Ebay shares a love/hate relationship with fashion lovers, the 99p price tag becoming more a tale of myth or legend to a majority of you. You find yourself slowly questioning the abilities of those who state buying items at these prices. Who are they? Where do they come from? Either way you know that they are spending less than you and probably getting more in return.
I myself am one of these fortunate few. Inspired by my latest auction win of an original “Twiggy Boutique” dress for £20, I aim to give you the hints and tips towards achieving eBay bargain success.
As an avid collector of 60s vintage clothing, I jumped at the chance when I seen this label made available at such a low price. Especially when I commonly see this brand retailing within the £100 region today and the only flaw being to the dress I was viewing was that there was a button missing to one cuff.
Twiggy began her modelling career aged 16. She was the perfect muse for fashion designers at the time who were creating fashions based upon rebellion. The 60s were a time in which teenagers were given their own freedom of identity regarding clothing. They no longer were bound to dressing like a child or an adult.
Twiggy in the eyes of many epitomised the 60s with her thin build and boyish/ dolly mix look. Large eyes, long eyelashes, and short hair. By 1967, she had modelled in France, Japan, and the America, and had featured within Vogue and The Tatler. Her fame caused her to be recognised worldwide.
At this point “Twiggy’s Boutique” was launched. The brand was one of the first to encompass a celebrity connection. In this instance 60s icon Twiggy produced a brand within which she had strong vocal input, adding to the branding of the concept. She worked with designers Paul Babb and Pamela Proctor [graduates from The Royal College of Art, London] ensuring the garments were something she would wear herself. During its time of operation garments’ cost between 6 and 13 pounds and came with a free twiggy portrait hanger.
The label ran successfully for three years until 1970 when it emerged that manufacturer’s had been fulfilling dress orders half with “twiggy” and half with a new label “Miss T”. This label Twiggy had no input or financial involvement with.
So you can see why I wanted this little slice of history. Although the brand was short lived, it’s associated to one of the biggest icons of the 60s and mod fashion era – epitomising the purchase of vintage with a story.
After receiving little competition in terms of bidding on eBay and managing such a low price for this label I was a tad nervous transferring through my PayPal payment. The wait for its arrival was a nervy struggle; however the result was so much better than expected! A pristine little Twiggy Boutique dress emerged from the tissue paper.
So, how did I manage this? The simple things I go for regarding eBay are the following:
- The pricing bar is your friend – it helps keep nights out a possibility and sass payments last.
- Look at images. Seek as many views as possible! Zoom in and examine garments, especially when damage is stated.
- If buying a reputable vintage/ modern day brand always look for authentication [an image of the label should be requested]. Take great care when looking at this.
- Ask the buyer for history regarding the product [vintage items]. Has it been in storage? Care instructions? Sometimes this can give you a quaint wee story behind what you’re buying.
- Know characteristics of designs! Some garments can be stated to be from an era or by a certain designer when they aren’t.
- If you need your item for a certain day choose ending soonest when refining your search but also check delivery days. Contact the seller; sometimes stores are willing to post next day by making additional charges to support the cost.
- Remember vintage sizes are extremely different to modern day and so always check measurements are available [bust, waist, hips and length typically]. Tape measures are always handy in these situations.
- Check for smoke and pet free homes.
- Always read the description! Sometimes extra images are given in this section and also it should give you a full insight towards what you are purchasing.
- Check the seller’s reputability! Ensure your payments safe.
Hopefully these handy tips will help you in your eBay ventures.
Written By Fiona Kennedy, Photography credit to Rosie McKenna [@rosiemckennaphotography on instagram] or search on Facebook.