The search for a rough diamond setting is often as satisfying as the score itself. The epic quest, the thrill of discovery, the anticipation at the edge of your seat of clicking on it for the basket – it’s the fusion of all these parts that makes using an online marketplace and a home auction as eBay such a satisfying experience.

For the discerning collector or the everyday shopper, this global bazaar is a one-of-a-kind treasure for your home. “I love eBay for a lot of things,” says designer Sarah Gibson, founder of Salt Lake City-based Room For Tuesday. “It’s an amazing resource for coins around the world. From vintage rugs to designer fabrics, there are plenty of items that will never go out of style.

Hunting and collecting inspired pieces – current or vintage – is easier and more successful once you know how to make the site’s tools and features work for you. That’s exactly why we turned to Gibson, who also happen to be a real eBay expert. Here, she shares her top tips for navigating the virtual landscape like an insider.

Find outlets online

eBay has many reputable brands where you can pick up a plethora of new items and often for less, especially at a brand’s outlet store, says Gibson. “One of my favorite outlets lists products that were overstocked and returned, as well as items that served as showroom or photo shoot samples, or products with minor handling demonstrations,” she says. “I scored two authentic mid century modern office chairs for 40% off the standard retail price.

If an item is lightly scratched or worn, it should be listed in a detailed description, and you can often see the wear in the photos. Then you can determine if the significant discount is worth it.

“For these types of items, quantities are always limited, but the savings are significant,” says Gibson. “It’s an amazing way to find designer pieces for less.”

Shop brands with a “buy it now” option

If you only associate eBay with bidding for items in online auctions, it’s time to broaden your view. “When you want to complete your purchase immediately, buy on eBay with the ‘Buy Now’ option,” says Gibson. “I filter my search on these terms, knowing that I can buy a product instantly.”

Do the same and you can enjoy the instant gratification of buying pieces from coveted brands, who offer their full collection of rugs and upholstery, including this striking leather armchairOn the platform.

Mid Century Safavieh Oslo Armchair
Cecilia 5-Tier Retro Wooden Shelving Unit
Safavieh Cecilia Retro 5 Tier Wooden Shelving Unit
Atka acrylic coffee table
Safavieh Atka Acrylic Coffee Table

A few more pro tips for buying new: don’t overlook the filters on the left side of the page, which allow you to narrow your search by just new and “Buy It Now” items, as well as your specific price range , free shipping, and more.

Do your due diligence

To ensure that the items it purchases are quality pieces, Gibson seeks out those made of durable materials such as wood, marble and stone. “Read the description carefully, which can help you determine [an item’s] quality,” she says.

Gibson also suggests using specific descriptors to search for particular items and materials. If you are looking for a specific dresser, for example, you can search for “tiger oak” or “flamed mahogany”.

The same philosophy applies when researching carpet. “I usually look for natural materials like oldest boy“says Gibson. Other natural options include cotton, sisaland jute. She also suggests checking seller reviews before buying, noting, “I’ve bought hundreds of items across the world, and the best way to make sure something happens as expected is to buy from a reputable seller.

Fifth Avenue Rug
Safavieh Fifth Avenue Rug
Braided jute rug
Nuloom Braided Jute Rug
Savannah Fringed Wool Textured Rug
Nuloom Savannah Fringed Wool Textured Rug

Buy local

While one of the joys of eBay is its global offering, the site also makes local shopping easier by setting your search parameters to a certain radius, whether that’s 100 miles or 1 mile, to see what’s available at driving distance.

This feature can also be beneficial if you want something in a pinch, advises Gibson. “I had a deadline and needed a piece for an upcoming shoot,” she says. “I didn’t have time to wait for shipping so I searched locally and was able to find a nice table within my budget and arrange a pick up.” Another reason to buy local: you’ll save on shipping costs.

Target your search

It might seem like a no-brainer, but using keywords is, well, the key to finding the item you’re looking for, says Gibson. For example, when hunting a trendy curved lampyou may have better luck typing “arc lamp” instead of “curved lamp”.

The secret to knowing which magic words to use is to pay attention to how similar items are described. “Start with a simple keyword, then, as you discover what you like, jot down the titles of those products for your next search, narrowing your selection as you go,” suggests Gibson.

If she’s looking for landscape paintings, for example, “I’ll start with a general term like ‘oil painting,'” she says. “And, as I see articles that are relevant or similar to what I had in mind, I borrow keywords from those products to narrow down my search criteria.”

On her next search, she’ll type in the more specific keywords she found, like “original 19th century landscape oil painting.” Gibson also recommends setting up alerts for specific items, via text or email, so you’ll be the first to know when that Holy Grail item becomes available – a great idea when looking for new and vintage parts.

Bypass the auction

While Gibson’s clear preference is the “Buy Now” option, if you like to haggle, she advises looking for the “Accept Offers” button. This means you can negotiate the price directly with the seller, instead of getting into a bidding war with other buyers, which can take longer. Unless, of course, auctions are your idea of ​​shopping fun. In this case, bid.

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