How I found my dream flats
So it's probably safe to say that my "thing" is finding awesome deals on clothing/shoes/accessories/beauty products.
I get a high off of knowing I found the best deal possible.
Many moons ago I fell in love with a pair of lace up flats I saw on a IG fashion bloggers page. This style of ballet flat has been popping up all over the place since then but the first designer I saw doing this design was Aquazzura. I was gutted when I saw the $675 price tag that came along with them. I loved the small heel, the chic wrap around the ankle and of course the subtle pointed toe. UGH.
Luckily a few more affordable designs came along. Insert Jeffrey Campbell "Shay" Flats $130:
And Steve Madden "Lecrew" Flats $70:
I loved these designs even more! I am a sucker for black suede. I loved how the suede made the shoe a bit more luxurious looking. I loved the crossover of the laces on the top of the foot.
Well the Steve Madden Lecrew sold out before I could even blink and eye. You can't beat that price. Plus Steve Madden makes some pretty well made shoes. I have never had any issues with comfort or them falling apart so $70 for some pretty flats is definitely worth it.
I had saved the Jeffrey Campbell Shay flats on my wish list, set up price alerts and Pinned them on a few of my Pinterest boards, but no matter how much I loved them and even though I know Jeffrey Campbell makes amazing shoes I was not in a place to spend $130.
So I did my normal routine. I went on eBay, Poshmark and Tradesy. I could not find any Lecrew or Shay flats in my size, in black or that were not completely worn with noticeable wear and tear.
Usually when this happens I try to find similar styles by Googling keywords that describe the product I am looking for. In this case I Googled: suede, pointed flats, lace up.
I clicked on the "Shopping" tab to see what items were currently still listed to buy. Choosing the image tab can lead you to a million dead ends.
I then refined my "shopping" options by choosing the color I wanted, size and price range.
To my surprise I found that a Rock and Republic made a flat what was the perfect hybrid and in my price range but of course the size I found online for sale still was not my size. So I decided to do some extra digging on eBay for these flats.
Luckily I found that there were a tone of similar looking flats on eBay, but as usual they were manufactured and shipped form China.
I STRONGLY suggest NOT buying off eBay from overseas, even though the items are so, so affordable.
1. The shipping time can sometimes take up to a month
2. The sizing is usually incorrect. So when you buy a dress in a size small it can fit more like an X-Small or and XX-Small. They usually cut the garments shorter as well to fit Asian body frames better so beware your bum hanging out of everything or the sleeves on items being too short. Shoes will usually always run at least half a size smaller if not a whole size. So if you see a pair of size 8's, they are probably really a 7.5 or 7.
3. Returning is a nightmare. Even if the eBay seller or eBay store accepts returns it can be a huge pain in the ass returning the item and shipping the item back will cost you more than it's worth.
4. Customs. Sometimes the fine print will state that due to customs you may have to pay an additional fee from the post office for delivery your item. Also items can be delayed for months due to customs.
So when I shop on eBay I always choose the filter that allows me to only view items being sold and shipped from the United States. You can choose this option by choosing the refining your search. Rine Search > Item Location > United States Only.
When I did this I found a seller located in the US who had purchased the flats from China and the sizing was 1/2 a size too small (shocker). She had ordered a 8.5 but they fit like an 8. She listed them as pre-owned so I made sure to contact her to ask her if she had worn them or if she had only tried them on and if she could list additional photos of the condition the shoes were in since she had only shared the advertisement photos. I always suggest asking sellers who only use ad photos or catalog photos to share a photos of the actual product they have in their possession and ask about any flaws/wear/tear on the product.
I was able to get the shoes + shipping for $40 new with the box!
I love the shoes. I can't believe how beautiful they are. They are faux suede but the nicest faux suede I have ever felt and the laces are also the buttery faux suede. They have a perfect touch of gold in the heel and end of the laces. They zip in the back and have the cross over on the top of the foot and criss cross detailing on the ankle. They fit perfectly!
So after some patience, internet digging and effort on my end I was able to go from the dream shoes costing me $675 > $130 > $70 > $40.