Buying Fancy Dress on eBay

Before I started selling fancy dress on eBay I was a buyer just like many of you reading this now. I used to go to many fancy dress parties at the start of the millenium with near enough every theme you can think of. This meant that I needed new fancy dress outfits all the time, but back then I used to make my own from old clothing as the cost to hire one was more than it was to get creative.

A navy sailor fancy dress costume

Times have changed a lot and it’s now very cheap to buy a costume that you can use time and time again instead of hiring one for the same price or even more. A brand new fancy dress costume from a reputable manufacturer can cost between £30 – £100, even more in some cases. A none brand version that will be similar in design but lower quality (generally, but not always) will cost you between £10 – £25. For anyone on a tight budget these options are great and should be good to wear a couple of times at least.

On eBay you have two choices when buying fancy dress costumes. You can either buy it now, which means that you buy and pay for an item that will be sent out straight away, or you can bid on an auction, which means that you bid against other eBay buyers. Sometimes you can get a real bargain when you bid on auctions, but if you need your costume in a rush using the buy now option is much better and safer.

The eBay Fancy Dress Scam

So here’s the deal. Selling on eBay with pictures that arn’t a true representation of what you’re actually buying is very common, though eBay are active in removing these listings. This is especially true with fancy dress costumes. For example, if you type “sailor fancy dress” into eBay you’ll get results that resemble those in the picture below:

eBay Fancy Dress Scam Listing

The costume in the picture is made by costume manufacturer “Roma Costumes”. They produce a large range of fancy dress costumes with a new collection released every year. They’re joined by a number of other costume manufacturers including Leg Avenue, Rubie’s, Smiffy’s and Forplay as the leading producers of dressing up clothing.

So what’s the eBay fancy dress scam? It’s basically when sellers use images of fancy dress outfits from official manufacturers to sell their own cheaper chinese versions. Don’t get me wrong the chinese versions are still great for a cheaper solution but when you think you’re buying a high quality more expensive outfit you might feel ripped off. Many of us visit high street shops to see what we want then jump online to order it and in most cases save some money. Receiving a lower quality fancy dress costume that you thought was going to be the same as what you saw in your local fancy dress shop will leave a bitter taste in your mouth.

Be aware and ask questions before you buy to avoid being disappointed.

Finding a Fancy Dress Bargain on eBay

Much like anything on eBay there are bargains to be found. This is especially true with fancy dress outfits as there are hundreds of sellers all working hard for your money. Competition is definitely rife. Some opt for flashy listing templates, while others prefer to compete by charging less than their competitors. This is great for buyers as it drives the price you pay to record low levels. Bonus!

Visit the Fancy Dress Queen eBay store for a bargain costume.

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About the Author: David Hayler

The owner of Otley Run Fancy Dress and a fancy dress guru. He's also an amateur photographer who has experience with cosplay and costume photography.

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