Saturday, April 30, 2011

How to Successfully Sell on Ebay

Hello Lovelies! Before I get started with today's "how-to" I want to remind you about the 200 Fabulous Followers Giveaway!  The entry period ends tonight, so if you'd like a shot at winning the biggest prize package ever offered on Haute Lunch, enter now before it's too late!

Last week I gave you all some tips on how to buy on ebay, so today I want to follow-up by helping you learn how to sell! While taking your clothing, shoes, and accessories to a consignment shop is a good option, these type of stores often keep over 50% of the selling price. If you want to get top dollar for your possessions, selling them yourself is usually the best way to go!

While ebay and PayPal both keep a percentage of your profits, you still get to keep at least 85-89% of your selling price, making ebay a much more lucrative option than consignment or resale shops. Of course, your items have to sell for your to take advantage of this, so my goal is to not only help you get started, but also provide tips that will help you sell your items for top dollar!

Getting Started:

1. Register for a seller account. Even if you have a buyer account on ebay, you need to register as a seller. To do this, you will need to verify your identity (with a credit card or checking account), set up how you would like to pay your ebay seller fees (I use PayPal), and select what types of payment you are willing to accept from buyers (I only accept PayPal as it is the safest way to get paid).
2. Link your seller account to PayPal. During setup, you will be prompted to link your PayPal account to your ebay seller account. If you don't already have a PayPal account, you can set one up here.
3. List your items. Once your account is verified and linked up to PayPal, you're ready to start listing your items and make money! Auction-style listings (including those with buy-it-now options) are free to list, while fixed-price listings cost $0.50.

Creating an Eye-Catching Listings:

The key to selling your items for top dollar is to create a listing that catches people's attention. Here are some tips to drive traffic to your listing and make buyer's want what you're selling.
  • Create an informative listing title. Use words in your title that will drive searches to your listing. Avoid unnecessary words such as "great deal" and include item specifics such as "Wide Leg Low Rise Citizens of Humanity COH Jeans."
  • Choose the right selling option for your item. I usually sell using an auction style listing with a buy-it-now option. However, the type of listing you create will depend on what you are selling. Items in high demand with high selling prices will do well with a auction style only listing, while items that are less sought after may do better with a buy-it-now option added to the auction. If you have a set price that you are not willing to reduce, consider fixed price listings, but be aware that it may take longer for your item to sell using this method.
  • Research what similar items are selling for. Don't expect to get your money back on a used item, but also don't under-price your items because you are naive. Many items I have listed had an average selling price that was higher than expected. Search completed listings to see how much you should expect for your goods.
  • Keep shipping prices low. Research exactly how much it will cost to ship your item before listing it. If you have a kitchen scale, find out how much the items weighs (when packaged) and use ebay's shipping tools to find the estimated shipping price. I usually round down the estimate to the dollar value below, or offer free shipping for items that are cheap to send (e.g. cosmetics, shirts, inexpensive jewelry, etc).  If you don't have a scale, look up how much other people are charging to ship similar items. Tip: Save packaging from your online purchases to reuse when selling items on ebay.
  • Be descriptive. One problem I see with a lot of listings on ebay is that they don't give enough details about the item. State exactly what condition your item is in, if there are any flaws and where they are located, and any other information you can provide. Here are some specific details to list for different types of items.
    • All clothing, shoes, and accessories- List the brand, item/style name (if known), size (if applicable), and a description of the appearance. Consider including where you bought the item and how much it originally sold for if this will help your listing (I typically do this for high end items to emphasize the discount buyers are getting).
    • Clothing- When listing clothing, you should also list specific measurements. For pants, include the waist, inseam, front rise, back rise, and leg opening measurements. For tops, include at least a length and chest measurement. Dresses should include a bust, waist, hip, and length measurement, while skirts should include a waist and length measurement.
    • Shoes- When selling shoes, you should also mention if the size is smaller or larger than usual.
    • Accessories- Accessories such as handbags should include length, width, and height measurements as well as any hidden features (such as pockets, zippers, etc). Belts, necklaces, and other such accessories should also include specific measurements.
  • Include Multiple Photos. Photos should be taken in bright light on a white or light colored background. It is important to include several photos, including a photo of the item from the front, back, and close ups of key features (such as back pocket detail, hardware, etc). Here are some photo examples I took to give you an idea of what to include:
Front full view.
Back view showing pocket detail.
Front pocket detail.
Tag to help show authenticity of high-end items.
Completing a Sales Transaction:

Once you've successfully sold an item, be sure to follow-up properly. Ship the item within a day or two of cleared payment and leave positive feedback for good buyers. PayPal offers a service in which you can print and pay for shipping labels online. This is both more convenient and slightly cheaper than paying postage at the post office. Contact the buyer to let them know you've shipped their item, and be sure to provide a tracking number. Doing these things will ensure that you receive good feedback, which is very important to your success. Often, buyers are willing to spend a little more for an item to get it from a trusted seller than one who has little feedback or less than 100% positive feedback.

After your transaction is complete, you can save your profits in PayPal to use for online purchases, or you can transfer them to your back account! The entire selling process takes a little work the first time around, but after you've sold an item or two, you will find that listing and selling on ebay is quick and far more profitable than other options! It's also safe thanks to ebay's seller protection!

If you have any other questions about selling on ebay, feel free to ask! I've been selling for a couple years now, and usually bring in at least a few hundred bucks a year from clothing, shoes, accessories, and other items I no longer want/use. Also, if you have any other tips, please feel free to share below! I hope this tutorial helps you feel confident selling on ebay and increases your profits as well! Have a fabulous weekend!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Five Fabulous Beauty Buys Under $5!

Hello Lovelies! Today I wanted to share 5 fabulous beauty products that you can pick up for less than $5! As you know, I love my prestige makeup and skincare, but these budget buys really can't be beat! Be sure to check out these products the next time you're at the drugstore!

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor Deeeeep Conditioner
I first discussed this fabulous conditioner in one of my earliest reviews and still love it! This conditioner leaves my hair shiny and moisturized! I also love that it doesn't weight my hair down or make it greasy! This excellent hair product sells for just $3.69 on Ulta.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Top Coat
I discovered this amazing top coat thanks to my boyfriend's sister! This top coat is thin enough to go on easily and dries super fast! It makes polish dry to the touch in less than a minute, and is totally dry within 10! I love that I can paint my nails and get back to all the other things I need to do quickly without worrying about messing up my manicure! This sells for just $4.99 on!

Aveeno Therapeutic Shave Gel
This shave gel was featured in my March Favorites because it helps me get super smooth legs while preventing razor burn! It contains natural colloidal oatmeal which is great for sensitive skin, and for just $4.29 on, it can't be beat!

Palladio Oil Absorbing Rice Paper Tissues with Rice Powder
My good friend Rebecca first recommended these to me, and I absolutely love them! These blotting sheets have a light coating of powder that comes in two different colors to blend with your skin tone. The tissues effectively remove oil while the powder helps prevent oil buildup longer than other blotting tissues. These sell for just $3.99 at Ulta and are currently buy 2 get 1 free!

Maybelline Great Lash Washable Mascara
This mascara has been on the market for well over 20 years for a reason! It provides volume and separation without clumping, and is just $4.99 on  This mascara isn't going to give you a false eyelashes look, but it is great for the price. Although I use my more expensive mascaras at home, this mascara is perfect to throw in my travel or gym makeup bag! Shades available include several shades of black, brown, and royal blue.

Do you ladies know of any other fabulous beauty finds for under $5? If so, let me (and all the other beauties) know by leaving a comment below! Hopefully you will love these frugal finds as much as I do!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Weekly Preview: Sales on Beauty & Fashion

Hello Gorgeous! Sorry I haven't posted anything in the last couple days. I was away from home for the weekend and didn't have much computer access, but now I'm back and ready to go! :) For this week's sales preview, I thought I'd take a new approach. Since not everyone has the same tastes and budget, I created a slightly larger list of sales while still featuring the my top 5 picks! Here are the sales I'm most excited for this week:

Monday, April 25th:
Featured Sale: Senna Cosmetics - 11:00am CST on Ideeli
Tom Ford - 10:00am CST on RueLaLa
Noir Jewelry - 11:00am CST on Gilt Groupe
Morphe Makeup & Brushes - 10:00am CST on Eziba
Betsey Johnson Apparel 11:00am CST on Ideeli
Steve Madden Footwear 11:00am CST on Ideeli
7 for all Mankind - 10:00am CST on HauteLook
Vincent Longo Cosmetics 10:00am CST on HauteLook

Tuesday, April 26:
Featured Sale: Alexander McQueen & Christian Louboutin by Jellyfish - 8:00am CST on Enviius
Hobo International - 10:00am CST on RueLaLa
Modern Vintage - 11:00am CST on Gilt Groupe
Vivienne Vivienne Tam - 11:00am CST on Ideeli
Hype Apparel 11:00am CST on Ideeli
Rock & Republic Cosmetics 10:00am CST on HauteLook
Andrew Marc Dresses 10:00am CST on HauteLook

Wednesday, April 27:
Featured Sale: Diesel Women's Clothing 10:00am CST on RueLaLa
Swiss Legend Watches 10:00am CST on HauteLook

Thursday, April 28th:
Featured Sale: Jessica Simpson Footwear 10:00am CST on HauteLook
Romeo & Juliet Couture 10:00am CST on HauteLook
Kenneth J. Lane Jewelry 10:00am CST on HauteLook

Friday, April 29:
Featured Sale: Vix Swimwear 10:00am CST on HauteLook

So how do you all like this new format for the weekly preview? I'd love to hear your thoughts! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are ready for the week ahead!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

How to Bid, Win, & Save on Ebay!

Good morning, Gorgeous!  Recently it seems a lot of people I talk to have started using Ebay for the first time.  I think this is awesome, because Ebay is a great place to find lots of fabulous things at heavily discounted prices!  Since I have been using Ebay for around six years now, I thought I would share some tips for those of you who are new to Ebay and those who have never used it before!

But first, let me tell you why you should shop on Ebay if you're not already.

  • It's Safe: Seller ratings and buyer protection help keep your money safe. Only buy from sellers with excellent ratings (99% positive or higher), and always use Paypal for your transactions.  If for some reason the seller doesn't follow through, Ebay's buyer protection will refund your money!
  • It's Convenient: I'm sure I don't have to tell you all about the conveniences of shopping online.  Ebay is just as easy and convenient to use as other online retailers.
  • It's Filled with Treasures: You'll be amazed at some of the fabulous things you can find on Ebay! If you ever lost a favorite necklace, tore your favorite pair of jeans, or just never bought that handbag you really wanted- check on Ebay! I've found many items I thought I'd never see again on Ebay! I even found a handbag I had been looking for about 5 years ago show up recently (and I still love it)! Of course, there is also plenty of garbage on Ebay, but I always find great items at excellent prices when I'm searching around!
  • It's Inexpensive: You can't argue with a great price! I have found so many fabulous items on Ebay for very low prices. Here are a few of my recent Ebay purchases, and what I paid for them:
New Ojon Shampoo & Conditioner- $20 with Shipping (Regularly $42)
Pre-owned Kenneth Cole New York Handbag- $8 with Shipping (Originally $250)

Pre-owned Citizens of Humanity Jeans- $40 with Shipping (Originally $175)
As you can see, I buy both new and pre-owned items on Ebay.  If you buy pre-owned, you can really save a ton of money, just make sure that the item is still in excellent condition (if in doubt, contact the seller with questions).  So now that I have told you why you should shop on Ebay, let me tell you how to shop on Ebay!

  • Step 1: Create an account.  To do this, you'll need the standard information (name, address, etc), as well as a credit or debit card, which will be used to confirm your identity.
  • Step 2: Create a Paypal account. Paypal is free for buyers to use, and it is the safest way to pay on Ebay. You will need to link your Paypal account to your checking account, so you should have your account and routing numbers handy. You can also link a credit card to this account as a means of payment.
  • Step 3: Wait for Verification. Paypal must verify your account, which takes a few days. To verify your checking account, Paypal makes a small deposit and then withdraws the same amount. You will be asked to enter this amount to verify the account belongs to you.
Once you have completed these steps, you will be ready to start shopping on Ebay!  Here are some tips to help you bid, win, and save!
  • Search, Search, and Search Some More. Even if you find what you are looking for with your initial search, try using variations of terms or fine tuning your search using the sidebar options.  For example, I might search "Marc Jacobs Bangle," but I will also try "Marc Jacobs bracelet." Not all seller's think the same, and many people who sell on Ebay may not know a ton about the products they sell (such as store owners who resell items for their customers). Although you made find what you're looking for right away, you might find it cheaper if you try searching in a slightly different way.
  • Read the Listing. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I have seen people bid on items without reading the listing, then later get upset because the item isn't in mint condition like they assumed.  It is the seller's responsibility to describe an item exactly as it is, so read the details and ask questions if necessary. Don't get burned by being naive.
  • Compare Prices. If you're looking at an item up for auction (as opposed to "Buy it now" items), you cannot be sure what the final selling price will be.  However, you can add different items to your "watch" list, and keep an eye on them as the auction nears the end.  Also, be sure to check shipping prices, which can vary widely from one seller to another.
  • Don't Bid Early. One thing novices on Ebay often do is place a bid well before the end of the auction. If you bid, then just wait until the end to see if you won, you will lose. To give yourself the best chance of winning an item, wait until the end of the auction, then place your bid (I usually bid with around 10-15 seconds left).
  • Bid the Highest Price You are Willing to Pay. You also don't want to lose an item because you only put in a bid that was 50 cents higher than the previous bid.  If you are willing to pay $50 for an item, bid $50 instead of $40. Placing your highest bid doesn't mean you will have to pay that price, it just helps prevent you from losing an item you would be willing to pay more for (e.g. You bid $50 on an item that's currently $39- if another person bids $45- you'll still win the item for $45.50).
  • Know When to Let Go. People often get invested in an item they're bidding on, so sometimes prices will inflate more than they should. Decide the most you are willing to pay, and stop there.  You have to be OK with losing an item if it goes over your budget, even if it's only by 25 cents.
  • Get an App. If you have an Android or iPhone, download the Ebay application (it's free). You can't always be home when an auction is ending, but if you have this application on your phone, it will send you a reminder 10 minutes before items you are "watching" end, so you can place your bid while you're on the go! Even if I'm at home, I appreciate the reminder to go online and place my bid!
So those are some of my recommendations for buying on Ebay. If you have any other questions, please leave a comment and I would be happy to help! Also, be on the lookout next week for a "How to Sell on Ebay" post! I hope you all have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Special Delivery!

Hello Lovelies! Look what just showed up at my door! My $2 Halston clutch I scored last week at The Outnet's B-day Sale (see my post about this event here)!

So what do you ladies think? I'm so lucky I got this for just $2! I'm also happy the UPS guy came early today- I was so excited waiting for this to arrive!!!

Review: OPI Black Shatter Nail Polish

Good morning, Beautiful! Last week, my boyfriend's sister was sweet enough to pick up a bottle of OPI Black Shatter nail polish from the Katy Perry Collection ($8.50). I've been wanting this for a while, but it's been sold out everywhere! I was so happy when I found out she grabbed it for me, and I just had to give it a try ASAP!

The first thing I did was put on a few layers of my Essie nail colour in Turquoise and Caicos ($8). I did three layers instead of the usual two to ensure a bright, opaque base that would show up well once I applied the shatter polish. After I let this dry completely, I was ready to add the shatter polish to the top.

When I first opened the bottle of OPI shatter nail polish, I was somewhat surprised to see that it was the same consistency as most other nail polishes (for some reason, I expected it to be thinner). I applied it to one fingernail, trying to be careful, but then realized that the polish was starting to "shatter", so I had to move faster. All you have to do is apply a single coat to the top of your nail, but since the "shattering" begins after just a few seconds, you have to apply quickly. After realizing this, I coated each nail as fast as I could, which caused me to make more mistakes (such as getting the polish on my cuticles/fingers), but also provided better results overall. I just used a cotton swab soaked in nail polish remover to correct my mistakes once I was finished.

The last thing I did was apply a top coat o seal the nail color and give it a nice shine. This step is definitely a must, as the shatter nail polish dries very flat, and looks a bit dull without the top coat. Here is the final result:

Overall, I was really satisfied with this nail polish. Although application can be a bit messy since you have to move so quickly, the shatter polish within 5 minutes and looks very cool! I have received several compliments on my nails already! At $8.50 a bottle, this polish isn't cheap, but it also isn't any more expensive than other OPI nail polishes.

Haute Lunch Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Trays

Also, a quick announcement: The winner of the Sigma F80 Kabuki Brush is Jessica! Congrats to Jessica, and thanks to everyone who entered with giveaway! 
Also, don't forget to enter the 200 Fabulous Followers Giveaway that includes a prize package valued at $90!!!  Be sure to enter by the end of the month for your chance to win!

So what do you ladies think about this funky nail polish? Have you been able to find a bottle of shatter nail polish in the stores, or has it been sold out where you are as well? Please leave a comment below- I love hearing from you!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Modern Vintage Chicago Spring Jewelry & Clothing Explosion!

Good morning, Gorgeous! As you may have heard by now, yesterday I attended the Modern Vintage Chicago event and had a blast with my friend Rebecca! This bi-annual event features vintage jewelry and apparel from sellers located all over the country, as well as new clothing and accessories from Chicago's leading indie designers! called the event a "fashionista's paradise," and now I see why! There were so many fabulous vintage pieces from fashion power houses such as Diane von Furstenberg, Louis Vuitton, Bally, Hermes, Chanel, and many others!

Here are some some photos I snapped while shopping (sorry about the poor lighting in some of these- it wasn't very bright inside):
Rebecca & I decided this was the most fabulous mask there!
Vintage Fendi backpack and other fabulous handbags
Gorgeous encrusted hand mirror and frames
Beautiful multi-strand turquoise necklace with leaf accent
Evening Gown worn by R&B diva Gladys Knight
The fabulous fedora I wanted but was afraid I wouldn't wear.
Me trying on one of my purchases- a 1970's bright green blazer from The Villager (which no longer exists).
The African beaded necklace that I spent 15 minutes debating if I should get. I REALLY wanted this necklace, but the asking price was WAY too high.  Sigh.
Although I lusted after many things, such as the necklace pictured above, I did a good job managing my money and walked away with three fabulous pieces for just $40! This included the blazer, a fun, large beaded necklace, and a vintage military issued lighter for the boyfriend to add to his collection.
My final selections. I negotiated the price down from $60 to just $40 for the set!
Do any of you have events like this where you are? I'm lucky to live in a city that has great year-round events, but the summer is particularly packed with amazing festivals and markets! If you are planning a trip to Chicago, be sure to check out the Chicago tourism website to see what's happening in the city- there is almost always something going on, and many of the events are free! Of course, you can also get in touch with me- I'm always happy to provide recommendations for places to go and things to see!

So what do you think of my selections? Do you have any vintage items in your wardrobe? I'd love to hear from you!
P.S. Don't forget to enter the Sigma Beauty F80 Kabuki Brush Giveaway!  It ends tonight at midnight CST!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Weekly Preview: Sample Sales on Beauty & Fashion

Good Evening, Lovelies! I hope you all had a fun weekend- I certainly did! Yesterday I went to a fantastic wine and beer tasting, and today I had a blast at the Chicago Modern Vintage Jewelry & Clothing Expo! I took some photos of the expo today, so check back tomorrow for a recap of this fabulous event! Also, don't forget to enter the Sigma F80 Kabuki Brush Giveaway, which ends tomorrow night!

Now, without further ado, here are my top picks for the week ahead!

Matt Bernson - Monday, April 18th @ 11:00am CST on Gilt Groupe

Believe it or not, these fabulous shoes are made by a former construction worker (which may explain the glitzy rivets that adorn these gladiators)! I've been wanting a pair of Matt Bernson sandals, so hopefully the sale tomorrow will offer a price that fits my budget!

Vintage Louis Vuitton - Tuesday, April 19th @ 10:00am CST on Beyond The Rack

Since I'm still in the vintage shopping mood, I'm going to check out the vintage Louis Vuitton sale on Beyond the Rack this week! I saw a few great LV handbags at the Modern Vintage Expo today, but didn't end up getting one. Perhaps Tuesday will be different!

Vera Wang Fragrances - Wednesday, April 20th @ 10:00am CST on Biva

I'm definitely a fan of the soft, feminine fragrances produced by Vera Wang. Preppy Princess is the newest in the collection, and has quickly become a best seller. Personally, I enjoy the original Vera Wang Princess, which has hints of golden fruit, amber, and vanilla.

Sue Wong Dresses - Thursday, April 21st @ 10:00am CST on HauteLook

Whether it's for a special night on the town, a black tie event, or one of the many summer weddings, a Sue Wong dress is sure to impress! These lovely, embellished designs have flattering fits and unique details. Check out this sale Thursday on HauteLook!

Madara EcoCosmetics - Friday, April 22nd @ 10:00am CST on HauteLook

Friday is Earth Day, so hug a tree, recycle your trash, and pick up some wonderful, eco-friendly cosmetics to keep you looking fresh as a daisy! Madara EcoCosmetics are natural and organic, come in recyclable packaging, and are produced using energy efficient equipment! Do your part while saving some cash on fantastic skin, body, and hair care products this Earth Day!

While those are my top 5 picks of the week, I wanted to add some other notable sales happening in the next few days ahead.

Free People & Kooba on Gilt Groupe
Saachi, Shae, & Gracia on Ideeli

French Connection on Ideeli
Italian Shoes on Rue La La

Juicy Couture, Donald J. Pliner Shoes, Beauty Bar, & NYX Cosmetics on HauteLook
Estate Jewelry on Rue La La

So what are you all looking forward to in the week ahead? Did you do anything fun this weekend? I'd love to hear all about it!