How to Shop on TikTok Without Overpaying

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When it comes to selling used items online, there is no shortage of options. Out of Facebook Marketplace and Nextdoorto classics like craigslist and eBayif you want to buy (or sell) something, there are many ways to find it.

More recently, there’s been a proliferation of vintage and other second-hand dealers (and regular people). sell their wares on Instagramso it makes sense it’s happening on TikTok too.

But along with the costume jewelry that once belonged to grandma and the side table that no longer fits your decor, both apps are also packed with influencers. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but if they happen to be selling stuff you might be tricked into paying more for an item than it’s worth. Here’s how to avoid this when shopping on TikTok.

How to shop on TikTok without paying too much

Influencer or not, there are offers on TikTok. But like any online selling platform, there are also overpriced items, dishonest sellers, and outright scams. Here are some tips to avoid them:

Do your homework

This isn’t specific to TikTok, but it’s usually the case at least a few minutes of research before you buy anything from people who sell their stuff online. Use whatever information you can find in the item description and photos – like manufacturer, designer, year, model number, pattern name, etc. – and do a quick online search for the item (or at least something similar). You can also search directly on eBay.

No luck? Insert one of the listing photos Google Lens. The results you get will depend on things like the rarity of the item and the quality of the photobut overall it can be a really helpful tool for finding other examples of the piece.

The idea for research is primarily to find out what the item costs elsewhere and whether the item you’ve been eyeing on TikTok is actually a good deal. But it can also tell you more about whether what you’re interested in is in relatively good condition, whether everything is original, and so on.

ask questions

If you still have questions about an item after doing your own research, you can ask the seller (polite) in one Message. We’re talking about things anyone can answer, like the size of a piece of clothing, whether a chair is black or navy blue (because it’s unclear in the photos), or if there are stains on the back of the chair Chair.

Keep in mind that not every seller is a designer, vintage dealer, or has any background in what they sell. In fact they can don’t even know what they’re selling and just want to get it out of their house. Again, the point is to learn more about the item to determine if it is worth the asking price. Remember to respect the seller’s time.

react fast

The market for vintage and other second-hand items is more competitive in some areas than others, but generally speaking, if you see something you’re dying to buy at the advertised price, the quicker you act, the better off you will be.

Yes, that means messaging the seller right away to show interest, but also letting them know you’re ready and willing to take it off their hands and pay for it that day (if available) – especially if it is furniture or another bulky item that takes up space.

to proceed with payment

On the latest episode of the Antiques Freaks podcastCohosts Kenneth Henry and Dee Leger discussed buying antiques and vintage items from Craigslist (though the tips apply here too) in the safest possible way and touched on the actual exchange of the object for money.

Leger recommends using Venmo or CashApp for any purchases over $20 and doing the actual money transfer (via the app) in front of the seller right before they hand over the item (which you can see with your own in front of you). Eyes).

In the meantime, Clinton Tharp— which restores and sells vintage furniture and posts educational videos on TikTok — takes a different approach. He suggests notifying the seller and Offer to pay for the item via Venmo or PayPal before You meet her to pick it up.

in one Interview 2021he said paying for invisible items (besides the pictures in the listing) allowed him to beat other eager buyers in a crowded market and get the pieces he wanted at a low price.

However, it should go without saying that many things can go wrong with this approach, including losing your money because the item doesn’t exist or has already been sold. We wouldn’t use this strategy ourselves, it’s apparently a people thing. But regardless of how the exchange goes, always prioritize your safety.

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