Your ultimate guide to shopping the best (and cheapest) designer pieces on eBay

Grab a bargain now

designer tips ebay chanel bag
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whether you're an expert at secondhand shopping online or are just starting to dabble, there's always something to learn when it comes to finding gems on eBay, especially if they're of the designer variety.

So we asked Amy Bannerman Pre-Loved Style Director at eBay, and Alice Marsden, Head of Luxury at eBay, to share their top tips for nabbing the best designer deals, from Chanel to Bottega Veneta.

Mix up your spelling

"People spell items incorrectly all the time, so have a play around with spelling to find the designer piece you’re dreaming of. When shopping for the Love Islanders, we found loads of our best buys by playing around with ruched, rushered and rooched!," says Amy.

Shop out of season

"I know that come winter, everyone will be looking for that same coat and not only will it mean your chances of winning that item are lower, but it will also mean the price will be inflated. So my advice is, beat the crowds by searching for that coat you’ve been dreaming of in summer and that summer dress, in winter," she adds.

Bid odd numbers

"Sometimes you’ve got to get smart if you really want that item in your wardrobe. I recommend bidding a more unexpected and uneven figure than others might and bidding just before the auction ends. For example, if you put £52.86 and someone else has bid £50 (most people do even numbers), you will win," Amy says.

Use Authenticity Guarantee

"With Authenticity Guarantee now available for handbags, jewellery and watches, as well as sneakers, look for listings with the blue tick. This means the item is eligible to be vetted and verified by our team of industry experts and authentication collaborators, taking the guesswork out of shopping for pre-loved luxury," explains Alice.

Narrow down your search with filters

"There are so many luxury items listed on eBay, so make sure to make the most of the filters. eBay allows you to navigate by brand, price range, colour and location to help you whittle down the choices and curate your personalised online boutique to find exactly what you’re after," she adds.

Shop for timeless classics

"eBay’s inventory hosts an array of both new and pre-loved, luxury pieces including watches, handbags and fine jewellery from the most popular brands. When it comes to finding your perfect piece, don't be afraid to look into the archives, as vintage classics are icons for a reason and exude timeless style," says Alice.

When is best to bid?

"If you’ve found the perfect piece to add to your wardrobe and don’t want to miss out, I would recommend bidding in the closing seconds.

Set a timer for the final few minutes before the listing finishes to ensure you get your bid in right before it ends! Don’t forget some items have a Buy it Now option letting you purchase the item straight away, without needing the listing to end! Or if you really love something, message the buyer and ask if they’d accept a “buy it now” price. I have snagged lots of gems this way!" reveals Amy.

Is there a better time of year to shop designer?

"The best time to shop designer is out of season. When winter comes around, and everyone is looking for that same coat l it might mean you’ll end up bidding against quite a few people. So my advice is, beat the crowds by searching for that coat you’ve been dreaming of in summer and that summer dress in winter. Or better yet, invest in a wardrobe of seasonless pre-loved staples," she adds.

Which designer brands are best to shop?

"eBay has a huge inventory of designer pieces which is ever changing as more users buy and sell everyday. Some of the fastest-growing watch brands sold on eBay this year globally include Blancpain, Patek Philippe, Piaget and Vacheron Constantin, for jewellery this included Chanel, Van Cleef & Arpels and Chrome Hearts. When it comes to handbags, eBay has recently seen searches soar for quiet luxury brands such as The Row and Khaite alongside top selling luxury brands including Gucci, Hermès and Louis Vuitton," says Alice.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.