Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I didn't buy it on eBay or Vintage Coats 101

I started looking for vintage coats on eBay after deciding that the options available for purchase at the mall were boring.

I got the idea to look on eBay from Ambika at The Fray but once I started searching I was off to the races. There are a lot of really cute coats on eBay, and although I did end up buying two coats (one eskimo, and one pea coat) for next to nothing, the coats that I didn't buy are way more interesting.

When I was browsing I thought this orange coat on the left was very cute, but at the end of the seven day auction, it sold for just over $300! I was priced out of bidding by the end of day two.

I also liked the black coat on the left, though it was a little longer than what I was looking for. It went for a whopping $390!

I acutally think it is pretty great that people are willing to pay that much for something that isn't brand new just because it is aesthetically pleasing. And as usual on eBay, I learned a few things when I was shopping.
  1. The cutest coats are listed by an informal mafia of youngish women who also appear to model them for the photos.
  2. Vintage coat buyers are snipier than bakelite buyers, and the coat prices were skyrocketing in the last few minutes.
  3. Most of the sellers are meticulous about documenting faults in the clothes, but if they aren't then you have to assume the phrase "needs a few stitches" = gaping hole that requires a professional seamstress.
  4. Clueless sellers often underprice their items but they may not describe them accurately either. I purchased a Pea Coat described as "New" which was actually an unworn vintage coat. Although the condition was excellent for a vintage item, its leather buttons have begun to decay just from sitting in a closet. Still a great find.


ambika said...

I'm so glad you found as many great items as I often do. It is really frustrating that so many coats (and other items) get bid way out of my price range. You sound like a quick learn tho, based on your bullet points. That mafia of sellers are great because they almost always have such amazing items but they're so well-known that sometimes it's better to go with the one-time, perhaps clueless seller. Great post!

Auntly H said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the orange coat; but I probably would have been outbid on day one. Good thing I've resisted the call of eBay; Curt already has trouble understanding the number of coats I have hanging in the closet.