It takes a bit of practice but you can learn to identify cashmere by feel so that you can quickly go through shop rails and find those cashmere sweaters.

Don’t worry too much about bobbles – pure cashmere (or any fabric that’s not a mixed fibre) should brush up quite well using a bobble comb. As long as you’re not going to resell the item, it’s easy to fix snags and holes using a couple of stitches, they soon blend in.

Yesterday I bought:

  • Shirin Guild shirt
  • Max & Moi cardigan
  • AllSaints shirt
  • AllSaints top
  • RVCA bomber jacket
  • Pure Collection cashmere jumper
  • COS jumper
  • Mint Velvet top

Buy it Now or Auction?

I’m a huge advocate of auctions. In most cases you will achieve a higher price by auctioning an item than you will by setting a fixed price. I’m no psychologist but I think buyers get caught up in the competitive, almost gambling nature of an auction and will often nudge their budget just a bit higher in order to ‘win’.

I also like setting auctions to start from 99p. This encourages lots of lower end bids. When a buyer sees that an item has attracted several bids already, it makes the item seem more attractive. Of course if you can’t afford to let an item go for less than a certain amount, then don’t risk it!

Today I just popped into one local charity shop and picked up the following:

  • American Vintage t-shirt
  • COS dress
  • Patagonia shirt
  • M&S cashmere jumper
  • Baum und Pferdgarten dress

Another first time find

Really pleased to find this &Daughter jumper on an otherwise not very successful day.

&Daughter wool jumper

In addition I found a Nicole Farhi belt, a Gudrun Sjoden shirt and some ISCHIKO knitted trousers.

Note that it’s always worth making time to have a rummage among the belts and scarves in charity shops because you can find some real treasures there, usually for just a couple of pounds.

Found something fantastic? Let me know!

More menswear (and know your labels!)

Not many finds today but I did discover a couple of great menswear items: This Missoni cardigan and a butter soft leather Farhi Harrington jacket.

I also found a The White Company long merino cardigan and a lovely vintage Ghost embroidered black blouse.

It’s worth familiarising yourself for the different tags used by brands through the years. Most will be more valuable the more recent the tag is.

There are some exceptions such as Ghost, where the brand used to be much more exclusive, and Issa. The older, original Issa dresses were nearly always silk and are still highly sought after. The newer versions that can be bought in House of Fraser are usually polyester and virtually worthless secondhand.

A great mix of high value items

I thoroughly enjoyed shopping today and came away with a really nice selection of high end items.

Today I found:

  • Harmont & Blaine trainers
  • Baum und Pferdgarten trousers
  • Band of Outsiders trousers
  • Icebreaker jacket
  • Finisterre jumper
  • ISCHIKO dress
  • Akris cardigan
  • Rochas top
  • AllSaints jumper (new)
  • Onjenu top

Really exciting to find the Rochas top as it’s a brand that I’ve never found in a charity shop before, however I expect the Icebreaker jacket will sell for more than any of the others – it’s hugely popular and it’s a great time of year to sell it. I’ll let you know if I’m right!

I did spot a Belstaff reefer jacket today and at £20 it looked like a bargain, but for me the lining was a bit tatty so I gave it a miss this time.

Early spring florals

I’ve found that patterns and prints nearly always sell better than plain garments. I think this is because they identify the brand subtly and to the knowing eye.

Florals show no sign of going out of favour – I picked up this Boden linen shirt and Paul Smith contrast cuff shirt today. There were no ‘Big hitter’ finds but I did get the following:

  • Boden floral shirt
  • Paul Smith floral shirt
  • Jack Murphy tweed skirt
  • Vintage leather jacket
  • Modern Rarity dress
  • Merrell plaid shirt

For any one who is interested, as well as their Ted Baker stock, Oxfam stores now also have some new Burberry items. Mainly black jeans, black trousers and plain shirts. All around the £20 mark.

Style and ski wear

Despite the atrocious weather I still managed to find some little gems today………

  • Diane von Furstenberg lace dress
  • Sweaty Betty leggings
  • rag & bone jeans
  • Zara fur bomber
  • AllSaints chunky jumper
  • Custommade cardigan
  • Rene Lezard quilted coat
  • Elisa Cavaletti shirt
  • Free People one piece

So a really great mix of items, found within about an hour and a half of shopping. Most of this will appear in my eBay store so take a look. If you’re thinking of selling your own clothes on eBay let me know if you have any questions. Happy bargain hunting!

Advice for potential sellers

A very lean buying day today so no bargains to share!

For anyone interested in starting a fashion retail business I thought I’d share a bit about customer service – a really boring phrase but vital for growing your business.

Fashion resale has a poor reputation for its customer service – just google reviews of any of the major reselling sites. There are problems for both buyers and sellers, particularly when there’s a dispute.

So how should you deal with a complaint? Simple. The customer is always right! Even if you strongly disagree with their complaint, take it on the chin and refund them in full without any grumbling.

Why do this? Well it’s the age old cliche of turning a negative into a positive. Buyers will be impressed with your quick and positive response, therefore much more likely to visit your store again, and recommend it to others. You might make a small short term loss but trust me, it’ll be worth it in the long run!