants to part with their items.

The other night I lost a pair of Nine West athletic-inspired black shoes and I was devastated. I really wanted them to wear to work, but I was outbid by $1.50! Evil bidders! That was when I supposed to sit by my computer and punch in a few cents here and there to win in the last 30 seconds. Oh well, there are more shoes in the sea of second-hand.

Through this experience and hours of hunting, I found that I am not overly impressed with buying second-hand on eBay. When I calculate the price of the item and the shipping, it still ends up being more than what I want to spend. I found several pairs of jeans that are tempting, but calculating the item price and the shipping, I end up spending more than $15 every time. Why do that, when I can hunt in the stores for cheaper and less bidding wars. The only time this is worth it, is when you hunt the bargain. A pair of Nike running shoes for $16.50, plus $5 = not too bad!

But alas, the hunt for pants online is over for me. I will continue to trek the stores and hope that I find something soon.

the author

Originally from Virginia, Jennifer C. Sellers is passionate about sustainability and conservation in South Carolina and throughout the world. She earned her BA in English from Coastal Carolina University and her MAS in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver. She is a university sustainability coordinator that implements programs and teaches people about going green and being sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @MyGreenGlasses

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