Friday, September 21, 2007

Obtaining Designer Goods On A Budget Online

If you are fashion conscious and are regularly online you may think there are few options on how to obtain designer and other top quality products including clothes, footwear and jewellery.

In fact there are FOUR different ways you can find such goods, so lets look at the ups and downs of each and see which ones are best for your needs, or worth a try.

1. Buy New

Under this method you visit auction or retailers web sites, view products and buy direct. Postage and delivery may be included in the price or extra.

Unless you buy direct from the makers own web sites or known national retailers there is a risk of buying fake and imitation items, at what you may seems as a bargain. A designer pair of shoes which retails for $500 USD on offer as the "genuine" article for $50 can only be fake.

Upside you get NEW, DOWNSIDE is you need MONEY (or credit) and you can overspend far to easily to fuel your needs and desires. It's fine if you are earning 100,000 a year but most are budget conscious and seek bargains and ever lower prices.

2. Buy Used

Auction sites are the biggest source of used goods and offer a vast range of prices, quality and authentic goods - very much a "let the buyer we wary" especially for big spenders who think they are getting bargains on designer goods, but in reality have been tricked into deals where they pay over the odds for fake or inferior goods.

Many auction sites have a vast stock of offers, changing daily, but require bidding, a task taking several days to see though, only to end up paying a higher price than planned, or miss out to others, better prepared to pay over the odds for unknown quality.

There is little "community spirit" you are either seller - wanting as much as you can for your goods, or buyer wanting top quality, fast delivery as cheap as possible.

3. Direct swap or trade

Under this program you source similar quality and priced used goods and TRADE with another member of the site. New sites of this type with little goods to offer can be time wasting when you are seeking items which are just not listed.

Ideally you need to take the plunge and list YOUR item (usually free to list) to let other web surfers know what you have on offer BUT more importantly what you NEED before you will swap.

No money changes hands but deals rely on honesty of trading members who simply BOTH agree to send the other their item, any difference in postage is paid one to the other.

The upside is fraud is potentially nil as the fraudsters incentive MONEY just does not exist, and listing costs are either low or based on a single subscription payable monthly, quarterly or annually.

The downside is lack of variety, as it takes a long time for new sites to build a stock of offers, many of which may be long since sold or disposed of by other means, leading to frustration and time wasting for the web surfer.

4. Trade for points

A new breed of web site extends the strategy of the swap site and converts goods on offer and traded to a POINTS VALUE.

In this method users can EARN points and build up a bank of points in various ways, usually

A) free points on joining

B) trade YOUR goods with other members and rack up points based on the points value for each trade

C) BUY points for real money to top up your points "bank" for a desirable "purchase" you see on offer

D) refer new members to the site, and add bonus points

They can then SPEND their points and "BUY" goods on offer

Again as no money changes hands fraud is reduced, offering, potentially at least a better quality of listed offers.

Postage needs to be paid from the "buyer" and this can be agreed prior to trade with the "seller".

As new sites stock of offers can take time to build, but the concept seems to offer many advantages especially for lower value goods where listing fees on traditional auction sites can erode eventual sale prices. Potentially at least this type of site seems to offer and rely on more "community spirit" and could become a regular place to visit.


You are ultimately ruled by available MONEY - if you are rich you can and will only BUY new from reputable stores and never, ever consider buying another's cast offs. For the majority of folk money is always tight, yet the need to be IN FASHION and LOOK GOOD with an ever changing wardrobe, so the new breed of trading sites could be worth a look, and adding a few offers may help boost them into tomorrows "must use" web sites.

Maurice S Clarke is founder of the wearable goods trading web site and lives in Rugby, UK. This article may be freely republished provided it remains intact.