Some of the best things that I ever sold on eBay, I bought on eBay – just for way less’ – Sophia Amoruso
I have a long and happy history with EBay. I logged in to check and I’ve had an active account since 17 June 2001. And before then my only experience of auction sites was Yahoo auctions, the biggest difference being that if you were caught in a bidding war at the end of an auction, the time would keep on extending until someone gave up. I learnt my lesson the hard way after spending £30 on a Backstreet Boys CD single which was the only one missing from my collection. To my mind, EBay was better because the end time was static.
Back in 2001 Paypal wasn’t really a thing, so you had to buy everything by cheque or postal order (who?) which meant by the time you’d sent off your cheque and the seller had waited for it to cash, you were looking at around a 6 month turn around to receive the This Life VHS box set you paid £1.99 for. Fast forward to 2018 and it’s safe to say that 70% of my wardrobe are things I’ve bought off EBay.
Over the years other online market places have come and gone, but none of them seem to have been any match for the marketplace juggernaut. And more importantly no space left in my obsession closet for anything new. That is of course until Linda introduced me to Vinted.
Similar to Ebay, it’s a market place where you can sell all your second hand wares. I’ve only been using it for a couple of months, so I’m not sure whether it’s just the novelty of it that I’m loving so much, and maybe I’ll be crawling back with my tail between my legs begging Ebay for forgiveness in a few months’ time, but I’m going to go crazy and suggest that Vinted may be even better than Ebay!
So what are the differences between the two sites and what makes one better than the other? Let’s take a look:
EBay is the well-known tried and tested formula of a good old fashion auction with the buy it now option on a lot of things. This means you can get some real bargains as low as 99p if you’re lucky enough. Vinted is fixed price which means you’re likely to pay slightly more but can win things instantly rather than wait for the auction to end or risk being out bid. That said on Vinted you are allowed to submit offers to buyers to get things a little cheaper and most sellers are open to negotiation or swap.
Vinted is much more social than EBay – where if you have a question you have to submit it via their internal email style system. On the Vinted app the messaging system works more like Whatsapp. You can see when a seller was last online and chat to them about pricing or postage more like a text conversation. This feels much more laid back and modern.
This is where I prefer EBay because the price you see (or the price you win at) is the price you pay plus postage. On Vinted, after you buy something there is a small service fee added to your order, usually between 50p – £1 for items under £5 Which, whereas is not a large amount, it sometimes bumps your order up a little more than what the quick maths you’ve done in your head has amounted to. In this respect, Vinted favours the sellers; by getting the buyer to pay the fee it means you’re not stung with the listing fees you always forget about when selling stuff on Ebay.
When it was launched in 2008 the whole idea behind Vinted was to give Lithuanian woman the opportunity to swap clothes. And whilst the swapping option is still available through a Vinted account, you can state as a user that you’re not interested in swapping, which most people seem to do. In fact I don’t think I’ve come across a user who does want to swap, beginning the question how long is that option going to be made available for?
When you receive the item from Vinted, you have to click the received button and whether you have an issue or not, otherwise the seller doesn’t get paid. If you accidentally click that there is no issue, but then you find out there is, Vinted won’t give you the money back. They will have automatically released your money to the seller and you have to negotiate with them to get a refund. On EBay the buyer pays the seller directly and immediately or the seller won’t send the item. EBay have a very good resolutions process though where if you’re unhappy with an item or don’t receive it at all, EBay will step in to resolve. And it almost always falls in favour of the buyer.
This is largely the same across both sites to be fair. They both operate a star rating and you can add your own comments about how fast someone took to pay, delivery etc. The good thing about Vinted is if you’re too busy swanning around in your new £5 jumpsuit to remember to leave feedback, it automatically leaves positive feedback for you after a few days of you confirming receipt. Which takes the pressure off having to remember to do it yourself.
Some of my favourite eBay wares:
Versus a few things got on Vinted:
So, when it comes to clothes I absolutely love the immediate nature of Vinted and not having to wait weeks for an auction to end only to be pipped at the post at the last minute like you do with EBay. It has a great community feel and all the users I’ve interacted with have been genuinely lovely.
I think, however, if you’re looking for another other than clothes; things like spare mobile phone chargers because you left yet another one in a hotel room in Eastbourne (for example) then EBay still rules the school.