Saturday, July 25, 2015

Online Shopping: Be a Good Buyer!

Hello everyone! Today I'm going to be talking about buying online and some general guidelines for how to be a nice seller. Enjoy!

 So why am I talking about being a good buyer, you ask? One of the main reasons is because of stories I hear and experiences I have with selling online. Another reason is that I find a good number of people tend to forget common courtesy when they're online because they aren't talking face to face with someone. So here are my top 5 suggestions for buying things online from others who aren't running a store.

#1 Be Polite
 You'd think this would be common sense, but apparently common sense does not apply on the internet for a lot of people. I say this mainly because of people who decide to be jerks to others just because there's likely to be no real repercussions on them since there's no face to face contact. When contacting and talking to a seller, please try to be polite. Even if they're blunt, grouchy, pessimistic, or otherwise a downer, it's better to be polite than to be a jerk back as that's more likely to cause you to get in an argument. Save arguments for debate class. Here's an example of a somewhat blunt statement that can come off as rude and a more polite version that's more likely to get you better feedback as a buyer (and keep you from being blacklisted if they take it really badly): "give me this for 20" versus "Hello! I was wondering if you'd be willing to part with this for $20?" So what do we see with these sentences? First of all, use proper grammar and punctuation if you can. This comes across as more polite since you took the time to type it out nicely. Second of all, it's nicer to ask a question rather than state something as it can come across as less demanding and more just inquiring. Lastly, how would you feel if someone messaged you like that? You may still sell to them just because they're the only one showing interest, but you probably won't be writing quite as nice a note for them.

#2 Don't Lowball
 People tend to price things the way they do for a reason. Whether it's because the item's damaged, in mint condition, or super rare, they ultimately have the last say in the matter of pricing. With that being said, some sellers do take offers on items or just not be sure how they should be pricing an item and put the price a little higher than they really should be. If you've done your research and approach in a polite way, you could end up getting a really good deal by making an offer. However, the last thing anyone wants is to have someone offer $20 for something that originally cost $150, is in near perfect condition, and worth at least $100. That's just not cool. Yes, some things are really expensive, it's just the way things are sometimes, especially with custom prints, buttons, apparel, and handmade items.

#3 Don't Give Unwanted Opinions
 This kinda fits in with the whole being polite thing, but is sometimes overlooked. If you see something you don't like, don't go posting to the whole world (anyone who can read the comments) how ugly you think that particular shade of mustard yellow is. The same goes for making offers, don't start an offer off with "this is rlly ugly" and then proceed to lowball the seller. While this doesn't seem to be as common in alternate clothing sales, I hear about this all the time on Vinted. Why would you tell someone how ugly their item is and then go on to try and buy it from them? It's more than likely going to get you ignored by the seller or possibly blocked.

#4 Reply Back
 This makes perfect sense if you're buying an item from someone, but people seem to forget to let folks know when they've changed their minds about something. I can't tell you how many times I've had someone show some interest in an item only to disappear after I answer their question. The least you can do is reply back with something simple like "Dang, that's too small. :/" or "Alright, not sure if I really want this after all." so the seller knows that they can continue to market their item to try and sell it. I always try to respond back and thank the seller for taking the time to respond to my questions, even if I'm not going to buy the item, so that they know if they should get a mailer or let someone else know that the item's still up for grabs.

#5 Pay for What You've Bought
 This seems common sense, but apparently not so. I have a friend who's had to deal with multiple potential buyers making a bid on something listed up on eBay only to not pay for it when the auction ends. This means wasted time and money for him. Please please please make sure to let your seller know if you need time for a Paypal transfer, but don't just decide you don't want it, don't pay, and don't message the seller to let them know your change of heart. It's just plain rude.

 I hope you all remember to use common courtesy when buying online even though we don't talk to sellers face to face.

Check out my store:
I've got a Facebook page:

Saturday, July 18, 2015

It's Procrastination Time! Dealing with Motivational Loss

Hello everyone! So today's topic is slightly different from my regular fashion, anime, and movie related posts. Today I'll be talking about procrastination and how to motivate yourself.

 So what prompted me to write about this topic on my blog? Well, unfortunately I've been dealing with a lot of procrastination and lack of motivation lately. I spend entirely too much time flopping around my room being bored, but not wanting to da anything. This is frustrating me to no extent as I have plenty of unfinished projects, video games, and room organization and clean up to do in the time I don't spend at work. So, I've been looking into myself to try and figure out why I act this way, why I don't do the things I love and really want to do. Based on my behavior as a kid as well as growing up, I determined my main problem was procrastination. I tend to wait until the last minute, then rush through everything I need to do a couple days or the night before. On the plus side, this has made me very good at writing short English papers in a short period of time, but on the downside this means that I have trained myself to finish things last minute before deadlines. So what do I do when I don't have a deadline? Absolutely nothing. I sit around wanting to get things done, but never doing them because I've either lost motivation, don't have a deadline, or don't have all the necessary components because I haven't felt the urge to go buy them. This has been affecting a lot of different aspects of my life, making it hard for me to want to do anything outside of work and necessary food shopping trips.

 Now comes the question: What am I going to do to avoid procrastinating and what can you do if you find yourself acting the same way? To start with, I intend to buy a planner for myself, one that I can write 'To do' lists in as well as appointments in. I'm going to start giving myself deadlines for my sewing and cosplay projects ("I want to wear this yukata on this date.") that way I have to force myself to work on them so that they'll be complete in time. Or at least close enough that I can finish them up within a few days. I'm also going to start planning times for when to do certain tasks such as exercising, laundry, or shopping. In addition to these, I'm going to make a list of things I can do when I'm bored or don't feel like doing anything so I can choose something to do (other than flop around on my bed) and do it. All of them will be things I can do by myself, but I'll also write down some things I can do with friends so I don't always end up doing the whole "What do you wanna do?" "I dunno,. What do you wanna do?" routine every time I get to hang out with them.

 As I have yet to try any of this, I have yet to know how effective it is. I will be sure to update you all in a few months and let you know how it's going. If you decide to try this out too, let me know! I'd love to hear about your progress as well.

Check out my store:
I've got a Facebook page:

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Building a Wardrobe: Part Four

Hello everyone! Today I'll be covering the last step in my wardrobe building series: Buying your wardrobe. Enjoy!

Step Five: Buying your wardrobe
 Last and certainly not least! Let's get to buying the pieces to build your wardrobe up. Use the list you made in step 4 to help you decide on what to buy and start hunting for clothes. I highly recommend checking out second hand sales groups on Facebook as well as Etsy, Storenvy, Amazon, and eBay. Just be sure to read reviews and price compare for online stores. Thrift stores are great too as you can find clothing at much cheaper than regular prices most of the time and have the advantage of being able to try the clothes on too. Make sure you have your measurements handy for online buying so you can make sure you're getting something that will fit you properly.

 Budgeting is one of the most important things when building your wardrobe. Make sure you're spending your money wisely by comparing your desired wardrobe list to your current wardrobe list and only buying items you need. You can always buy more expensive pieces to start with, but I'd suggest focusing on less expensive basics until you have a functional wardrobe. For example, I really want a Kawaii Goods dress, but due to the price I have to think harder about if I want one than if I want ten more pettis from Bodyline (I must own every pastel one). Realistically, I'd actually be buying a petti and shoes or a cutsew and jacket or something similar to that with the same money I'd spend on that one dress. In addition to that, I don't really have a lot of basic pieces I could pair said dress with to make it look good, so my money's better spent getting those right now. In addition to smart spending, budgeting also involves smart saving. If you want to buy a brand new Baby the Stars Shine Bright JSK from their store when you visit with your comm, you probably will want to avoid eating out and buying anything unessential for a while so you don't spend your rent or food money for that month on a dress that you'll probably only wear every once in a while. If you've decided to start saving up for your dream dress, you'll want to put more of your spending money aside so you can buy it if it pops up in your sales group. This can mean less time spent going out with friends or eating out for you, but if you're really serious about buying a piece or saving up to make a large purchase, it's worth it.

 One final word of advice on buying: try to avoid impulse buying if at all possible. This is not to say that you should pass up a good bargain on a piece you want or to not buy anything when you're at the mall though. Rather than grab something and buy it immediately, whether online or in store, take some time to think about a purchase. Whether you text your friend to ask their advice, walk around the store to look at everything else they have for sale, or just make sure you actually can use a particular piece with your current wardrobe, take some time to consider purchases before you make them. I have quite a few items that I'm either selling or tend not to use as much that I wish I'd thought about a little more before jumping and buying them. Sure, that sheer black cardigan is nice, but I have nothing in my closet that it works with and most certainly can't wear it on its own. That cardigan's really cute, but I already had a blue-ish green one in my drawer and most of my tops are blue or green. Just think things through a bit before you buy them. There's nothing wrong with messaging a seller and saying you're interested in an item they have for sale as a way to get your foot in the door, but you can always back out and tell them you've changed your mind after thinking about it for a bit.

Have fun building your wardrobe and don't be afraid to experiment, just don't spend too much on anything you're unsure about!

Check out my shop:
I'm on Facebook:

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Building a Wardrobe: Part Three

Hello everyone! Welcome to part three of my wardrobe makeover series! So far we've covered clearing out your closet, research, and more research. Today we're going to start going over the next step: planning your wardrobe.

Step Four: Plan your wardrobe
 Time to take advantage of that research you've been doing and start deciding what you want in your wardrobe! Grab a notebook and start writing down what you think would be a good starter wardrobe based on your style. Don't go trying to make a full blown wardrobe like your favorite blogger or YouTuber. These things take time and they likely built theirs up over the course of years. Figure out which pieces are the most versatile for your style and what would work well for off days or events where you might want to dress up more. As an example, I'm going to list some of what I've put on my list for my wardrobe. I mostly wear Fairy Kei anymore with some Gothic as well as Lolita pieces, so I decided to build a "Fairy Kei/Kawaii fashion" wardrobe. I also still enjoy cosplay (even though I haven't been to a con in ages), so I took those into account as well as my local environment and figure.

  • 8+ cutsews, tees, or casual blouses
  • 2-3 Lolita coords for meetups (dressier)
  • 4+ bloomers/spandex for under skirts
  • 3+ pairs heels
  • 1 pink, 1 light blue, 1 lavender, 1 mixed wig
  • 3+ complete cosplays
  • 1-2 seifukus OR 1 each summer and winter seifuku
  • 4-5 various skirts
  • 2-3 pairs tennis
While this is just a few things on my list, you can see that I list out each type of item I want in my wardrobe and how many of each I want to have. Also, you'll note with some things I was more specific than others. Instead of just writing "4ish pairs of shoes" I wrote a range of how many of different types of shoes I wanted. For some items I have a more specified range (2-4) and others a wider range (4+). I decide this based on how essential a particular piece is to my wardrobe and how much variety I want with that particular item type. I was also somewhat vague with a few items. For me, having a Lolita coord isn't as important as having a functional wardrobe, so I just list it as an item rather than listing all the pieces I need for a coord.

Once you've got a plan for what you want your wardrobe to have, it's time to go through your clothes and mark down how many of each item on your list you have. I just wrote out each of the article types (cutsew, skirt, cosplay, etc.) on a new page in the same order I had written them out originally for easier comparison, then I went through my wardrobe and did a tally mark for each item I had that fit under one of the categories. This gives you a better idea of what all you havein your wardrobe compared to what all you want in it. So say you have twelve wigs, but they're all cheap Halloween wigs or you have a dozen skirts, but over half of them are different shades of blue. This lets you know you should probably look to replace some of the items in your wardrobe to add more variety and to have better quality. And if you already have three pairs of pastel tennies that you regularly wear and you listed 2-3 pairs on your wardrobe list, you should probably stick to buying other pieces you're more in need of.

Next week I'll be going over the last part of this series, buying your wardrobe!
Check out my store:
I'm on Facebook: