Shhh… The Glam Pad’s Secrets to eBay Shopping!

For those of us who are passionate about antiques or collectables, eBay is a godsend. You can find absolutely anything and everything you could ever need through this online marketplace. It is also an incredible resource for anyone on a budget, and today I am going to share my secrets! As an avid eBay shopper since 2001, I have bought out of print magazines, collectables, rugs, curtains, sterling silver flatware, jewelry, needlepoint, and much much more.

To sign up for an eBay account all you need is your email address. Once your account is set up, you can buy, sell, and enjoy all the benefits of being an eBay member.  I also highly recommend setting up saved searches.  That way you will be the first to know when your desired treasure (such as a vintage Dodie Thayer lettuceware tureen) becomes available! Below are 10 of my favorite treasures to buy on eBay…

1.  Staffordshire Dogs & Figurines:
Every traditional home needs at least one pair of antique Staffordshire dogs, and I warn you… they can become addictive! The variety of options on eBay is endless. Here is a darling set of 19th century red and white Staffordshire Spaniels for just $140 (plus shipping).  I also love Staffordshire figurines, and there are so many to choose from on eBay!

Circa 1850 Staffordshire Dogs available here

2.  Rose Medallion, Imari, and Blue and White Porcelain:
Whether you are looking for plates, bowls, lamps, or vases, eBay is a wonderful resource for antique Rose Medallion, Imari, and Blue and White porcelain. For example, this pair of 19th century 8.5″ plates is not in perfect condition, but they are only $79.99.

19th century Rose Famille plates available here 

3.  Needlepoint Pillows:
Needlepoint is one of my favorite hobbies, but not everyone has the time or desire for it. With some digging, you can find some fun hand-stitched needlepoint pillows on eBay, usually for a song. This cheeky golf pillow is less than $20 shipped!

Hand-stitched needlepoint golf pillow available here 

4.  Antique Jewelry:
You need to be careful shopping for expensive jewelry, but if you look at the seller’s feedback and return policy, you should be fine, and as added protection, eBay offers a Money Back Guarantee.  I love all things vintage and antique, so of course that includes jewelry as well! Art Deco jewelry is my particular weakness, and I am seriously coveting this diamond and sapphire ring.  The center diamond is just under two carats and was cut by hand during the Art Deco period. The intricate detail on the platinum setting is absolutely exquisite, click here to see.  At $10,950, this is a splurge, but a fabulous deal for such a beautiful one-of-a-kind heirloom! Perfect for an engagement ring or a right hand ring.

Antique Art Deco diamond and sapphire platinum ring, available here

5.  Antique Silhouettes
If you collect antique and vintage silhouettes, there are some wonderful options on eBay! This set from the mid 1800’s comes with  a personal story from the seller…

Set of two 19th century silhouettes available here

6.  Antique Artwork:
With a little digging, you can find some incredible artwork on eBay. This English seller is one of my favorites. They are specialist dealers in British, Old Masters, and Impressionist paintings with a 100% positive feedback rating since 2003. I happen to be in love with this 19th Century English School Yorkshire Terrier Dog Portrait attributed to Edwin Henry Landseer. Low international Express postage is offered, and you can see their other exquisite listings here.

19th Century English School Yorkshire Terrier Dog Portrait attributed to Edwin Henry Landseer available here

7. Jasperware by Wedgwood
For whatever reason, Jasperware by Wedgwood has fallen out of favor (read more here) so for those of us who love it, now is the time to scoop up some bargains!  For example this blue vase is just $29.99 plus shipping, or make offer.

Jasperware by Wedgwood vase available here

8. Herend Figurines:
Several pieces from my extensive Herend collection have come from eBay, and it is often available for a fraction of the original cost.  For example, this fishnet bunny retails for $510 and is currently available for $280 (shipped) in pristine condition! The seller has 100% positive feedback and has lots of beautiful Herend treasures for sale.

Herend fishnet bunny available here 

9.  Limoges Boxes:
I have collected Limoges boxes forever, and the prices on eBay are phenomenal! Hearts are my personal favorite… this one is currently available for just $35 (shipped)!  Current retail on Limoges heart boxes ranges from $200 – $400, so this is an unbelievable savings.

Limoges “Je t’aime” (I love you) heart box available here for $35

10.  Sterling Silver: 
eBay is an amazing resource for sterling silver. You can fill in your existing flatware pattern, find discontinued patterns, hunt for beautiful old monograms, or begin a silver collection from scratch. If you don’t mind purchasing estate (pre-owned), prices are a fraction of a fraction of retail! Personally, I prefer estate over new. For some reason, I just don’t feel like new sterling flatware is made quite as well as the old. My family pattern is Grande Baroque by Wallace. A brand new four-piece setting costs around $1,000… here is a beautiful estate option for just $177.49 (shipped) on eBay!  This seller also has the option to “Make Offer” which allows you to negotiate the price.

Wallace Grande Baroque five piece place settings available here

And finally, 10 more pro tips to shopping on eBay….

  1.  Check the “Include description” box in the top right corner to widen your search.
  2. To narrow it down, check the options available in the Advanced Search.
  3. Double check your spelling.
  4. Put quotation marks around key phrases if you are looking for something specific.
  5. Try different key terms to find more results (e.g. Herend fishnet bunny and Herend fishnet rabbit).
  6. Sort your results by best match, time ending soonest, price (lowest or highest), or distance (location).
  7. Read descriptions carefully noting measurements, condition, return policy, and of course the seller’s ratings.
  8. The eBay Authenticate™ can help you find luxury handbags, jewelry and watches, all certified through a third party.
    All purchases are backed by the eBay Money Back Guarantee.
  9. Research retail prices to make sure you don’t overspend.
  10. More great tips are available in this article from PC Mag.

Here are more fabulous eBay finds I have rounded up!

What are your favorite things to buy on eBay, and do you have any shopping tips to share?

This post was sponsored by eBay but all opinions are my own.


  1. I also have been a member since 2001 and have purchased, successfully, the following: Louis Vuitton luggage, dog chews, Judith Ripka jewelry, Porthault sheets, Coach dog collars, WS dish soap, mascara, Vuitton Empreint handbags from Japan, La Mer face cream, antique frames, upholstery fabric, Schumacher pillows, a complete set of Royal Copenhagen blue fluted china…
    I am also now broke, but it was fun while it lasted.

  2. With nearly 2000 transactions under my belt, I’m a long term buyer and seller. Ebay’s got everything, basically. I have found many beautiful things on eBay. It’s a great go-to resource for the decorative arts.

  3. Joined eBay in 2003 when I started collecting Hermès Scarves, what a revelation it was and is…have since collected Hermès Bracelets, Herend, Ralph Lauren Floral Linens from the 80’s and 90’s (the heyday), Gould Hummingbird Lithographs, Fiesta P86 dishes, Tablecloths, Vintage Books and the list goes on and on…this was a fun article!

  4. I’ve been buying things on eBay now for over 20 years. I’ve never sold anything, but I sure have bought a lot of things!

    Guarantee or not, one must be very careful on eBay just as one must in an antique mall or other lower-end antique/junk/second hand store. Sometimes things are honestly mislabeled – the seller just doesn’t know any better – but sometimes, there is great dishonesty. I would be very hesitant to buy anything “Staffordshire” as there are so many fakes out there. Yes, I have bought such at low-end shops, but the price was good enough that if it was a fake, it was still a great buy. I would only pay top dollar from a recognized seller of Staffordshire who I trusted, and they are few and far between. The same is true for Rose Famille Chinese Export – so much fakes stuff.

    Paintings? These can also be risky. I would only buy if there was a good authority in my area where I could pay for authentication. That is unless it was very pleasing and such a reasonable price that I didn’t care! And I’ve done that with no regrets!

    Some of the best buys on eBay are silver. No one wants it anymore, plus it’s a great place to fine discontinued patterns. I have managed to finish out my 8 place settings of my Tiffany English King now to 12 place settings, all on eBay and at remarkable prices. I also replaced some missing pieces from a set of Gotham “Strasbourg” with the old markings, in the heavy weight.

    Probably my best buys over the years have been fine linens. I’ve bought some of the most beautiful antique linen/organdy/madeira embroidery placemat sets for less than $100 for 6-8 placemats and matching napkins, in PERFECT condition. I’ve seen similar ones at Leron and E Braun for $400-500 for ONE MAT and napkin! With much time and effort, I finally found an Irish linen, double damask tablecloth for my ridiculously wide antique dining table – wide clothes such as this are no longer made in Ireland – the looms are gone. Many a bride has received a dozen 22″ Irish linen double damask napkins from me. I’ve bought the unheeded stripes that someone never got around to hemming when they were give the cloth 60 years ago. I know how to roll and whip a hem, $50 for the strip of 12.

    I also buy over-the-counter drugs at great prices, La Prairie face cream heavily discounted, and some very nice Fortuny fabric (and I dod know the difference between the fake and the real and mine is real).

    Three of my very favorite Hermes cashmere/silk large scarves were bought on eBay at 1/2 what a new one costs. There are a lot of fickle Hermes scarf collectors who finally realize that they’re never going to wear 100 different scarves! I know my scarves so feel comfortable buying them, plus I can have them authenticated on the Purse Forum.

    I managed to acquire 12 place settings of Royal Copenhagen’s “Tranquebar” dishes, a now-discontinued pattern. The dinner plates were the hardest to find – they tend to get broken with use over the years. Found 12 for sale from Denmark. This was about 18 years ago when there was no “Guarantee” with either eBay or PayPal so I was taking a chance whether I would actually ever get these – they were only $275 for the 12. Much to my shock, they arrived on my front porch less than a week later. When I opened the box and unpacked them, there was dried egg on several plates – I think the seller just took them off the breakfast table and wrapped them up and shipped them! A run through the dishwasher and all was well.

    I find that paying with PayPal is the best way to go, and I always use my AmEx card with PayPal. That way, I have AmEx behind me as well, and a random seller does not have access to my AmEx card number. I think it’s the safest way.

    There are not as many bargains today as there were 20 years ago, but there are still some great buys, plus one finds things that are impossible to find locally. Much of what is for sale I believe was bought on eBay. The “pickers” use it, too! And if you REALLY want something and want to avoid a bidding war, use eSnipe to bid for you. You decide on your highest bid and they put it in 5 seconds before the auction closes, so no one can come in and out-bid at the last minute. It’s very cheap to use and beats being up at 4AM when an auction is ending on the West Coast!

  5. Yes to EBay. You have to visit the site often. I buy French Quimper some as far as Switzerland . Chintz from England and Bermuda. Suitcases from Louis Vittton. I have slowed down as I have enough. But love to find chinocerie type fabric from the big fabric houses but no longer available. I also like Etsy

  6. I love eBay and have scored amazing things there for a long time! It started getting dangerous for me when I discovered the foreign sites! Buying things from Germany without getting the currency straight!

    Andrea, send me your business address and I will send you a special Limoges box!


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