How many of you go on to ebay/amazon/etsy (or another site like it) to find the perfect wig, shoes, accessories or even a full cosplay? I know I am on ebay like a bee to flowers when it comes to finding the perfect wig, shoes or just regular shopping. Over the years I have been tricked in buying an item that is a lot more expensive than what it should be. Here are a few ideas/tricks for finding what you want and how to go about it if things don’t go right and how to make things go right.
:::I HAVEN'T SHOPPED ON AMAZON SO THESE IDEAS MAY NOT WORK FOR THAT SITE OR SOME OTHER SITES:::
1. Don’t search for something like “pink and blonde wig” or “blonde wig with highlights of red”
• Instead use basic words. Even if you have to look at 30 pages it could be worth it. Words like “pink blonde wig” “blonde red wig” are good. Remember this rule of “Keep it simple stupid” Not calling anyone stupid but this is a rule I learned many years ago in a financial class. It does help.
2. If you do find the perfect item don’t buy it right away!
• Click on the sellers name and look at their store items. Trust me I have bought a wig then 5 min later saw the same wig for much less from the same seller. A lot of times sellers will have a “buy it now” auction and then they will have a “bid” auction. If you can get the wig for cheaper GO FOR IT!!! Even if you have to wait a few days it’s better to save a little money right?
3. What if the store is selling a wig/cosplay that has the same photo another store has?
• Sometimes the wig or costume manufacture will send a sample photo(s) along with a wig or costume to help sell it. It doesn’t always mean one store ripped off another one. If the photo has a person wearing it and the store name is water marked on the photo and it’s not the store you are buying from, RUN AWAY! Chances are the person trying to sell the wig or costume is selling a wig or costume that is like the one in the photo, but they took that photo for their site. Again I will stress that it doesn’t always mean this either. A store could water mark the sample photo as well.
4. It’s so pretty… I buy *click* *2-3 weeks later* OMG IT’S SO THIN/CHEAP!!
• Yea I won’t lie, I have done the same thing. My wig gets here and it seems like it’s missing some hair. These are cheap quality wigs and they fall apart so easily! A lot of sellers sell them so please look at the feedback and if needed ask about it on cosplay.com in the forums. If someone has bought from that seller they will give you their honest answer. Remember asking a question(s) never hurt anyone in this matter. This also goes for costumes or just about anything related to cosplay you can ask in the forums.
5. I wonder if my wig/shoes/cosplay/etc… is coming soon?
• Personally, I always ask for a tracking number to go along with the wig or ANY item I buy off of ebay. It’s not that I don’t trust the seller but there are some shady people out there. Also this saves me from wondering if the seller has shipped my item and when it will come.
6. Refund? Please?
• If you are not 100% sure on the item(s) but still want to buy it, check to see about their refund policies. Now, most stores will give you a 100% money refund, meaning that the item price plus shipping is going to be refunded to you. Other stores give the item price refund with no shipping refund. It’s their way of making some money. Now with that you will have to pay return shipping out of your own pocket but you will get a 100% refund from most places.
7. The item doesn’t look like the photo
• It’s common to get a knock off of what is in the photo the seller is selling. I know of a few people that have bought costumes off of a site and then when they get to the person it’s either too big, too small, items are glued on, very cheap fabric/quality or it looks used. Again this goes along with the refund policy but also look at how many items they have sold along with the feedback. Here’s the deal, you can create a selling ebay site very easy. Sometimes the seller gets his/her friends to “buy” stuff from them, and then it gives a good rating plus good feedback. The other way for a good rating, if you didn’t look to see how many things they have sold, is to buy things. I have my ebay page and my rating is 100%. Now that seems great right? Well, I was only buying not selling. If I wanted to sell and someone JUST looked at the rating I would seem like the perfect person to buy from. Then a few weeks later the item comes and it’s not so good. Look for Rating, item history, feedback and if you want to, go post on cosplay.com about the seller and see what people say.
8. Seller isn’t wanting to give a refund or answer emails
• Honestly, that would be something ebay has to help you with. Just make sure you don’t delete the emails UNTIL you get the refund or exchange. Ebay has helped me when a seller wouldn’t even give me a refund even though their site said I had 14 days to put the package in the post and when they got it, they would refund me the money. If you are having trouble like that take a video or photos of you sending the package and if you can of you putting the item in the box (hold on to the receipt!!) and if they try the “the item was damaged no refund” thing on you, you have the video or photos of it to show that it was the mail’s fault or the seller and not your fault.
9. Big deal out of something small
• Okay people listen up! If you get your item and there is something small wrong with it, like a few threads hanging down, don’t make a big deal out of it! Yes it’s not good to pay a lot of money and then have it come with threads hanging down. You don’t need to leave feedback like “nice item but there are threads hanging off if it! Paid a lot and they can’t clip them?” Trust me it WILL NOT kill you to clip them yourself. Also remember that shipping from overseas does take a while. This is why I ask for the tracking number if the time has passed that it was due in.
10. Broken/torn Item
• This does in a way go along with number 7-8 but I wanted to address it separately. Let’s say you are buying a collectors book. Ask the seller to ship it in a hard box, with bubble wrap and not the envelops that are padded. You might have to pay a little extra for the hard box and bubble wrap but if it's something important I would do it. This will save you from guessing if it will come safely and also the hassle if it came in an envelope and it was damaged. If the box/envelope is damaged it is not the sellers fault, it would be the mail’s fault but you can’t really get the mail people to acknowledge much responsibility for that. I've tried many times before.
I really do hope that these little tips or ideas really help you all out. It took me a bit to realize I have to check the seller out carefully before buying something and to make sure it comes safely. For the new people that buy on ebay please remember to check details of the seller and item and pay the person in a days time. That makes a good impression on the seller. For people that shop ebay all the time I hope some of this helped out.
Please remember also that some sellers will sell an item as a medium but for US size it would be a small. Check the size chart and what country it's coming from. Chances are the medium dress coming from China is a xs-s for US standards. Same goes for shoes, pants, under garments and rings.
Also remember that a lot of things are measured in CM and if you don't know what that is in inches then look it up and don't ask the seller. If you are buying a costume you should probably take your measurements in CM. Why? Because it gives a better measurement to the seller than in inches and the seller probably works in CM rather than inches. So if you give something in inches and the seller looks it up to convert in CM you are taking the chance of getting too big of a size or too small of a size.