Tuesday, February 24, 2015

LaceMarket Lessons: Things I've Learned from Buying Lolita Secondhand

Buying secondhand is my favorite way of buying lolita. You can get great pieces at a fraction of the price and you get to help a fellow lolita out by taking pieces off their hands. Unfortunately, I've also gone through a few bad experiences (latest one involved receiving a very damaged Angelic Pretty skirt.) I want to pass on a few lessons I've learned the hard way so your future secondhand adventures go without a hitch!

1. Ask sellers to be specific and ask for extra pictures when unsure

A lot of sellers list their items in broad terms such as "gently worn" and "slightly damaged". Ask them what exactly they mean by their descriptions. The Angelic Pretty skirt I bought was listed as slightly damaged. What I received? A skirt with mysterious blue stains on 1/4 of the skirt! The stains do not come out. She had taken a single photo of a small section of the skirt. I should have asked her just how much of the skirt was stained and multiple pictures to prove it.

2. Always ask about waist ties

Sellers always forget them. They forget them in the pictures, they forget them in the packages and they even forget to tell you they don't have them! If you care about waist ties (like I do) please make sure to ask! My AP skirt (in addition to the stains) came without waist ties, a detail the seller left out.

3. Always ask for tracking and insurance

Yes, it'll cost you extra but you won't regret it. You'll know where your package is at all times and if it gets lost, you're covered for it. Seriously, do not skimp on this!

4. Ask if they've washed the garments

A lot of people spend their entire lolita lives without washing their garments. You don't want to receive a dress that reeks of meetup B.O. If it's not washed and they're unwilling to do it, make sure the price is worth it and be prepared to wash it when you get it.

5. Be wary of sellers with very little feedback

I feel kinda bad saying this, but the only times I've had bad experiences has always been with extremely new sellers. I'd love to give them a chance to build feedback, but my wallet can't afford the risk anymore. New sellers tend to make a lot of mistakes in the whole process. This can involve problems with shipping, delays, and communication.

I don't mean all new sellers are like this (I'm new to selling and haven't had problems). I'm also not saying you should 100% avoid them, but make sure to prepare for possible newbie mistakes. They can sometimes cost you extra money (especially if the seller refuses to take responsibility.)

Summary: When in doubt, ask ask ask! Most problems can be avoided by asking questions. If a seller seems snippy about answering then move along. OH! But don't ask questions if you have no intention of buying; that's rude!

Have you learned any lessons in your own shopping endeavors? Please share them in the comments!

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