For my kitchen I had the pleasure of working with eBay. It was actually a dream come true because this was a company I already shopped at ALL the time. Most of my Lenox Village Collection was found on eBay. And my rainbow cook books. And my dollhouse decor. So I’m a fan! I thought I’d share some tips on how to get bargains on eBay that I’ve learned over the years.
why I love eBay
Let me start by telling you why I’m an eBay fan-
its easy to build a collection
For my kitchen, I started a few new collections (I love collecting things and have since I was a kid). I now have a lettuce ware collection– the white organic shapes go with everything and are so pretty to me. Can you imagine a big salad or watermelon in this bowl?
To find 10 pieces of cabbage ware in one color from an antique store would be an extremely lucky find! The great thing about eBay is that you can curate a collection quickly. And it’s so fun!
Here’s another collection I’ve started (and I am definitely going to expand)- colorful leather-bound classic books.
I LOVE books so to find my favorite titles in such beautiful forms- I’m obsessed.
Most have gold leafing on the pages which is so beautiful. I started reading The Secret Garden to my son and I can tell you- reading from a gorgeous book makes feel a little more special! I love that I could find books that I can keep forever and have them shipped right to my house.
My last collection for this kitchen is my pink Macau Porcelain. They make up my centerpiece. The pattern and color on each is a little different which keeps them interesting. Meanwhile, the color pallet flows really nicely and the craftsmanship is superb!
These all have chinoiserie vibes and I love them so much!
you can find long lost items
I was married in 2007 and I registered for China- Vera Wang Lace by Wedgewood to be exact. This was really important to me and I was thrilled to receive 5 sets. I’ve always dreamed of buying a 6th set, but time passed and I never made it a priority.
For this kitchen, I decided to build a plate rack to house these pretties and found another place setting on eBay! Plus, it was much cheaper than they were when I originally registered for them 14 years ago.
I was so relieved to find it and add it to my collection! They’ve sat in my basement for years and I’m hoping that with them closer to the table, they’ll get used more often than just on Valentine’s and anniversaries.
its a good place to buy parts
As many of you know, I rent my house out as an Air BNB when we live in Florida. When we got back to this house in the spring, I noticed that my beloved KitchenAid was missing it’s front silver plate. Where had it disappeared to?!
Well, we never found it, but luckily, eBay had a replacement part for a great price! And just like that, my mixer is whole again!
you can get affordable trends
A trend I’m really into right now is scallops. How great is this scalloped jute rug I got for the front of my sink?! They come in tons of sizes and trim color. It came from India and I just love the preppy look.
I also found a placemat with scalloped edges. It’s embroidered and gives just a bit of color. I love it and it makes my place setting feel really polished.
there’s a variety of your dream item
I’ve always dreamed of owning a pair of Staffordshire dogs. But they always seemed expensive and like a splurge. My local antique mall has a set for $600 that are lovely, but that sure wasn’t in my budget. So I searched on eBay and there’s a variety and a few sets in my price range. I paid $85 for these! I love them and they go so perfect on the new fireplace mantle!
how to get bargains on eBay
After spending so much time buying items on eBay, I thought I’d share my tips for how I’ve gotten a better deal.
step 1- make an offer
A lot of times, when you’re looking to buy an item, there will be an option to “make offer.” You can click that button and offer the seller a lower price. I do this all the time to save 5-15%. Note, when you make an offer, if they accept it, you have to pay the price you offered.
Sometimes, offers will be rejected. Sometimes, a seller will come back to me with a new offer that’s a little higher than what I sent. It’s all a negotiation. What I like about it is that it makes you feel like you’re getting a good deal!
Note, when searching for items, you can also filter them to only see items that are accepting offers. So if you like to try and get a better price, you can find those items where you can make an offer quicker.
step 2- add to your watch list
When you’re searching on eBay a really handy way to save everything you’re considering is to add it to your watchlist. All saved items are really easy to access and search when you’re ready to buy. An added bonus is that the seller sometimes sends you a special offer when you add their item!
You can accept their private offer in the allotted time (usually 48 hours) and get a great deal! It’s a really painless way to receive and use a discount.
step 3- sort by “price + shipping: lowest first”
flower ginger jar / marbled ginger jar
One of my favorite ways to get bargains on eBay is to sort by price + shipping: lowest first. So you put in a search term and sort it and then the least expensive items will come up first. Sometimes I’m not the best at adding up the price plus shipping so this is an easy way to know what total price will be less expensive.
I think you should buy what you love, not necessarily the cheapest item, but this is a great way to find some hidden gems!
step 4- see what other items sold for
When searching for an item, you can go to the sidebar and click on “completed items.” Then, the prices of the items that have been recently sold will come up.
For my kitchen, I really wanted a set of 6 Wedgewood cabbage plates. But the only ones I was seeing were selling for pretty expensive- $100 for the set. So I looked at the completed items and saw that that is totally normal for the style I liked. This helped me know that it was the going rate, not just high priced listings.
step 5- auto bid
Most of the time on eBay, you can get items with the “buy now” button and there’s no need to bid. But, when I got my Wedgewood cabbage plates, I did have to bid to get the set I wanted.
I really wanted the set! To make sure I got it, I set up automatic bidding. To do this, I hit the “place bid” and put in the highest price I was willing to pay for the item. Then I pushed “place bid.”
Instead of the highest price now being the starting bid, eBay bids for me in increments to keep me in the lead, but won’t go over my limit.
Say I wanted the above plates and was willing to pay $100, eBay would put my first bid in at $1 over the starting bid. If someone outbid me, they’d automatically add a dollar to their bid. That way I don’t need to babysit the auction. It worked great!
They will also notify you if someone outbids your maximum limit in case you want to increase it.
Note, you can see what bid increments eBay does on auto bidding here. It depends on the starting price how much they bid for you.
how to find items
There are millions of things on eBay. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes that’s hard to sort through! Here’s a few ways I’ve found some amazing pieces.
set-up email alerts for what you want
If you have something you really want, but the exact item isn’t on eBay, you can save your search. To do that, just search what you’re looking for, and then click the heart that says “save this search.”
Then, automatically, your email that’s attached to your account will get an email notification with something is added that matches your search terms. Below is an example of what the email looks like-
see trends in our searches
When you’re searching for an item, you might start to see patterns in your searching. For example, before I knew about Macau Porcelain, I was using the search term “pink ginger jars.” I noticed that the ones I liked usually had Macau in the title.
When a search is made on eBay, there’s a few tools to find more items like it. There’s related search terms that you click on and can see if you find more items that catch your eye. Narrowing down the category can also help find exactly what you’re looking for.
look in the section “people who viewed this item also viewed.”
Another trick I use when searching on eBay is after I’ve found an item I like, I scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and look for a list of other items that say “people who viewed this item also viewed”
It’s a great way to find related items or to find the same item for a lower price!
mirror / fireplace insert / little women pink book / Jane Austen pink book / all other sources can be found here
I hope this post helped you see some good tricks for how to get bargains on eBay! It is such a fun site to find really unique items.
catch up on all the kitchen blog posts
Floor Plan / Interior Window / Mood Boards / Stairs Plan / Demo & Flood / Drywall / Rainbow Wallpaper / Cabinets, Floors, & Ceiling / DIY Fireplace / Cabinet Doors / Reveal / Stair Railing Installation / Kitchen Cost Breakdown /
Thank you so much to eBay for gifting me items for my kitchen! It was so fun to treasure hunt for the items that really made my kitchen feel special!
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