Published on February 26, 2014 | by Louise Baxter


Buy it, sell it, eBay it

Ebay headquarters

Selling goods online has never been more popular and allows students to make some extra cash.
[Flickr: Kazuhisa OTSUBO]

As many students have a serious lack of spare cash, finding alternative ways of keeping up with the latest London trends, occasional nights out or a blow out dinner in town is quite the balancing act.

Luckily, trading clothes has never been so popular and websites such as eBay, Etsy or Asos Marketplace are a great way of staying stylish while keeping an eye on your finances.

Selling unwanted clothes and accessories is a great way of making a little extra cash to put towards the season’s must-have items that you have been lusting for.

When managing your closet, a ‘one in, one out’ system is often a good option. Once you’ve decided which items from your wardrobe you are going to part with, you can create your listings.


Sales income can vary a lot; this is dependant on what you sell but also how you sell it. LCC Journalism student Hollie Bracciale says: “In times of desperation (for example, the Topshop sale), I dig through my wardrobe to find things I haven’t worn or used for a while, if at all, to sell on eBay – usually for a fraction of the price I paid originally.

“By selling on my old or unused things, I can replace them with shiny new ones! My best find was an Oscar de la Renta silk scarf for five pounds!”

By putting a little effort into your listings, such as taking the time to style the items you’re selling and offering clear, good quality pictures, you will no doubt reap the benefits and be rewarded. Remember, you could make as little as £10 or as much as £500.

Rosa Hardaker, a BA Photography student at LCC, loves to use internet market places as the backdrop to an alternative shopping experience. She says: “I find eBay so great! You can sell some of your unwanted clothes for money, which is great as a student. I find going around vintage shops then reselling on eBay just amazing!

“You build good relationships with sellers and make a good income from it. I enjoy the cheap and sold out sections of eBay because the clothes are just as good but cheaper than the high street. Another big bonus is not having to leave your house. You make money, get nice clothes and don’t have to worry about the stress of shops!”


When it comes to buying, these websites are packed with goodies. If you don’t mind second–hand goods and spending a bit more time rummaging around, you are guaranteed to find something you like at a discounted price, whether it’s high street brands, unique vintage pieces or pre-loved designer gems. They’re all just a click away. However, before you get carried away and spend your monthly allowance on dip-dyed dungarees, there are a few things to be aware of.

“By selling on my old or unused things, I can replace them with shiny new ones! My best find was an Oscar de la Renta silk scarf for five pounds!” Holly Bracciale

Bidding on eBay can often get a little bit heated and it is easy to get carried away, spending a lot more than you originally intended. Remember, it is important to set a realistic budget and stick to it. This is key to thrift shopping. Journalism student Dorothy Spencer insists that making a bold last minute bid is the key to success: “If I like something in the shops I just try and find it on eBay for much cheaper. I just bought an Isabel Marant jacket for £40, so that was a pretty good buy!

“My tips for buying would be: use auction sniper and don’t bid until near the end or you’ll make it more expensive for yourself!”


Always be mindful when bidding for items online, read the descriptions and check the postage fees; some sellers will list items at a low price but double the postage price, which can easily push you over budget. Also, check the seller’s profile for customer feedback before bidding; you don’t want to end up with items that are damaged or counterfeit!

Also, have a look at eBay policies to avoid disappointment as eBay charges vary according to the type of item you decide to sell, as well as the type of listing you create. What’s more, when it comes to PayPal, the fees are based on the total price of the transaction plus shipping. These extra costs don’t normally make a huge difference, but it’s important to be aware that they exist.

And finally, never be afraid of returning an item that doesn’t fit the bill. Sellers aren’t allowed to refuse returns if the item isn’t as described.

Obviously eBay isn’t for everyone, as LCC publishing student Rasa Jusionyte explains: “I’m not very fond of eBay. I think it’s quite an anti-social platform. You have to spend a huge amount of time on it to find something and then wait again to bid. I don’t think it’s worthwhile. I would much rather shop on Amazon or Etsy.”


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