What is your eBay ID and how did you come up with
it? My first ID was simply my name and initials: pamelasmc. I changed it due to ebay and my own security concerns that it was too close to my email address. My current one is: princess*bunny*02, after my DD's Miranda of drawing "princess bunnies" and because she was born in 2002.
How long have you been buying customs on eBay?
For over 2 years now, almost exclusively for my now 6 year old daughter. When I first found custom boutique, my daughter Miranda was only 3 years old. She is a very picky dresser, and custom boutique allows me to dress her in high quality and unique clothing that she loves and fits her well.
Do you remember the first custom you bought on eBay?
Yes, it was a sweet 2 piece skirt & top set with a retro Hawaiian print with hula dancers and a coordinating hibiscus floral print. It had peek-a-boo rick-rack at the trim of the skirt & shirt, cute ties for the shoulder straps on the top, and the cutest little back with buttons. Very summery/ resort wear, well-made, and had a great professional fit. It was made by Pam, ebay ID: petite.chic. Pam rarely lists now, but when she does, it is usually now sweet knit hoodie dresses. At the time, she was in the design group "the Yayas", and that was one of the big design groups, or so it seemed to be to me as a buyer.
The other groups that really had many fine and talented designers was Lilyplum, Ivylane, Gallerybay, StudioE, and the Boutique Jaynes. Some things haven't changed too much, but sadly "The Yayas" are no longer around.
What is you favorite custom set you have bought?
My daughter and I have had a few. The most recent one was by Ms. Wendy, ebay ID spendystyle. I will try to post some pictures of it on a manni later but it is one of the most highly and finely detailed sets I have ever seen. In general, my DD and I like the Euro styles, but I do admire the talent many applique designers, painters, and ladies who smock have.
Do you get caught up in the bidding war thing?
Rarely now.... LOL. I have come to realize if I lose an auction, there will be something just as nice around-the-corner. There is just one little girl in my household, so I do try to consider how often my DD will wear the clothing, I will bid and rebid though.
Where do you like your labels placed on your
If they are sewn inside, I hope they are not left at the back of her neck or sewn in such a way that the stitches show on the outer side while being worn. I do not mind if the label is on the outside of the set, but at that point it should be a woven label, not printed, so it stays professional looking. In general though, labels don't concern me enough to write a designer and ask for them to be sewn in certain parts of the clothing. Probably kids who suffer from having sensitive skin have mommies that are more opinionated about this than myself.
What pieces do you like to be included in a set?
I like the sets if they are sets to have a top and a bottom, unless they are a dress or overalls. With many sets I like having a sash that can be worn tied around, as a belt with jeans, and/ or placed in the hair. I am not a fan of auctions where each clothing piece is listed in a separate auction, but will bid on these things occassionally.
How long do you think is reasonable to wait on a
This is a loaded question.... In general, I would like if every set arrived within 3 weeks of payment and measurements, but within 30 days works too. When I first started shopping custom boutique all of the stated ETAs were either 2 weeks or rarely up to 3 weeks. Now it is not uncommon to see 5 week ETAs, or even 12 months ETAS on those 1 outfit per month per year auctions, which causes problems with filing with Paypal if the set is not received or becomes late, since Paypal only allows one to open a dispute within 45 days. I will only very, very rarely consider bidding on sets that have a stated 5 week ETA or from sellers I have experienced lateness with no communication with. I have unfortunately received Christmas and Easter sets after the holidays they were intended for without a refund or really any great offer to remake it in a larger size, etc., and I regret not filing with Paypal in time for those items. There is simply too much talent for me to stress whether I will get something that I have paid for, so if I now feel like I had problems with transactions with a seller with poor communication and an unhappy outcome, I will shop elsewhere.
On a happier note, there are many designers who have always had quick turn-arounds who make beautiful clothing. With designers like these I find myself just emailing them and placing custom set orders off of ebay.
How do you like your customs packaged?
I just want the customs nicely folded, ironed, and packaged well enough to protect them from the elements (like rain and stinky packages being shipped with it). It is nice to look at wrapped up things, but for clothing, I am going to be having my DD try on the things shortly after it arrives, so it is not necessary. For expensive sets, the plastic & zippered garment bags with the clothing on a hanger are always very much appreciated.
How far in advance do you shop for holiday sets?
I am shopping for holiday fabrics now to have sets made by designers I know and trust off of ebay. I will have them sewn in October to allow for holiday photos, and just in case the fit needs to be altered. With Halloween, I will probably just bid or BIN something on ebay or et$y. I really can't imagine buying a custom set any earlier than 2 months before its intended holiday because kids can grow so quickly.
What else would you like to share with us?
I have become obsessive with fabrics, especially European and Japanese fabrics. I do like domestic fabrics too, but I find the overall quality of the aforementioned fabrics to be higher and to have a better feel. I probably buy more fabric now than clothing, with the intent to have it made by fine designers such as you ladies into sets for my DD. I also quilt a little and am working on saving up fabric remnants to make some Euro Patchwork curtains for my DD.
My other BIG LOVE on ebay is the whole "Giving Works", which is the charitable aspect of ebay. I really hold a large place in my heart for children's charities and I hope I one day hold enough talent to list something for the great ebay launch group, "The Boutique Angels Charity" which every quarter launches a series of auctions for a revolving children's charity such as St. Judes, Big Briothers & Big Sisters, Autism Association of America, etc.
Lastly, for any of you here who are not registered with wwwDOTbigcrumbs.com, check it out. each month I get rebates back from them for shopping on ebay, Target, Gap, Omaha Steaks, Zappos, and other websites. There are truly no catches and you do not have to give out your personal info.
Pamela, thank you for asking me to do this. Ladies, thank you for the invite to this group too. I hope to get to know you all better and wish you success in your ebaying and personal lives.