Confessions of an eBay Shoe Addict


In addition to my myriad of other addictions, I am an eBay shoe addict. Oh, sure, I'll go to Target to get my fix every now and then. But with eBay, I'm pretty sure that I'm not going to see anyone else wearing the same shoes as me.

And oh, lordy, the kinds of shoes that you can find on eBay!

Now, you might already know eBay is great for finding fancy-schmancy new stuff for a bargain, like finding sample sales on designer items. And there's also something to be said for purchasing gently used items if they come from a good label, if only for the warranty associated with them. I'm just a little queasy when it comes to shoes. I don't like to buy them used. Sure, you can disinfect them, but it just never feels right to me.

So I'm come to my own compromise — I buy cheap (new) shoes. And yes, I buy them at Target, and I buy them at JCPenney (when they have a sale, they REALLY have a sale), but eBay is increasingly becoming the place that I turn to to find cheap, unique, wild and crazy shoes for rock-bottom prices.

Quality Versus Quantity

Some people argue that you are better off buying quality shoes at high prices, caring for them, and keeping them for years. This is true for men, for sure. Quality men's shoes are really damn good shoes. My boyfriend is a shoe fanatic, but unlike me, he pays high prices for a few excellent Italian shoes. He polishes them regularly, and returns them if there is any problem.

That system won't work for me. For one thing, I don't wear socks (well, you wouldn't wear socks with heels, anyway unless you're Cindy Lauper) but even with nylons, my shoes just don't smell so great after a while. Maybe a year. I don't polish my shoes. I've tried — I almost died from the fumes. I'm also a klutz, so my shoes will look like hell within a few months. I trip over curbs, kick myself in the ankles, close doors on my feet, simply fall over with no warning at all. It's a miracle that I'm still alive, actually.

A couple of years ago, I bought two pairs of pumps at Nordstrom. Good, quality leather. High price. They lasted roughly two months each. I can't bear to throw them away, but there's no saving them, either. So I've simply come to the conclusion that for me, cheap disposable and crazy footwear is where it's at.


Case in point? I paid $1 for a pair of brown leather pumps with lots of detail and little bows. They were being sold as "damaged." The damage was a teeny, imperceptible scratch under one of the bows. I'll take damaged goods like that any day!

My other recent purchase was a pair of zebra pumps with metal heels. These shoes are too naughty for work, but not for drinks with my girlfriends. Oh, they are lovely indeed. They were $12 with $9 shipping — roughly the same as Target, but I doubt I'll ever run into anyone else who is wearing a pair.

My current lust is for polka dot shoes. Green polka dot shoes. Peep toe ones. I can barely contain my glee at the idea.

Some tips:

  • Cheap shoes are cheap. They are often from China, and some of them smell like a Chinese factory. If you've never smelled that before, let me assure you that it is very unique. The brown pair that I bought had to sit outside on my porch for three days before I could bring them in.
  • You're not guaranteed a perfect fit. So far, I've been lucky, and if I'm not, I can always add some Dr. Scholls inserts if they shoes are too big, or get them stretched if they are too small.
  • Look for sellers with cheap shipping ($10 or under) or that combine shipping.
  • Use the filters to limit your results. You can search by size, type, color, heel height, and more. There are lots of shoes out there, so the filters are your friends.

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Guest's picture

Love it..!

Lynn Truong's picture

my feet are too small for me to have a shoe problem.  size 4.5 fits me perfectly.  i've bought a few pairs on ebay but they never fit.  nordies is the only place i can find my size, and with limited selection and high prices, i just don't bother.  boo.  i feel so jipped as a girl.  on the other hand, i don't have that problem with handbags.  i bought 2 lovely paul frank purses last week.  i actually went out and bought one at my fav store after i lost a bid on an auction on another one i really really wanted, just to see a few days later the seller had relisted.  HA.  love it.

Guest's picture

this ebay store has lots of really nice shoes all for 10 dollars but unfortunately theyre all too small for me! :(

Guest's picture

I buy on ebay too