My son outgrew every single piece of summer clothing that he had from last year. However, I didn’t rush out to buy him new clothes at the first hint of warm weather. I am taking my time building his summer wardrobe to try to get the best price available.

One resource I use is eBay. The buying season for summer clothes on eBay begins as early as February and hits its peak in March and April. Now that it is May, many people already have their children’s summer wardrobe in place. That means now is the perfect time to buy kids’ clothes at a reduced price.

I always buy brand name clothes on eBay because I know that once my kids outgrow them I can turn around and sell them on eBay for the same price (or sometimes more!) I wrote an article about how to do just that here.

I type into the search box, “Gymboree 6” because that is the size I am looking for. Then I refine the search to “Children’s Clothing” and “Boys Clothing Size 4-18” so I don’t get listings for girl’s clothes or baby boy’s clothes in size 6-12 months. Then I refine it further to size 6. All of these search limiters can be found on the left hand side of the screen.

To further refine, I choose the tab for “auctions only” (because those usually offer the lowest price). Finally, on the left hand side I choose “time ending soonest” under the sort by window. Doing this narrowed my search field from 1976 items to 135.

I usually do not buy brand new items. Instead, I read the descriptions and look for items that are in very good condition without rips, stains or tears. If my son is gentle with them during the summer, it is easy to sell them at the same price I bought them for, essentially dressing him for free.

I always decide in my mind how much I want to pay per item. Usually, I try to pay $2 – $4 per item. However, I always figure in the price of shipping. For example, if there are 5 pieces of clothing for sale in an auction, and I determine I only want to spend $2 per piece, that gives me a limit of $10. If shipping is $5, I know I don’t want to spend any more than $5 for the auction itself, because combined with shipping, it will add up to $10.

Bid at the last minute, literally. Some people bid on auctions early; all this seems to do is drive up the price. I wait until there are only 30 to 40 seconds left in the auction before I place my bid at the designated price I have already decided is the maximum I am willing to spend. So, if the bids are at $1.95, I still enter my price of $5.00 (even though I could bid as little as $2.45) because if the other bidder has entered a final price higher than $1.95, I may be able to outbid them with my $5.00 price.

Be careful not to go above your designated bidding price. Be willing to walk away from an auction if it is above the price you want to pay.

Finally, consider looking at the seller’s other items. Often, sellers combine shipping if you buy more than one auction from them. That is a way to help keep your costs down.

Happy shopping!

I shared this post at Works for Me Wednesday.

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