Like it or not, buying on eBay is something you have to do in order to build an Alice collection. Unless you can spot a piece during filming, when it’s still available in stores, or were lucky enough to own it beforehand, eBay is an Alice costumer’s best friend. It can also be a particularly frustrating enemy. It’s not eBay’s fault, of course – their service is fantastic, and its mere existence opens up a world of buying opportunity. Most of the time, when you have a bad experience on eBay or with costuming in general, it’s because of another buyer’s dubious or obsessive tactics.
Don’t want to be a jerk? Take the following into consideration.
DON’T: Buy everything just because Alice wore it.
Would you buy everything you liked at a particular store? No, you wouldn’t. You would try it on and decide if the colouring, cut, and material worked for your body type. If it didn’t, you would hopefully have the self awareness to put it back. Alice’s pieces are the same. If you wouldn’t, or shouldn’t wear it, don’t buy it.
DO: Offer to sell the pieces that don’t suit you to another costumer.
Rather than letting it rot in your closet, give someone else a chance at expanding their collection. I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating it is to know that many people never wear the pieces they collect. Oh, and when you re-sell it? Don’t jack the price up to make a profit. Your eBay feedback will give you away.
DON’T: Buy pieces that you know won’t fit you.
If you normally wear a medium, there isn’t much hope that you’re going to be able to fit into an extra small. I understand buying pieces in different sizes in order to trade someone for your correct size, but that tactic only holds up for so long. How long is that Knitted & Knotted Limehouse Sweater Coat, size XL, going to sit in your closet while you wait for someone with an XS to come along? After a certain point, it just becomes hoarding. If you can’t wear it, can’t trade it, and can’t have it altered, move on.
DO: Look out for your friends.
Finding Alice pieces is so much easier when you have a network of friends who are willing to keep an eye out for you – and vice versa. Don’t hoard everything for yourself; pass along the auctions for items that you know will fit your friends.
DON’T: Buy the same item in multiple sizes and colours.
How many Anthropologie Organpipe sweater coats do you need? If you answered “one for every day of the week, and also in sizes XS through XL just in case I gain… or lose… 50 pounds,” you’re doing it wrong. Alice’s clothing is something of a rarity as it is – why are you making it harder for everyone else to own it?
And that’s my dose of costume-related honesty for the day. Whether you love it or hate it, just be considerate.